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NK rightly sees through Bennett, but…

March 24th, 2016 · 2 Comments

http://darwiniana.com/2016/03/23/more-on-original-nk-comment/comment-page-1/#comment-774030

Your stance on Bennett is right and I have set aside three sets of his four volume DU up to 90’s, saying ‘no more’. But at the start of the Gurdjieff Con in 2008 I received a free set of the four volumes from the sons of Bennett (you can find the material using search) and I was soon reinfected with Bennett’s viral memes. I am almost obligated at this point to write a critique, but also maybe an attempt at selection of some of his ideas. It may not happen, because Bennett was like the Road Runner in the cartoon, a man with an IQ of 180 pumped up with some kind of sufi baraka, and the result…Whizzee Wham…a book full of so many egregious errors glued to good ideas it is hard to sort out.
I was able in WHEE to correct his historical model, although noone quite sees it yet. In general Bennett opened up to a host of doubtful notions, e.e. the Arctic origins of the Vedas (but who knows I could be wrong), the astrology of the Great Year, etc,…They sink the whole effort. But important still is his model of spiritual psychology based on Samkhya (almost unrecognizable) and his derivation of the ‘cosmic laws’ or gunas based on a new interpretation of them as related to the idea of will as in Schopenhauer: at that point one sits up with interest. He may have gotten it wrong, again, but the gesture was significant.
He has another book, Deeper Man, with multiple models of spiritual psychology, and these are of interest, yet strangely hard to use. But the world of buddhists, for example, with more profound thinking and far superior in practice, is missing something (I have contrasted the paths of being and will, not much help) and Bennett reconstructs multiple sufistic spiritual psychologies (which Idries Shah seems to have detested on sight). They are profound in another way, and the idea of the levels of ‘selves’ from 48 laws, to 24, then twelve, six, is an evocation of classic Samkhya that suddenly makes one rise in wonder, albeit briefly, because the subject despite Bennett’s effort is still not completely clear.

Anyway, if I have time I will try to create a short essay on what’s of value in that book.

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