“Animate yourself, your Contribution to the 29th”

This was the final question from the meeting of Tuesday 2 October 1988.

Alexandria said: “I had an impression during the movements tonight Mr Adie. During “The Circles” we have an up and down movement with the eyes. It was pointed out to me that I wasn’t looking up high enough, and when I heard that, I lifted my gaze higher. Then the text came to me, “I lift my eyes up onto the Lord when I call for help,” and I suddenly realised I didn’t know what that meant. But there was a feeling in it, that I can use, it seems akin the posture, the idea that if I raise my sights more as possible.”

“Certainly,” replied Mr Adie. “Man’s body is full of gesture; the face is full of gesture. There are all sorts of history written on faces: people with great tension here, furrows here, wrinkles there, all sorts of things, can be written on a face. Two people can raise their eyes in the same direction, and yet it will be in two completely different ways. This is something that people can observe; for example, if there’s a moth on the ceiling and someone raises his eyes, you receive one impression. But the same raising of the eyes with the feeling “Lord Have Mercy,” brings a difference which is quite clear. Or take the raising of an arm: if I do so to call a cab, an onlooker would receive one impression; but if I raise it wanting to receive a signal, a sign of reception, another impression. And in all these cases someone watching understands, correctly, that the inner state of the one making the posture or gesture is different.”

“This is central to movements, because they are not just callisthenics. If we could only study the movements, see how many different gestures are possible, how significant an impulse can be, how it makes the feet move, influencing their firmness or lack of firmness, lightness, or speed, and how all the arms move. And how I might move the arm, with some awareness, but then the back of my thumb is stuck out like that, without intention, and it spoils the whole story.”

After a pause, he added: “Yes, I certainly want to raise my sights, generally. The verse you want is, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills whence cometh my salvation.” That’s the intention.” {This, incidentally, is from Psalm 121.}

Mr Adie then said: “More work is wanted. Why is it, ask yourself, why is it you do not have more life? See, fourteen out of all you have not spoken. It doesn’t look like there’s much pressure of work here. Yet, you have unique opportunities here: you have got a chance of comparison, of being helped to confront your own observations, but when you go out of here, your chance is gone.”

“If we are to be a group, then for any comparison, any exchange, the proportion of those speaking and those not speaking has to be right. If one or two more of you would speak there would be more to share. Those who did speak tonight received something. Of course, you can’t speak every time, but the proportion isn’t right. If the same people always speak, or if it is usually the same people who speak, and the same who do not, it is a weight on the meeting.”

“Some people don’t speak until there’s something nice to say and that’s no good at all. Others don’t speak because somehow they haven’t been working, then they hear someone speak and that shows that there has been work, so they sort of disappear in self-accusation, and that’s how it goes. I mustn’t be negative, I really must speak from my own position.”

“At this weekend, between now and our next meeting we will be observing Mr Gurdjieff’s anniversary. Try and animate yourself and bring something as a contribution, but it mustn’t be false, after all the only contribution wanted is the result of work. Difficulties of the work, or something that has been gained or seen: that’s what we live on.”

Although this has already been published on this site, I think it is worth pasting here, as it relates to the Movements:

“Mr Adie”, said Andrea: “this evening I’ve seen a person inside me that really likes drama and confusion. In the movements that was happening, a thought came, now is the moment to work, when we were all confused about something.”

“What you were experiencing there follows from what happened during the movements class. See, people were asking, “What about this and what about that” which does not correspond to what is required in the movements. In a real group working at the movements, such behaviour is quite impossible. This was a movement given at a certain time, and if people had practised it, they would remember their little piece, and their work would help others. If the person in the file next to me is working then they help me, even if the posture they take is not the one I do: but I sense their work, and then I recall myself, and with that I recall the posture. But to stop the class and ask Mrs Adie, what should I do, and what should they do there, should not be necessary. There are a hundred different movements and some of them are very complicated, how could it be possible to enquire not only for myself but for others too, and to make suggestions?”

“That is not the way to work in the movements. In the movements generally the way is to watch. If I am present and pay attention, I will be shown what’s necessary. Of course you were trying to help, and succeeded in getting your part right, but the way to find the right movement is from a different place, with a different attitude.”



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