In Love with our own Descriptions (Thursday 11 March 1982, Pt III)

Once more, the questions came back to “aim.” This transcript has helped me to realise, to make real to myself, how helpful it is to come to this questions before beginning any morning preparation or any exercise. It brings seriousness and focus to any effort. The next exchange was with Shane, who said: “Mr Adie, what you spoke of about starting with the mind and thinking about your aim, I rarely do.” 

 Mr Adie clarified: “Rarely”, meaning “not often”?

Not often at all, no.”

 “Rarely” is very rarely “rarely”. Practically never. Go on.”  

“For example, on Tuesday after I sat, I decided to try and come to myself when I met a fellow I practised music with. Sometimes I’m critical of his wife, who often hangs about. I remembered when I arrived there, and I came to myself a little bit, but it didn’t really go past that. I knew I had to do something, but there wasn’t any purposeful aim behind it and it didn’t have any strength.”

 “It was something,” replied Mr Adie, “it’s a beginning. But I have to work on this need to realise my own existence, my own being fact and the quality of it. Am I obliged to lose everything and disappear in another second? Am I obliged to? Could I not do these things more or less as I do, but not entirely as I do? Can I not reserve something? Again, I have to have some understanding what is possible, otherwise I arrive at such a situation, and it hasn’t got any meaning.”

“I need to understand that the meaning is in the very fact that I have arrived at a moment when I feel myself present before an inner choice: here it is. So, there’s the significance, in that fact. But I look beyond it, and I don’t realise it’s a question of the inner experience.”

“If a person has ever been in love, or thought that they have been, they have some memory of an overwhelming inner state. Their knowledge of arithmetic, their ability to ride their bicycle, the capacity to do these things, all of these an coexist with this extraordinary state, the state of their being with some kind of emotional intensity. There is an experience of feeling, something of that kind, not all mixed up with words; something as well as all the words, if you like. There’s all the rest of life, the plans and so on, but as well, as that there’s this feeling.  Mmm?”

“We need feeling, some kind of inner experience of reality. So, when you get to that moment, the meaning is just to be there. And that’s not nothing. I need to understand that second, if I could understand that moment and see the tremendous gap between the values of a person who has some kind of an aim, and the nothing values of an aimless person.”   

 The next exchange was with Rick. I have edited out some of his nervous interjections, but left it most of the comments and questions are included to give context to Mr Adie’s comment about not falling in love with our own descriptions.

Mr Adie, in the beginning of the recess I came to see how much I am lost in fantasies and seeking approval.”

 “That’s false personality and considering and -”  

It strike me particularly as a pathetic life.”

Like a dog running and everyone patting it on the back.”

Some time after that, I don’t know exactly how or when I found a state or an attitude that I filled the autonomous where I am striving for good opinion of others.” 

“What do you mean by “autonomous?”


“Reliant on which self?”

Rick paused, then said: “I’m not quite sure.”

No, maybe that’s a long way off, but there are representatives of truer selves. I pulled you up there because to be “autonomous”, I need to know I’m there to a certain extent. This is what you’re after, some degree of choice. That implies some power of fulfilment. To be able to choose, to be able to refrain from doing, is a very great power of a very advanced person. It’s almost a mark of a master, one who is able to not to do. Do you see what it means?”

The state was very alien to me, there were things in it which I have never experienced before.”

That’s not “alien”, that’s “new”, because there’s a suggestion of centrality of understanding in what you’re saying. What you came up with was certainly not “alien”, it  was welcome. It was different, yes, new, fresh, but not “alien”. “To alienate” is “to put in the distance”, instead of that, there was something becoming realised, centralised. But you must get the words right because if you talk like that you think like that.”

I understood a different meaning of “alienate”.”

 “How do you understand it?”

Rick could not say. Mr Adie invited him to say if there was anything else.

I did some experiments in my daily job working in this state,” said Rick. “I usually find that people often show me the leniency that one shows a child and don’t take me seriously. I found when I was talking to them in this state, I found that their attitude was different, they took me seriously. I was free from the striving of the good opinion of other people. I also noticed the tension in my jaw a thickness in my brow that always accompanied it. Then one night a month or so ago, I was sitting in my room and I remembered to try and call my presence. A very strong presence came with me and I saw all the qualities I had found in that state of automaton, like self-initiative and self-reliance with it there was a capacity to care for other people.”

Such moments can contain all sorts of possibilities,” said Mr Adie. “The question is what takes place, because I have to try to be present to that and then to the intervening and much longer periods. It’s possible for the influence of that to be with me to a certain extent, but if I expect that when I’m talking to people, it may elude me.”  

 “Still …” Rick uttered this word, but then petered out.

 “What is the question?”

I have found this desire of mine, this compulsion in me to …” and again he just ran out of speech.

No, no, come to your question. What is your question?”

I have found this compulsion to fantasise where I win approval. It’s in every observed incident, it’s what took away my state of presence when I could find it.”  

It’s not quite right, it doesn’t exactly take away the state of presence,” said Mr Adie, “there’s no presence there. It prevents it. In that condition there I’m identified like that, externalised, fastened outside by these compulsions. There is no presence. I’m just an automaton. If I see that strongly enough, then something is central, and that central something can begin to aggregate itself, and solidify for a second or two, and begin to make something towards presence. But you haven’t told me your question.”

I feel when I’m able to be present…”

 “Will you ask a question now, because you bring many good observations, but what is your question?”

 “I need help struggling against this compulsion to dash out because …”

 “How to resist it?”


You have to see it in its absurdity. You have to be there to a certain extent while it is there. Otherwise you are only theorizing, you have got to be there on the spot. Try and bring self-remembering into that and see it. Just because you’ve seen it once or twice is not enough, you want to be there more. You noticed they treated you differently, well continue, but see that you don’t fall into another form of considering trying to get them to treat you differently.”

“Here’s the ground. Use it, and don’t let yourself into too much into explanations, how and what. Otherwise you’ll get in love with your descriptions, and it starts to get into personal psychology again. I had to ask you three or four times what the question is each time you start speaking. You follow?”


 “You do? Good. It’s a very, a very critical course that we have to try and follow. We have to work in the conditions that we find ourselves in. Every kind of trickery joins in any good thing. See, my emotions are not pure, there’re all mixed. This is what “impure emotions” mean, it means that they’re mixed. So, every second I’m liable to be assailed with some self-satisfaction and that leads me to sleep.”

Joseph Azize, 17 July 2019

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