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Posts Tagged ‘wish

GEORGE ADIE: Why do you run away in your feeling?

Joseph.Azize@googlemail.com
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Why Do You Run Away In Your Feeling?

{I have selected his material from a meeting of 5 December 1979 as a commemorative posting for 29 July 2010.}

The first question came from Richard: “Mr Adie, I’d like verification on my line of work, to be freer from the compulsion of my career.”

“You wish to be less under that compulsion? Good. What measures do you take?”

“What I have done is set aside a time to stay with my children, and also here on Sunday night after the weekend work, I was about to rush off again, doing all sorts of things, and I decided to stay behind, and help put the tables and chairs away.”

“Those are quite different, yet both could serve the same purpose, it’s true. Any sort of discipline helps, and making the work a priority will help, if you actually experience connection. Compulsive life connected with your career is one thing, and any conscious effort, or doing your duty is another. There is an unmistakable degree of contrast. And if there’s real work it will separate itself out from the compulsion in your experience. My speech even changes. Everybody can say everything they need in very few words, really. And if they say it once properly, it doesn’t need to be repeated three times.”

“Your compulsion is there in your speech, and in so much. You will be compelled in your job, unless you can use it. How? You can’t neglect it now. It’s an opportunity. It’s quite right to give place to something else, to insist on doing the preparation. It’s quite right to see your children: not to allow the whole of your life to be dominated. That’s quite right. But realize that you also have to be in it.”

“Then, understanding that you must have a job, and must come within the domain of this compulsion, the question is now: do you really wish to be free of the inner compulsion? You’ve got to find that wish in yourself. To have a wish is to have some active inner impulse. You think that we have a wish just by thinking of it? It isn’t so. You have to work until you get that wish. If you aim for it, then you will get it. Do you follow?”

“Yes.”

“That means you have before you a work to experience the wish in yourself. Try and understand that. You do a preparation or something, don’t get up until you find the wish. You have to realise: is it really worth it? What do I have to pay if I want it? Am I willing to pay for it? If you can say yes to each of those then perhaps you can begin to say that you have a wish.”

“And then you shall have to sacrifice your suffering. But if you have worked, sufficiently long and wisely, and acquired a moving balance in yourself, you will be able to bear to make that sacrifice.”

The next question, one from Azaria, came very fast upon the heels of Richard’s, she clearly felt that there was a close connection: “After the Sunday work here, I continued with the exercise, and on Monday, after the preparation, it seemed as though because of the work I could tell the subtle difference between the centre of gravity and my presence. There was an excitement in me, I had this realisation, and in looking for a centre of gravity, I found I could come to the place where my presence is real. And like Richard, I can say that I now wish to be more present.”

“You wish to be more present? Where would you look for the wish?”

There was a pause, and Mr Adie answered his own question: “In that place you cannot describe any more. Return to it, and return to it, and return to it.”

I suspect that, at this point, Mr Adie turned to Richard: “But relaxed, always relaxed. To sacrifice my suffering I must be relaxed. Could I imagine such a sacrifice being made in the midst of tension? From where could such a relaxation come? Surely from deep within, only from deep within.”

The next question was very lengthy. Opal was an elderly woman. She spoke rather hesitantly to the point of being inarticulate, saying something, withdrawing or correcting it, and then going back to her first formulation.

Mr Adie was patient with her, but when she had finished, she nervously asked whether he had understood her. “I could follow it, but then, you started using words which you disowned. You might take as an exercise to write down what your question the day before, and in the morning, read it and see.”

“We want to bring very good quality here, not just, as is said, ‘off the cuff’, not thought out. It isn’t enough to have a sincerity, I need to have my intelligence. It’s not enough to have that, I need my presence.”

“When you’re muddling things, the process of thought is absent. But if I have taken thought beforehand, there’s a process added. A conscious or partly conscious process is added. It isn’t two states, it’s more like three states, but even that isn’t a good way to speak about it. Find a better way, to formulate better. You can, otherwise I wouldn’t say what I do. Is there any question about it?”

“No. Thank you. That’s clear.”

The very next question, from Scott, about how he gets confused by words, likewise meandered. Finally, Mr Adie asked: “Did you find that anything helped you to make your aim clear?”

“No, that wasn’t very well formulated.”

“No.”

“No … it doesn’t help to find the wish,” Scott added, perhaps echoing the first two questions. In any event, Mr Adie did not think that the comment corresponded to his real question: “But you see you’ve gone back to words now. It’s a trap all the time.”

Mr Adie waited a little, and then asked: “What does it mean: ‘In the beginning was the Word?’ Surely, it means many things, but there’s a beginning, and there’s something which follows. For that to follow, the Word must change its place. The Word is essential, and yet, if it is in the wrong place, it’s the end. And the places and the forces are always changing.”

The next question, from Dmitri, was also about a lack of clarity. “I find that my difficulties start the moment I sit down to do the preparation. I’ve been trying to sit quietly, without expecting anything, just trying to see what my worries are. And after I time I give up. I feel I should logically try and draw some conclusions about what I’ve seen, but it’s all so confused in my head, and I turn away. Something in me says, come back again next time. It feels as if I’m shrinking away from doing something very definite there.”

“Supposing that is objectively true, what are you going to do?”

“I can’t make observations very clearly at that point.”

“Do you really wish to know why you turn from what is necessary?”

“Well, I’ve seen that through these years I can’t go past the first step,” replied Dmitri.

“Does that mean anything? Surely the point is that you don’t know what the first step is.”

Dmitri started arguing. “See if it is true,” suggested Mr Adie. “Can you say clearly what you mean when you say that you always fail at the first step?”

There was quite a lengthy pause.

“Surely it would mean that you are repeating yourself. So let us not evade the question you yourself started with: why do you always turn from what you realise is necessary?”

“I don’t know,” conceded Dmitri.

“No. But do you really wish to?”

“Well, part of me does,” he replied, but in such a trembling voice that people laughed.

“There you are. Part of you. You see? I can’t come to a wish partially. My wish has to really be the wish of my I, and you haven’t obtained that yet.”

“No, I haven’t.”

“Now, do you really wish to? You have to face it until you do. There are all sorts of obstacles, you may not want to pay, you may not want to make effort, you may not want to suffer. Hundreds of obstacles, but if you really wish to, you will. And it’s your solitary, alone-reality which must face that question. What I am trying to do at the moment is to cleanse it a little, make it more serious, that’s all. Imagine you’re on your death bed. What would you need then? Where would you be? Face, try and come to what is you. You. Would you have any reality? This is what you, I and everybody needs, but don’t be negative about it now.”

“Yes, yes!”

“Yes, yes? … Why … why having come near a place in your intellect, why do you run away in feeling?”

“Exactly that sense of needing to flee, to look away, shows that this is your need … and that you are close to a genuine confrontation.”

“Stay, stay, stay and have a little genuine self-respect, a little genuine pride. You could be free now. What do you choose at the moment? Every second I have to choose. My old understanding is not enough. I need a new understanding, quite new. If you could realise that, you could see that nothing that I had corresponds to what I now need. I need something a bit more genuine, more perceptive, less personal. Try and have this line that you will not allow this or any of its companions to join in. You will try and have something for yourself. Try and work to find your real self. Try and find a centre in yourself. This is what we some found on the weekend, trying to find a central strong place.”

“You want to watch the posture of your eyes if you want to think. Try to place them slightly above level. You contemplate down here. You sink back into the same old quagmire time after time. I suggest to you now that when you want to contemplate, you contemplate with your eyes there. What you don’t find when your eyes are raised, you can well do without. If you can’t bring all these clever propositions, you can have a chance to free yourself. Will you work like that for a bit? Good, keep it now, for the rest of the meeting, at least.”

“Mr Adie,” said Mary, “in the past few weeks, my efforts have been very erratic, and when I’ve seen that, I’ve become negative.”

“Alright, you found you’d gone to sleep, and you became negative about it? You need to know that. Every time we awake we awake to having forgotten.”

“If we get negative every time we awake, it’s going to be rather a fruitless process, isn’t it? See, you don’t have to be negative. So go on. You make a plan, you fail. Don’t let the failure make you negative. It should have the opposite effect. You don’t deny it. You don’t pretend it isn’t a failure, but you are there. It begins to be a confrontation.”

“In confrontation I really live, you see. The ultimate confrontation: what is that?”

“The confrontation with the Absolute.” Mr Adie was speaking slowly: “Don’t receive anything negatively. Receive the failure, but don’t be negative about it. It comes like a message. You’ve got to see that. We’ve got to fail and fail and fail, and not be negative about it, otherwise we’ve got no chance. So it’s full of hope, mmm?”

“I think I expect the wrong thing from the little effort I make, because on the couple of occasions when I’ve had a better than usual preparation, and I try to remember myself at school, and I know that there are particular hours when I am particularly prone to getting impatient with the children, I still get upset …”. Denise had been in groups for quite a while.

“You mean that you’re disappointed when you don’t succeed? Then you need to see that you haven’t succeeded, at least not in that way. Exactly in that way, you didn’t quite succeed. But you still find something. You have to be more persistent. You’re rather apt to have a go and then throw your hands up if the results don’t match the ideal.”

“On the day that I saw, I became very impatient, but the next day I just didn’t want to see it.”

“Try and find a different kind of pride. It could help you. What could I accept as a genuine pride? What about me is worthy of maintaining? Is there something? It’s an interesting question, isn’t it? In a way, pride is a picture. A person who has even some ordinary pride won’t sink to certain things, they’re too proud to take an advantage.”

“Where is my good opinion? What am I proud of now? Because I serve my pride and vanity. But I forget that. If I have a genuine being-pride, could I become self-indulgent, disorganised, or lazy? That is an absence of a certain kind of pride, isn’t it? I have no pride of order, no pride of duty, no pride of reliability. I’m just a sort of tramp: although I’m a rather nice person, nobody could really trust me because I might not remember.”

“So, what quality to I really want to have? If you approach it this way, I’m quite sure, I’m quite sure that you’ll have some different kind of result.”

“After all this time what we’re all finding is that we’ve got to bring more of us to the point. I made this effort and stopped, and I’ve made that effort and stopped. But I’ve had a lot of lessons now. You have a lot of material. Why not collect it together, face the situation and see what’s possible and what I really want. Remembering that I cannot suddenly free myself from any of my stupidities, I know enough to take a more dignified way … Imagine what you thought ten years ago! Full of cock-eyed ideas, wasn’t it?”

“So you have an advantageous position. Now. It can be quite new. But for this you have to keep aware of all the old dirges and sagas of misery and failure and self-accusation, and … you know, ‘without dogs, sorcerors and whoremongers and whosoever loveth and telleth a lie’.” {This is a reference to Apocalypse or Revelation 22:15.}

“All outside. Our work is all inner. So, try. Take a fresh heart for yourself. Put some things in your room. These things are going to remind you: this is what I want to be. Model your room for a serious person. Model your room for a person with the qualities which you’ve found are difficult to acquire. Build around you some condition. That’s why people put up pictures of the Buddha, Christ, a marvellous tree. Fill your room with everything to remind you. Will you try that, and don’t worry about the rest? Have you got another question now?”

“It’s a slightly different one. I noticed that when I try to do a preparation, I get an, I don’t know, no, I’m always tight in the midriff. Once I found I could get around it when breathing, to go behind it, at the back of me, and relax it.”

“What, with your attention, you mean?”

“Yes. I wanted to ask whether … I was … sort of cheating?”

“No, you try and find your own way. And if it helps you to relax, you want to be very patient and see that everything else is relaxed. Don’t try and relax that area until your face is relaxed and until your head is relaxed, and then retain a sense of the relaxation there, you see. If the belly’s really tense, then you can even physically feel it going down, can’t you?

“Yes.”

“Well then, the next thing is, can you feel it coming up again? Or do you find that it has come up? You find it has? Alright, well now, that’s the thing! Now watch it go down, and let … now let it come up.”

Obviously, Mr Adie was guiding her as she relaxed and observed the process.

“Don’t forget the duct has to be open, the shoulders have to be down.”

“And then maybe I’m magnifying it, I may have a little bit of a special kind of sensation, a tautness, maybe that isn’t an important tension. Maybe that isn’t what is my trouble. Maybe I can still feel the pot of my belly with all its need. See that everything else is right, and then probably that’s right. Many people have a lot of difficulty here. It’s a very sensitive part.”

“But the kind of relaxation we want is not only what will come easily by being able to let a thing go. It’s another kind of relaxation, it’s – if you can use the word – an inner relaxation. Watch for what it is without saying ‘this is tense’. The question is, what do you experience? Maybe I find that it’s just an idea I had. Maybe it wasn’t very tense at all. So I have to be very poised and flexible and free from my ordinary frightening formulations.”

“Get something new every day and put it in your room. Something. Pick up anything. A leaf, grass, stone, book, picture, anything. Every day one thing different, see? Create a different atmosphere for yourself, and in that atmosphere, relax. Go into a new room each time, you look around to see if it’s new, and all the other things you put. Work like that.”

Joseph.Azize@googlemail.com

3 July 2010

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.

“Maronites” is pp.279-282 of “The Encyclopedia of Religion in Australia” published by Cambridge University Press and edited by James Jupp.

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GEORGE ADIE: a task on hurry from 1981

A Task on Hurry, from 1981

On 24 February 1981, Mr Adie gave this task to one of the Newport groups. His statement of the task comprises Part I. Over the next week, the groups attempted to use the task to help their line of work. Then, the next week they brought their observations. Some extracts from one of those meetings, that of 3 March 1981, taken by Mrs Adie, is Part II.

Part I

Mr and Mrs Adie were in front of the group. Mr Adie introduced the task:

“How are we going to approach work more practically?

“The tasks that are given are only there as a help to work. The actual work, the actual choice is my own responsibility to do what I think is best for me. I may be wrong, but it doesn’t matter. I shall find that out. If I try, and then bring my experience to the group, I shall find it out. If I don’t try, I shall find nothing out.

“And the exercise is given, and has to be done as near as possible as said. I don’t have to think about that. Or at least I don’t have to think it out, it’s already presented. I do have to try and fulfil it and relate it to my own line of work. I must have a near aim, I must be going against something. I must be trying to achieve some change in my being state. Now how?

“Again, want to see how I am. Again, I may already know that certain habits, certain tendencies are unquestionably against my aim. Whatever my own individual aim, it takes me away. So that’s a thing I have to try and work against. Maybe I need to see more in regard to that. Alright then, in that case my aim is to see more in regard to that. And I have to relate that aim to this exercise given, and see how the connection is, and how it can be supported. I know that if I do make a resolve, and do my preparation, I shall get more reminders.

“Now this week, there’s a particular exercise given, which will be gradually expanded. But this week, I have to choose when. I have to do my preparation. It’s my own responsibility how I prepare myself, to sense myself, to relax, to become centrally placed, I know that. And I have to try and remind myself of the kind of work I’m going to do: where I’m going to be impatient, where I’m going to be irritable, where I’m going to be afraid, what habit I’m going to try to get over, laziness or gluttony or irritation, or I don’t know what.

“And in relation to that, what is going to remind me? I choose in the morning. I must do my preparation early, first thing, first thing on awakening. Then, I choose in the morning for one half hour during which I will not hurry. That doesn’t mean to say I do things slowly. I may find I do them much quicker, but I will not hurry. I will try and do everything without hurry.

“Hurry is terribly costly, it produces tension, fear and consternation and flurrying, throwing things, and catastrophes. Nothing can be done with hurry. How can any artist work in a hurry? Impossible. That’s an artist, and our work is on another plane. We cannot work if we’re in a hurry.

“The central idea of this half an hour is that I wish to observe myself. I am going to be in life: if I have an interview, a job, cooking, accounting, carrying, whatever it is. I know that this is the kind of work I shall be doing. I choose that half hour, but in that half hour I am not going to hurry. As said, it doesn’t mean to say that I have to slow down.

“Is it clear to everybody?

“Do you smell the possible result that might come from that? That one is always in a hurry, either in a hurry to escape doing something, or to get a result with less effort, or to get onto something more pleasant. Try and see. See what is required. You have some data now. See how it goes. Make a note of what you find.

“Of course you have to try and be present. And I shall need my feeling of myself. See how the requirements expand? Does it seem possible? For the whole week I try not to be in a hurry, but to do twice as much. Mm?

Mrs Adie prompted Mr Adie: “You also suggested that if they succeeded, they could …”

“Yes, thank you, I forgot that. If I make the appointment and I remember, then I am entitled to choose another half an hour in the second half of the day. But if for some reason I don’t remember, and I don’t have that half an hour, then I must leave it until the next day. It’s not like an ordinary appointment; this is something for half an hour where you’ll be working in a special way. If you fulfil, it doesn’t matter how successful you were, but as long as you fulfil it, you can then try again in the second half of the day. But if you don’t, then you miss the second half of the day. Try and see what use you can make of this to help your own line of work, your own aim.

“In the preparation, it’s a question of ten or 15 minutes, as early as you can in the morning, if you wish on one or two occasions to have a considerably longer one, you can, but at the same time, don’t just sit in a dream and think it’s work.

“If this is productive, the exercise will be built upon, so see what we can find. Don’t forget to make a note.”

Part II

When Mrs Adie came down to the meeting, perhaps 25 minutes after it had started, Ivan, who had been taking the meeting, said: “One of the things people brought, Mrs Adie, was that they couldn’t maintain the exercise for half an hour.”

“What do you mean by ‘not maintaining it’? Of course you couldn’t maintain it without any lapses.”

Pauline spoke: “I had sort of a moment … I can’t remember times.”

“But you mustn’t be too identified with the time. Can you say what happened? What your experience was?”

Pauline had a good deal of trouble even stating what had happened. After several questions and Pauline’s responses, it appeared that she had had a few moments of presence, but felt discouraged because they were so few. She had noted a tension in the stomach, and saw what she called a “boorishness” manifesting. It reminded her of something Mr Adie had reminded her of, but all she could feel “was a wall”. Her question was: “When I found it so difficult, do I keep trying to continue for half an hour?”

“If at that moment of difficulty, you realise how unstable your attention is, you have a chance. Don’t let that just slip away. You have less than half an hour before you. Can you somehow or another approach to the wish to do it?

“At first, you find there’s no wish there, because really, what can wish? However, even if you’re not fully present, but you have a feeling that there’s something lacking in your presence, then there is something there that can lead you on. Take advantage of that moment. Don’t let it go too quickly. You can’t hold it indefinitely, but if you want to, if you feel it enough, your weakness, that inability, you are working. What else could one ask for?

“You may not be able to maintain it unbroken, but it will come back, and much more often. And that is what we hope for. Everything depends on having more moments of this presence. Yet it’s no good working directly for the wish. You can’t produce a wish like that, by just saying “I want to wish. I wish.” It’s not there. It comes as a result of something. It comes as a result, sometimes, of making an effort in spite of the fact that you haven’t a wish.

“It can come when your head understands that it’s necessary. Although in many ways the head is a great obstacle, or at least the lower part of it is, we also rely on it. The head understands. The body doesn’t understand, and the feeling doesn’t understand: they have to be disciplined.

Pauline asked: “Can you say more about the different parts of the head?” You can hear, even over the tape, that the person asking this was a lot simpler and clearer than the one who had been speaking earlier.

“Well, you’ve read it of course, but until one has a real question, people forget. One wants to be careful not to become formatory in your understanding, but it’s important to know that your head is divided into three. There’s lowest part, which is completely mechanical, where really you could say there is no attention. Your attention is dragged out of you, so to speak. Then there’s the middle part, which has some feeling, and is not completely mechanical; there’s an interest, you’re attracted to something, and you find it easy apply your mind to it. And then the highest part requires a big effort, because you’re not attracted to it, it’s something you’re obliged to put your attention on. Some people find that with Beelzebub, for example [reading Beelzebub’s Tales to his Grandson]. There has to be an effort, you read in spite of the fact that your inclination is not to read it. Many people in their accounts spoke about the lack of wish, and it’s perfectly true, but the practical question is how do I produce it? What is going to help me feel it more?

“I’m nearly all the time in my personality, and my personality does not wish, because personality is in my head, very largely. And the feeling is in my essence, and my essence is what is real. Yet, sometimes something in personality can realise that. We couldn’t live without personality. Without the help of the more real part of personality, we should not be here: it’s largely personality that takes the initial interest in the ideas. So we to be careful not to confuse that.

“But very often personality is completely imaginary, and apart from not wishing, it’s very much against it. There’s nothing in it for that part of me, and some have seen how much that operates – that’s a very big discovery. It takes a long time sometimes. You don’t get upset about it, you can’t help it, this imaginary part is going to try to come in and spoil everything. But if you just don’t believe it, it loses some power, you’ve seen that now.

“So what else? Have there been many questions?

Gerry spoke: “Mrs Adie, there’ve been moments where I’ve known that I need to be watchful to observe myself and really try to see what’s happening, but when those moments come, and they are such that I know when they’re likely to come, but when they come, I don’t seem to be able to observe, I seem to be caught. I know in my head, anyway, that I need to plan for these.”

“Yes,” replied Mrs Adie, “you’ve spoken about that before. It certainly is a thing which seems to bother you. Of course with your present exercise something is very much more possible. In a way it doesn’t matter which time you choose, if I have an intention. You can choose a particular time when you know you’re going to have that tendency to hurry, but it’s much easier to see, I think, don’t you? It’s more restricted, in a way. It’s more specific, and a lot can be seen from it apart from the fact that whether you do or do not hurry in that time. But any other line of work should go on at the same time. It can help it.

“Yes, I feel there’s a necessity for me to care more about these moments, but when I do try and look, it seems a futility.” Gerry continued: “I feel a futility, in that when I try to observe, when there’s a negative process happening in me.”

“Did your effort not to hurry commence before that process began, or did you awake in the middle of it?”

“I wake up in the middle, or even after it.”

“If it awakens you, then that’s a moment of possibility. If you weren’t there at all, you’d have forgotten it, but if you’ve remembered it, that’s a great gift. At that moment you actually have some choice.”

“A moment of choice is a terrific thing, which has to be worked for. But what is aware of your state isn’t caught up in it. So, how can it serve you? You need to hang onto that awareness, even if the process apparently goes on. The force goes out of it. Some force is available for myself. And at the same time, it’s very difficult but you can actually observe what is taking place.

“It can’t last very long without a break. Maybe the impulse is too weak, but any kind of recollection is a moment of choice nevertheless. You have a certain choice at that moment. Your head will understand that something is possible at that moment. But it hasn’t enough power, the head hasn’t enough force. Those moments have to be cherished and fostered, and I agree, as it were, that the fact of my experience makes an impression on me at a moment when I’m a little bit more impartial, less lost. If you have that valuation, something may grow up in you.”

After a pause, Mrs Adie advised: “Don’t concentrate so much of your attention on whether I can do the exercise it or not. It’s what can come out of it. If I try, quite unexpected things can follow. I shall see many things I had not known. Does anybody have any interesting observations about it at all?”

John spoke: “I think just from being given the exercise to do, I’ve seen a lot clearer the running around, and the sort of madness going on inside. It’s even the time of the day outside of the half hour appointments. It began as soon as Mr Adie gave it, before I’d even made the first appointment. I felt: “ I need this”.

“It’s quite true”, said Mrs Adie. “ An intention has an effect. I make a plan, and if I have any presence, it has an effect, it isn’t restricted to the time planned for. Especially with something like hurry, because even if I’m not doing anything. I’m never at peace, never quiet inside.”

Jethro brought his problem: “Mrs Adie, I find that I just go at two speeds, flat out or not at all. and really there’s no half way. Maybe I misunderstood the point of the exercise, and gave way, but I found that to interfere with the speed at which I operate, my machine operates, results in real failure of coordination.”

“But you’re not asked to interfere with the speed at which your machine operates. You’re asked to not to hurry, which means not to force it to go faster. What would you say hurry is?”

“It’s putting a kind of nervous energy into normal movements …”

“Yes, and it doesn’t make you any faster, just more hectic. It can even make you do things more slowly, because everything’s chaotic, you drop something, or … all the centres are completely in chaos. Hurry is a state, a sort of agitation. The mind isn’t working, the mind is in confusion. But Mr Adie did not suggest that you interfere with the speed at which your machine operates.”

“I’m in a situation where I’m under pressure from my boss to do quite complicated repair jobs, to help get musicians and artists out of trouble. I work with a firm of specialists, so I’ve achieved a kind of concentration which enables me to do sometimes quite complex work, at a high speed, while the customer is waiting, while they should really be sort of …”

“And you find you do it quicker if you do it in a hurry?” Mrs Adie asked.

“Much quicker, yes.”

“No, that’s not right.”

Jethro was not to be moved. “Well, the job gets done somehow, and the customer is delighted.”

“Yes, but if you were not in a hurry you could probably do it quicker. If you’re in a hurry, your attention is either dispersed or completely identified with one thing, getting it finished.

“Oh, well, yes, that always happens, that always happens. I curse the phone and I curse the intercom.”

Mrs Adie laughed. “Alright. You say it’s the only way you can do it, yet you haven’t tried any other way. To do something without hurry doesn’t mean to slow down. It doesn’t mean that at all. On the contrary, it means not to hurry inside. It’s inside that all this hurry is going on, in your so-called feelings.

“This hectic, agitated feeling that you’ve got to get on with it, get it done quickly, is the resistance. You can try times when it hasn’t got to be done in half an hour, or whatever it is. But try to do it with your head operating in the right way, and your emotions quite quiet. Your emotions have got nothing to do with it. They’re not needed at that time. You need your head and your moving centre. Maybe a certain amount of instinctive centre, too, to do with tuning the instruments and that sort of thing, but it’s the emotions that interfere and make you hurry, that get in the way. If my feeling can then appear, that will even ground me.

Ivan made an appropriate remark: “May I give an example? I think if you consider a concert pianist who plays something very very fast. He’s never in a hurry: he’s extremely relaxed. I went to the Opera House the other evening, and the pianist was playing some tremendously fast passages, but his hands just went … there was absolutely no hurry about it. I think that’s what we’re trying to convey.”

“Yes, it’s quite true,” said Mrs Adie, who was herself a concert pianist as well as a composer. “I remember that was a very vital thing, always, it was even impressed on me, by my professor, to take my time beginning, for example, never to be in a hurry.” She addressed Jethro directly: “You’re a pianist yourself, if you hurry, you’ll play a lot of wrong notes.”

After a pause, Mrs Adie added: “I think you’re rather settled, you’ve taken rather a stand about this. Try and be a little more flexible in your understanding. Make an experiment at a time when you can afford to make an experiment.

“You know this about your nature that you are a very tense person, and it’s not only physically tense, you’re tense in your feelings. You agree that you’re rather tense?”

“Mm!”

“It’s not a sin. Many of us are. I think it is very largely in your feelings. It means that you should sometimes, when you have a moment’s peace, just watch your breathing without changing it. Your breathing indicates your emotional state, very much. If you’re calm, breathing is calm. Directly you get excited, the breathing gets quicker and more shallow. Remember that when you’re doing something. It can be anything, just for a moment put your attention on that area, it’s the area of your feeling. Where you breathe is the area of your feeling. Try and quieten it a little bit, and when you do that your body will also relax more.

“You need to put a little more attention on that, I think. It’s one of your big difficulties. But you’re not as tense as you were, in any case. It is already better than it was: much better. But it would help you with everything that you’ve been mentioning, especially with the particular job that you have, which is very demanding in a certain way, and needs a sort of sensitiveness, doesn’t it? If you’re dealing with musical instruments and that sort of thing, you need to be free from this sort of turmoil that goes on. I think you agree that it does go on? That you’re in a turmoil a lot of the time, and it doesn’t serve any useful purpose?”

“Oh yes!”Jethro was emphatic.

“It really is your enemy. Well, I think you need to choose your half hour very carefully, to being with, to start with, anyway. Choose an occasion when you’re doing some quite simple thing, and see if you can do it when your feeling’s absolutely quiet, and your movements very measured, and intentional, with the assistance of your head.”

Silvio brought an interesting cameo: “One day this week I did my preparation, and I made the appointment for 11.00 o’clock. As I was typing, I kept saying to myself, “I’ve got an appointment at 11.00 o’clock.” And I did that until 1.00 o’clock in the afternoon.”

“Then learn from that. Something in me gets very frustrated. But I accept that that is how I am. And then I need to be patient. I accept the fact that that is how I am, but I am not satisfied with that. I accept it, but not passively. From that there can come a wish. The realisation of that. It’s necessary to see how completely powerless I am.”

“What I wonder is, what in me was saying to myself: “I’ve got an appointment at 11.00 o’clock”?

“No one can say, only you can know. It is suspect, but maybe it is the best I have for the moment. Something in me always wants to do: to succeed in doing what I set out to do, which is nothing to do with my real wish at all. I’ve decided to do something and I’m going to do it. But it isn’t like that, a real wish. It’s a very subtle thing, and very difficult to put into words exactly.”

I have omitted a few questions. At the end of the meeting, a woman brought this last question of general application: “Should we keep the same time each day?”

“It depends on what you find,” answered Mrs Adie. “If you find it’s a practical time, no need to change it. If not, then you change it. Sometimes it’s good to change it, it depends on what you find. But if you know there’s something that you tend to spoil by hurrying, make more mistakes, choose that time, certainly.

“If the quality of the effort seems to fall off, better to make a change. It will always run down unless I apply some sort of a shock to it. And also, one becomes rather lazy about it: taking the same time saves a lot of thought, so choosing another time can be good, giving plenty of opportunity. You judge by the result. Try something, then you try it again, if it seems to yield less, change it.

“Good night.”

Joseph.Azize@googlemail.com
11 January 2010

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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.

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HE DOESN’T PASS LIKE A SHADOW

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click on image of Helen & George Adie to enlarge

Part One

In this post, I wish to try and bring something which may be of continuing practical value, although it is perhaps most accessible to those in Gurdjieff groups. In June 1980 the Adies set their groups a task: submit a written report, retaining for yourself a copy, stating: (1) what you feel you have gained from the work, (2) what you feel you now need, and (3) your plan to acquire what you need. Even if one were not engaged in the Gurdjieff “work”, the task is pertinent. One can substitute for “the work” the name of one’s path, or simply the word “life”. But anyone can take this as a task. The transcripts below may provide some assistance.

On 25 June 1980, Mrs Adie said in response to a question by someone who found it difficult to formulate a plan: “…you could take one habit, for example, watching t.v., or smoking, and try and change it. But it is very important to remember why you are doing this. To stop watching t.v. or to cut down smoking will create a friction and a suffering. It can easily become an ordinary sort of misery, but the recollection of your aim is a factor which can prevent the suffering becoming an ordinary misery.”

After this reference to aim, Mrs Adie came to a related topic – wish.

“We have to realise much more our wish. Most of the time there is no truth to our wish, one could even say that there is no wish at all. That is why so little happens. But there are moments when there is some wish active in us. And the most important moment is in the morning preparation. If it is done sincerely and with a certain amount of will and force, the feeling comes from it. Feeling comes as a result of making an effort, there is no doubt about it, but it is not going to last. So it has to be repeated in some way, but it won’t be repeated unless – at that moment – I plan for the next moment.”

“But at that moment there is a wish. During the day I may remember. During the day I may get a guilty feeling, but there is no wish. Yet only that wish will produce a result. One sees more and more in all the questions that is the main difficulty, really. At some time a shock is received and a fresh impulse appears. There is a wish. But that does not stay by itself, it must be reinforced.”

Part of the significance of this statement is that wish, the wish for conscious evolution which is essential in all of us, “resides”, as it were, in feeling. “Feeling” and “emotion” are different things. Feeling is in essence, and always brings a sense of myself in relation to reality. It is always permanent, not in the sense that the feeling lasts forever, but that the truth of the experience is permanent. If love turns to hate or vice versa, this is emotional love not feeling. If I experience love in my feeling, that feeling is always true for me. I can never deny it or say that I had been deceived or was wrong. Gurdjieff says that from the result of experiencing love, “we can blissfully rest from the meritorious labours actualized by us for the purpose of self-perfection.” (Beelzebub, p. 357) This love never fades: it is always remembered as an immediate being-reality. While emotions can be very violent, and hence believable, they can be blown away. Feeling is always deeper, immeasurably deeper, but feeling is always quieter. Indeed, a correlation can be made between feeling and a certain kind of silence. But the opposite does not necessarily hold: silence, the cessation of sound, does not always point to feeling.

The feeling of “Wish” is a great mystery. In Life Is Real Only Then, When “I Am”, Gurdjieff speaks of the three impulses “I Am”, “I Can” and “I Wish” as being “sacred for man”, and as “Divine impulses”. (p.136 in both the privately printed 1975 edition and the 1999 paperback). In the critically important chapter “Hypnotism”, Beelzebub refers to the “sacred being-impulses” of faith, hope, love and conscience. It seems to me that there are correlations between these two sets of impulses such that one may even think of faith as approximating to I Am, hope to I Can, and love to I Wish. I do not say that the terms are interchangeable: but if one holds these concepts side by side in thought, the experience may be enlightening.

To complete the reporting of the meeting of 25 June 1980, Mrs Adie stated in reply to a question: “It is very interesting. It has often been said “Don’t work for results.” But it’s also said that every effort has a result. But it’s not always what we expect.” She was going to develop this thought, but the person who brought the question cut across her.

Part Two

From the same period, comes this edited transcript of the meeting of Wednesday 18 June 1980, taken by both the Adies. The task was the one mentioned above: the report with three aspects. But some of the people also referred to an exercise which the Adies had from Gurdjieff in 1949, and which I call the “Clean Impressions” exercise. In my experience, to date, this is the king, as it were, of Gurdjieff’s exercises.

The first question came from Basil, who asked about his troubled younger son, and how he could not relate to his son except in the “normal fatherly way” of advising him to think of himself and others. He finds, however, that this achieves no lasting result. Perhaps, said Basil, he needs to accept the situation as it is. However, he added with real honesty, he found it very difficult to accept the situation without disapproval.

“Well unless you do”, replied Adie, “you cannot help him. If you refuse to accept the reality, you can’t understand. Everything being as it is, then you have to agree that this is the situation. As for leaving a more permanent effect, this is a big doing. Unless I have this actual transformation going on in me, how can I leave anything at all enduring in anybody? What more permanent impression can I achieve in myself?”

“Take yourself: you are the operative factor. You wish to affect him, You wish to minister unto him. But can you minister unto yourself? Because what is to do the ministration?”

“Yet”, added Adie, “this is what we need to do to come to the point of our lives.”

In this idea of the point of our lives, something very deep is touched, which having been sounded, will be picked up again later in the meeting. At this point, however, Adie referred to the task which had been given: “All the answers to these questions show this up tremendously clearly. Almost every answer, almost every one, begs the question. It says “I have to do this”. But it does not say how. It says “I have to make a plan,” but it does not say how, almost exclusively. In one or two instances there was a very theoretical one, “I must have a higher thought”. Of course I must. But how? This is the great difficulty: it stands out now from all the answers. We are not in very intelligent contact with the world we live in, or with the bigger world. See after 10, twelve or fourteen years, what is our contact with life on a bigger scale? Where is the sense of obligation or duty … or meaning? Where is the meaning of life? Have I got a duty? And whom would that duty be for?”

Let me just interrupt once more: I think this is terribly important for the future not only of each individual, but also of the Gurdjieff tradition as a whole: what is its contact with life on a bigger scale? What is the contact of each group with life? Gurdjieff used to feed the poor and support the needy. I shall one day collect the references to this, but it is sufficient here to refer to Tchekhovitch and to Conge. I hope that the same can be said of today’s Gurdjieff groups, because if it cannot, this points to a deficiency in their work. To return to Mr Adie’s answer:

“Well, I think everybody ought to study their answer and see. Some of the things which were said were perfectly alright, but they have to be taken further. In that respect, there is little difference in anybody’s answer. They all go round about. Time and time again, someone says what they need, and then they state the furthest need, “I need to remember myself”, yes, but alright, then what am I going to do about it? “I am going to try and remember myself.” It’s almost as banal as that. Almost.” He turned to Mrs Adie and asked for her opinion. She agreed, saying:

“I was thinking that there were one or two good ones among them, but most of the answers could have applied to anybody. People have not written about their particular difficulty. But everybody is different in some way: we all have our own subjective weaknesses and ways. They were left too general.”

“Interestingly”, said Mr Adie, “the answers which we had received from people who had only just come were better. At least they saw quite crisply that this was an obstacle. This specific thing. They really felt something about their lack of will, their lack of control. It came out. They felt that this they needed, and that’s why they came to the work.”

“See, we’re in front of a great challenge there. We need the influence of the far off, but we need to experience it, not as a tale that is told but as an actual fact. What is it that stops that, and how could I have that experience more often? Someone would say by remembering their far aim, yes, but how am I going to achieve this increased recollection? Practically no one cited anything that they had got to give up. Almost no one said “I have to sacrifice this”, or that they had to acquire that specific thing in order.”

“This relates to what you’re saying, Basil. How to come to be useful in this situation. One finds people who will say, “you must do this, and try to realise that”, all these wise man responses, very sage, very salutary. I think we don’t realise the necessity of getting down into the same situation. I don’t mean getting down from a condescending point of view, but standing side by side. If there were something wrong with a motor, would I sit in my chair and tell him to go outside and fix it? Or do I sense his need, leave my chair, and have a look with him? Maybe I can’t exactly do that verbally, but if I’ve got it in my feeling, then I could even remain mute and yet share his situation, and that would be much more lasting. If only I could feel myself in relation to him. You refer to your son, I can refer to one of our sons, and there there is great difficulty. From the ordinary point of view it is heartbreaking. But what is shared sometimes is a quality of feeling, and that certainly is an enduring thing.”

“Just a certain little while, shared in a wordless way, even just cooking a meal together, or getting something from the shop, because words never satisfy, they always go the wrong way, while feeling is a more permanent influence. But to have a result … ah, that’s a different matter. We have to settle for the possible, and even to be grateful for that, and to see that the other is beyond our power. But if something is exchanged there, in our presences, then that remains a recollection possible for him. Mmm?”

“One does not know what stage people are at, what point in this enormous long life, they are at. Do you know John Bunyan’s remark, when he saw the fellow led off to the gallows. He wasn’t being mock-humble, he just realised that everybody is exposed to these tremendous forces, and that there was one being led off to the gallows. “There, but for the grace of God go I, John Bunyan.”

“But too often, for us, other people present a bleak prospect, and for us it is unacceptable. Certainly, as you yourself say, acceptance is absolutely essential. That means, really, in practice, in this case, an absence of negative criticism. You don’t have to say, oh yes, it’s alright. You have to be free of blaming – in your feeling. You can realise how ghastly and costly it is. But in your feeling you don’t blame.”

Mr Adie then turned to Paul, who in his report had said that he found a good state but he could not find the words:

“And Paul wrote, certainly from the most sincere place that he could, but still you have to come to an answer, you cannot leave it unanswered, because our work is on this level. Facing that higher state, I am wordless, I cannot know. I am in challenge totally, but if I am going to work, I have to come to some kind of an answer, I have to work to it. So I go forward. Maybe you come to something trite, it doesn’t matter. You cannot remain in that exalted state for long, you return … and then you follow. Try and take it further. Don’t be satisfied with this formulation. I have to work to do. With the benefit of this, whatever it is, I go and find the work.”

Mr Adie then noticed Richard, who had not handed in a report. Why, he asked him, had he not submitted one? Well, Richard replied, he did not think it had to be submitted.

“Nonsense”, retorted Adie. “You fail. Next time you do not come if you do not bring it. You are not entitled to be here, if you are not serious.” After a pause he added: “Somebody speak about work. Let us get away from this dead spot. See what we’re speaking of is the real interest. If nothing is going to change, if we’re not going to get any of these powers, then what is it about? Our understanding is not adequate, therefore we have to work to increase our understanding. So, we’re always lacking, but if we can see our lack and go on, then that is the way of the work.”

I would relate this to what I have earlier blogged about the “romance of the search”. If there is no possibility of finding, the “eternal search” is farcical.

Someone asked about negative attitude, and surprisingly, perhaps, Adie replied: “I don’t think you need to ask about that.” My sense is that Mr Adie thought the person’s difficulty lay elsewhere. “Try and work to make it very practical for you. You, like everybody has, to some extent or other, a real possibility of playing a part in the work of the universe … it’s an enormous concept … but what is a responsible being, a man in life that one could respect for a moment?”

“What is it one respects about that man? He has some stature in humanity. He contributes something. He brings something, he works. In a way, he leaves a mark. It may not last very long, but it isn’t as if he never was.”

“He doesn’t pass like a shadow. He passes like a being with some meaning. But we have no meaning, see, when we have no aim we have no meaning. A person without any meaning is a sort of shadow, just a phantom.”

There was a silence. Even on the tape it sounds like a strong silence in which these powerful words were absorbed. Remember the reference to aim, especially if you attempt the task of the report, and recall what Mrs Adie said on 25 June. It is aim which is the catalyst which raise efforts beyond the meaningless.

Part Three

Eventually, Alwin asked a question: “Mr Adie, there’s many times during the day when I get a reminder, but I simply do not want to make use of it when I could. I might be preoccupied or in a negative state or whatever. I cannot overcome that, even in the smallest instant, and I would like to make some progress.”

“You have to bring yourself to face that time and time again. The need for that. That is practical.”

“But I can only find that in retrospect.” Alwin was fond of an argument, and fond of being at a loss. Often, I find, people would much rather have the attention which comes with having an intractable problem than they would have the solution.

Adie, however, was not to be deflected: “Do it more often and find the wish in retrospect. And then the next time it may be that you get the echo of that wish. But if you only remember it from the point of view of negative failure, you only have the recollection of negative failure. With this attitude, you don’t face it out long enough to really bring your being in contact with it. Because if you do, then when it comes again, your being contact will also come. Surely you can see that?

“Yes, but –”

“Yes, but this is the way. It’s then we can work in our confrontation. That is the preparation. Don’t think we can just change, suddenly become aware and find responses extempore like that. Of course not. We have to make the response, if there is to be one, now. When the time comes, if it has been made, there shall be the response! Which will help me then to hear the message and take some action.” Alwin kept arguing. Adie replied: “Something sees, but you are not there in the right form. But some I keeps reminding you of the work. You say you keep remembering during the day. This is a useful I, if you can connect yourself to it.”

“I have to bring myself and my feeling, and then it gives me a whole different field of work, because I can tell something about my feeling from my manifestations. I can’t make love and cut a throat at the same time – and if I am manifesting negative emotion, or pride, I will not be able to remember what I need. But my wish to respond will bring me to a moment, and then maybe I see these very definite things, and I work.”

Ian now brought a contribution. Ian saw himself not as Adie’s equal but as his superior. He did not even like to say that he had followed Adie’s suggestion. He tried to make it look as if he independently had the same idea. “I tried for myself over the break, to come to something very similar to what you asked.” What he found difficult, he said, especially while he was away by himself, was to overcome the “great inertia” in his thought.

“And a momentum. There is a momentum to our thought.”

Ian pushed on: There were two definite occasions, he said, when he was by himself, when he had a breakthrough, and he wrote some notes down in a restaurant, but now he finds that he cannot bring that feeling he then experienced into his thought.

“But if you read your question while you are present to yourself, surely it gives some kind of connection”, Adie said. “All sorts of different levels co-exist within me, and I remember clearly a level I would glad to be on. I seemed to understand, to have less doubt at that moment. I felt some wonder, not just ignorance. And I would like to be connected with that again, not to have it exactly like that, but to get the influence of that level. This is what you’re talking about, isn’t it?”

Yes, Ian replied, it was.

“I don’t see how you can expect more than that. Then, from that, there can be another experience. It won’t be the same, it doesn’t have to be. It’s a good thing it isn’t. If it was the same it wouldn’t be a birth, it would be a repetition. Every birth is a unique thing, and in a way, a momentary act is a birth, if you like. It is a unique act, every second.”

Adie then addressed the fact that Ian had then been overseas: “When you’re away like that, your possibility of sensing your own reality is greatly enhanced, because you are taken away from many of the customary stimuli: the family is not there, the climate is different, the jobs are different, the timetable is different, and one is helped to bring to oneself one’s own reality. You are operating in a rather different medium, and you have constant impressions of the new medium. I have to decide a little bit more often: even breakfast is different. It always raises different little questions. I can’t even pick my hairbrush up from the same place. All this stimulates my self-awareness in a way. And I have a sense of self-responsibility – maybe very very little, but very useful..”

“What you say is partially true,” allowed Ian.

“I am glad of that,” Adie said softly, and everyone laughed. Everyone but Ian: “I find, in general, there is a great deal of agitation inside.”

“Of course,” replied Adie, “but agitation is real, too. I may be a in a spin, but nevertheless everything is different, it’s calling me in a different way. I notice my perturbation much more. If it’s the same old dreary perturbation, I don’t notice it so much. But I can’t always be away, so how can I make use of that strange fact? Connects at once, doesn’t it, with the idea of making strange essence tasks? Of having something that’s different, something that will intrude a little on my customary automatic routine. How could I do that?”

“You see, to begin with one makes little experiments, one finds one cannot do, and then gives up the ghost. But now after ten or 15 years we should be approaching the point of doing, of inner doing. It then gives point to these small things again. There’s a connection.”

Samuel then asked about his experience at work. He had taken as a line of work his identification with certain matters which gave rise to some rather serious grievances. One of these related to a colleague who had been mistreated, and undergone a complete mental collapse. In both instances, the employer had been deceitful. Yet he planned to be neutral and take no sides. Yet, he said, he had felt very angry, and had “disappeared into it completely.” He was now despondent.

“Yes, but don’t you see,” said Adie, “that you were deeply identified even in the task you choose. Where was your objectivity before you went? There’s an idea to be impartial, but that’s an enormous word, because it doesn’t mean that I cease to care. And if this person is callous and his policies dangerous, then surely you should take a side, at least against such behaviour.”

“That’s true,” said Samuel.

“Impartial does not mean that I cease to care. It does not even mean that I try not to do anything about this awful situation. But my first task is internal. I free myself from righteous indignation. But you choose something where you almost know you can’t do it before you start. So now go on, and try and separate yourself in your representations about it. There was something naive about the preparation. Now you see that it has to be wiser. Try and take a measure. Try and be realistic in it. Give up the dream. The dream can even help me if I listen for one moment, and then remind myself that that’s a dream … of a kind of a higher level. Okay, now I’ve got work to do here.”

“Just the same as you, Paul, you’ve come to that point, which is something. You feel it, the presence of a question you can’t answer. But I have to then come away from that at the right time, and come back to the point of practicality. I cannot continue indefinitely there, otherwise, without my knowing it, still sitting in the Buddha’s seat, I am doing some idiotic thing.”

Now Ian spoke of the “Clear Impressions” exercise. “I saw one thing in the preparation you gave, the new one you gave us, in the second part of it, in particular, where it seemed that it was possible, not continuously, to come back to the state where instead of looking I just received impressions. And, I think it was two mornings ago, I found a sort of seductive element trying to come into this. This is quite enough … well it was interesting to see the thought come, and to see it in that light. I found it difficult to look out but not think about it.”

“In a flash, you’ve lost everything, but in a flash it’s back again, differently. I am glad you’ve had that. Did anyone have this experience, of a fine division of time?” Adie paused. “We think that our measure of understanding is to say “chair” when we see a chair, and “painting” when we see a painting. But can one look at a wall without putting words on it? What can it mean without words? I am in front of a mystery, straight away. But I start looking and it becomes subjective. Why would I have to describe it? How can I hold myself in front of the wonder of everything?”

Someone then brought a similar observation from the exercise, about looking but trying “not to give any thoughts out to it.” Indeed, he said, he had tried to “blank out” all thoughts.

“Could you say how you tried to do your blanking?” asked Adie. “If you do it at all, it’s by a sort of tension, which isn’t good. Let the thoughts do what they like, but don’t have anything to do with them. If you start blanking them out, you become tense and you really increase the thought. You simply get a long tense impression, that’s all. You’re bound to get impressions of everything if your eyes are open. Receive the impression, and be present to that, but don’t resist anything.”

“The point is I wish to experience myself relatively free from thought. That force which usually gets taken in these speculations becomes mine. I need that to reinforce my being-conscious–reality for a moment or two.”

Sarah then mentioned that she had been able, in the exercise, to sit with her eyes open, receiving impressions, “I found that I am able to be in that room, take in the impressions, and the external noises without a reaction. There doesn’t seem to be a shock. I hear it, but I remain stable. It helped me during the day.”

“We have to really try and remember the finer divisions of time, and the very very fine impressions of higher thought. A higher, finer matter which is moving at incredibly faster vibrations than normal. As we begin to tune in to those a little, to receive a fraction from that, we begin to experience a totally different time, with a totally different effect. That’s one of the elusive things. Until one gets to a certain point, one does not understand this and its value, the vast differences between my time and the sun’s time. But here it now begins to become practical. If we really work during this ten or 15 minutes, there is a great amount of time there. But then one can open one’s eyes after 30 minutes and find that nothing has happened.”

Adie then gave instructions for the experience of “a different kind of physical functioning”, something essential to the practical method as he had it from Gurdjieff. After he had given the instructions, he added: “Keep on. Don’t be put off it’s a bit uncomfortable. Use it. Pass a certain point of discomfort. If you get to what you think is the limit, go for another half a minute. I think we’ll stop there.”

In memory.

Written by SOPHIA WELLBELOVED

March 8, 2008 at 12:26 pm

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