This completes the report of the Combined Meeting of 2 August 1978. Gertrude asked Mr Adie: “I have a question about the right way to think about things around me in ordinary life. I do a lot of formatory thinking, I was applying ideas of the work in ordinary things that I saw, and it is really wrong.”
“Yes, said Mr Adie: “formatory thinking does legitimately take part in our ordinary cogitations, but it can take too large a part. Is that what you mean? How applying them? For instance, if you were buying a chop, how do you do you apply it there?”
“No, I don’t mean that.”
“Yet the quality of my being and my thought is important even there. If I am not there, I may select this one for the wrong reason, or I get all tense, upset the butcher and go off with two instead of three. [Laughter] There’s every possibility. What’s your example?”
“In studying psychology, and determinism [quite lengthy passage not transcribed] and other things, and sometimes I take ideas from the work and just dump them on the subject.”
“Yes, that’s the important thing, not to liberate work ideas like that, into ordinary psychological discussion. No, let us guard what we have got. We have to take these courses run by madmen, and obtain certificates and degrees. If we bring in these ideas we shall fail the exam. Not very practical.”
(Gertrude then asked a very lengthy and rather convoluted question.)
“We don’t want an endless discussion,” said Mr Adie. “I don’t think you’ve got a real example there, have you? Try and crystallise it. That is important, because you see we are a large family here, and must have some thought for the others.”
Hamish then said: “Mr Adie, about two nights ago I was reading In Search of the Miraculous, and I tried to stop and be present, and think about it. And I found that all my thoughts were not mine. I couldn’t think of anything that didn’t come from something else.”
“Ah, you want to be careful there. The process could be yours. The ideas, no, you’re quite right. You receive all ideas. They were always there. But you are responsible for your own inner process, in which case you could receive ideas. And in a way they are your ideas then, because you actualise them inside you. What you call a supremely subjective experience, a real one, but subjective. You actualise it inside you, you see. So in that case it’s you, but they’ve always been there. You’re quite right. How could people “invent” mathematics or music? They couldn’t. But they could make experiments. The harmonies all exist by law.”
“But it’s a good realisation, that you try and remember myself, and then you realise that all these ideas are coming to you. But here is where consciousness makes a huge difference: you receive them and you can know that you receive them, so they accidentally become yours at that moment. It isn’t exactly what you asked, it’s more than you asked.”
Dennis then asked a question about a walking exercise which had been given, and how he noticed that he was holding his breath.
“Ah, yes. You’ve already noticed that. That’s very important. Try to relax and not interfere with the breath. Try and let the head attention not interfere with the rhythm of the breathing. You see, the breathing will correspond – in a certain manner – to the walking. The walking uses a certain amount of energy. If you run, you need more air, and you breathe more quickly. Well, this adjustment is not your concern. You are concerned not to clog the ways and be tense. When I observe it, I need to be very relaxed. Relax the eyes, Dennis, it will seem to muddle your thought for a second, because it is taking force away from your head, and then it can go to your being. Try.”
“I am glad you brought this question, because some people are doing this assisting exercise, and are receiving a great deal from it. Some of us are seemingly receiving less, perhaps, but there are still some who aren’t doing it at all. People receive it in different ways, and we receive differently, but go on and use it because force is obtainable.”
“Force is obtainable. For use in our preparation and in our work. So for that reason alone it is worth doing. But do not allow yourself to be given something like that, and not use it. Bring questions about it. It may appear obvious, but then you will find that all sorts of new alternatives begin to suggest themselves. There are many interesting new relations possible between our parts. There are five centres, each centre has a positive and a negative, each part has its own three parts: active, passive and neutralizing. And each of those again is divided, and they actually operate! So there are a great many alternatives of experience. We begin to come to some of those relations if we work, and the connections between these parts are not equally good. If I stumble upon a poor connection between parts that can illuminate a great deal for me.
I omit a few questions which related to the exercise. But the end of Mr Adie’s answer to this one was interesting: :How often we come to a meeting, and suddenly we realise that all along we have had a vital question. We suddenly see its importance, but when we leave the meeting, we do nothing further about it. This is a proof that we touch something of a higher level when we are together. And this is what we must not throw away by mixing it up with ordinary relationships. We must try and guard this a little bit, even if just for a few minutes. This is a substance, there is a definite substance we share.”
The next question again related to the exercise. There was a bit of to-and-fro, but what I think can fairly be reported from Mr Adie’s responses is this: “If you put your attention on your arm, you receive an impression of the arm, as a lawful return for the direction of your attention. You turn the beam of your attention on your arm, and you receive a sense impression. Mmm? Good. Now what? If you work that way you will find what you want, without anyone needing to tell you.”
Mrs Adie then said: “You try to be open And then impressions come in from outside, added to the impression of the sensation of your arm.” To this Mr Adie chipped in: “Added to the total awareness of yourself. Your total awareness of yourself is itself an impression.”
In answer to another question about the preparation, Mr Adie said: “You cannot measure the opposition before you begin your preparation, but that does not matter. When you sit down you have an intention: that is all that matters. The opposition depends on many things, some of which you know and some of which you do not. This is your unique possibility of working. See what works, try many times, and be scientific about it. Take, say, seven long preparations and make a note and see. What happens?”
“You seek a fine balance, and maybe you get identified with that, but you notice that you became identified with this very effort. You find that out. Don’t forget the niyat (intention) of the Sufi practice. Before they pray they have to know which prayer, whether they will make the repetitions, and they have to keep within that. So, before you sit down, you try and have your mind clear. Have a concept of what is possible, and try. In the absence of any more questions, we will stop.”
Then someone raised his hand, to which Mr Adie said: “He always asks at the end of the meeting. Okay, what?” Eddie then asked how we can use sex for our work. Mr Adie quipped: “That’s a good question to ask at the end of our meeting.” Everyone laughed, and Mr Adie continued: “Well, you have already been told tonight. The essential thing is not to forget that we are brothers and sisters in the work. The first question really is your aim. Sex is a force, a tremendous force. How can one use any force? If you could remember yourself a bit, if you could control your manifestation a little bit, then you could commence to use it. But perhaps this is not your question. How would you propose to use it? How would you like to use it?”
“What I find is that often after sex I feel very relaxed, and very free flowing,” said Eddie.
Mr Adie replied: “Well that’s nothing special. After a good meal you feel very full and relaxed. After going to the lavatory you feel light and relaxed.”
“It’s the same thing. Sex is the same as everything else. You cannot increase that feeling, neither can you diminish it: it’s there. So? A person could come to believe that they must have sex before a preparation, and invent theories about it. When you ask a question like that, it’s like the sex they talk about in books. There’s no such sex. Try and understand how you speak about it.”
After a brief pause, Mr Adie quipped once again: “He wishes he hadn’t asked it now.” Again, there was a deal of laughter.
“You do not use it, you are used by it,” he continued in a more serious vein. “That is sex for you. Work on the three centres: moving-instinctive, emotional and intellectual. Leave sex until a lot later. You will notice that, if you are negative, sex relations are not much good, but then neither is anything else. What you can say about sex you can say about almost anything.”
“Sex exists between everybody, there is sex between every single person here, in a minute or in a greater degree. To use sex, I would have to be a man, would I not? To use anything, I would have to be a man, but you want to use sex, the most difficult of the lot. I don’t see that I am used by sex, and made to do absurd things. I am sure that hasn’t satisfied you.”
“You ask: how can I use sex, and you ask as if everyone knew what we were talking about. But this is not so: what is sex for you? Going to bed for an hour? Sex is all the time. Until we can see that it is always operating in us, our view of it must be a partial, keyhole one.”
“Your chief mistake is that you ask how you can use it, but you can’t use it. The first question is to be present, and then maybe I can see and study. Then I will understand that as I am I cannot use it. Ah, now this is interesting! Can you use emotional force? No, you’re completely at the mercy of your emotions. Can you use the force of your thought? Hardly at all, the thoughts arise.”
“In the absence of “I” there is no question of using anything at all. That is what was good about your question, it is an impossible one unless “I” and responsibility enter into it. But in future, ask your difficult question at the beginning. You will get a much more sympathetic answer.”
Joseph Azize, 4 May 2018 (This art is from a museum in Qatar)