“I Can’t Go to Heaven with my Boots on”, (16 March 1983, Pt IV)

Continuing the reviews, Mr Adie said: Chief features, this is Daphne: “After expressing my anger which usually brings and causes arguments, I lose my force, or thread of any efforts I have been making. I’m left drained and sick inside. It usually has a long affect from twenty four hours to entire weekends, and I feel lost and confused.

Depression, I have attacks of depression and anxiety about not being able to keep up with the people I work with. They are established artists, I am not. This considering flows into my drawings and sculptures and affects my relationship with people at work. I also spend long periods of time in my studio working in a great deal of tension.

Again, you have to choose, you have to choose something specific: what brings this anger, what arouses this beastly mood in you, what arouses it? Many different things. You are neglected, you are expected to do something, something else goes wrong. But now you choose something definite and small, and do it. Insist. Make this a line of work; this is to have a line, and the line can be short or long, but if it’s a short line, then you got to study and find others to fasten on.

And as far as this considering, this heavy considering, it’s no good. As we said on Sunday, it’s no good judging yourself by the other people in the stream, you need to judge by the banks: what does it matter if there’s a boat going up there twice as fast as you? There may be a hundred explanations. What matters to you is, how are you related to the bank? He maybe passing you in the water, but he may be going backwards quicker than you. You won’t know this if you are only comparing yourself to him; you need to keep an eye on the bank, that is objective, that tells you which part of the land you are in.

In other words, it’s a complete illusory existence. Try and find in your art in your studio, and try and find what you can and be satisfied. Don’t say: “I’m not getting what I should, I’m not doing what I should.” Settle for it.

I note Magda: “I notice all the bad features in me, my chief feature is identification.”

Well I think it’s everybody’s chief feature if you like to put it that way. All the time we’re identified more or less, we are bound to be. A ray of light comes, we’re bound to notice it, we can’t help it, and this to a certain extent is the beginning. There has to be something that is called, and that is the beginning of identification. My chief feature is identification, so this really isn’t what we’re after, we’re after a definite malfunction.

Magda continues: “During the day, in one minute, one bad feature, in the next, another one comes up, all representing my false personality, my mechanicalism, my sleeping state.” Yes. Well, that’s the picture. “When I remember myself, at that moment I can see my identification with everything around it.”

Well, when you remember yourself, you can realise that you’ve have been identified, but that moment is the moment that you are slightly more free. No? Do you see how your comment isn’t framed quite right? Perhaps you understand better now? Good.

The question is to make it practical. It’s quite right what you have observed about yourself, but now is the moment to work to change that situation. This is the general situation for all of us. But what are the bad features which you have seen in yourself? You need to name them for yourself, not for anybody else, for yourself. And then choose which most evident or most harmful; definitely, at a specific time, deal with that, try and get free with that. Try and have an unidentified balanced state in relation to that. Where can I go today? And then there is the next day.

This one is from Pravda: “My ordinary life in the past few months has been largely governed by my desire for external doing. I feel more in its grip since my sickness when I have not been in a position to do externally to the extent that I could in the past. I need to find a way to do externally what is necessary without the body continually being under the impulse of being busy with its associated tensions. I need to make the body passive in relation to a higher aim.”

Well, it’s all right, of course. The thing is here, I cannot continue to do, or try to do in the same way and to the same extent and to have the same attitudes and criteria in defining for myself what is necessary.

The question is, what is I wish to do when I do “what is necessary”? I cannot have my old values, my old demands and really arrive. I have to see that something has to go, something has to move in order that something else shall come. In other words, I can’t go to heaven with my boots on, they’ve got come off. Otherwise I just puff myself and do nothing. I need to confront this fact and to choose what can be eliminated in my customary doing. Those things which I recognise are most costly. Select one or two, and concentrate a real effort on those. I cannot change and remain the same, I have to pay.

This is Raelene: “I see how dull my general state is, everything is coloured, seems coloured by this feeling. I have difficulty in accepting my life as it is. I feel very tied to my thoughts, daydreams. I know I must destroy feelings of injustice, self-importance and resentments, as these attitudes take me away from my need, my reality.”

Well, good. That’s a fair statement. Then which of these thoughts, dreams, and which if these senses of injustice do you put as the most important and the greatest obstacle at the moment? Because you have a good array of these, different plans, different categories, different stations of the work before you, different thoughts about somebody what they ought and haven’t. All over the place. Things which are a bother or a nuisance. Things which you would like and can’t have. All these injustices. Different degrees of frequency and different strengths of attraction. You have to come to one that you consider most important and the greatest obstacle at the present. Then, because they all link to one another, you have one which serves as a key, and the others are all available for my work. They are waiting to join up by association, because they take place in an artificial centre; this is a centre of tension where my energy is destroying me, and they’re all connected. So I only have to have one and then all the others get going. I want to select one, what seems important now, so that you may start to take actual measures to pacify it and overcome it.

Joseph Azize, 10 November 2019

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