Be Present when you Speak of Working (Tuesday 20 August 1985)

This is from the meeting of Tuesday 20 August 1985. Mr Adie opened it by addressing someone: “I can’t see you very well, move a little to your left, will you?” I can never forget how he would show his care for us as individuals and for the group, by making sure we were sitting to be able to see him, not blocking others out, and not becoming attached to sitting in one comfortable place for meeting after meeting. It is funny how even something so simple as becoming identified with sitting in one particular place can keep us asleep, or at least sleepier than we would have been. And he worked with us to ensure we understood it.

The first question was from Sally, who opened with a rather general comment: “Last Friday, I made an appointment for the evening and I remembered at the time, I found that my personality got in the way, so I failed in what I was trying to do.”  

Mr Adie helped her: “Can you say what you were trying to do in the circumstance” Otherwise it’s rather difficult for us, we don’t know what you’re referring to.”

During in the meal when we talked,” Sally began.

Mr Adie interrupted: “But who was at this meal: was it a family meeting, or lunch with friends or what?”  

 “No, it was people in the work I was having a meal with.”



“And what was your effort?”

“I wanted to not just gas, gas and grumble.I found that I couldn’t just stop this, and I just rumbled on and something horrible took place in my personality. Seeing this and thinking about it later, I couldn’t sort of slide away from it, it helped me with intention from the weekend and I knew that it stemmed from my failure from Friday night.”

I will just pause here: Mr Adie helped her make from a general, impractical observation, something clear and useful.

You could call it a success to have seen that. To see, and to feel that it was horrible, your own word, is what you just needed. Until I get something like that, the impulses are not very strong, but if I see that and I don’t shy away from it, it gives me a strong impulse. That’s good, very good news.”

I found it gave me so much during the weekend,” continued Sally: “I had a two-way attention, which, to a certain extent I maintained during yesterday and today. More so today than yesterday.”  

What you have to realise now is that you have only seen the tip of the iceberg,” said Mr Adie. “There’s a lot more to see. You need to see it and you need to be prepared to see it, and even look for it. That’s how it is, it’s an opening to work.”  

Sally went on: What you said on Sunday, put it in so many words, when you said to be able to begin to put the work first in everything.”

We should be careful when we use the word “work”, and not use it unless we are actualising some degree of effort at that very moment. If we could refrain from using it when it comes up by association and without something inner which corresponds, then that makes us practical towards it. See, otherwise it’s a thought; but if the inner work is taking place, then it isn’t just a thought, it’s the beginning of an act of balance you see. And I could understand that, there is a that reality – work. I should not say it unless it’s taking place, and work can’t take place by itself, it requires attention.”

Mr Adie then turned to Gold and said: “Do try, Golda, not to go to sleep. You come and go to sleep. Don’t be so indulgent. Bring a pin and stick it in yourself. You waste the opportunity. You sit there at the back quietly, sleeping. It’s a weight on the meeting, and it’s false. You’re better off being at home and resting.”

There followed another question which I won’t transcribe: it was similar to Sally’s. But Mr Adie’s reply was this:

Another level of life has appeared at times in daily life, make no mistake. When we speak of putting it first, it’s a question of putting it in order. Because if I am really making an effort, then external life goes better: I don’t make so many ghastly mistakes. But both have to be there, my life on earth, and this life under the stars. If the inner life is there by reason of placing it first, I don’t give up the other. I improve both.”

“I actually begin to touch laws and see this law, because for a second, maybe I put it first, But I can’t hold it like that. I have that intention right, but I must go on with what I’m doing. So, the scene changes, processes go on, then there comes another second, and what has happened?”

“It’s a question of in which order the forces are turning: is it active, passive, neutralising, or passive, neutralising, active? There are six possible orders, but not to get theoretical and philosophical about it, to realise it is taking me towards lawful, and it accords with all the great laws you see, this is the point. I prove that I can have the two lives to a certain extent; and that other life resolves and clears up the whole tangle of impossibilities. It’s unbelievable the difference.”

 Joseph Azize, 6 September 2019

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