The next question was from Walter, who said: “On Saturday, I had another argument with my wife about money, which is a habit with me, the question of money often produces a negative reaction in me. Yet, I had got up quite early in the morning, and I really wished to have a different attitude that day.
Mr Adie asked: “Did you have an intention to discuss money? Was that part of your preparation?”
“No. I just had an intention to be a little more sympathetic at home and more available and open.”
“Yes, but that’s very broad,” replied Mr Adie. “While it is very good to have it, still you need to have a point of application. What was your pin? What was your turning point? I have to have a point, otherwise I’m in an enormous space. But you hadn’t prepared with the thought: “Now I have to now talk about money.”
“No,” said Walter.
“Then you don’t make the first practical step. And that is it. There are occasions when even our crude mind has uncovered something of the truth. We sometimes pierce through our dreams and our fantasies, and so we come to a certain position; we see that an intelligent effort is needed, but then we don’t even take the smallest practical step.”
“You see, our position is very much like people who come into the work to start with, they hear something, they’ve read something, and they come in keen, willing, and enthused. But while they wish to acquire something, they have no realisation that they themselves have to change. So, they don’t get what is necessary. They come in and engage, but only from personality, and whatever they receive goes to personality, unless by chance something which touches their essential feeling occurs, and we experience a shock.”
“Unless and until there is this deeper response in the feeling, then nothing is taking place; we will only accumulate records of the storing of things. Then due to circumstance, maybe fatigue, maybe a combination of circumstances that work together, personality is temporarily displaced, and something is seen, a connection is made, and then for a moment there is something there that could have some kind of a wish.”
“We’re like that: it’s as if we’re right at the beginning, and have no idea what is necessary. When we speak about these arguments, unpleasantnesses and hurtful things, we don’t seem to understand what is necessary. It’s going to happen again, but please God, if I can make the right choice, it will be less. So now, what practical step can I take? It mustn’t be too far ahead. But it’s really work, it’s a struggle. Evolving being has spoken of the knife edge path, the struggle, the descent to hell and the recovery. But that reality of struggle we avoid, and all that we have learnt and received just goes round about our heads, without any essential work. We have to get down on our knees, and find our own form of opening ourselves.”
“I would like to ask something else,” said Walter. “After that incident, my wife went out with the children and I was left at home. And I realised …”
Mr Adie interrupted: “As you’re speaking, right now, try and speak with a presence, that you hadn’t before.”
“I realised then,” Walter continued, “I had this horrible taste in my mouth that it had happened again and again, and I wished to be quiet and try to understand what had happened.”
“It’s query,” said Mr Adie: “Which aspect are you referring to? Did you want to experience the sensation of this sense of discomfort, to learn from it? Is that what you really wanted? Or was it to feel better? See, you’re already sliding: what did you want: to grow in being or to escape the discomfort?”
After a silence, Mr Adie asked again: “Did you just want to remove the sense of discomfort?”
“No,” said Walter, and he sounded certain.
But Mr Adie saw through this, and asked: “Are you sure?”
Once more Walter sounded certain of himself: “Yes”.
“You wanted to continue this discomfort, did you?”
In a very different voice, Walter said:“I’m not sure what I wished.”
“Exactly, exactly,” Mr Adie agreed. “See what it is. You spoke of being quiet, but if I get quieten before I understand, the danger is that I get comfortable and go to sleep. I’m engaged in a conflict, if I want only to get out of the conflict, I’m sunk at once. But I have to learn a different kind of operation, more difficult than my previous experience. Anybody not in the Work, not having these ideas, is left to conduct their fight in their own way. We have to learn that it’s no good conducting a fight in that way: we have to persevere, but with a deeper understanding of the ideas and the method. We mustn’t pacify ourselves, we have to relax in the presence of the enemy, to have both the angel and devil there simultaneously.”
“I know that. You’ve said that many times,” said Walter.
“I doubt that you do know it. You mean, perhaps, that it’s our work. Yes, it is. But what is a knowledge which I ignore in my actions, or even behave inimically to?”
Walter now agreed: “Yes. Somehow, I don’t understand what to do, what practical steps to take. Maybe it’s because I wished for that comfort.”
“That’s why I asked you, what was it that you really wanted? It’s a challenge. It’s a challenge: you can’t expect to have a thing wrapped up and offered to you. If it were so, we would just remain where we were.”
“And we don’t deserve it either. We are given all we deserve, if wish for more, we must earn it.”
“What do we have? Surely we have all we need, except for the connections which can only be made through conscious efforts. I have my point of view, and my need, and I have the need of others, and the relationships between us, and I have anything else that I can connect. So now I need to work. And for that I need to have bodily experience and feeling, simultaneously.”
Joseph Azize, 1 August 2019