Talks with J.G. Bennett at Beshara
Chapter: Suffering; page 59
"In the Sermon on the Mount we are told 'Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you and that persecute you'. This is ordinarily taken to be a requirement of humility, accepting injustice, of being compassionate and kind to people, and various virtues that are connected with this. But in reality, it is, like everything in the Sermon on the Mount, a practical counsel for living. Without enemies, we should have no chance.
Perhaps the most important creation was the Devil. How would the universe have had a chance of returning to the Source if there hadn't been a tempter in it? Ask yourself that. Why should one ever struggle and try to achieve anything, if there's nothing to struggle against? Therefore, our enemies are necessary for us. We have to value them very much. And that includes our own inner enemies. If we had no egoism, then we should be like Angels, who are not capable of transformation. They can't be transformed because there is no denying principle. It is the same way with suffering. Without suffering there is no possibility of transformation. But the way in which suffering serves us is not just by giving us something to overcome, to be patient with, to be good about. The real thing about suffering is that it enables an action to proceed in the depths in us, it enables us to get below the surface, to get below even the ordinary depths, to find the place where there is no suffering. In everyone there is the place that is free from suffering. This place we have to find."
Intimations Talks with J.G. Bennett at Beshara
A series of ten talks and discussions with John Bennett at the Beshara community at Swyre Farm, Gloucestershire, UK between 1972 and 1974. The community was formed during the same period that Bennett set up his school at Sherborne House, and was located no more than eight miles distant. There was frequent interaction between Beshara and the Sherborne students, and Bennett collaborated with the initial leader, Reshad Field, and with the group’s spiritual guide Bulent Rauf, a Turkish Sufi.