December 2022 Newsletter
Ben Bennett writes:
This book is to be considered as a series of footnotes to my father’s autobiographical accounts, and not a retelling of his story. My sources are primarily his own published writing, in addition to which I draw on private letters, notebooks, conversations and personal observations made during the twenty-two years that I knew him. To ‘cook’ used in this sense is one of Bennett’s favorite metaphors for the transformational process. I am not qualified to write a scholarly study of Bennett’s work in relation to other writers, teachers and philosophers, so I concentrated on the consideration of what kind of a person was he. Although there are three autobiographical accounts, Witness, Idiots in Paris, and Journeys in Islamic Countries, also examined letters and unpublished diaries, in addition to my own memories and observations, which I freely admit are unreliable and subjective.
In reading Bennett’s accounts of his personal development, I noticed that he emphasized some elements while dismissing others, and keeping certain crucial matters entirely hidden even from his family and closest associates. My analysis of these matters is entirely my own interpretation.