This is the morning address from the Saturday work of 15 July 1989.
We need to realize much more than we do the demand that’s placed on us by having a round table. First of all, it’s a tremendously powerful symbol. But from a practical point of view, can we sustain it at all? It’s round just so that we can exchange at a glance. We can’t all have our breakfast with our eyes shut. So, what do we see when we open our eyes?
The purpose of being here is that we share. And what are we going to share? This is a tremendously powerful medium. We cannot spend time thinking quietly like this (makes a gesture) all the time. We have to remember where we are.
So, it’s really an enormous challenge. It’s arranged like this, just so we should try and be able to work under these conditions. This morning there was a tremendous reading. Very well read, but now and again destroyed by people’s unnecessary movements. In general, the attention was good, and the stillness was good. But in particularly one, and possibly two or three to a lesser degree, there were continual disturbances going on, movements. Some are different of one kind some of another. And they’re indications that the person just isn’t there. So this is destroying, disturbing the atmosphere.
So, we really have to make a big effort to learn what is necessary to be able to take a place at the round table. I cannot. I’m in a position of challenge now. Do accept it? I come here and enter and I accept that and then I have to try by any of my means to be present. It’s the prime example of external consideration.
What impression do I present? I’m concerned with that. Now what about considering? Inner considering is a special type of identification. I cannot afford to be identified; I have to be balanced. Without trust, it’s impossible. Coming and sitting here is a position of trust. Everybody ought to able by this time to see that.
And the written instruction which was put out for the combined meeting should apply to all visits here. Should apply to all visits. We’re in great trouble sometimes when people have to have lifts, sometimes by accident. One just wonders who is going to take them? Or who is going to take who? And what will be the residue by the time they arrive here? If it’s been all pleasantries and unnecessary action; rubbish, light. Kind of afraid of being serious. And serious isn’t that (makes a long face), that’s not serious. Serious is something extremely honest.
So, here are all devices, all arrangements to help our work. And there’s a symbolism in this room and really one should walk in. How to walk in to that symbolic place of sharing? Is it just a place where we eat? Or a place where we go and visit a bit because we’re not too comfortable? Or is it a place where we go to the possibility of sharing and freeing ourselves? Even having love. What would that mean? It would be such a miraculous change and this is what we’re working for.
Sometimes there are special moments in the work. They occur. One particular picture, I was standing on the roof here some years ago, quite a few years ago, and I was waiting for people to walk in and there was such a harmonious agreement of movement, of serious quiet people. Walking into the studio. The square was about finished and the circle, which I call “a square” was about finished and there was a tremendous moment of reality, to see these people walking. With purpose.
And always every second there’s a fresh opportunity in work. We are now talking about the day, but when we come in here it’s a special thing, it gives a special chance, it makes a special demand but it offers, a special help, of course. You see the marvellous balance of life. Something is demanded, but something is provided. The real work tests us utterly, but it also supports us.
How can we tune in more and more often, and more and more directly, with the second level of life, the higher level? Already, in a way the words that have been just said are done, they are finished. Before I walk out of the room it’ll be different. I’m bound, the attention is bound to go down. But now, how can it be revived? This is a question of effort. The possibility depends on having an inner active source and for that to operate there has to be some inner knowledge, which is sensitive to higher impressions.
The higher impressions are there. If I’m sensitive, I receive that. And because of the work, because of any effort there can be a response. So, I depend upon receiving higher impressions and observing and knowing that I receive them and having some inner response. I keep something and return something.
This is what was said in the reading: how can people who have sown nothing face the prospect of their own death? Because having sown nothing they have nothing to reap. So, they will disappear. And this is exactly our work.
I’ve have given material, I receive it, now it has to be sown, returned. And all the time impressions and we’re trying to make outside the impression, we are trying to make the grounds and the trees and the conditions here beautiful. So, that when we step around there are good natural impressions.
In the first edition of Mr Adie’s book, there was a photo of the large studio set up for the weekend work. When I can arrange it, I will post one here. There were a number of tables, each joined at an angle, so that there was the Adies’ table at the very front, and then, on each side, the number of tables needed were linked to the left and to the right. From any seat at a table you could see everyone else’s face without having to look around. That is the round table he was referring to. It is interesting, both Bennett and Adie felt something of some value in the Arthurian legends.
The reading Mr Adie was referring to was from “The Inevitable Result.”
I shall check with someone else, but as I recall, the notice he was speaking about was a warning about talking and making arrangements for lifts up to the site on individual initiative. Mr Adie had a system whereby one person would arrange those lifts. But people were beginning to circumvent that. Mr Adie sensed that in those cases it was self-will of a very low level: they did not like sitting in a car saying nothing, preferring to just chat in an ordinary way. Then, when they arrived, they were in a low state.
When Mr Adie says: “The higher impressions are there,” I am reminded of some of Hopkins’ poetry: “these things, these things were there, and but the beholder wanting …” (Hurrahing in Harvest”). I would like explore Hopkins in a future post.