“Nothing Can Help except Myself,” Mrs Adie (25 October 1983, Pt II)

This is the next report from the meeting of Tuesday 25 October 1983 with Mrs Adie. Jim spoke at length, but the essence was: “Sunday was quite a hard day. I wasn’t getting that much from it. but I was trying, then I spoke in the evening, and I got a lot from that. When I left, I realised that I gained more than I thought. Monday and today, that’s been strengthened. I don’t really know why it helped me so much. I saw two kinds of different efforts on Sunday. The way that I’ve understood it is, being present is one kind of effort, then remembering to divide the attention is more. But there is some confusion in not really being able to correlate it all.”

Mrs Adie listened, patiently, and replied: “Don’t take away from the simplicity: something can be difficult, but not complicated. I complicate things by thinking about them where I should be making the effort. A genuine effort doesn’t allow space for thought about it, or looking for results.”

“It’s the words “divide my attention” which perhaps get in the way. I have to find my attention first on myself, then I put it on the self, listening to people. It’s very difficult listening to people, it’s one of the most difficult things. It is one of the most difficult things to divide attention. For moments you can do it, but you start off with attention on yourself. You can’t take it exactly and put it there, but you also have attention for what’s going on, you try to hear it. It’s just a sort of faint echo of this presence, I can maintain, on and off, broken maybe.  In fact, every now and again, I come across a moment when it suddenly becomes clear, but I can hear just as well. If I try too hard in the wrong way I don’t hear what’s said, because there are words going on in my head about what I’m trying to do. It’s a very subtle effort, but it’s very simple effort too: I always complicate everything.”

“Any occupation in which the head is involved is always the most difficult, because the division is partly in the head too. Somehow or other, whenever I make any kind of efforts, a part of my head is always commenting on it. This takes the attention from me and from what I’m trying to pay attention to.”

The next question was from Pablo. I have transcribed it at some length because in itself it shows how people could find such insights working with the Adies: “In the last two weeks I’ve had very bad vibes at work … my outside life has been quite a mess. I got into sort of a pattern where, I put on my work face when I went to work, I put my home face on when I got home, and when I came here, I had a new sort of face. Although I did a preparation in the morning I really didn’t work during the day. But today, after my preparation, my aim was to see my identification with thoughts and how they take me. During this morning I was suddenly aware that I did have presence, that I was more collected, and I was just there for the first time in weeks. I suddenly realised that this sort of circle I had been making for myself over so many weeks was largely doing, trying to do something, as opposed to just relaxing and being. And so the whole day was very different. I had a meeting with some people, and I was asked to speak, and I respectfully spoke with them, I had some presence and was able to do it without any problem.”

“Nothing can help, except myself, of course,” replied Mrs Adie. “There has to be an effort. You say that somehow your life changes. It does seem to happen that way, where things are easier although you didn’t make any particular effort. But that is already in the past, and there is no profit in wondering about it. The thing is, it’s not going to remain like that by itself.”

“What is it that persuades us, sometimes, to make effort? I can understand the need for it in my head, but I have no feeling. Then I always want to do something very big in any moment when I start. So, how do you feel now about tomorrow?”

“I’m sure I’ll find what the effort needs to be, I think the problem is my effort is lost.”

“Some effort is forceful,” replied Mrs Adie. “I can be quietly impressed in myself, and without thinking about it, pay attention, be awake in my head to what is going on, to what I have to do, to be relaxed inside as well as well as my body, to accept all the people that I have to deal with. They are as they are, they can’t help it, they don’t mean any harm.”

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