A Sense of Proportion: George Adie, 25 February 1988

On 25 February 1988, Mr Adie made a number of interesting comments. The questions do not all deserve report, but these responses were of value.

One question was by a woman who had been criticised by her sister-in-law. Mr Adie asked her about the circumstances and ascertained that from her perspective, she had done the best she could in the circumstances, and that the sister-in-law’s complaint was at best wilful, at worst cruel. However, the woman who brought the question continually expressed fears that she had somehow been in the wrong, only she didn’t know how. Mr Adie replied:

“It doesn’t seem that your actions were against her. If you could just be a little bit more sure of yourself to make sure of your own state, maybe next time, you’ll just be quiet and not talk so much. If another person is irritated with you, they’ll do anything to get you aroused, and they won’t be fair. Know your own motives and do your best and don’t worry. There’s something very important there for you.”

“It’s a situation which occurs in different circumstances also, and it’s very important for you to know, just to know this inner state. You can have that state under any circumstances. It’s a sureness of your own state, of your own presence; this is what counts – to know yourself in difficult circumstances or to know yourself in seemingly easy but equally important circumstances. You need to know that, because if you know it, you won’t have the inclination to be negative or anything.”

“And again, when you’re thinking about things, again pay attention to your own state and then perhaps listen to the words and arguments going on in your head. Your state is the most important. Good.”

Then, to another lady who had come across unexpectedly difficult circumstances:

“It’s good that they don’t come every day perhaps, and yet, there is still a useful aspect. If you were living in a state of siege, and every time you went out you might get shot at, you’d probably be awake a lot of the time. So, there would be an advantage there. I mean, literally.”

“But when you speak of ‘adverse circumstances’, you want to be sure what you mean. Adverse to what? I mean if you go out to have a game of golf and it rains that’s maybe adverse to having a game of golf. It depends what the aim is.” 

“A day is made up of a long series of episodes, it’s a long time – a day. It’s a tremendous long time, and many levels are included. If I could go over it a little bit just to see, what do I expect to achieve each day? There’s an enormous history there. How many incidents can I remember, and understand? There’s a whole day of my life. How many days do I have in my life? Three hundred and sixty five times, how many, eighty? No, a hundred. It’s thirty six thousands isn’t it? If I lived to be a hundred, it’s a ponderable amount, it’s a large amount of time.”

“As far as achievement goes, it’s a question of what my aim is, again, and what has taken place. The day is given, it’s an enormous thing, a day, whole day of life, split up into hours, minutes and seconds. Each period of time, and the fact that I look at it at all at the end of the day is good. That I have this, but let me try and look with some wisdom, looking the right way, not looking for achievement exactly; but certainly, I can look to see what I’ve done if I’m prepared to face the fact but … maybe I haven’t done very much.”

“The doing that we are able to do is the inner being, to be able to affect our own state. Everybody here now has some possibility over their own state, that’s all they have. What other possibility?”

“So, what is your state? Does my state only comprise my sort of physical discomfort? Have I only got a toe ache, or a back ache or is there something else? Where’s my consciousness directed? Is it directed on the sort of, area of thought as it is passing over or is it confused, flipping here and there, or is it totally uncontrolled? What is my state? A pain or an ache is only a part of my life. No need for it to block everything else out.”

Then, to a woman who, when she realised she had left her belt at home, felt that she would never amount to anything, and despaired, he said:

“I need to realise that this is identification, a very good example of strong identification. This is how identification tastes. I am simply taken by this, yet it’s a trifle: I leave a belt behind and it becomes an enormous thing, out of all scale. It quite clears the board of all sensible proportions. I see that I am identified and I have this unpleasant feeling of being at fault, or useless, or weak, or criticised, all sorts of things. I identify, I consider, I have got all sorts of whirling thoughts, all about a little belt.”

“It is an example of making an elephant out of a fly, or a fly out of an elephant, entirely out of proportion. Then I see that all these different judgments are all automatic. If I lose a sense of proportion, all common-sense goes. So, I need to see that, and then try and go to my body and sense myself a little. I want to call myself back. My force is flowing out, and I wish to bring some of that back. With that wish, it starts to become different. See what happens next time, if you can leave it behind.”



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