J.G. Bennett

WITNESS ~ Postscript, April 1971


In 1971, the original Hodder & Stoughton edition of Witness having gone out of print, the publishing rights reverted to the author. By this time, Coombe Springs Press was set up for medium-sized print projects and Bennett asked Brian Turner to produce a new edition. For this edition, in the days immediately before his departure to the United States for his lecture tour, Bennett produced the hastily written 5000-word Postscript which follows below. Just over two years later, a fully revised edition was published by Turnstone Books. This was the last version of Witness to be produced before Bennett’s death, and for this edition he wrote a much fuller 15,000-word addition and discarded the Postscript, which was not subsequently used. This postscript does however include certain passages and remarks which fill in gaps in our knowledge of Bennett’s progress and activities during the years between 1960 and 1971.

WITNESS was written ten years ago. It closed with the implication
that my search was ended and that I had found myself. I was then
63 years old, an age that now seems to me juvenile and immature. I have
since lived the most fruitful decade of my life and I can see more clearly
than ever that, so long as I am able to pursue it, the search will endlessly
reveal new wonders. Some conclusions remain unchanged. The search
for reality is the first necessity for us men living as we do in a world
of illusions and constraints where nothing makes sense until it is seen
in a larger context, one that transcends not only our sense perceptions,
but also our capacity for thought and feeling. The conviction, or rather
the awareness, that our reality outspans the world of our common
experience has grown and become more specific. This has been made
possible by my good fortune in finding techniques and sources of help
that have given me a new capacity to know and to live in more than
one world. The task, which occupied more than a quarter of a century,
of research, interpretation and exposition required for writing the four
volumes of the DRAMATIC UNIVERSE was completed in 1965. I had
supposed that this would end my active life. In the third volume I made
my own diagnosis of man’s situation in front of old age and death and
concluded that the cessation of activity, devotion of much time to solitary
contemplation and service to the younger generation were the signs of a
well-spent old age. Instead of following my own counsel, I find myself
more active than ever, more interested in starting new ventures and more
concerned to make use of the powers that have been given me than
to put them aside. It may be that in a few years’ time, I will have the
opportunity to write a sequel to WITNESS: but meanwhile, I feel it my
duty to the reader who has got thus far, to give a brief account of the way
in which my understanding has evolved. Five or six episodes have been
the milestones on the way.

As I ended WITNESS on a very positive note as regards my experience
in Subud, it behoves me to explain why I eventually parted from the
movement, notwithstanding my unchanged conviction that my wife,


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