GEORGE ADIE on the Creator-in-me
George Adie on the Creator-in-me
[These two pieces were read to us at a combined meeting in Newport. Mr Adie simply read them one after another, yet I feel that he sensed a connection between them. He made an ex tempore comment, which appears at the end, in quote marks. I have added the titles (Joseph Azize, Joseph.Azize@googlemail.com, 18 September 2009)]
I. The Sense of the Creator-in-me
So I go about, greatly occupied by turning thoughts. Yet, as I attend to my many duties, am I aware of the great unknowable, the infinity of the Creator-in-me?
“I waited on the Lord. He inclined unto me. He heard my complaint.”1
What can be more important than this? But for my field of consciousness to receive the ceaseless influence of this divine level, I have to be aware of my aim, of the purpose for my life on the level of the external world. I must both contribute and receive on that level also. After all, it is my life, the very life in which I must actualise my possibilities of becoming conscious.
As I go, as I work, let me not allow this awareness to be merely a background, obscured by every occurrence or influence. Let me primarily be aware of the Creator-in-me, of God-in-me. Let the Creator-in-me not be forgotten, so that I may enter the great realm of knowledge and self-certainty.
And now as I remember myself, I increasingly sense a strange self-certainty. I direct attention outwards as may be necessary in payment for my life. I voluntarily manifest this process in me with all that it implies. So let me also live and fulfil my external duties so as to benefit my fellow creatures.
This is the great life of the ceaseless sunrise of creation: may the sense of the Creator-in-me as I move leaven my being, and may my labour be also for my neighbour.
II. Lost Loves: Repairing the Past
When I look back I see a wasteland of lost opportunities, and of repeated failures to understand life’s offerings. There have been so many moments offering possibilities for the rarest exchanges: possibilities lost through indifference, self-importance, coldness. The lost love of friends, of people who made sacrifices on my behalf. All moments of flowering love, but without response from me, so that they withered and died in pain and disappointment.
I collect myself, and I attempt to stop thought, and yet these recollections come and distract me. In the past, it seemed, I could stop thought. It seemed I could turn inside, and find myself. Then I had refreshment so as to continue, but now? How can I understand what is necessary?
Life and creation never cease. I must find my way anew, in this fresh creation of the present moment. I have often proved for myself that the way always mounts before me. It is always there and it always demands more of me, by lawful demand. And so now, more effort is necessary.
Now I have to repair these very bitter past failures which are pressed upon my consciousness in continuing process. I repair them now: now in the present.
In this state I can see and realize with an unimagined clarity that the ghostly pictures which lie behind the recurring memories, just because they still return, can be repaired now. So now I can and must recompense for the past.
At once time vanishes.
I AM, and time is no longer. All is One and I am That.
I look on the ocean, calm after endless days of storm, stretching now blue and serene to the horizon, and I hear in me the words: “Peace, be still, I AM”.2
Now I give thanks for my present pain, which awakens me and tells me just how to fill the void through reparation. I deal with present deeds in the presence of the all-merciful presence, the all-merciful present.
“You know how he spoke about the merciless Heropass? In the now, it’s merciful.”
Mr Adie assumes that we know both what he means and what he does when he “repairs the past”. This was a reasonable enough assumption with that audience. Besides, if someone did not understand, they could ask. These pieces can possess the power that they do only because so much background material is lift unstated. To fill it in, where necessary, only adds to one’s understanding.
I have already gathered some of his more detailed material on repairing the past for the book George Adie: A Gurdjieff Pupil in Australia. To try and put it simply, without suggesting that this is the only way to approach this mystery, I can repair the past because I am the past, although I am not just the past. The past lives on in me, but it only dominates and determines the man-machine. In so far as I am conscious, I can introduce a new element which is not utterly determined by the past into myself. So, in a way, my direct effort is to repair myself, and yet there is still this indirect result that the past is no longer as it was, because I am always emerging from it, and I am now more conscious.
I can experience states where I stay present before memories. I do not run away or “squirm” – a word Mr Adie used more than a few times, with artistic justice. I remain, and I cognize with the whole of myself, that it could not then have been different. I acted as I did because that was how I was then: less responsible, less understanding, less capable. I feel pity for those whom I have pained (pity, I would say now, is a form of love in which we share the sufferings of others through the legitimate faculty of imagination). In, through and by my presence, the pain is received consciously. Perhaps this is something of what Gurdjieff meant by being-remorse.
Even in ordinary life, past events are seen differently depending on the long-term outcome. In Shakespeare, for example, no good came from Lear’s impulsive and short-sighted actions in Act I. In Cymbeline, however, the king’s folly, and with it the past, was redeemed by the acts of true and faithful Imogen and others, who, although not on her level, yet possessed something of these virtues. They never deserted King Cymbeline’s best interests, although he thought all three of them to be his worst enemies. In repairing the past, Leonatus and Belarius, in particular, worked both for themselves and for others. Perhaps it must always be that way: so bound up are our lives with those of others.
Next, I am particularly struck by the truth of Mr Adie’s saying: “In this state I can see and realize with an unimagined clarity that the ghostly pictures which lie behind the recurring memories, just because they still return, can be repaired now.”
This, to me, is a perfect truth. Usually, I have a painful memory, and I identify with the pain. I react emotionally when I should be using my reason. But, as he says, precisely because the past recurs it can be repaired. After all, I cannot repair the past if I am oblivious of it. Perhaps one can even say that these painful past memories bring a certain “consciousness” with them. If so, okay, let me expand that consciousness. And then, as Gurdjieff said: “By as much as one is conscious, there is no more suffering.”
When Mr Adie says “… now I can and must recompense for the past”, he is referring to another truth, that I am responsible for what I have received. It is the parable of the talents.
Finally, at the Prieure, Gurdjieff taught a movement known as “Lost Loves”. Some notes of it have been preserved. The movements as drawn are very evocative. This fortifies me in the feeling which I have received from this piece that there is something in this concept which is not just silly sentimentality. It is really very hard to face this sort of personal tragedy. But the example of people like Mr Adie both urges those with sufficient understanding, and proves that it is possible.
Joseph Azize has published in ancient history, law and Gurdjieff studies. His first book The Phoenician Solar Theology treated ancient Phoenician religion as possessing a spiritual depth comparative with Neoplatonism, to which it contributed through Iamblichos. The second book, “Gilgamesh and the World of Assyria”, was jointly edited with Noel Weeks. It includes his article arguing that the Carthaginians did not practice child sacrifice.
The third book, George Mountford Adie: A Gurdjieff Pupil in Australia represents his attempt to present his teacher (a direct pupil of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky) to an international audience.The fourth book, edited and written with Peter El Khouri and Ed Finnane, is a new edition of Britts Civil Precedents. He recommends it to anyone planning to bring proceedings in an Australian court of law.