Obtaining Permission to Speak of Another (Sunday 5 March 1989)

This is an interesting exchange from the meeting of Sunday 5 March 1989. I provide it mainly to show something of the principles of the exchange. I have had to edit Mervyn’s comments, because they wandered about a little more than appears here.

Mervyn:   Early after lunch my partner was in a sort of jovial mood and –

Mr. Adie:   Well, you’ll have to ask him if you’re free to speak. You can’t speak about somebody without their willingness.

Mervyn:   I see. Well, it, the …

Mr. Adie:   Did you get his agreement, to be free to talk about him?

Mervyn:   Well, I haven’t, but it, that’s not, the fact that he was jovial was not necessary to what I was going to say that there was.

Mr Adie:   Well, anybody can find out who your partner was. Perhaps you can risk it, but it would be better if you out what you want to say in a simpler and more direct form.

Mervyn:   I seem to notice that there was something in me which resisted expressing emotion or feeling, and it seemed to be the sort of fear or a fear of expressing feeling.

Mr. Adie:   Yes, but what was the feeling? Disagreement or surprise or embarrassment or what? You see why the warning exists don’t you? Because you may not be up to expressing feeling. Was it a negative emotion that you’re afraid of? In that case it is perhaps better not to express it. We have to be very careful.

Mervyn:    Yes. A bit later in the day, when my experience with a certain task had been called into question before we had actually begun the task. I realized that as at the moment that it was something which my self-will it would jump at the chance of standing up and saying I can do that and do that well, and at that moment I was able to freely express emotionally. I laughed because I thought well, I just saw that that was something which had happened before and I saw that there was something which I had been very often taken by before.

Mr. Adie   Yes, the way that you’re talking about it, it is quite impossible to access the degree of subjectivity, and the amount of conscious struggle which was there. It isn’t put in any way where we could agree with it or disagree with it or comment on it. You say it’s a fact that later on I found myself like that, but it’s all rather like a scene from ordinary life, and if it’s meant to express some work, then the effort has been vaguely expressed. And that’s connected with the start of the thing which was not relevant.

Now, you did not know it, but one of our rules is that you never speak about another without their permission. I have to ask beforehand whether I am free to speak?” Then, if he says yes, then I’m free. In the ordinary way, eighty percent or more of what we say about other people is absolute rubbish. It is not based on anything except our subjective opinions or state or some accidental thing. I haven’t really been able to follow what you mean, and I’ve been paying attention, but your partner’s “jovial state” as you put it, has not been significant at all..

So, consult yourself. What is it you really want to know? Or what is it you’ve really got to offer? Perhaps you credit me with ability to know all what’s going on inside and be able to address it, but I can’t because you don’t present a clear enough statement. Don’t you have a sensation of vagueness? If you go over what you said so far, it’s not connected to anything of our inner work.

Mervyn:   I didn’t explain it in a very logical, I mean ordered way, I …

Mr. Adie:   Well, that’s a euphemistic way of putting it … (laughter) … However, I’m sure you don’t have to be one of the eighty percent. Take that on account.

Mervyn:   Would you like me to try again?

Mr. Adie:   Do you want to?

Mervyn:   I think I could explain it better.

Mr. Adie:   Yes, but take it quite simply now, free of considering. What is it you want to know, or what is it you wish to say? Now, start from the beginning.

Mervyn:   Shall I start with the first part again?

Mr. Adie:   Start just how you wish. Are the two parts connected?

Mervyn:   They’re connected. I have noticed that a certain resistance to expressing feeling.

Mr. Adie:   Expressing feeling?

Mervyn:   Yes. To expressing a positive feeling.

Mr. Adie:   You felt something which you felt was positive in yourself, and at the same time you felt a resistance against expressing it?

Mervyn:   Yes. It was …

Mr. Adie:   Maybe. If it’s really positive you know it tends to clear the way, you know. If it’s hesitant it may not be all that positive.

Mervyn:   No, I think it was the reason I say that is because I felt that there was, I was as I said a degree of fear attached with being, ah, about showing an emotion like that so just a warm emotion.

Mr. Adie:   You feared you would be misunderstood?

Mervyn:   I’m not sure, but …

Mr. Adie:   But you said there was a fear. How do you know it was fear? Fear of what? Somebody hitting you on the head? You didn’t fear physically?

Mervyn:   No.

Mr. Adie:   No. So what? You see how subjective it all is? You need to consult; see you’re asking about something inside and yet you haven’t really gone inside, to some fact of your inner work. It’s all linked with outside.

I gather from what you say that you had a doubt, an inner doubt of some kind about the possibility of expressing a feeling of some kind. I can’t get more than that. It’s important to you because it’s really characteristic you know and you want to get very clear about it. You dream, you’re a big dreamer, see, and so you want to allow for that. You want to come to yourself. Surely now, I can see “Yes, it’s a tree and not something else, I’m here as witness to that.” Have a rest, relax and listen now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *