Concerning Subud – J. G. Bennett (1959)


Concerning Subud – J. G. Bennett (1959)


The first book about Subud, an Indonesian spiritual movement that began in the 1920s and spread all over the world, written by a prominent student of G I Gurdjieff.

Title: Concerning Subud: The Story of a New Spiritual Force

Author: J. G. Bennett

Publisher: University Books, New York, 1959. Second edition, with a new preface.

Condition: Hardcover, with dust jacket. Good. Dust jacket with a few small, closed tears and slight water damage. Very slight water damage to corner of prelims. Text clean, binding tight. 191pp., app 8.5″x 5″. Comes with a leaflet on Subud, written by Stuart Grayson.

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About the book (from jacket flap):

Here is the first book-length report on the new spiritual force known as Subud. This is a revised, up to the minute edition of the book which first appeared in England last year; this revision includes material which does not appear in the later British printings, including a preface to the American edition written by the author in New York as he awaited the arrival on this continent for the first time of Pak Subuh himself.

Who are these people? Until November 1957, we can be sure, almost nobody in America had heard of them or Subud, except that anyone seriously interested in the work of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky did know author J. G. Bennett. Since 1920 he has been known as a writer and speaker on Gurdjieff’s system and in 1946 he founded at Coombe Springs in England the Institute for the Comparative Study of History, Philosophy and the Sciences which by 1957 had some 500 members in London, the provinces and abroad, who were being trained on the basis of Gurdjieff’s psychological and physical exercises.

About Subud (from Wikipedia):

Subud (acronym of Susila Budhi Dharma), is an international spiritual movement that began in Indonesia in the 1920s, founded by Muhammad Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo (1901–1987). The basis of Subud is a spiritual exercise called the latihan kejiwaan, which Muhammad Subuh said represents guidance from “the Power of God” or “the Great Life Force.”

He asserted that Subud was neither a new teaching nor a religion. Rather, Subuh recommended that members practice an established religion, the choice of which each individual makes. To that end, some members convert, for example, to Islam. Others find that their faith in, and practice of, Christianity or Judaism deepens by practicing the latihan.

There are Subud groups in about 83 countries, with a worldwide membership of about 10,000.

About J. G. Bennett (from Wikipedia):

John Godolphin Bennett (8 June 1897 – 13 December 1974) was a British scientist, technologist, industrial research director, and author. He is best known for his books on psychology and spirituality, particularly on the teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff. Bennett met Gurdjieff in Istanbul in October 1920 and later helped to co-ordinate the work of Gurdjieff in England after the guru had moved to Paris. He also was active in starting the British section of the Subud movement, and co-founded its British headquarters.