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The two series of talks and discussions presented here were recorded at Denison House, a rented auditorium located in Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, near Victoria Station and long-since demolished. Little more than six years since the end of the Second World War, Great Britain was still subject to food rationing; most attendees arrived by bus or underground, and the hall was draughty with hard wooden seating; London was notoriously smog-bound in the Winter of 1950-51, but even so there was an energetic attendance. The talks were open to all comers and were well attended by audiences of up to three hundred people. A small admission fee was charged. All attendees were invited to visit Coombe Springs, Kingston-upon-Thames in the South-Western suburbs of London, where there was a community of residents, and regular groups meetings, work days and Summer intensives.
Recording of the talks was made by a team of short-hand typists, highly skilled and rigorously trained to write down normal speech verbatim and subsequently transcribe all on manual typewriters. These were exclusively women and their names are not recorded anywhere, but three at least are known to have worked on these talks. Some of the questioners were known to the scribes and are identified by their full names, others by their initials, still more unidentified, except sometimes with an indicator as to the gender of the questioner. Some questioners, which includes his own sister were known to Mr. Bennett, while others were newcomers.
The first series of talks presented here date from September 1950, ten months after the death of G.I. Gurdjieff, whose work and teaching provides the underlying theme. Audience members were encouraged to read Gurdjieff’s “BEELZEBUB’S TALES TO HIS GRANDSON” and terms and words taken from the text are marked with bold type. It should be noted that references to All and Everything referred exclusively to Beelzebub’s Tales, since the books that form the second a third series of All and Everything were not published until some years later. P.D. Ouspensky’s book “IN SEARCH OF THE MIRACULOUS” had recently been published and this is referred to equally by its subtitle “Fragments of an Unknown Teaching” shortened simply to “Fragments”.
Initially occurring monthly, the talks were later scheduled fortnightly and finally weekly. After an hiatus of three years, the second series of talks begins in the Summer of 1954, and it is known that between the two series, Bennett had made two trips to the Middle East, the first being of four month’s duration and unaccompanied, the second of two weeks duration accompanied by Elizabeth Mayall.
At the time these talks were happening, Gurdjieff’s name was almost entirely unknown and had not appeared anywhere in print except in Bennett’s two books, “THE CRISIS IN HUMAN AFFAIRS” (1947) and “WHAT ARE WE LIVING FOR?” (1949). These and the lecture series “Gurdjieff: The Making of a New World” – later published as “IS THERE ‘LIFE’ ON EARTH?” – were the first public lectures given after Gurdjieff’s death.
We are grateful to Greg Stott, who prepared the transcripts of the talks for print. JGBF
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Denison House Talks, Questions and Answers 1950-1, 1954
The Collected Works of JG Bennett, Volume 44
List Price: $19.95
This is the story of a life of adventure and search, an account of meetings with great teachers, a love story, an inspirational tale of one of the greatest minds of the 20th century.
John Bennett (1897-1974) had not one career but several; starting his life as a soldier and spymaster in the early years of the Middle East conflicts, Bennett moved into - and failed - in the world of finance as an adventurer and entrepreneur. He reinvented himself as a world-leading technologist and director of research. All through his adult life, his outer life was on a parallel and sometimes divergent course to his inner spiritual search under the guidance of P.D. Ouspensky and G.I. Gurdjieff. After his career in the coal industry came to an abrupt end in his sixth decade, he entered the path of a single-minded seeker. For fifteen years, he travelled widely, seeking knowledge and sharing knowledge. Although he began a written account of his ideas in 1940, it was only in the last four years of his life that he declared his willingness to teach and worked intensively with large groups of students at his International Academy for Continuous Education. Subsequent history has revealed over end over that Bennett was ahead of his time, and that he developed and presented a vision of the next stage of evolution of humanity in the Synergic Epoch.
Publication Date: Apr 23 2017
ISBN/EAN13:1545300232 / 9781545300237
Page Count: 428
Kindle edition: WITNESS: THE STORY OF A SEARCH
$124.99 + shipping and handling
The Dramatic Universe builds an account of the significance and purpose of man’s existence on the earth, revealing a great task that necessitates a two-way communication with Higher Intelligences. The four volume work is a complete journey through J.G. Bennett’s search to give expression to the systematisation of the whole Universal drama.
Spanning fifty chapters from ‘Points of Departure’ to ‘The Next Age of Mind’, the Dramatic Universe provides a total unified picture of Man, the World, and God by synthesising the three domains of fact, value and harmony. This is achieved through a framework of determining conditions postulating Being time as Eternity, and Will time as Hyparxis. Complete self-development is needed in order to fulfill our destined role in the spiritulisation of existence and this, in turn, requires fulfilment of our potential in being and our development of will. Man’s ‘eternity blindness’ is the cause of our inability to perceive potential and to experience how to participate fully in the Great Work.
Gurdjieff Movements & J G Bennett at Sherborne, 2nd Course, 1973
Sherborne House Photos ~ The International Academy for Continuous Education Sherborne, Gloucestershire, England
The website "Sherborne House Photos" is a photo gallery showing the "life"at The International Academy for Continuous Education ('Sherborne House') during the years 1972-1974. Sherborne House was the location of John Bennett’s school, The International Academy for Continuous Education from September 1971 until August 1976. The Academy was organized in ten-month courses attended by up to 100 students each year, between the ages of 18 and 80. These students underwent an intensive training in the techniques that Bennett had learned from G.I. Gurdjieff and his other teachers in the course of his fifty years of spiritual search. All the work of the running of the Academy was performed by students, as well as work on Gurdjieff’s sacred dances, food production, animal husbandry, meditation and study.
The photographs on the website were taken by Annette Green. It is her wish that they be available and shared.
Annette was a student at the International Academy for Continuous Education, Sherborne, Gloucestershire, England.
Annette Green, a graduate of the Royal College of Art, is a photographer who attended John Bennett’s International Academy for Continuous Education from 1972-1973. A former stills photographer in the film industry, she was introduced to Bennett by Diane Cilento, with whom she collaborated on a project to create a photographic Tarot. She is now retired and lives in Ireland.
The Super Potential of Man ~ J.G. Bennett talking with Diane Cilento
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Website Updated 2019-05-01