Continuing from the meeting of Tuesday 8 October 1985, Paulo said that Sunday work at Newport had been very difficult for him.
“You had some work to do,” Mr Adie said.
Paulo said that while he liked that kind of work, what was hard was to work without criticism.
“What kind of criticism, and what of?”
“Of my partner.”
“Say you are working with someone new, Jim or whoever. You are bound to have a criticism. You see that he is holding a spade differently from how you do. Is it better? Is it worse? This is a criticism. Then I decide which is better, and I copy him or I don’t, and I don’t like what I see, but maybe try and pretend I haven’t noticed, and so on. All sorts of processes go on, and usually my relationship can be said to be via these absurdities, but if I am there, I can be related in a different way.”
After a moment Mr Adie continued: “But criticism has to be there, I have to have that, criticism, understanding, and appreciation of all that is available. And what you say is that there was an element of negative emotion mixed up with that criticism. You were criticising him to his disparagement. That is what you saw.”
“I felt I was speaking as if I was superior,” said Paulo.
“And maybe for a moment I do hold the spade in a more efficient way. But what happens is I see that at this second he is holding the spade awkwardly, there is this thought in me, “I would not have held it like that.” This means, then, that I am a better man than him, that I am superior. That is taken as a very good solid basis for my life, and then of course this thing in me expects that as a result he will like me.”
“My state shows, but if my state is good it helps him in his work. He has a friend, instead of being with someone who is emitting sulphur and smoke from every pore.”
Paulo said: “I thought about it later, because when I went home I still had that criticism but the job had got done. It was as if we did not deserve to achieve as much as we did.”
“You were surprised at what you had done in spite of all the things you had seen in yourself?” Mr Adie asked. “Well, that is just what the job is for. If I really put some attention there, I rob the criticism of all the energy of attention which is taken by it. And I begin to see it, because I am there, working. These things don’t walk on and take the whole of the stage, they sort of hover around and try and shuffle on, but if you see them they sidle off and go away, because they don’t like being seen. But they’re always waiting there, until the time comes when they appear. But if they meet a full confrontation, if it is long enough and understanding enough, they dissolve then – in the present. The past is still real, but the present has dissolved them. So there you get the two lives, the higher life in the present, and the past life as it was, because everything that was is and ever will be, and I’ve repaired the past in the present. Do you follow? Do you think you do?”
“I think I understand,” said Paolo, “but I don’t feel as though I was repairing anything.”
“No, maybe not. I have to see the significance of it, see the possible connection from the state which you noticed. You come just as you worked: you come identified with your observation. Try and be freer now, you have come with an observation, but I want to be in a better state. Then there is a chance I can see through a crack, and see what previously I had been blind to.”
“What you have said is very interesting. The fact that some good work was done on the job in the midst of all this toing and froing shows that some constructive element was present, that your partner may not have been as incompetent as something in you imagined.”
“Do you see the value of the work, and the conditions? You would never have chosen that job for a nice Sunday’s entertainment, would you? Chipping away in a place where you couldn’t swing the hammer at all freely?”
What Mr Adie said is the truth: “These things … sort of hover around and try and shuffle on, but if you see them they sidle off and go away, because they don’t like being seen. But they’re always waiting there, until the time comes when they appear. But if they meet a full confrontation, if it is long enough and understanding enough, they dissolve then – in the present. The past is still real, but the present has dissolved them. So there you get the two lives, the higher life in the present, and the past life as it was, because everything that was is and ever will be, and I’ve repaired the past in the present.” It is worth repeating.
These things inside us do have a sort of life: they are parasitic on our bodies and the centres. They are chains of association, forming postures in the lower parts of centres, and their ability to defend themselves comes, I think, from their associations including a sense of outraged justice. They are united to a feeling of “this is right, and that is wrong,” and so when they are opposed this association is available for them. It is not a thought, but it starts the formatory apparatus working. The formatory apparatus will weave a web of words around it, but there is no real thought there, the spiritualised man is not speaking – in fact, he is fast asleep.
This is why it is true to say that they defend themselves. But it is not a conscious defence: it is a reflex. We can however work against it by retraining our reflexes. And, as he said, dissolving them in the present.
Joseph Azize, 17 May 2020