When the Time Comes, I Can’t Pay (16 October 1985, Pt II)

The second question on the evening of Wednesday 16 October 1985 came from Anna who said: “This week I began to see, how unsuitable my behaviour due to my lack of seriousness. I’m seeing clearly how poor my behaviour is.”

“Yes, but be careful,” said Mr Adie. “The observation is good, but ‘poor’ from what point of view?”

“From the work point of view.”

“Yes,” said Mr Adie,  “you see, you haven’t been working. Alright, well then, you were just behaving as if you hadn’t heard of the work.”

“I saw clearly I saw clearly how this must have affected my relationship with my son.”  

“Yes, they can’t respect you like that because you manifest any old how, as they themselves do. So, yes, that’s good. But now, I can ask you, ‘So what?’ You see, this isn’t a confessional. Yet, speaking helps you to be free in this atmosphere because we’re all carrying this kind of problem. We all have a recollection of this kind of problem, past manifestations. Because we’re in it together we’re not overcome by it and we’re not identified with it. Therefore, under this circumstance, what is now possible?”  

“I’m not really sure where to go on from here, I can see it and you’ve spoken to me about it before.”

 “The thing is, then, to recognise the circumstance and listen, and you have to do something for yourself afterwards. Listen to everything, pay attention, then there’s material. Is there anything worthy to note afterwards, to remind you or what? It’s your work, if you’re serious. Are you serious enough for that? There has to be payment. We can’t get anywhere without paying for it. We all started with the work thinking we could have it for free. You can’t. If I’m serious I’ll pay, I’ll pay by doing something it doesn’t want to, I’ll pay by facing my difficulty, but if I’m not willing to pay like that, I can’t expect any change. But the payment is not easy. It may seem too much, and then that’s it.”

“Do you understand about that kind of payment? I make a resolve, that I will make an effort at this time, but when the time comes, oh, somehow, I can’t remember. In any case I want this drink, I want to read this, or do this, and so I’m not willing to pay. I have to give up something to fulfil my intention. That’s where seriousness will come in; enough to make the effort. There can be a total realisation that one is there, now, with some reality. It is a serious moment.”

“Joy coupled with seriousness. It’s very difficult to imagine, isn’t it? We can only think of joy as being associated with balloons going up and whistles blowing and rockets, or fuss of some sort. Shouts and cries and screams and smiles. Joy. And seriousness.”

The next question was from Didi, who said: “I have been planning efforts in my everyday life, each day differently, to stop or to watch how I move my left hand, how I move, anything to bring me to myself. The idea was so that I could remain a little, to have myself and to remain as you said at Sunday work. I found, that I did get this sort of. If I said the words inside, I seemed to have an echo, as if I did remain. Even so at night, when following the advice of writing down the failures after the planned day, I saw that there were so many of them.”

 [I have left in so much of what she said because it is a good example of the sort of simple practical efforts people were making with the Adies]

“Times when you didn’t remain?” Mr Adie asked. “So, you have to be careful. What you say now is very important, because you just said, you remain. Now, you come to the need to write down times when you did not remain, when you failed, but had been trying to, to a certain extent.”

“There were still failures.”

“At times. Be careful. Scrutinise what you say. When you say you remain, you must modify it in some way. How long did you remain, on one memorable occasion? It’s serious when we speak here, even more serious than outside. Otherwise we lie, and then it’s very difficult for us, we create a terrific obstacle, something that we’re bound to shrink from later.”

“Don’t think that I’m accusing you of lying, but try and understand what I’m trying to convey. Don’t let yourself slip into saying something, that if you think about it afterwards, you’ll find wasn’t right. The fact is, that we all talk terribly sloppily and without care, and even now when we try to be careful it’s very often not enough, you see. I want to save you from some stupid backlash. So, as a result of this watching your movement and how you made the movements, you found that you had a greater sense of continuity.”

“Yes, and I had other plans, not only with movements.”

“Yes, because of this you had a more sense of continuity. This is the justice of saying, when you remain, this is what you meant.”

“Yes. It’s wrong to say I remained, I see that now.”  

“Yes, well, but you did have more sense on continuity.”   

“And a sense of myself, as if I could see myself.”

“Certainly. I see myself that in flashes. And you also had a sense of continuity. Do you understand what I’ve been trying to convey about the importance of speaking without introducing any exaggeration or misconception?”  


“Good. There’s a tendency to get hooked up to my words and not want them challenged at all. I have to be free from anything, I can’t afford to be grabbed by affirmation or anything, and I must be free now to a certain extent. But now, watch how your mind works. There is always identification. It’s like a kaleidoscope inside. Yellow touches yellow, and that makes a connection, and a couple of red ones join in, and it shoots up, and changes again, it’s all going on. Things of equal weight, things of equal tendency, pluses and minuses which attract each other, all sorts of, accidental, automatic materials, and processes.”

“Maybe I could plan for shocks. I should have thought that intentional suffering would involve in planning for shocks. I plan to do something, when the time comes there’s a lot of obstruction, then I see what I planned for, how am I going to do it, it’s all opposition. It could be a sort of shock or jolt or, there’s a chance there. I put a signpost there I’m so blind I don’t notice it even when I bump into the signpost.”

“But again, to come back and experience, without words, the reality of our own seriousness that we’re still sitting here together, this must mean something which can’t be put into words but, there’s no argument about it, it’s taking place. It’s like an event, this is an event, surely there’s a number of people together. It’s an event, how in this event am I?”

“Then life: two lives, one event after another. Wonder, amazement, and all sorts of things, and not only that: fear and horror if I know it and see it. The possibility of being really serious and knowing it opens something to us. If I’m really serious then I will make the payment, then I have to find the moment when I’m not serious, and that has to be faced. I see how I get taken, I see my old friend, and I go and disappear. In a trice, I’m gone. But it shouldn’t be obligatory, it may even be associated or connected with work, in which case it could be the cause of helping me to see this impression of self-seriousness again. What would happen if Mr Gurdjieff walked into this room?”

Joseph Azize, 26 September 2019

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