Hubert Benoit

Hubert Benoit

Descendant of a well-read family, Dr. Hubert Benoit, who was born in Nancy on March 21, 1904, felt the need throughout his life to understand the human condition and to seek the path of timeless fulfillment of man. However, he first dedicated himself to medical studies, interned in Paris hospitals, and specialized in surgery. He practiced this art from 1935 until 1944.

He was a prize violinist at the Nancy Conservatory and practiced surgery for twelve years. During the crucial period of the Allied landing in Normandy during World War II, he was trapped in a house during a period of annihilation bombing at St.-Lo and was severely wounded. He spent years in a hospital bed but miraculously recovered. He then went into psychiatry, which he has been practicing for the last thirty-five years in Paris. He has written a number of books that have appeared in many editions in both Europe and the United States: Metaphysics and Psychoanalysis, The Supreme Doctrine, The Many Faces of Love, and Let Go! He also wrote the introduction to the French edition of D.T. Suzuki's classic work, The Zen Doctrine of No­Mind. I might add that he personally feels that this work, The Interior Realization, is his best. It represents a distillation of his thought and research over the last thirty-five years.

It must be said that his work "The Supreme Doctrine according to Zen Thought" was greeted at the time of its publication as a major original work. In his beautiful preface to this work, Swami Siddheswarananda (who founded the Ramakrishna Vedantic Center near Paris) demonstrates his admiration for the man and the thinker. The Swami, who became influential in the years after the war, was a great thinker as well and his books are still used as references.

A well-read friend, Vince Lepidi testifies that Benoit was a student of G.I. Gurdjief. His source was James Moore's "Gurdjieff: A Biography, The Anatomy of a Myth. Moore mentions Benoit along with René Daumal and Luc Dietrich as Gurdjieff pupils.Walter Driscoll, editor of the Gurdjieff International Review confirmed in correspondence that Benoit was a student of Gurdjieff.