Wednesday 16 November 1988 (II)

This is the final section from the transcript of a meeting on Wednesday 16 November 1988, at Newport. Bart had been in groups for a while. He said that he was hoping for something, and wondered how he could have allowed himself to remain asleep for so long. It was, he said, a cheap hope.

“I lose my level of thought, and I start thinking in a formatory way,” said Mr Adie.  “The expression you used was that you allowed yourself to sleep. But that is impossible. You could never allow yourself to sleep. What it means is that you had already gone. But as soon as you say “I allowed myself,” the situation has been misrepresented, and I can no longer understand it. I think I allow myself to sleep, but this is wrong: I am taken.”

“That is the point, and it is a striking one. I see something, and in the next breath, my formulation shows that I am asleep. I am cheated by formatory thought. My very basis is gone, and, for the moment, I am lost.”

“I can be snatched away at any moment. If my thought is not corrected, then I am taken before I have awakened, the ground of my sleep has been prepared. You know the proverb: “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep; so shall my poverty come like who travelleth …” it means like an armed man who comes from a distance and is upon me before I know it. A very dramatic picture.” (from Proverbs 24)

“And then you mention cheapening the concept of hope. What is the basis of hope?”

“It has to be …” Bart commenced.

“Now!” Mr Adie stopped him. “The basis of hope is now. Hope is very active.”

There was a pause. Doris mentioned that she had become identified with the grief of a mother whose four year old daughter had died.

“In a situation like that, where you don’t have a clue what to do, but you know that platitudes are not wanted, insist on some sensation. Your feet on the ground. Insist on that amount of reality. And then, I need to breathe. And if I am tense, I cannot be any help. Quite the opposite. What can you do except remain awake? I do not know what the child was suffering from, but to escape from an illness can be better than not. Perhaps there was an element of relief. Separate that sadness for the child out from your grief for the parent. Try to be practical: you may have identified more with the mother than with the child.”

After a pause he made a comment which is of much greater significance than even this touching example: “Don’t forget about religion. Religion has disappeared from a lot of us, and it shouldn’t. The work should help to bring it back.”

“Interesting example of that about a week ago, or so. A young, rather nice sort of scientific man, who has responsibility for flora and fauna on the Water Board. He came to see me … and noticed the art in my room, and he said, “You have travelled around a good bit. These must mean something to you, but I am not a religious man. My parents didn’t go to church, and I am not a religious man.”

“I said, well you are a great lover of plants, aren’t you? He said plants are wonderful, their role in life, what they give to us, how they take part in the various cycles of water and nitrogen and oxygen and so on. I said, well you wouldn’t think that they had arrived like that by accident, would you? That’s all a question of laws, I said, laws of geometry, compression and moisture to make plants. They manifest the laws. They exemplify the inter-relationship of the creation, and they connect you to God and his laws. You feel the connection and you value it, you just didn’t know what you had been touching.  You’re quite wrong, I said, you are a religious man, and he said, yes, perhaps I am.”

“So don’t forget religion. This child has come from somewhere and will return somewhere. In what form? And in what form does she leave her mother, and you? You see, you are connected now, you are related in this mystery of life and the laws of creation… Greater and more wonderful even than the plants.”

This was followed by a question which was quite related, and the answer to it is one of the most memorable I have heard from Mr Adie. Daniel said that his youngest daughter has arthritis, and he now saw that he was identified with the effects of the illness.

“What we have just said applies,” said Mr Adie. “The first question is of your inner balance. As long as you are identified, you are not much good. She can help you with that. You have to give it a better quality of thought, and find a practical way. She mustn’t be taught to identify with her own condition. I wouldn’t make too much fuss about her, really.”

“I think that when you have the right balance in your state you will be able to see yourself. What does she see in your eyes? Someone thinking about her, someone anxious, or serene? She doesn’t think about it, but she sees something. That question can help you.”

“With your daughter, there is also a question is of her attention. What is she occupied with? Do you ask her opinion about the colour of the room, or things like that? Is there something she can look after, make sure the plants are watered.”

“If we could be objective to ourselves that would be a good thing. All sorts of things are hanging around the house, sad reminders that things have not been dealt with. Select something else to be the object of her attention, she will soon be identified with it. It might relieve her.”

“I knew a doctor, Simpson, who had been wounded in the war. He had scars across here, and he had tended to men with the worst injuries imaginable. It was known that more than a few had died in his arms.”

“This man had a way with him. He could march in to his rooms and demand of a patient: “Hello, you smoking old serpent, what are you doing here?” And when he made a house visit, you knew he had been. You felt that someone had come, someone with a presence, and had left the air different. It was something good which came out of him. And people may have had all sorts of awful problems, but all of a sudden, they were no longer the sole object of even their own attention.”

“Dr Simpson had been, you see. He had come and measured the situation, and when he had finished, it had been attended to. Whatever could be done had been done.”

Joseph Azize, 12 October 2017




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