This is from the second day of a Work Weekend (Sunday 16 October 1988). After breakfast, Mr Adie said:
“The basis of our thought yesterday morning was the reading from the beginning of this chapter, the Holy Planet Purgatory, referring to the Creator as the all-loving endlessly merciful and absolutely just Creator Endlessness, all loving endlessly merciful and absolutely just. I mention this is because, while I have read All and Everything, and heard it read many, many times already, I received a new light yesterday. I have always felt a suffering, I have always been unaccepting when I consider the fate of the higher being-bodies who are unable to attain the highest degree of possible development. They cannot go on to the Sun Absolute, but have to reside on the Holy Planet Purgatory.”
“That is something that I always felt uneasy about. I couldn’t reconcile it, try as I may: they have done everything possible to attain to that union, and then they are confined through no fault of their own, to the Holy Planet Purgatory. That is why the Creator visits them so often, to comfort them in their unavoidable terrible sufferings. Yesterday I received a light: I realised for the first time the context: it became quite evident that all creation involves suffering. Suffering is part of creation. Take the birth of a child. Consider the mother, and how miraculous her change in state is. In many, many cases the birth comes after she has endured great suffering, and then – there is the child alive, and there is the mother radiant, full of force. It’s amazing.
It was a great relief to me to make that connection after all this long time. It is the way: I have done everything in my power, and then when I can do no more, what I need comes to me. I receive the visit of the Endless Creator. This changes the situation. Mr Gurdjieff told me that this was the heart of the work: this, the Holy Planet Purgatory, the Heptapaparaparshinokh, and the Hadji-Asvatz-Troov. These are the heart of the work. Sometimes one understands it and sees, at other times not quite so much. But now it has brought me this understanding, and with it, freedom. I had thought it to be an injustice, lacking in mercy. But if you miss even one reading of All and Everything you will not make connection.
And I need to be vigilant. It I miss one word, or don’t query why that word was chosen and not some other, I may miss something. So this brings me to the importance of my own state when I am reading or hearing this book. Where is my attention? Where is my feeling? If I can make the effort to remember myself , my experience of the reading is on quite a higher level. And this need for awareness brings me to a practical suggestion: yesterday, we tried to have a moment of our own presence, just for a moment, quite frequently. We tried every ten minutes. Not to stop work or anything, just for a second perhaps, but for every ten minutes try and have an awareness. It will show what is possible.
There were some questions after lunch. Abe said: “I found the stop at each ten-minutes, helped me a great deal. I found that most of the time I was identified with the job I was doing. I was identified, and I was finding it difficult to work quickly and get the job done without getting so identified. It gave me a sort of point of reference, helped to come back there.”
“What we find and feel while in life is quite different from how it seemed at the moment of resolve. We can hardly remember what he said of the Creator. The concept which meant something under one condition is not available to me, I’m not there, I’m not available, I’ve disappeared, I’ve gone into another realm. And yet, if I was indeed present beforehand, then the feeling leaves a trace, and while I cannot relate to the words, I can have the influence of that state, especially in my feeling.”
The next question was from Gary: “Mr Adie, one of the things which helped me today was the actual work itself. It was physical, and I was working with someone I don’t know. There was an unusual openness regarding the work. When something was wanted, I’d go and get it, I wouldn’t complain that I had got it last time. The most striking thing was how at the last stop I felt I didn’t have to do anything to be open, I just had to turn and be there. There was no need to get myself together or anything. It was just a clean turn, and I was there for a moment. And I knew it was because of the morning.”
“Yes,” replied Mr Adie, “I think so. So, how can I take the morning and apply it in my ordinary life? This is the question. Why should it be that as I go out of that door I sometimes forget entirely, and the door disappears? Isn’t it odd that I don’t know there are doors there, that I pass into another realm without noticing it? So, this immediate life is not mine and I am not awakened by this series of endless shocks upon which the physical body depends. It is said that without impressions, we die at once. So, I’m kept going by the shocks, while I am trying to build up something in me which does not depend in the same manner on accidental shocks. I cannot imagine that the shocks are specially designed for me, being one in thousands of millions. On the other hand, if I make some kind of an effort, it almost seems to me that they are made for me sometimes, because of the connection, because of what is left of an effort, and then I find that something in me is tuning into a higher level. So there was some correspondence between myself and that higher impression.”
It is often said that Gurdjieff described the chapter “Holy Planet Purgatory” as the heart of the book. Mr Adie says that Gurdjieff told him this was true of the three named chapters. It seems a just observation.
The stop referred to here is a “moving” stop. I do not allow my thought to continue as it had. I stop thought for a moment, and realign by coming to a clearer and more vivid sensation of myself, and possibly even a clearer feeling of myself in relation to the worlds (internal and external alike). Then, at Newport, we would turn to whoever we were working with, and – eye to eye – open one to the other for a moment, then return to our job.
By the way, notice how penetrating, and also simple, Gary’s observation was: all he had to do was turn.
Joseph Azize, 4 August 2020