The Steering Wheel (25 October 1988, Pt IV)

This is the fourth excerpt from the meeting of Tuesday 2 October 1988.

Part One

Cecilia said: “I’ve been under some sort of internal stress, I’ve looked at myself sometimes, I seem so noisy. Inner voices arguments, irritations, come up, I haven’t been able to deal with them. There has been three, four different voices in me at once, and they just make me more bad tempered. When I have come to myself like at dinner table or quietly in the afternoon sometimes when I’m by myself, the voices aren’t there. I can take deeper breaths and feel a bit more sane, but recently I have been having this inner anxiety. There is a life situation I keep putting off and that makes me anxious. I need some higher concept.”

“It’s not a concept I need,” replied Mr Adie, “but an understanding in the present moment that I am all the time in movement. I’m moving, my place is moving, I’m moving in depth. You see, it’s like driving along the road in a bus. What is the most important instrument when driving a bus? The bus driver can see, he has his route, but what is his most important instrument?”

“It’s the steering wheel, otherwise, it would be a nasty mess and our story would be over. Man is a mechanism, he’s always in motion, he’s bound to be in motion, and he needs a driver. The driver consists of umpteen people all wanting to go in different directions all, some of them sleeping, some of them so-called awake. The man has his own particular dreams, and there is disagreement even between dreams. That is a picture much of my life, without any exaggeration. That bus driver has to know where he’s going, he couldn’t possibly drive the bus for a living without knowing where he was going to. I mean, he’d have to have some notion of the journey.”

“Take reading a book. You can read the book, or you can run your eyes over the page and take in nothing. You can find you got to the bottom of the page yet be unable to say what you’ve been reading because you were dreaming about something else. Your eyes have been moving across the lines and down the page, but their message is quite cancelled out by this other so-called thought that’s going on. How does one live like that? The print is relatively objective, and I sat down in order to read. But now I am not reading at all. I sit down perhaps to be a little relieved from, rather from repetitive boring thoughts and I find I’m being dragged back again, if I don’t maintain my attention. If only I could make use of analogies for myself. I could never willingly accept that proposition, and yet it’s true for everybody.”

“And then again from a point of view of affirmation, what can I affirm? Am I so spineless, so heartless, and so dead that I can’t affirm anything? Well, what can I affirm? Well certainly, always I’m trying to affirm something in my preparation, but what? And when we do a preparation, when we sit together, we generally say innerly three times, on the breath, I with all our feeling, and AM with all our sensation connected with the spine. Now where does that come into it? That’s to produce a certain condition, a certain state, you can call it “consciousness,” but it’s a word which we use very often and has lost its brightness. There’s a furious argument going, a real blood-stained argument, and even if we speak about “consciousness,” neither of us will stop until we have slaughtered one another, and consciousness can go to hell. Then, after about an hour maybe, I can admit there’s such a word. But in the heat of the moment I wouldn’t be able to understand it even if it were put up to me in large letters.”

“It is like that with me in life. I’m so remote from this level of thought, the new language of the work, and the aim, I don’t exaggerate, or perhaps I do slightly. Well, that’s maybe good, because I may see it then. I’m quite entitled to make experiments, any experiments I make trying to gain understanding are praiseworthy from point of view of the work. I don’t have to do obviously foolish things. But even if I’m a bit unsure, I get a chance to find out or ask every week, so I’m very fortunate.”

Part Two

The steering wheel, of course, is aim. But an aim which has been accepted by me at a deeper level, so that it is the aim of my being (such as it is).

Joseph Azize, 13 April 2020

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