John Bennett

Gurdjieff International Review

John G. Bennett


John G. Bennett was a British scientist, mathematician, and philosopher who integrated scientific research with studies of Asiatic languages and religions. Born on June 8, 1897, Bennett travelled widely and worked with many spiritual leaders. While in Constantinople in 1921—during the aftermath of the Great War and the Russian Revolution—he met both G. I. Gurdjieff and P. D. Ouspensky. These meetings shaped the direction of his spiritual development and in the summer of 1923, he spent three months at Gurdjieff's Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man in France. In spite of the shortness of his stay, Bennett was shown things that convinced him that man is capable of spiritual transformation and that Gurdjieff had profound knowledge and understanding of the techniques by which this could be achieved. Soon thereafter, Bennett returned to England and worked with Ouspensky's groups for the next fifteen years. Then, in the summer of 1949, he spent a month working very intensively with Gurdjieff in Paris, and this experience laid the foundation for a significant transformation in his life. J. G. Bennett died on December 13, 1974, leaving a legacy of selfless giving and unrelenting inquiry into the mystery and meaning of existence.

John G. Bennett: The Struggle to “Make Something” for Oneself

George Bennett (John Bennett’s son) recounts the different influences that shaped his father’s search. He recognizes the life-long impact Ouspensky and particularly Gurdjieff had on John Bennett and describes how Gurdjieff’s influence shaped the groups Bennett led during the last twenty-five years of his life.

Gurdjieff: the Unknown Teacher

A previously unpublished essay written in 1949 by John G. Bennett and published with the permission of George Bennett. Begins with descriptions of Bennett's meetings with Gurdjieff and presents Bennett's conviction that at last he had found "a comprehensive and convincing world outlook."

Gurdjieff’s All and Everything: a Study by J. G. Bennett

Bennett’s study was first published in Rider’s Review (Autumn 1950), London, and is reprinted here with the kind permission of Bennett Books. Bennett grapples with the contradiction of trying to elucidate a “book that defies verbal analysis” and concludes that Beelzebub’s Tales is an epoch-making work that represents the first new mythology in 4000 years. He finds in Gurdjieff’s ideas regarding time, God’s purpose in creating the universe, conscience, and the suffering of God, a synthesis transcending Eastern and Western doctrines about humanity’s place in the cosmos.

Gurdjieff’s Temple Dances

John G. Bennett describes the “Temple Dances” Gurdjieff was teaching his pupils in Constantinople in 1920 and at the Prieuré in 1923.

Courses and Practica in the J.G. Bennett Tradition of the Gurdjieff Work

A distinction of the Bennett lineage of the Gurdjieff Work has been its Practicum trainings in which numbers of people live and work together for a definite time. John Amaral interviews George Bennett and Elan Sicroff to discuss the history, features and effectiveness of these Courses. The aims and format of the trainings are revealing and useful for understanding J.G. Bennett’s presentation of Gurdjieff’s teaching.

The Plight of the Soil

“We make the terrible mistake of treating nature as an alien power, instead of recognizing that we are wholly involved in the well-being of the plant life of the earth.”

Nature Is Our Mother

“Great Nature is a power that is a vehicle of Wisdom, and to be open to Her is a very great thing. It is totally different from having an emotional reaction to a piece of scenery.”

J.G. Bennett Foundation Website

This website, operated by his two sons, provides extensive information about J.G. Bennett and his teachings. It contains a gallery of photos, a list of his books and CD's, an overview of his teachers and pupils, and many useful links to other websites and groups.

This webpage © 1998 Gurdjieff Electronic Publishing
Revision: April 15, 2023