This comes from the group meeting of Tuesday 1 April 1986. Someone remarked that after the preparation he often felt quite lost, and then he couldn’t carry out the task he had set himself for the day.
“As you’re returning to life it’s very important to know that you get lost at the end of the preparation,” said Adie. “If I’ve done a preparation at all, to a certain extent I have severed myself from the ordinary unceasing flow of thoughts, coming seemingly from outside, concerned seemingly with outside, but all inside me, really, and I try and put a barrier around me and stay within that. But then I feel lost. I’ve been trying something extremely difficult: I’ve been trying to find my own inner reality. And I can try for a length of time, but afterwards I have to go back. I have to be prepared to plunge back into life. I need more and more vividly to understand the possibility of living two lives at once.”
“So, I choose something to come back to during the day – which you tried to do – and it worked to a certain extent, but it wants to be clear in my mind, as clear as I can be, the method. It’s not exactly a technique: it’s more, it’s a certain knowledge I am beginning to acquire. It’s very much different from a technique: it’s an active element in me. And each time I manage to give myself a task with firmness, and to a certain extent fulfil it, I add to that power of self-determination. But it’s a long, long way. It’s going to take all my life. But nevertheless …”
“And I don’t only do the thing to deny myself. I don’t intend to deny myself, because in that way it wouldn’t be sufficient. I deny myself in order to make place for something else.”
He then turned to someone, and asked: “Does that relate to you, M.?
“Are you sure?” asked Adie. “Only a bit?”
There was a silence before M. replied: “Only a bit.”
“Yes,” said Adie, “you see you’re lost. What is eating you now? Why can’t you try just to be simply present and take what’s here? Were you lost in our previous talk? Or in things connected with it?”
“It’s vital that you don’t come and sit in the chair for a purpose and then not fulfil that purpose. You have to cheat this very seductive element in you which allows you to do just that. Because we were close together a moment or two ago, surely?
“And then you get identified with some thoughts. You can’t afford to. This is our hour together, this is our time, and if you don’t take that, it’s going to be rather unfortunate.”
“I feel I am lacking with feeling at the moment.”
“It’s true. It’s true. So what is the first approach to feeling?”
“I take the air in. Why would I be tense and dead? The air is another given thing, everything is given me. The grace of life is incredibly marvellous, and yet I’m missing it all, I’m missing it all. If I take a breath of air, it’s a gift, and with that gift, everything changes for a second.”
I have transcribed this second exchange, initiated by Mr Adie, because it gives a taste of what it was to be like in groups with him. You could not hide. Keeping mum was no defence. He could, if he wanted, put you on the spot in front of the entire group. And when he did, it was for your benefit. He even said this sometimes. He would say to someone who felt as if he been internally steam-cleaned before everyone present: “Don’t be grim. It your benefit. Rejoice.”
Joseph Azize, 25 September 2016
The transcript of the group meeting is copyright of the trustees of Mr Adie’s estate. My remarks are my own.