Have you ever counted without numbers? (Thursday 19 July 1979, Pt IV)

Mr Adie then turned to the woman who had the issues with her dogs waking her up, before she could make her Preparation. He asked her what time the dogs woke up in the morning. “Six, six thirty,” said replied. “Then get up at half past five and put one over on the dogs,” he suggested. Everyone laughed. It is interesting: why did they laugh? They weren’t laughing at her, I am sure, but because on the one hand there seemed to be an on-going problem, yelling and shouting every morning, and then here was the simple and obvious answer: get up half an hour earlier, and work on your state. Why can we not see the obvious when it involves work? Mr Adie added: “Take measures.”

He then turned to someone else, and said: “Now you look as if you might have something to say.” He often was active in his engagement with the group. After he died, I very rarely saw this, the people in front of the groups tended to be passive before the group.

I don’t feel as though my work has any basis at the moment,” said Terry.

Well then you have a lot to say. What about it? It’s a concern. You should be concerned about it. Can you accept to be a frivolous creature with no real values? Why should I let myself go?”

“Do you feel you see yourself at all? If we don’t see ourselves at all – that is one of the reasons I make fun of your dog show – you see it differently, which means you see it. Do you see what this is? It’s like a person taken along by someone else who shows him a piece of gold, he looks and he sees, yes, it’s gold. You can’t accept to go through life and not see the gold, to go outside and fall asleep.”

Mr Adie then turned to someone else and asked: “Where have you left your force? What has been draining your energy away? Have you been feeling like this all the week?”

Yes,” said Ben.

But what has been draining your energy away? How have you been spending it? Too many nights on the tiles? You know what that is a polite way of saying?”


Too much chasing women. Too much drink.”

Probably too much television, I think.”

Television? What? You can sit in front of that horrible box?”


Tell us the programmes.”

Ben said nothing, which surely meant a lot. Eventually Mr Adie asked: “How long do you watch it for each day?”

Probably half an hour to an hour and a half.”

Mmm.” Mr Adie paused, then asked: “And when you spring up refreshed from half an hour in front of the television, what happens then?”

I probably wander outside, feeling pretty miserable. Have a cigarette. Maybe now I think about the work. Go to bed, and that’s it for the day.”

I think you must make a regime for yourself. Make a regime for yourself. You live in comfort, everything available when you need it, no effort at all? Do you have an alarm clock? No? Then get yourself an alarm clock. Set it a little early, get up and do a Preparation. There is nothing else for it.”

“Get up and be vigorous, and alive, like a young man, not like a candidate for some old person’s home, where they put them away with sympathy, prop them up with the telly there, and a cup of tea every now and then. Premature senility – you’re not ready for that. Youth has a certain fierceness, use that. Get up early and do a Preparation, when the blood is circulating. Work hard. Does that appeal to you? Good.”

“Well, there’s nothing else? Everybody found something in all this material?”

Mr Adie then asked someone about his line of work. He replied that he had been using the finger exercise until recently. “You don’t think you’ve finished with that?” Mr Adie asked. “Did you find that it gave you a certain freedom?”

Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve been troubled with a lot of daydreams.”

“Then you’re not doing it. In that case, you’re not doing it, because it allows no space for daydreams to enter. It is very difficult to do, to have the definite difference between sensation and a possible something else, which, let us call it, say it’s feeling. It’s only a sort of … possible difference. Some difference, but you can’t say that, and the counting. You can always make the counting a little more difficult if you like.”

Incidentally, this is quite interesting. It reminded me that Mr Adie sometimes said that we could more easily come to sense ourselves, but that it was harder to feel ourselves, and that on the way to that consciousness, we often sensed something unclear, undefined, but it could be in the direction of feeling, meaning that our ordinary daydreams were disturbed, and, with time, undoubted feeling could manifest. He then asked: “Do you count with numbers, or without numbers?”

With numbers.”

Have you ever thought of counting without numbers?”


Quite possible.”

I don’t see how.”

Think about it. When attention wanders, renew the effort. Try and let it lead you to a central place of balance, where you can have some idea of values. We can’t be all day at it, there’s a limited time. Make it for a definite time: ten minutes, fifteen, twenty … every other day half an hour. But definite, make it definite. I want to start with a definite DO, otherwise I sit down and dreams are going on, and nothing has happened.”

“And don’t have any tea, any food at all, until you’ve done your Preparation. Make it the first thing. No coffee until you’re done your Preparation, but that will make everything different. And be careful about your posture. It makes quite a difference, and your posture is not good. If my face is like this, then it can soon go like that. What does your face express? It expresses something, but what?”

“It is a legitimate question in the morning. My face expresses something, my posture, too. I am a sleep walker, I do not see myself. I want to see myself, sense myself, feel myself, be myself for a minute. Don’t allow yourself to come here empty and passive. Let something sound inside.”

Joseph Azize, 6 February 2020


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