This is from the meeting of Tuesday 8 October 1985 with George Adie. The first question was from Sally who said that her mother had criticised the way she (Sally) had been talking. Sally’ first impulse was to defend herself by lying, but then she saw this, and admitted to her mother that she (her mother) was right and that she had been lying.
“That’s important isn’t it?” asked Mr Adie. “You could see that.”
“Yes,” she replied: “There was something that didn’t slide away. I usually slide away, so I don’t see it.”
“Now what you’re speaking about at last is the work, replied Mr Adie. “The effort to confront. There it is. It isn’t going to stop suddenly, how can it? It’s been around for years, but you know it now there’s no doubt in your mind of it. So, when something suggests to you that you’re lying, if you confront it you simply see it, and you see it simply. You don’t get all furious. That part of personality is not active.”
“It was an outright lie,” reiterated Sally.
“Yes, that’s what you need to see and that’s very good you bring it because it drives a stake in, you see. You have got the stake in, and you run up a warning flag, so that the next time you find yourself in the same sort of position, there is the warning flag, and you remember. Good.”
The next question was from Carl: “On Sunday Mr Adie, after tea during the time, everyone was bringing their observations of the day. You asked me whether I was there? Immediately something said yes, I am. So very quickly, the speed of my voice, hearing my own voice say that was a surprise.”
“You heard it, that’s good,” said Mr Adie. “Because you weren’t there, were you?”
“No. I wasn’t.”
“So, you heard it, don’t forget that. Right here, where we come for a certain purpose, I ask you a question, and automatism replies.”
“It sounded like it was trying to imitate, to have some depth in the sound in the words.”
“That’s automatic,” replied Mr Adie: “that means that you’re a good automatic liar. Hold onto the fact, that’s the thing, the fact. You remind me of a fact, years ago, half century ago … I was crossing the road and Mr Gurdjieff spoke to me, in six words he asked me a question. I still have it with me. Actually, I wasn’t talking I was moving in a certain way. His words were: “Young man, what are your feelings?” Six words. And I saw myself with it. I could not then have replied with a lie. That should help. It should help you to be more open.
“Yesterday,” said Jerry: “I felt I had something from the weekend. The division of attention, I felt I had something alive in me and the world looked alive. This morning I wanted to try and maintain something. I made a plan when I was studying, that whenever I felt tension to try and make some adjustment in my body and to direct my attention. Throughout the morning I got several reminders.”
“Because you were sitting in a bad posture or something, your neck aching?” Mr Adie. Jerry said that that was it. Mr Adie continued: “Yes, your neck pokes forward and your shoulders are hunched, you have many bad physically postures to watch, that’s good material.”
“And I found that the first time it was real that I could feel something here and then I could have a directed attention while I was to study. Then I noticed also that my mind was much clearer, for those few moments I really did have better attention. I got quite a few reminders.”
“The reason for working, that it’s worth working. Mmm?”
“And I recalled what you that often said to me about making subtle-type adjustments.”
“It’s meaning something. But now you can amplify your effort, not only to wait until the body is uncomfortable, I mean it’s very good this time, you may want to consider other possible reminders. Expand it. Good.”
“Mr Adie”, said Andrea: “this evening I’ve seen a person inside me that really likes drama and confusion. In the movements that was happening, a thought came, now is the moment to work, when we were all confused about something.”
“What you were experiencing there follows from what happened during the movements class. See, people were asking, “What about this and what about that” which does not correspond to what is required in the movements. In a real group working at the movements, such behaviour is quite impossible. This was a movement given at a certain time, and if people had practised it, they would remember their little piece, and their work would help others. If the person in the file next to me is working then they help me, even if the posture they take is not the one I do: but I sense their work, and then I recall myself, and with that I recall the posture. But to stop the class and ask Mrs Adie, what should I do, and what should they do there, should not be necessary. There are a hundred different movements and some of them are very complicated, how could it be possible to enquire not only for myself but for others too, and to make suggestions?”
“That is not the way to work in the movements. In the movements generally the way is to watch. If I am present and pay attention, I will be shown what’s necessary. Of course you were trying to help, and succeeded in getting your part right, but the way to find the right movement is from a different place, with a different attitude.”
Andrea then added: “One of the things I saw about myself was, that when I tried to be quiet, there was a quiet voice inside me.”
“Yes. You’re were not utterly at the mercy of this rather hysterical thing. Yes. But remember that, and don’t allow something in you to dramatize that in your mind. Then the quiet voice will be heard rather better. You haven’t found what you’ve lost, have you? Good, but don’t talk about that now.”
Andrea began: “My wish is to …”, but Mr Adie paused her and said: Wait. Be free … Be quiet. Yes.”
It is extraordinary how much work was being done. Four simple questions by people who, at an accelerated rate, had insights into their own selves, in conditions where they were helped to change their own being, and not just to learn some new tricks.
Joseph Azize, 1 June 2019