Becoming a Conscious Microcosm (16 October 1985, Pt V)

The next exchange on the evening of Wednesday 16 October 1985 was with Kip. He spoke at some length, but the essence of it was this: he inherited some money, which he and his wife had decided they would use to pay off their debts. When he told his wife how he had paid them, she became excited and that irritated something inside him. He tried to “turn aside” from his resentment, dividing his attention between himself and his breathing, yet he remained in the grip of something “private and secretive.” He was shocked to see his own greed, and wished now to be able to use this for his benefit.

“And hers,” added Mr Adie.

Kip agreed, but added that he could not break the grip of this greedy secretiveness.

“Yes,” said Mr Adie, “you want to keep this and keep that. You never really wanted to give anything. It’s like the woman with the yeast. Do you know that parable? She was making yeast. It was rising beautifully. A poor woman came up and asked for some, so this woman broke off a piece for her, but as she was giving it, the yeast swelled up big. She hadn’t intended to give as much as that, so she snipped of some of it, and returned it to the bowl. But as she went to offer the smaller piece, it started to swell up again. Still too much, so she snipped off some more to keep for herself. But the process went on. She could never find a small enough piece to give.”

“I understand,” said Kip.

“This is how we deal with our welcome inheritances, such joyful circumstances. Now from the point of view of the work, what, where does it leave you?  

“It leaves me in a state of, knowing what I want to try to do, but I don’t see how to turn away or to let it go. I’m sort of stuck. It seems to me that I get in the way.”

“That is your mistake. You’re not there. It’s a great mistake. You just aren’t there. You’ve allowed yourself to be swept aside by the person who simply cannot give a big piece of dough, they’ve got to find the tiniest bit for their charitable endeavours. It swells up as yeast will, it’s too big to give, and so back it goes. Very frustrating. How to understand such things?”

There was a pause, then Mr Adie said: “Try and understand it yourself.”

“How do I give them less force?” asked Kip. “I know I’m not going to get rid of them.” (The “them” he was referring to was the greedy I’s inside himself.)

“They take it,” said Mr Adie. “They take it. You don’t give anything. That’s the trouble. You’re not there to give anything. For that, prepare. Prepare to find a genuine serious part, and then make the best effort you can, and then you go and fail. It can’t be helped, but you try and do your best. What more can you do?”

“After all, you’ve brought it and haven’t edged very much forward. It’s where you have to return, where you have to make further efforts. See it as an automatism. You now see some of the monkeys in habiting your knapsack.”

“How to pay, you have to blurt out all the horrible truth whatever it was. The greed for this or that.”

The final question was from Bob. He had seen in himself something that wanted revenge, and which enter into even what he called “minor and peripheral, very minor contacts.”

“If I remember rightly,” said Mr Adie, “you have brought something like this before, and you found that there was no ground for revenge at all. The secret is that there never is. What you experience as a desire for revenge is not objective: it is the result of a whole series of accidents and automatic things.”  

Bob seemed unhappy with that: “But I tried to sort of look at other instants when there was this potential, and in my imagination, in my inner talking there’s a tremendous lot of it. I mean, in the instance, I’m particularly meeting some students that I’m having trouble with … I don’t feel I’ve indulged in it, but it was always there when I saw the character change, it’s almost as if, just for this period anyway I saw the resistance as it were.”

“Well, if you saw it, you probably didn’t manifest in your ordinary way; which would be a very big thing,” said Mr Adie. “What’s going on, I manifest. I may think I don’t, but I do. I can’t help it, there it is, and different people will see and be influenced differently. There it is, there’s a definite difficulty, again there’s a rich, a rich reward connected with that.”

“Yes. In this seriousness that I can experience, I’m moved to an aloneness, but strangely enough, it’s an aloneness which relates me to everything real outside.”

“The essence of it is aloneness. It’s in the direction of a conscious microcosm. It’s an element of a conscious macrocosm. Strange thing you see, I’m alone, I’m separated and yet I begin to be a part of the whole. I begin to experience a sort of unity, and now you see its completely metaphysics, it’s beyond ordinary language, you have to put up with efforts of poets in that way.”

“Well, we will stop there.”  

What Mr Adie touched on about how we have to be alone before we can be connected is a true mystery: a no one cannot be connected, and to be someone means to enjoy some of my potential full individuality, and that will necessarily bring the sensation of my aloneness.


Joseph Azize, 3 October 2019


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