Pride Goes Before the Fall (Wednesday 9 October 1985, Pt IV)

Part One

The next question was from Gary, who said that he forms some sort of intention in the morning, and during the day he has a moment of possibility for making a real effort: the head understanding seems quite clear, but there is no animating force, and so nothing happens.

That is critical: what is the obstacle at that point?” After a short silence, Mr Adie asked again: “What is the inner arrangement that prevents me at that point, at that very point when I’m reminded? There is something else waiting, only waiting to insist on its own way. But do you know what it is?”

All I could say is, it’s usually a really heavy sort of reluctance to make any sort of effort at all. A deadness …”

Yes, it’s dead.”

At the same time,” added Gary: “on a few of those occasions something has taken place, but I can’t really describe what it is because it’s simply to quick and too subtle.”

Yes. The deadness has disappeared in that flash, but it hasn’t been entirely rendered passive; it still remains to slip back again when that situation is corresponding.”

Gary then asked: “Yes, it seems to me I could be becoming too much attached to this idea of having a theoretical understanding and asking what do I do next?”

Yes. I’m missing the action without the words. Don’t forget about feeling. What is my feeling? It has to be the feeling of myself, but if I’m not there then, I need feeling. So, this calls for a different avenue of approach. That feeling can become a conscious force, not an unconscious. See, when my feeling is flowing unconsciously, it’s just following thought, it’s following thought that is abominable and disgraceful. Yet normal feeling is flowing in accordance with that thought. But if I can appear to a certain extent, that feeling can come this way, and not serve that thought. All these compulsive things do damage, I either damage myself or damage someone else. So, if I can even avoid that, by asking if I have been negative towards something, this is a great gain. My action may take negative form, I mean denial is a negation; in one second it becomes positive, and in another second it becomes neutralizing, but it bears the denying force. I say: “No, that’s denial”, but before it’s completed its action it has become active. Everything is moving.”

“There’s not enough understanding of the higher laws, the operation of the higher laws, you see. It is going on, quiet and unseen, heralds of all sorts of messages. It’s all unknown to us. You’re here, and energy is pouring out, serious wars are going on. So, how to use that, the memory that there is some other approach to start with my feeling? I have no feeling you see. I have no feeling. I could do damage, but not if I have feeling for myself. Then I could in a flash receive something higher and everything changes, all that could go on in one second while you’re washing up or something.”

The next questions came from Jill: “On Saturday, I really tried to keep the work, also on Sunday, and Monday, trying to find my attention. It was the longest thing I’ve tried, continuing the same strength of impulse. I feel I have never acted before.”

This is an impulse which can’t be described,” said Mr Adie: “At the moment you are here, what action is possible, now? If this is not your question, you’re missing something. You’re trying to be true, you’re trying to not exaggerate, you’re trying to approach the truth at the moment in what you say.”

Mr Adie sensed a resistance and asked: “You don’t agree with that?”

Yes, but I’m not totally trying,” said Jill.

I didn’t say “totally”,” Mr Adie replied: “You see there is something negative there. An old habit. You see, you are now bargaining.”


“You’ve lost your place,” Mr Adie prompted.


“I have to be quite free,” said Mr Adie. “I need to be quite free, how can I? I try. You’re talking about the best effort that you’d made in your own words.”

I never succeeded dividing my attention here…” countered Jill.

You can for a very short time,” said Mr Adie: “And you have to decide between what you’re going to divide it.”

“What are you specifically going to try and divide it between? All work involves movement, and you wish to be there, between observing that movement, and observing yourself making that movement. That’s one division. And then you get an idea: “This is a moment in the mind.” How are you going to divide yourself with that and yourself? Everything is a movement, a feeling, that is a movement that attracts the attention to see, to feel, it’s the feeling.”

“Everything is in movement. My dividing is a movement. If I open to an idea, it’s a movement. I can’t open my attention like that and keep it open, it just receives here and receives there.”

“That’s right if you try and fix it like that, you’ll come unstuck. You’ll think: “Oh dear, I can’t do anymore of this, I’m doing it, I’m doing it, but I got to start presently.” It isn’t like that.”

“And try and find a different way. Don’t make the mistake of trying too long in just the same way. I can risk experimenting with doing something quite different. You can always come back again if you remember, but don’t get trapped into repetition. You have a moment of work, you have a period of work, a day or so, that’s marvellous, but don’t think that you could go and repeat it like that. What is possible now? A little more payment is wanted, then you get it. No-one wants to pay, but payment is a tremendous part in this.”

“You want to be divided between what you wish, and the need to remember about payment, and to whom, and all this. With what in myself? The very thought brings up a new element in me.”

I want to bring up …” Jill began, but Mr Adie interrupted her: “Just before you speak, the very fact that I affirmed something is a bit of a challenge, because opposite that there is a denial. So, I know if I affirm something, I must be very present to my affirmation, you see. Then I need not fear the denial, anyway, not fear it in the old way.”

“Do you know what I’m talking about? Don’t be frightened, and when we come here, we bring our best material here, or try to. But we need to know that if we affirm that, there is always the negative; and there has to be, by law. You know this saying “pride goes before a fall”? Well, that’s it, that’s what happens. Something good; I appreciate it, and in two seconds, self-satisfaction which is pride, and then I fall, and I don’t deal in any negative fear. I acknowledge the fear, I’m balanced, I look for some real ground. Now, you wanted to speak of something else.”

Part Two

I have ended it there, because the second part of the question was quite lengthy, and dealt with something quite different. I think that this fist part of Jill’s question went quite well with Gary’s. Mr Adie touched on something very hard to name properly, very hard to deal with adequately in a group: the nature of the resistance which appears. He quotes the saying: “Pride goes before a fall”. It comes from Proverbs 16:18, which literally translating the Hebrew, is: “Before destruction pride, and before a fall a haughty spirit.”

It is quite instructive: Mr Adie senses Jill’s opposition, and is wide awake when she counters with a mock-humble remark that she wasn’t “totally trying”. Not only did he not ever say “totally”, but her counter shows that something in her was not going to let his answer penetrate, and would rather assert itself than see the point. I think it’s clear that he was trying to bring Jill to the cusp of practical work: to decide between what and herself she ould try and divide her attention, and to see that the division in question is not something static, but a movement.

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