Mr Adie on the need to Practise the Movements

This is from a group meeting of 1 April 1986. A young man reported that in the Movements class earlier that evening, the way he took a movement had been corrected. He saw inside himself a reluctance to take the posture as given. In fact, he added, there was an arrogance, as if he knew better.

 “Yes, it’s very good you bring that, but you don’t practise the Movements do you?” asked Adie.

 “Very rarely.”

 “Everybody should practise them: it’s beneficial. You find something you don’t do well, you try and practise it. It doesn’t matter if you practise it wrong, because the fact you try and practise it will pay off when you come again. Even if you practise it wrong, in two seconds you can find the difference. I only asked you because your movements were bad tonight. They’re not so wonderful anyway, but tonight they showed that you don’t practise.”

 “Certainly, it’s a question of the significance of the Movement. Tonight there was this marvellous Big Prayer. No one really understood the significance of it, although some people did feel a little about it. That didn’t necessarily make their body right, although it helped. All these positions have a meaning. But you see how this self-importance can get in the way of feeling and understanding that?”

 Nothing was said for a moment, then Mr Adie continued: “But that opportunity to work may not ever return. That manifestation won’t suddenly disappear on its own, but it may never reappear in that way. So be ready for the next chance to work, and be grateful for it.”

 “What you can be sure of is that when you are not in a good state you cannot receive instruction. When you make a good preparation, return to that. Don’t let those observations go. You have a knowledge from tonight. Don’t let it go. Experience it. I mean, be serious. Acquaint yourself with these manifestations.”

I will just add that my own understanding of the Movements keeps changing. Gurdjieff said that they were like books. I think that that must mean that while we can never simply express their meaning in words, they possess a content. It may well be that only certain centres can benefit from that content. Even the formatory apparatus would gain from being put back into its rightful place. I am sure that the Movements also affect the connection between centres, or at least between certain centres: and I wonder whether different movements may not speak to different aspects of the centres and to different connections. That is a part of my experience, but then my experience is limited. There is much to be discovered here.

 Joseph Azize, 11 September 2016

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