The first two exchanges from this meeting had had a trajectory: they began with the question of recalling the spiritual work with one’s head, but being dry. Mr Adie said that to have an idea was not enough: but if I can collect myself, sense that I need an impulse, and bring myself to those ideas, then a living impulse may appear within me. In the next exchange, Mr Adie developed this line to emphasise that bringing myself to the question and the ideas is a function of my state. The third exchange, which we now look at, adds the dimension of aim. The question was asked by Jack, who said that over the last several weeks his work had seemed to be aimless.
“Yes, that’s the need,” said Mr Adie. “That’s the need. But, an aim: what is it? I could work immediately with that question, immediately.”
“What is to enter into my aim and what is not to take part? The very effort to represent to myself the aim will connect me with many things, and will help me to find a place where impulse can appear. See, without aim – absolutely nothing. Nothing. Nobody is worth a brass farthing without aim. Everything happens without choice. There’s no discrimination.
He then turned to Jill and said: “You see, you haven’t got an aim.”
“Yes,” she agreed.
“You haven’t got an aim. I must have an aim. It’s very, very difficult to come to an aim, my struggle to define it for myself to represent it will help to bring feeling because it has to have an impulse. What’s the good of an aim without any impulse, or wish, you see? The wish is the impulse. It’s just a thing frozen in test tube. This is an aim, it doesn’t move but there it is, you agree, you follow?”
I am not sure whom the last question was addressed to, but someone whose voice came over vey softly on the recording said: “Yes, I follow.”
“Don’t be tense,” advised Mr Adie.
Then Jake said: “Mr Adie, I have a longing to develop I want to evolve innerly, somehow I don’t seem to find the right impulse.”
“You come to those words; at a minimum, you come to those words. I have to bring an understanding to it. It doesn’t animate you. I’m sort of more or less clogged. I have to come to it, work for an understanding of what aim really requires. What its nature is, what it costs, what must be moved, what must be acquired, the kind of process, what the obstacles are. All that is possible from my mind and if I can keep my mind on that line even for a little while I begin to have some being-force because I haven’t shot around the board quite so much like a ball on the roulette table. I’ve kept more or less related to this need to understand aim. ”
“When you gave us that exercise where we had to observe ourselves, on a daily basis, coming towards the end of it I really had to force myself it was a real effort to try and look back on it to come to something. I found that that effort did produce something.”
“Yes, I need to know more and more what that something is. Why do you think it is that we’re continually being reminded of the need to work with divided attention, dividing our attention between our feeling and our sensation? Why? Because this is not customary in the ordinary dreaming or in the ordinary existence. And if I could begin to divide attention, I begin to know a kind of force in that feeling. I want something of this noticeable in me while I’m trying to understand the need for coming to an aim.”
“This is the line in which my impulse would be experienced. I would also experience something of the head, but the impulse is the centre of gravity. See, this isn’t a joke, but an impulse in the big toe wouldn’t get me very far, it’s not enough, or the little toe, or my knee, it wouldn’t be enough. To have an affective impulse it has to be more or less be there, central, and then I might be able to move. Now, the aim: I mustn’t forget the aim now my head can work with cleaner oxygen, I can begin to understand, the light can come on a little. Suddenly, things seem changed, the negative state eases a bit, less tense.”
I am not certain exactly where Mr Adie was pointing to when he said “more or less there, central”. It is interesting to ponder.
“I don’t think I really have had that sort of aim before. But it’s something,” said Jack.
“Well, then it’s a very important moment if I have something a little new, it’s very important.”
So now Mr Adie has emphasised the need for an aim, and added the practical importance of dividing my attention between my sensation and my feeling. It is wonderful following this, and, of course, had the group not been so strong, and, to some extent, accepted Mr Adie’s demand to maintain the level, this would not have been possible. But the line of thought was held, and the next exchange, with Willy showed.
“I find myself in a similar situation to a number of the others here tonight.”
“Yes, we’re all in the same situation, everybody.”
“Coming here tonight has been good because things have started to fall into place in my mind. I’ve been mulling over in my mind throughout the week the need to re-establish anything really, because I’ve felt very lost in the last couple months really.”
“I must have an aim,” said Mr Adie, “and I must refer to it, and I must consider it and work on it with my head because I can do that and try and also be present to myself at the same time. So, that I come to recognise an impulse eventually. But I can’t expect to suddenly be borne aloft because I think of aim. Aim is not a thing that will appeal to any ordinary I, any ordinary I that has this desire, this wish, this repulse, they have no use to aim at all.”
“Recently”, said Will, “I’ve been really averse to my job of a late. I have revelled in the successes and immersed in resentment in those things which are difficult to accept.”
“Well, seeing that there’s a ground,” said Mr Adie, “it’s your business to do enough preparation to see what this means and come to some kind of intention to yourself. It’s your work no-one can do it for you. I always wanted to be independent, I never liked being pushed around, so alright, here I am now, I have got what I wanted. So what am I doing? I am on my own, so where’s the action?”
Joseph Azize, 10 July 2019