J.G. Bennett was one of my father’s “gurus” – not in person, but through the ideas passed along through mentors. I’ve also learned much from him via books and people who have worked with him or studied his ideas.
Concern For The Future [excerpts from a longer description of a lecture by …]
J.G. Bennett (London, 1972)
THERE IS A CRISIS, and it is a crisis of people. We are not able to live in such a way that we can avoid the troubles that threaten us. …
We can’t make a start unless we are prepared to see ourselves and recognize that every one of us –the most just, the most tolerant, the most pacific is making his or her contribution to the total injustice and intolerance of the world. … Because if we think that we can solve the world problem in terms of other people being different while we remain the same, we shall certainly get nowhere. …
Now we’re at another period of great confusion and crisis … I believe that only ideas- only Ideas that really penetrate into people and for which they’re prepared to work and suffer –can change the future and also change the people themselves. … We need now to develop a new kind of concern, that is a concern for life, a concern for the future, a concern for the human race and be prepared to make sacrifice for the sake of this concern but this does mean a very great and very difficult change that we have to see whether we’re able to face in ourselves, that is, a change in our attitude towards the power and the strength that we have, not only as groups, as human race but also as individual.
… This belief that what we can do we have the right to do is so deeply ingrained in us that it would require a long process … to come to an understanding that we human beings cannot live by the principle that might is right and that what I can do I am entitled to do.
Anyone who can observe impartially his own behavior and the behavior of those around him can see that it is so deeply imbedded in us, that we can make whatever demands we’re able to enforce, that we can’t easily shed this. And the difficult for us is not only that this conviction that we’re entitled to do what we can do is ingrained in us, but we’re not even aware of it. We do not even see how we’re constantly living by this principle and that we ourselves are creating this very state of crisis, this very disorder that we ourselves are constantly condemning.