J.G. Bennett,  Uncategorized

Istanbul 1972 Hasan Shushud and Sheik Muzaffer Ozak

Hasan Shushud and Sheikh Muzaffer



HASAN SHUSHUD (1901-1988)   click the link for more information

Hasan Shushud

HASAN SHUSHUD (1901-1988)

Bennett met Hasan Shushud, a Turk, in Istanbul on his return from India after his second and final meeting with the Shivapuri Baba in 1963. Shushud is an enigmatic figure who created very little stir during his lifetime. He had entered the Sufi path in his teen years, learned French and German and later worked as a school-teacher. He later worked in a bank and eventually became the private secretary to the Turkish Finance minister. He retired at the age of 50 and devoted his later life to studying, writing and teaching individuals and small groups. He was not affiliated to any of the traditional Tarikats in Istanbul, but had been influenced at an early age by a teacher he called Maksut Efendi, a Naqshbendi, who taught him the zikr that became the main technique he passed on. However, Maksut Efendi did not teach him the techniques of breath retention and fasting which Shushud says he later realized for himself while living in Ankara.

He termed his teaching İtlak Yolu, or the Path of Absolute Liberation. His book, “Hacegan Hanedani” was published in Turkish in 1958 and is a commentary and review of literature pertaining to a number of great Sufi masters on the 12th to 15th centuries. This book was translated into English by Mukhtar Holland and published under the title “The Masters of Wisdom of Central Asia.” His second publication “Fakir Sözleri” (1959) is a collection of aphorisms having particular
relevance to followers of the İtlak path. In many ways, it bears an uncanny resemblance to both Gurdjieff’s teaching of Kundabuffer, and also to Bennett’s notions of Eternity and Being.

Bennett and Shushud did not become close friends until 1969, when Shushud came to London to stay with Bennett’s family. Shushud encouraged Bennett to act independently and to go ahead with the plan he had for the school which eventually opened at Sherborne House.

In 1973, Bennett’s publisher Alick Bartholomew commissioned a book which was originally to be entitled “Gurdjieff and the Masters of Wisdom” and was to be co-authored by Bennett and Shushud. However, Shushud pulled out of the project, telling Bennett that he did not trust the publisher, apparently on the grounds that he had deducted state income tax from the advance payment. What later became apparent was that Shushud did not agree with the connection Bennett wished to make between Gurdjieff and the Masters of Wisdom. In the event, Bennett divided the proposed book into two separate titles, “Gurdjieff: Making a New World” (1973) and “The Masters of Wisdom” which draws heavily on Shushud’s “Hacegan Hanedani”, published posthumously in 1975. There are number of mysterious things about Shushud, who certainly had unusual powers. Bennett makes a brief reference to these in “Witness”, and many others have attested to them. *One of his closest associates lives today in San Mateo, California. *(Nevit O. Ergin -  1928-2015 )

Hasan Shushud addressing Sherborne House Students: 1972-04-09  




**Shushud's book was eventually translated and published by Coombe Springs Press as Masters of Wisdom of Central Asia, years after Bennett's own Masters of Wisdom was published. Masters of Wisdom was published posthumously and contains a summing up of his ideas of higher intelligence and guidance in history. Masters of Wisdom of Central Asia: Teachings from the Sufi Path of Liberation has now been re-published by Nevit O. Ergin .



J.G. Bennett, Sherborne House, 1973

You must understand that the basis for breathing exercises is that there are energies that man needs to feed his inner life. These energies are all vibrations of different kinds in different media. Invariably all these exercises have a rhythmic quality. As it is not easy to discover an absolute rhythm, we can use a rhythm that is given to us by our bodies.

These exercises are sometimes disguised as prayers or physical activities, and sometimes they are produced involuntarily in people. Sometimes they are given a definite religious or philosophical meaning like the “invocation of the name of God.” Sometimes they are very complicated and even have quite elaborate rituals. The effect is the same. They bring about a transformation of energies which strengthens and liberates the finer body from the physical body. Even if we are not aware of this happening, they will produce results of this kind. In the form I am going to introduce to you, (which was given to us by Hasan Şuşud), there is no need to have any specific idea or to think about anything in particular. The reality is implied in the exercise—and there is no need to keep one’s attention on anything. You do the exercise as freely and unforcibly as possible, without trying to empty your mind or direct your thoughts. Implied in this exercise is your intention to attain to the right state of existence for yourself.


Fakir Sozleri Paperback – 2013
by Hasan Shushud (Author), B. Bennett (Editor)



Sheikh Muzaffer
That same year, JG Bennett revisited Turkey and met with, besides Hasan, Hadji Muzaffer, the Sheikh of a Halveti Dervish Khalka.


Sheikh Muzaffer and JG Bennett in the bookstore owned by Muzaffer 1972 Hadji Muzaffer, the Sheikh of a Halveti Dervish Khalka

JGB and EB Istanbul-001
JG Bennett and Elizabeth Bennett Istanbul 1972

Ben Bennett, son of J.G. Bennett and M. Housden meeting with Hasan Shushud in Istanbul, Turkey
Ben Bennett, son of J.G. Bennett and M. Housden meeting with Hasan Shushud in Istanbul, Turkey