For the morning of Saturday 21 June 1986, the first day of a weekend work, Mr Adie read from Beelzebub’s first visit to India. When he came to p.235, where Hassein asked Beelzebub about the meaning of the word “Hasnamuss,” and Beelzebub replied that the Hasnamuss had no data for the divine impulse of objective conscience, Mr Adie added: “If you follow that, you realise that it means everybody who has not reached full accomplishment.” After the reading, there was the following address with a brief discussion at the end on the “stop and exchange” exercise.
It would help in our work today, if I could realise that the conditions are such that I do have the possibility, because of the work here, of having a practical advance in understanding what is necessary at any given moment. There will be thousands and thousands of moments during the day – countless. But if I have a few of those moments, when I could understand, a little bit, what is necessary, what is demanded of me on the assumption that I can eventually become a fully developed being. This is what is here. I don’t think anybody has much doubt, certainly those who have been coming here for many years, that a real possibility does exist because of the conditions here, because of the people who have made the place, and because of the work here.
And now, today is just one of those days, here is the possibility of finding out at any given second what is demanded of me. For that, I must have an increased idea of my own state. We read this morning about the results of the organ Kundabuffer, and about how although it was removed, the effects were still there, and one of them, you remember, was the predisposition, the predisposition to certain undesirable functioning.
How do we understand what a “predisposition” is? I mean, from a practical point of view, we are all subject to predisposition. How is that going to interfere with my work today? I need to know this. This is why the reading is so vital. The word only occurs twice in the reading: “predisposition.” In the ordinary way, one reads it, and says “I know what that is.” But we don’t know – from a practical point of view. You may have heard this Latin saying: carpe diem, “seize the day.” Well, for us, it’s “seize the moment, and what is to do with that moment.”
How can we understand what is needed in us? Here is this word “predisposition” to throw light on it, but of course we don’t make the connection. What lurking predisposition will unquestionably interfere with our work today?
Let us take a mechanical example of a predisposition. There are these celluloid figures, the top half being made to look somewhat like men, with some lead shot in the rounded bottoms, so that when you push them from upright, they come back up again. That’s a very good mechanical example of a predisposition.
But how does that analogy apply to us? What change would be required in it to free it from that predisposition?
(One person suggested that one would have to change the balance of the weight.”
Yes, you’re scratching at the right place. The predisposition lies in the form of the bottom. It is not weight only; if it had a flat bottom, it would not bounce back up like it when it is pushed. I could push it along, but I couldn’t make it dance around for half an hour just by touching it. So there we have a conception of “predisposition” in a totally unaccustomed form.
Now our thinking is so small that we never see all the implications of a single word. We are formed with a predisposition, to sleep, to distort. And that comes with the way that we react to every impulse. You see us, we have our subjective states, we have our round bottoms, and so whenever we are pushed, we bounce. But how could I come to have some stability?
Well, I can have it for a moment. And then, what is this change in state which for a moment allows me some stability?
It is a change in form, which for us means a change in understanding. “Understanding” is a property of a three-centred being. If my three centres work in harmony, even just for a second, then my understanding can appear and with it my state changes. That, for us, is a change in form: from one dimension to three, and then the fourth, when understanding appears.
But if I react to everything, how can I tell what is demanded of me? And if I think that I can respond to the demand in half an hour’s time, I am lost. It is an immediate thing. So I need to know how I am moving: are my feet on the ground? This is a very good test: are my feet planted on the ground? As he said: “Maybe these are my own feet, and maybe very good feet; and they have served me all my life.” We need to understand.
So, now, I work, in a way, to have moments. I cannot force anything. I depend on exterior impulses, very much. Can’t it sink in that unless I have exterior impulses, I disappear, and that not even the idea of me could exist? Of course, the whole of life is given: the impulse, the possibility, it is all given. And I depend on impulses. But now: which impulse, from what level, and how do I receive it? How to receive it and understand?
What a different life! Then for one second, I may be able to approach and receive a little. I haven’t got time for all these words, but I have plenty of time to sense my feet on the ground, or to sense my posture, because sensation is instantaneous.
So, what is the form of our possibility? There has to be a very much quicker inner movement. This is a movement (perhaps he shifted the cutlery) but it is a totally servile one. Certainly, most of my movements are those of a puppet. But, if for a brief moment there, there is a certain element of choice, then there is a different chemical process, a chemical process which leans in the direction of understanding.
And the process of understanding is a physical thing: it can be sensed.
But given that moment, what to do with it? It is a moment of possible doing. In the ordinary way, man cannot do. That is obvious. He is not there, and he has no choice. But the moment of understanding provides a possibility of choice, to a certain degree.
But what choice?
Again, it leads us back to the question: what is demanded of me at this second? There is a demand only if I have an aim. That means that I must have some pre-thought about me, somewhere, of a kind of attention. And in that second I could make contact with that, and fulfil the intention. But what is the intention? People have seen, time and time again, that they have seen a certain idea in a certain state. They testify that it was possible, But then they will also say that afterwards it never came again. It is not nothing to have seen it even once. No one can tell me that it was untrue, and I find out just how I am.
If I am here for both days of the weekend, it is quite possible to have a different state for half or even for longer. It does not mean to say that I am stable on that level, but it does mean to say that I am nearer, that I am beginning to be predisposed intentionally more towards another possibility. I am beginning, if you like, to make my own predisposition. It comes about because of repeated moments.
This is a work of creation. If I succeed, in the course of the work, in obtaining a change of balance, then I am changing the form. I am finding a basis for choice. What choice can there be when I am blown around everywhere? I may make a choice, but nothing happens, so it isn’t a genuine choice after all. Everything is moving, and most of our choices are like that.
Let these words go now, but retain the feeling. Retain the memory of the word “predisposition,” and see if it does not call the state you have now, and make connections with the ideas.
There are people around this table right now who have been in this state. They have been making efforts for nearly twenty years. Think. It has to increase now. Something have been taken in. Now it wants to come together. My ordinary mind will not present it to me. I have to free myself, but it is no good looking to my sullen reason, which does not like to move from its inertia for that freedom. The liberty I want is not at all light-headed – this work is divine! It is given to me like life, it is divine, with its obligations and its compulsory sufferings and all the rest of it. That is the material. It will either knock me around, or else I will acknowledge, receive and transform the suffering.
It is a totally different concept of existence, isn’t it? I might have a second or two like that. Even one second would be something.
But just a word about the stops. We stop every half hour. The question was raised in this case in regard to the spinning and weaving. They’re in a largish room, and there are many activities going on. The question was how to arrange it. If they all meet together, one person is always very much longer with eyes closed, and so everyone has to wait. All this confusion is unnecessary. We have to feel the right way. This is just a given moment. I am working with Nick. I have to sense myself in relation to him, and what is needed. Not more than a minute: I have to try and collect myself within that space. I may not be able to get there, and I shall suffer for that, perhaps, but I am only allowed a minute. It is a demand to mobilise inside, a shared demand. I cannot keep him waiting. Then, when I have done my best for that time. I try and be open, he tries to be open, and we turn. There is an exchange. An exchange of what? I don’t know, but it cannot be long. I don’t even have to shut my eyes. If I look down, it’s quite enough. It’s probably better if I don’t close my eyes, to make it easier to become aware of the movement.
(Someone asked about a group of people working in proximity.)
That is the question. If there is a group of people I do not need to go marching over. Two people are working together, so you make contact with your partner. It is to be understood. Two or three people. Do not leave one out. Be sensitive. One person alone should be included in a group. I have to sense what is demanded. It always comes back to a question of judgment: what is necessary? But if there are people all over the place, it can take three minutes to gather. That is not right. But one should give it thought.
I think we might just for this weekend, do not shut the eyes. Let us see what is possible. If a child goes up to a parent and pops a bit of a puzzler, the parent does not shut eyes and close off, or stare up into the sky with a glazed look. The parent just thinks. It is an ordinary thing. You remember Rodin’s sculpture, Le Penseur; well we don’t want that. We’re not available to every light thing which is happening, we have a question, and now I want to see what is going on, inside. If I am to be open, then the decision to be open must come from within me. The possibility of self-development is the possibility of a finer state. Those questions about the stop will be answered by a consciousness of how we are working. So, in our work we want some immediate cognition of what we’re about.
Joseph Azize, 23 September 2017