Continuing Tuesday 25 October 1983, with Mrs Adie.
Belinda then said: “Mrs Adie, I’m beginning to understand something important when I saw a tension rise in my preparation when we started the counting exercise. It was a tension that I haven’t seen before, to any degree, and since then, I’ve seen a tension which accompanies all my effort. I relate it to how, during the weekend, Mr Adie spoke of a type of effort that was like a paralysis, putting the mind in a temporary paralysis rather than being present and relaxed to allow real thought, and to have more attention. Every time I make effort now I make that aim with the intention to relax in that effort. And I make hourly stops and I see that I start building attention. Attention will start building, maybe 15-20 minutes prior to the hour, to the appointments that I make to myself. Now I am just beginning to see that the effort of being relaxed is entirely different from what I had thought it was. I often experience euphoria, and I have begun to see that the euphoria is also a type of tension.”
“This is the first thing you must remember, anytime,” replied Mrs Adie, “to be relaxed, to try to be quiet inside. Notice where your special tensions are in your body, everybody has them. Try. Any effort must be relaxed, of course, otherwise it could go the wrong way.”
“On Sunday afternoon,” added Belinda, “when Mr Adie said, ‘Make no effort, make a different kind of effort,’ I experienced a freedom and a relaxation. It was probably the closest thing to presence I have known, and it came without the need for what I usually consider to be a serious effort.”
“It’s very interesting, isn’t it?” Mrs Adie said. “It shows how much tension plays a part in you in the ordinary way. There was a big difference in your complete state when you relaxed. So that’s a very important discovery you’ve made; don’t forget it. Anything else you want to ask on what you’ve been saying?”
“It’s such a new beginning of an understanding, but I haven’t arrived at a question.”
“When you do your preparation, do you think you are relaxed?”
“Some days I start the preparation with the aim of relaxation. So, I’m seeing the rising and demise of tension, but there’s a definite difference. My hourly stops are very different also.”
“Your hourly stop? The difference is that you’re more relaxed? It’s the first move, really, to relax and to see what is taking place in my head. What role am I playing? What am I dreaming about? Very interesting, what I dream about, I dream all the time.”
I was quite impressed by the observation. While the Adies were alive Belinda had told me that she had used to suffer from bad headaches, and I think other ailments, which disappeared after she had begun in the group. I can still recall the way she spoke: so affirming, wishing to share her joy. Then, I hear this exchange, and more details emerged. I find her insight that the euphoria which would come upon her was part of the tension, striking. I can see that it was part of an automatic chain set off by the tension: the tension gets so bad that it calls up, as it were, an analgesic effect – and that is the euphoria.
I can also see that the euphoria itself, considered just in itself, could be a tension: a holding. The state of being “high” prevents me seeing what had been causing the tension, or the signs which had accompanied it. It could effectively work as a defensive measure: it is as if the tension has a certain intelligence which strategically summons up the euphoria to maintain us in a low state. After all, being giddy with joy is nothing to seek for its own sake: it is my being, the integration of my faculties into one purposive whole, which a person becoming conscious will aim for.
Joseph Azize, 5 October 2020