The catch with Bennett’s work: reciprocal maintenance
The catch with Bennett’s work: reciprocal maintenanceBennett was entangled in the Gurdjieff situation and that wrecked the integrity of his Samkhya, an Indic subject, with the hybridization with disparate elemments. One of them is the idea of reciprocal maintenance. As with all other ideas of Gurdjieff this one is not to be trusted. What does it mean? I am unaware of any straight and clear definition.
That is probably because its real meaning is that ‘the gods are cannibals and Gurdjieff is their prophet’. Man is a subject being used as cattle food for unknown higher powers, suspiciously fictitious that justify the activities of their intermediates. Man has no rights, no freedoms, should not be allowed democracy, must be kept alseep, and must pay taxes to occult powers…
The idea of reciprocal maintenance is an undocumented, deliberately misleading teaching so-called with no other authority than that of Gurdjieff who lied constantly, never provided sources or documentation, wiseacred without stop, and leveraged everything for a ‘percentage take’ on all who blundered into his terrain.
Bennett in his naivete embraced all of this and put it into the Dramatic Universe where, however, it is fairly marginal. But none of that appears in Samkhy, to say the least. And I think Bennett’s ‘demiurgic powers’ themselves protest his free gift of humanity to their dinner table. The demiurgic powers in reality are the stewards of evolutionary man and are the guardians of his essential nature, the source of his potential for freedom and the reconstituters of the lost democracies that litter history. The idea that they would prey on man as food is without evidence and contrary to every idea of the spiritual doman, which under Gurdjieff, Gold and other sufis has became a mafia realm.
However, it is still possible to reconstruct Samkhya along both traditional and Bennett lines (with a little Schopenhauer). We can simply set aside his other books and be clear that Gurdjieff is not the owner, master, or controlled of the Samkhya, whose legacy among sufis is still unknown.
In general we must be very wary of all predmodern ideas which have become corrupted in just this kind of way. The modern transition ditched all it and started over and while Schopenhauer couldn’t quite reinvent Advaita, he came close, but with a different conception.
To be fair to Bennett, we need to reconstitute ancient legacies in the context of modernity and that is what he did. Everything in his Dramatic Universe proceeds from axioms sui generis with wholly modernist/scientfic conceptions, with a heft dose of Whitehead, etc…