The Miser’s Gift (16 March 1983, Pt V)

The next note was from Abigail: “I find the exercise on pondering on my chief fault or feature very rich in results. The main thing that appeared was its needs to be liked and approved of.”

“You want to be careful,” said Mr Adie, “because you want to realise you get sucked into that void, so, although it isn’t you, all your force is gone. You can’t put it aside and say it’s just an “it,” like that. All these swords are two-edged, it would be equally wrong to say “I”, because that would give it strength. You follow?”

“Yes,” replied Abigail.

“You really do? It continues: “The main thing that appears is that its need is to be liked and approved of, at every rebuff, it retreats, dislikes or annihilates the other person; it worries about antagonising others, but not for a legitimate reason.”

“You mean it fears that it won’t get its percentage? “A framework of considering has grown around this central theme. That leads to its being solaced by self-indulgence.”

“Central theme,” well. But the thing is the self-indulgence, isn’t it? You go to the bottle, that’s a good picture. It’s a definite thing you have seen. “I saw also that though the work, the work weekend movements, that through these I had other knowledge of the concept of life. I see this concept as alien to the part which needs approval. I see it as best to conduct myself in a way expecting other people as human beings. I need to work to be present, to manifest in this way.”

“Then what, in a simple word are the main faults of my personality? Which of these constitutes my chief feature from all those? What is it? I need to be wrestling with this question, so that I may concentrate my work upon it before passing onto others. You have put many ideas and insights down here, haven’t you?”


“Then which is the one to engage you? Maybe you’re not right in saying it’s the worse. Choose something, choose what seems to be the most critical for you.”

“This is Sam: “What I feel to be my main area of current difficulty, is in obtaining a degree of separation from the momentum of my working life. Difficulty in obtaining a degree of separation from the momentum of my working life.”

“Then the question there is, what actual step is available to me, to make one upward movement towards this freedom, what is available? Very difficult. Very. I tell myself I can’t, but there is some step, which one?”

“It has to be specific, I cannot accept that that nothing in me is willing. I am very much identified with the fulfilment of the task I have in life. Very identified, and therefore very, very expensive.”

“You see, what you say here is important, all the way through is the words you use, because it indicates certain attitudes. Do I realise that this is not of my own choice, my way of life, but something put upon me? It’s not your choice, it’s something put upon you. Life has handled you like it has handled everybody else. I’m very much identified with the fulfilment of the task I have in life. The need for this fulfilment does have a basis, its basis is conscience towards the responsibilities I have undertaken.”

“But what we know, from day to day, is something that has been on me, and the conscience we know isn’t a real conscience; it’s “conscience” in inverted commas.”

“I accept that I have been compelled,” said Sam.

“Yes, you, do. But at the same no you don’t. I say one thing but I contradict it in my action and sometimes even in my words. It would be so valuable for you to only see this but also to feel it. You also wrote: “How I teach includes an element of considering, so far as I value the respect of my peers. And I value an imagine of myself as a teacher and scientist.

“Alright,” asked Mr Adie, “who are your peers?”  

“I mean in my ordinary work,” replied Sam.

“Yah, and you really have peers? I doubt it. I’m always a little better than anybody else. But, you see, you’re using the language of the marketplace, the ordinary life. That is your language, and this is instinct with values. This is terribly critical for you, if you could follow, this is absolutely critical. It could be marvellous, because you have go on: “I value an image of myself as teacher and scientist.”

“Of what value is this image, and who gets the value? It hasn’t got value of that kind at all. It will bleed you and not give you what is life at all; it can actually suck you dry.”

I see my effort as being able to carry out my life work without losing everything else in the process.” See, this is very temperate, it’s very equivocal, what single thing are you prepared to lose? Ask yourself, what really would you wish to chop off a little bit?”

“It’s like the woman with the yeast, when the beggar comes. She’s making yeast you see, and she picks up a little bit for the beggar. By the time she goes to hand it to the beggar, it’s a great big piece, so she puts it back again and takes another little piece, and again before she can give it over, it expands and becomes a big piece. She keeps on putting it back because it’s too big to give.”

I see my effort as being able to carry out my life work but without losing everything else in the process.” Then you could be free, and maintain some energy for your inner work, but how much? A little bit, No, that’s too much, just a little bit … how much am I really prepared to pay? And then, when I have achieved this at times for brief periods, something starts to crystallise. But it’s an effort that has to be constantly renewed.”

“I will add here, the great obstacle to understanding is the use of the language of the marketplace, like this, in these terms. You are in the labyrinth of the lies of the world under the sun, the vanity of vanities. Now, it’s the language of the market place, but what language would correspond to speech of the teacher and scientist?”

Joseph Azize, 12 November 2019

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