Note: the blue italics indicates the teacher, in black other participants.

Intervals – 2

We continue with intervals.

If I was to have in mind all of the actions involved in an activity before starting it, could I avoid running into blocks in the E-F intervals? Would I be able to complete the task straight through to the end?

The E-F is inevitable, and we must not try to avoid it.

Whatever we do?

It doesn’t matter, one cannot avoid it. This does not mean neglecting preparation, but the E-F is inevitable.

I observed E-F yesterday and I realized something very interesting: when we arrive at the E-F, if we don’t treat it well, if we persist in the attempt that doesn’t work, we lose time. And not only are we wasting time, but also energy, perhaps even abandoning the project. Here is a very concrete example yesterday with S. who was trying to pierce concrete. Excuse me for taking your example, but for me it was striking. His project was to remove a piece of concrete from a hole. It starts and at first it works well, he has an adequate tool. After a certain time, the tool is no longer adapted, it no longer works. How long did you spend trying to make the wrong tool fit the job?

More than one hour.

We were lucky that he didn’t break anything. Because it happens also in the E-F when we insist.

Did you stop? That was discussed at the meeting this morning. In the E-F, you have to “stop.”

I stopped because in any case I needed a break. And I took the opportunity to explain to the people around me.

This is not stopping in the way that I mean the term “to stop.” “Stopping” is not begin to explain to others that you cannot do it. A stop is a complete “stop.” And there’s a blank, there’s a void. If there is no void, it is not a stop. If there is no void, there is no possibility that a solution will arrive. Without this stop, we remain entangled in the problem. Once we have made this stop, we know whether or not it is a good idea to explain the problem to others. And if an explanation is necessary, we find a way to express ourselves as to create the opportunity for the listener(s) to help find a solution. If one explains without stopping, one leaves no possibility, one remains in a sort of dead end. In fact, the solution we finally found followed this path. We tried a little, we tweaked, and I told you “you have to think.” For me, it does not mean that you have to think, but you have to stop and let it come to you. Do nothing, it comes by itself. And then I went to see if by chance we didn’t have another chisel. I found one hardly longer but sharper, and so it worked. There was the solution.

I understand perfectly what you mean. And I feel like I did it because, when I stumbled upon the problem, I didn’t rush to ask for help. I found myself alone facing the problem.

What did you do exactly?

I was looking precisely at the place where the cement block was stuck; I saw that there was nothing to do. It didn’t last long, maybe 2 or 3 seconds. I was waiting for something to come to me, but it didn’t happen.

Sometimes 3 seconds is enough, sometimes it takes more time.

Okay, but I should also confess that I should have switched to problem-solving mode, but instead I was trying to find a solution while staying in action-mode.

That’s it. Did you feel at a certain point that you had to look for information?

Ah yes!

But how? What is it for you “to look for information”?

After trying intellectually, I tried to see intuitively what solution could work.

Okay. Implicitly, you thought the solution could come from you. Now in the E-F, it doesn’t come from you, it comes from outside. “Looking for information” means looking outside.

Look for the resource in someone else?

Not necessarily. For example, I went to the workshop and asked for help. In fact, “looking for information” is not necessarily calling a friend. I went to the workshop and asked the workshop to give me some information. I didn’t ask it verbally of course, but somehow it is still what happened: I looked at what I saw in the workshop without any preconceived idea, I looked for information in my background. What is important is to know that in all projects, at one point there is a blockage, there is a problem.

Yes, it is obligatory! It is a universal law. And the more attention you put on it, the more you realize it. Usually, we do not realize it because we don’t observe.

For me, what is important with the stopping is to really create a void. If you stop and fill that moment with all kinds of assumptions, it’s not a stop, it’s not a void. When I do Sudoku, there is always a time when I run into a block, so I stop and do something else. For me, at a certain stage, it is really necessary to completely remove myself from the task, and no longer think about it. When I start back on the Sudoku grid, I often find the number I missed right away, and then I have all the solutions that come as a result of getting past the block!

Not necessarily, but it can happen.

What is striking in this kind of example is that the evidence comes when we don’t even expect it.

When one struggles, when one strives, one loses body consciousness. So, (addressing to S.)if you have not lost body consciousness, it is already a good sign that you have not fought hard.

I feel that the stop is familiar. It’s something we all have lived, it’s something we all know.

Yes, we all have lived it, but we have to realize it in the moment. It is also necessary to recognize when we are at this stage, because if we don’t, we can miss the point where we have to stop. If that happens, the task will become more difficult or even impossible. Yes, we all have lived through those moments, but that doesn’t mean we’ve put the “stop” into practice every time.

What I mean is that at the core of us is the natural ability to “stop.”


Especially when you don’t lose body consciousness. Because it is natural to stop at this time, as body consciousness is natural. This is not exceptional, it is something natural, almost banal.

I didn’t realize that E-F was mandatory. Because for me very often, by rethinking it since we talk about intervals, the E-F was translated as “it’s impossible!” So I let it go, because I thought it was impossible. Now I realize that I have to pay attention to this, because my tendency was to stop.

Like most people.

And I didn’t feel like giving up, but really it was objectively impossible.

It comes back to the same thing, since you abandon the project.

Yes, the result was to giving up.

In this regard, I would like to come back to the importance of preparing the project. Yesterday, in relation to the first C, we talked about the importance of aiming for the C of the upper octave right away, and very little was said about an essential step which is the preparation, the maturation of the project and the definition of what we are going to do. And if we go with a sort of utopia, a fantasy, simply because we don’t take time to prepare, there is a time when it becomes effectively impossible to continue. This can also happen. So it’s very important to clearly define what we want to do and to prepare things well. If this stage is clean and clear, the E-F will not be a real impossibility.

I think of the example of L. in relation to Sudoku. I often lived that too, to stop and find the solution by taking the grid again, but I had never made the connection with a E-F.

Warning, I gave this example to illustrate the quality of the stop. The E-F is part of a project. In the case of a Sudoku, there is no stake, you can put your book and do something else without even knowing when to take it back. The Sudoku, the crossword, is more about attention, concentration: when you concentrate too much, you don’t see. With this example, I wanted to talk about the stop, how essential it is to cut, to let go completely. You see the solution only when you really let go.

Yes, for me it is a good illustration of the stop. When you let go, sometimes only a few minutes, the solution is obvious and you can continue.

In my opinion, in a project, it is necessary to let go in the same way.

Assuming that everything is equally important, a project is not more important than Sudoku, at least in terms of how we proceed.

Yes, absolutely.

It is the same for me when I do the accounting for my business. If I happen to have a difference in the numbers after recounting several times, I stop everything. The next day when I recheck the calculations, the answer seems obvious to me.

I don’t think we can count on the fact that a project can really succeed without obstacles, there are always some.

But depending on what is at stake in a project, an obstacle can be experienced in a very different way. For example, when I made notebooks, sometimes I’d run into problems. After a pause, when I resumed the work, the problems were resolved, seemingly on their own. But for me, it was not a serious project, it was something I was just doing for fun. It wasn’t a project that I put a serious commitment into.

But whatever, it plays in both cases. There are E-F blocks everywhere.

As soon as we get into action.

When I cleared the river, I don’t remember meeting E-F. I don’t seem to have encountered any obstacles at any time!

There must have been a E-F at some point. You may not have had the idea of giving up, but there was bound to be an obstacle somewhere: you were missing a tool or something.

It’s too old, I don’t remember. But I have the impression that it was done on its own.

Afterwards we forget of course. Especially when there is no stake.

Yes, that’s it. When there is no stake, we don’t feel the E-F as an obstacle.

Yes, it happens to me too. I go into a recipe, I have all the ingredients, and suddenly I drop an egg on the floor. There are always small incidents like that happening, but I don’t remember them afterwards. The challenge is to adapt to these unforeseen circumstances. What is very important to me is that it greatly develops adaptability. It is a matter of seeing how one succeeds in continuing without collapsing, and how one adapts to the movement of life. For me it’s that: life brings us unexpected experiences, and the important thing is to know how to adapt and follow the movement.

Good preparation and good organization give space and the availability to adapt and integrate those unexpected things that life bestows upon us. We know that there will be unforeseen events and obstacles, and we are not afraid because we know how to adapt.

Yes, and it’s important to focus on those things and understand the consequences that it can have afterwards in everyday life. Being aware of when to stop makes things easier. It doesn’t mean that there are no hard knocks, but it’s easier.

And at times, we get into a kind of magic.


Where everything happens as if we were participating in a show already written.

We don’t live by saying that it’s going to be magic every time, be careful! There we would be totally wrong! But sometimes we recognize that it is magical.

Don’t resist unforeseen, it means: integrate them, welcome them.

Yes, and it also comes from “everything is equally important.” This aspect is very strong. All that we’re talking about is connected. And it is good to dissect by focusing on one thing and then another gradually. On the other hand, it is important then to keep an overview, not to forget the totality. Everything is connected.

We can also add that we must take our responsibilities.

Yes, absolutely!

When you see how everything is connected, it becomes magical. We also see that all the notions on which we work are part of One. That’s what I call “real life.” Another thing about the E-F?

Yes, I would like to add something. It is as if we were working with the left brain, which is rational, until the E-F and that at that moment we had to switch to the right brain, the creative brain. For me, that’s what happens when one stops.

When I review a text, I often meet the E-F, the moment when it “blocks.” All the art in my opinion is actually to stop, but also to stay in the rhythm, not to leave the project (losing time, focusing too much attention on the problem) and stay immersed in the text, in a global way. And indeed, by resuming later where I stumbled, often the solution arrives with great simplicity.

Another aspect which is essential in this revision work (which is doubtless also valid for other projects) is to put oneself at the service of the text and the message: it is this listening which guides the choice of passages, words, of what to keep or what to separates. It’s related to body consciousness, and it reminds me of what has just been said: everything is connected. For me, to accomplish the octave can only be done with this listening.