The Unsettling State of Separation (Tuesday 8 October 1985, Pt III)

Part One

This continues the report of the meeting of Tuesday 8 October 1985. Ann-Marie said that she had gone to the art gallery yesterday, then went shopping. She had constant reminders, but she felt as if she was alone, not at all part of what was going on with the people milling around. Although she was clearly perplexed, Mr Adie did not view it the same way: “How marvellous, a privileged situation for a moment or two.”

Ann-Marie did not seem to hear, because she immediately added: “And then I went into a pet shop, and before I knew what I was doing, I had bought two birds.”

“Then you were no longer alone,” said Mr Adie. “You had something to identify with.”

“I don’t understand why I bought them.”

“You were identified. That is true. These things which go automatically, live in the wings of the stage, and are always ready to push you out. They were all there, waiting for life, so directly your attention thins down they come crowding in. They want things to be identified with, they want excitement provided. Outside is all excited, they live by being attracted, like a pig run after truffles.”

Ann-Marie now returned to the original observation, showing she had not registered Mr Adie telling her that it had been a fortunate experience: “Why would I feel alone?” she asked. “It was quite intense, this loneliness.”

“Try and understand this was a given moment as a result of work over the weekend, and prior efforts, and it was very good you saw it. A weekend is quite something. It is a food of a certain level; it leaves a trace, and influences you for a time. It will slow down, don’t worry, and the experience will not be the same. But it is very useful to feel alone like that, because you are getting reminders. You have never had such a feeling as that before.”

“Try to understand and use that recollection, it points to a need to be alone, separated. You have two lives. Only if you have two lives can you be related. If I remember myself, and then I want to be related to you, I haven’t got to forget this entirely. Like that, I can speak with you. I can be related with you only if I remember myself. Directly I forget myself, everything changes. Imagination about yourself takes place. I cannot understand anything. The relationship ceases, it’s now just automatic association: for five minutes I dislike you, and for another five minutes I am neutral. That is very valuable. Don’t forget it on any account, because it is something that took place, and which you could not have brought on even if you had wanted to.

Do you understand it like that, now? Good. But I don’t have to be cut off from a human point of view. If I have enough of such experiences, I can remember myself and be related because of that.

Part Two

Such moments of separateness are given. This is why Mr Adie said that Ann-Marie could not have induced it, even if she had wanted to. After much internal work, a personal can bring themselves to a state where there is an analogous state of separation, although I wonder if it would not, in those circumstances, be accompanied by something more like a positive feeling of oneself.

Ann-Marie had a sustained experience of coming to herself which meant that she was no longer identified with what was around her, the sleeping life of the man-machine. But no longer identified, the usual pleasure she took in it was no longer available to her. It was unusual, unaccustomed, and personality reacted fearfully: will things never again be as they were? And in the reaction, she was bowled over, and bought two lower forms of life which she did not want and did not need.

This is part of the reason why people would leave the groups conducted by people like the Adies: not that there was something wrong with the Adies, on the contrary, there was too much right about them. “Awakening” sounds wonderful when it is envisaged as acquiring a power and an influence, but when something in me realises that it must be transformed, effectively to die to itself, it revolts and blames the work as being unnatural, as removing one from life, hostile to what is good, and so on.

Yet, iI think I can say that f we persevere, we find that only in these states of separation do I have the possibility of compassion and hope. Perhaps to keep going in such a situation needs something like faith.

Joseph Azize, 25 April 2020

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