Pondering and Making Connections (23 November 1988, Pt III)

There was then a long pause before Gascon, a doctor, spoke: “I would like to affirm how much the work has helped me coped with my fear, I found out exactly how much …”

Mr Adie interrupted him to ask: “Fear of what?”

“Fear in general, fear specifically of having trouble coping of living up to an image of dealing with the pain and suffering at work brought to the surgery by many different people. And I only realised when my daughter had her joint problem, just how much I had collected in order to deal with that. Quite surprising in one way really, to me, I bring that tonight to affirm something.”  

“I understand,” said Mr Adie. “I have an understanding which I now find applied in life, I am receiving something, and I am grateful. Of course that means that I accept an obligation. Perhaps there’s a question there, and that is, what out of that affirmation can I formulate? Maybe there are quite a few formulations which could come from it. For instance, there’s feeling related to it, there’s mind action related to it, and maybe even more.”

“You said before that faith is based on fact,” added Gascon, “it seems to me a quite rare event in my life that I have such a positive fact as a foundation.”

“That’s what I mean: what use do I make of it? How does this experience of presence in the face of suffering relate to our things which are not of this same material in nature?”

Gascon replied: “Well, to me there’s this great possibility, kind of inherent optimism if you could work.”   

“Yes, certainly,” Mr Adie agreed. “But I wasn’t really looking for an answer right now. It is something to ponder, and by pondering, to make connections. There’s work for me in that situation. It presents immediately a need to have a certain kind of work, a pondering; to deepen this feeling of a special kind of certainty, and the beginning of a new ability to find certainty, to be positive in a difficult situation. In that circumstance, there is also a realisation that now I am not wasting my energy as I otherwise would. You see how much there is to take stock of, to value, and to cultivate? Now, how to relate that, and how to keep it to the surface as much as I can? Where does it come in, to what does it relate? That’s what I meant. Not to answer it now, but to think and feel, and connect it to these other aspects.”      

Gascon began again: “It showed me the possibility of coping with some of the other difficulties I raised here before in my family life. If I can bring that same feeling to the other problems, there’s a second chance.”

“It maybe won’t be the same feeling,” said Mr Adie, “but something related, something on the same level, because the situation won’t be the same. I mean a certain moment may come, when in conscious confrontation with suffering, and the essence of the experience is sort of courage. But there are other times where it seems there is no threat, so that isn’t the exact form in which I now require to be aware. Perhaps I need to have a keen sense of danger just because I am not threatened, a greater awareness of a certain kind. I pass from one fact to possibly another, because everything is changing. This courage won’t be the same tomorrow; and it wouldn’t be lawful for it to be, it has to correspond to certain general conditions. I have to see, I mean this is the need to think and, there’s something definite to affirm, something that’s very valuable. Now, how do I expand it? Otherwise I’m not thinking.”

“Mr Gurdjieff on one occasion, gave a remarkable sequence of ideas in the development of thought. Where did the initial impulse for that come from? How did it originate? Where was it born? How did it develop? What was associated with it before it reached me? What use am I going to make of it? What can I expect from it? What can it lead to? What history does it touch? What promise does it contain? How far can it go? How could it end? Do I know what its end be?  And so on and so on and so on.”

“You see, how, each of those could raise an association, an associated concept. This is the sort of thinking process we need to occur in ourselves. Sometimes events are more concrete, and then there could be even more categories. Otherwise there’s a danger sort of rather being reassured and basking in it, simply because I hadn’t realised that I must not do just that.”

“I may think: “Now when that occurs I can apply this.” But it never occurs like that again exactly. It never will recur exactly like that, so I need to get the essence of the thing, I need to know something about the law applying to it. If I could see something about the law which operated, this would be very rewarding. I may be able to see that with a certain process that can never take place, and with another process, something else will not occur, and so on. An affirmation in a way would can be a sort of challenge, I have to be careful. I have to be careful, an affirmation is an act, I affirm. It’s as if I created something at that moment. What is possible for me in the way of that action?”

“I have to able to be collected, I have to know my body, I must know my feeling, I must have some feeling. My mind must not be numb, my mind must be active and have some awakeness, and be balanced, certainly.”

“Then, what else can I do? I make myself open.”

“Writing down is a great, very, valuable process, I may try a preparation, it may seem not very successful, I may have been harassed the whole time. I may have been completely and repeatedly identified with a continual series of awakenings, and then a long time has passed. Well, alright, then there’s the end of that. But now, what, if I can then take paper and pencil and record, and be prepared to record something. What am I going to record? It seems all a very long process of continual lack, of continual identification, of continual dreaming, and coming too and so on and so on.”

“How have I been working? If I’ve been attempting to put that down, and have attempted to record it, and made an attempt to see what profit there is, something out of that will certainly come. Because I am making the effort to watch it and to work at the same time, the compulsive thoughts can’t get going, they don’t get a chance. And then afterwards I look to see what I have written. I’m very near things, we don’t know how near we are. An absolute wonderful life experience is available, but is just passing us, just passing us, just passing us.”


One comment

  1. Interestingly another of Gurdjieff lists was sourced to another stream:
    “Higher Analysis (Gurdjieff’s list)
    HIGHER ANALYSIS. There have been designed a number of tables, or systems of higher or fuller analysis than the Seven Questions, all operating on the same principle. The following is the one which I have adapted, and used in my personal class work here in Paris. It answers the purpose better than any other form I ever have employed: [1]
    [1. Part of this list appears in Chapter 9 of Views from the Real World, compiled by students of Gurdjieff.]
    (1) Name of Person or Thing?
    (2) When did it exist?
    (3) Where did (or does) it exist?
    (4) What caused it to exist?
    (5) What is its history?
    (6) What are its leading characteristics?
    (7) What is its use and purpose?
    (8) What are its effects, or results?
    (9) What does it prove or demonstrate?
    (10) What is its probable end or future?
    (11) What does it most resemble?
    (12) What are its opposites?
    (13) What do I know about it, generally, in the way of associated ideas?
    (14) What is my general opinion regarding it?
    (15) What degree of interest has it for me?
    (16) What are my feelings regarding it—degree of like or dislike?
    This system will bring out of your mind a surprising volume of information, and will also serve to impress the thing firmly and clearly upon your memory by hundreds of associative links. Prove this by applying it in earnest, and you will perceive the principle and realize its possibilities.”.
    Practical Memory Training
    ‘Theron Q. Dumont’
    William Walker Atkinson

    Lesson 22
    Efficient Association
    * Principle of Association
    * Analysis
    *   Interrogative Analysis
    * Higher Analysis (Gurdjieff’s list)


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