This continues the report of the meeting of Tuesday 11 October1983. The next question was from Molly, a lady who had long been struggling with unnecessary talking. She said of herself that: “My attitudes have altered.”
“Not yet, perhaps,” said Mr Adie: “To say that my attitudes have altered is a big thing. But you know that there has been a change, and there is great encouragement in that. Directly I start to work, all sorts of things pop up within me, but it is best to just pay no attention to them. They tell me not to work now, to leave it till later, or there is no point. But while I do sometimes have to ponder these lies with my best thought when I can be collected, there is no need whatsoever to be always in warfare with them. I just put my attention where it has to be, inside and outside, and they die, because they only live on my attention. They don’t die for good, but they sink down … for a little while they don’t trouble me.”
“Now if I call them to mind in the preparation, then I link the struggle against them with my life work, because I can’t remain in that state for long. But in that state I make the resolve. Here comes the plan. At one o’clock so and so. And having made it I go on, but having made it with that force and that balance I get a reminder at one o’clock, and then I find that what I thought would happen hasn’t. But it doesn’t matter. I am there, able, again, to make another effort.”
“You could almost say that “I am my attention.” It is the key to our work: all our efforts are related to it. Everybody has attention, but we have to try and have directed attention. Everything I see pulls me out. I don’t receive the impression and direct my attention, but I am hooked.”
“A friend told me her troubles, and I was able to hold back a bit before jumping in,” Molly said.
Mr Adie asked her: “Did you think about what you said before you said it?” She had, replied Molly.
“How interesting this is now. Now I have to choose between silence and what I am inclined to say. I have to say something. I begin to hear how I speak. It is not nothing at all. That is very important.”
Molly then said that sometimes she is speaking to people in the Work, and knows she should not be talking. She broke off quite suddenly.
“That means it is unnecessary. It may be negative, it may be excited or something, but more, it is against the Work, in a way. I may say that there is no harm in it, or I was only talking, but it is against the Work in a way. You are not there, and “It” does not have any qualms at all about such talking. But still, look at what a difference there is now between how you are speaking now and how you are accustomed to speak. Not so very long ago, you would not have been able to speak like this.”
“It is a very interesting thing: when I see that I have changed a little, I realise that it didn’t happen just now – it happened back then, but I didn’t realise it. I realise that I have been changed, for a little while, to a certain extent. Well, continue. Continue. That’s the line. My relationship with people can be quite different.”
I think that this is one of the more important aspects of this reply: that we are changing when we are making efforts, but we don’t really see that as clearly as we can after the efforts have accumulated. The great danger is that we will judge prematurely, that we will cease making efforts along a certain line, or case making them at all, and so, although we were changing, we abort the process. It shows the importance of perseverance, and of what is called “faith” and “hope”. The next exchange was again on talking. This time it was initiated by a woman who brought a question about how, whenever she spoke, she tried “to impress and intimidate others.”
I doubt that all of Mr Adie’s reply adds anything new, but these comments are, I think, helpful: “In other words, you don’t agree, from the point of view of the Work, with the way you manifest and the way you talk much of the time. And you’re trying to change that. Yes. I am still under the influence of what has gone before. If I make appointments, I cannot rely upon being present to remember them every time. Sometimes you do, but on other occasions you do not. Why? What we have to come grips with is that when the time of the appointment comes around, the circumstances are not as I prepared for. It doesn’t matter. I am there. And then I waste my time, thinking: “Why aren’t I cross?” The whole aim is to be there.”
“Continue, because it is the Work to see. We have so much to learn about our stack of animals, our different “I”s, and only in this way can we learn of all these automatic so-called “I”s. I have to reach a state where I sense something coming up in me. I sense myself being trapped. If I could have that, life would be very interesting. I want to be very careful about how I talk. There are traps everywhere.”
“We often have the picture of the Annunciation there, the one by Leonardo. This is a picture of somebody being called, called, and also being given themselves. As she is called, she acknowledges here, and also she acknowledges there. Two directions of attention. You remember how the angel comes like that, see? So, because everything calls me, and because that represents the beginning of identification, it is a knife-edge moment, but it also gives me my chance.”
The next question touched upon the vital issue of impressions. I shall leave that to the next post.
Joseph Azize, 15 July 2018