Exercises come in 3 parts: Magnetic Center, Deputy Steward and Steward.
- Read – The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution
- Study Possible Evolution – The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution
- Study Of Oneself (self-observation) – The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution
- Study of Lying – The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution
- Work On Uncontrolled Imagination – The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution
- Study Of Centers – The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution
- Study Of New Language – The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution
- Not Say “I” – The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution
- Two Ends Of The Stick – R. A. Smith
- Active Reasoning –Views from the Real World: Chapter – Liberation Leads to Liberation
- Insulate Yourself – R. A. Smith
- Subjugate Will – R. A. Smith
- Imagine Yourself Conscious – The Fourth Way: page 113
- Unconscious Muscle Movement –Views from the Real World: page 90
- External Considering –Views from the Real World: pages 94-96
- Walking With Momentum –Views from the Real World: pages 116 & 161
- 19 Things I Saw (song) – R. A. Smith
- Counting – Orage (Exercises)
- Stopping Thoughts – The Fourth Way: pages 115-118 & 380
- Uncomfortable Posture –Views from the Real World: hardback pages 167 & 239-241; paperback pages 167 & 231-233
- Om – Unknown/World Sound
- “I Am”, “I Can”, “I Wish” – Life is real only then, when ‘I am’: pages 110-111 & 135-136
- Opposite Postures – R. A. Smith
- Viewing Without Verbalizing – R. A. Smith
- Intentional Observation – The Fourth Way: pages 43 & 54
- Assimilation of Air (food) – Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson: page 1054
- “I Am” – Life is real only then, when ‘I am’: pages 134-136
- Three Finger – Life is real only then, when ‘I am’: pages 112-116
- Threefold Attention – R. A. Smith
- Hands In Motion – R. A. Smith
- Objective Prayer – R. A. Smith
- Lying Still for 1 Hour – R. A. Smith
- Chi – R. A. Smith
- Make One Thing Your God – Views from the Real World: pages 90-93
- I Wish To Remember Myself – Views from the Real World: pages 234
- The Objective Exercise – R. A. Smith
Note: Exercises 1-8 from The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution; 9, 11 & 12 are RAS created; and 10 from Views from the Real World, Chapter: “Liberation leads to liberation…”
The first thing we need to do is just discuss for a moment what a magnetic center is.
Magnetic Center are the moments in life when a man comes into contact with something that he perceives as real. He sees the beauty of a sunset and is touched by it because it is real. He senses something great in it. He sees a mother bird with a baby bird in its nest and it is feeding it. He senses the reality in that and that it means something.
We have all these I’s in us but some of these I’s are interested in real things and those are our Magnetic Center I’s. There is a good way to develop Magnetic Center and that is a man can read, because he can read about other people who made quests and journeys, that asked questions, and he can pick up what they pondered and what they thought about, and that will help feed his Magnetic Center. One of the best books to start with is The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution. It is packed, word for word, page for page; so much in that little book.
In this book we read about the possibility of man’s evolution. Not about the mechanical evolution, but how man is not a completed being; that nature develops him only up to a certain point and then leaves him, to develop further, by his own efforts.
Also in that book we read about the study of our self, how it begins with self-observation.
We read about the study of lying, how every time we say the word “I” we really lie because we think it means all of us, when really it is just one little i that just happens to be expressing itself at the moment.
We learn about work on uncontrolled imagination; how we have this property of imagination, but it runs away with us. We get an idea in our head and we believe in it. “There is a bear in the woods” or whatever it may be. We get the imagination and it just takes us away.
We also learn about the study of centers in Psychology. That man has these centers that need to be studied, that are separate entities, each with their own memory, each with their own will, each with their own desires.
We have all experienced somewhere in our life that moment of losing our car keys and can’t find them. And we go, “Where did we put them? I do not know.” So what do we do? We go back to the front door and pretend like we are walking in again. Maybe the memory of it is hidden in the moving center somewhere; but if we don’t find them in the moving center memory we go back to the front door and we try to go through the emotions. Now we remember! The neighbor boy left a bicycle in the driveway and we were angry and now we remember coming in and tossing the keys at the counter and seeing them slide off and they are beside the trashcan. But it was not a memory that was in the intellectual center, it was not a memory in the moving center. We had to go find it in the emotional center. Each of these centers has its own memory, its own will. If we were unified, then the memory would be put everywhere.
Any field of pursuit will require its own language. For instance, golf, uses bogey, par, tee, green; computer technology uses the language binary, compact disc, gigabyte, software, and so on. Each field has a unique and specific language for a common communication. The Fourth Way is no different: for an exact study, an exact language is needed. And, I have added even more language to the Fourth Way with my own discoveries such as, oscillations, cosmic rumple, range of existence, cosmic loop, the sequence, and so forth.
Psychology talks about the exercise of not saying the word “I”. A man could make great force to not say the word I, and I can make him say I. Because all I have to do is, somewhere during his great force, look at him and go, “You said I.” And what would he immediately do? He would say, “I did not, no I didn’t.” He would defend himself. There is nothing greater than a false accusation to turn a man into a machine. If you are falsely accused, you will become mechanical faster than anything. After all, you are making this great effort to not say “I” and now you are accused of saying “I”; and you had not said it! You are going to defend that, you are going to become a machine, “No, I didn’t, I didn’t, I did not!” The “I” will jump in there instantly, because false accusation will push a man faster than anything else, past that edge.
The 9th exercise for Magnetic Center is called “two ends of the stick.”
In this exercise one keeps oneself free from the results of any encounter by imagining the best and the worst that could happen. For example, if you have to meet a client and sell them something, before you go in, you should think about what is the best that can happen, and what is the worst that can happen.
What are both ends of this particular stick?
One end is: “I am going to go in and this person is going to buy ten million tons of what I am selling. It is going to be the biggest order ever! In fact, they are going to recommend me to 72 other companies, and they are going to buy as well. I am going to make 80 million dollars in commissions. From just one account. I’ll be rich! The rest of my life will be taken care of. Oh my goodness!!
But the exercise requires that we also look at the other end of the stick.
The client is going to think I look like some salesperson that came through their town last year, never delivered their product, and defrauded everyone. They are going to call all the towns around and warn them about me. Thus, anywhere go, I’m going to find a mob waiting to greet me. I mean, it’s not looking good. I probably won’t make any sales at all in this town, or in any of the nearby towns.
Ok, now I am ready to make my sales call.
Or, let’s say I’ve been called in to see the boss. What’s the best that could happen? The company gets turned over to me. They see me as the best employee they’ve ever had, and the chairman of the board is there to congratulate me and give me the keys to it all.
OK, so what’s the worst that could happen? Well, they tell me I’m the worst employee that they’ve ever had, and fire me on the spot. Furthermore, they inform every company engaged in this line of work, how terrible I am, and make sure that I never work in this industry again!
I lose my job, my home, and my relationships. I am destitute.
In both examples, I have prepared myself by considering both ends of the stick.
Now, in the first model, if the client says, “I don’t want to buy your product,” that’s okay.
I had it figured worse! I had it figured that I was going to be the local money-robber, and be in big, big trouble.
And if they buy a nice amount of what I’m selling, that too is okay. I won’t get a big head because I already imagined it being even better.
So, by having both ends of the stick available to me, nothing will be able to influence me. Why? Because I am already prepared for the worst, and the best.
Or, in the second model, if I go in to see the boss, and they offer me a raise, that’s great. I won’t be too self-aggrandized, because I envisioned better. And, if they cut back my working hours or salary because of budget cuts, or promote someone over me, I won’t be too distraught either, because again, I was prepared for the worst.
More than likely, in both models, the results won’t be the best or the worst. They will be somewhere in between.
Most people have a tendency to swagger too much when good things happen or become too dejected when bad things happen. But, if people would see both ends of the stick, they would be prepared, and thus be immune to every possible outcome. They would not feel rejected, because they already envisioned worse. And they would not be too puffed up, because they already envisioned better.
So, use two ends of the stick whenever you are going into an encounter.
Stop before you go in and imagine the best and the worst that could happen. Play it farther than you would normally expect. Envision it being tremendous or terrible. Then, no matter what happens, you will be okay, because it will most likely be somewhere in between, and thus, will not affect you.
The next exercise is called “active reasoning.”
It is more of an action than an exercise.
It originated in Gurdjieff’s book Views From the Real World, and can be found in the Chapter titled: “Liberation leads to liberation…”.
It is a great tool, which can be instantly applied, allowing oneself to free oneself from any worldly encounter.
And, it only requires two realizations.
I shall paraphrase the process for you.
Let’s say, someone calls me a fool.
Normally, if someone called me a fool, I would be upset (and, my upset would be directed to the person who called me a fool).
OK. How can I NOT be upset?
I know, I will use “active reasoning.”
Boy, this will be easy. Why? Because, in order to active reason, I only need to consider two possibilities.
First, I will acknowledge that, someone called me a fool. Gosh, why did they do that?
THEN, I USE REASON AND CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:
The person that called me a fool does not know me that well, which means, they probably heard some gossip or rumors that were said about me; and, they believed them.
How foolish… to believe in what you hear said about someone – without verifying it for yourself – is a very foolish thing to do. So, in reality, that “someone who called me a fool,” is actually the real fool… because they blindly believed, in gossip or rumors, without verifying them for themselves.
Eureka, since I now know that it was a fool who called me a fool, I will not be affected.
Who could be affected if a fool calls you a fool…? No one.
But active reasoning also demands that I not only acknowledge that someone called me a fool; but, I also acknowledge that it is possible that I, actually, acted foolishly.
Yikes! No one wants to act foolishly.
In fact, one of my aims in life is to not act foolishly. That is, I don’t want to be a fool.
And now, someone has come along and called me a fool… perhaps, because I was acting foolishly. Wow! Unbeknownst to them, they have reminded me of my aim, of which I am very thankful.
I certainly cannot be upset by someone who has reminded me of my aim.
So, either way I am free.
The 11th exercise is called “insulate yourself.”
This exercise is a little like “Two Ends of the Stick”, which was designed to free us from the results of any unknown encounter. Whereas the “Insulate Yourself” exercise is designed to grant us immunity from some specific known encounter.
We’ll begin with the model of the Family Reunion. Lots of people attend Family Reunions; and, in their family, somewhere, they all have an “Uncle Bob”. And Uncle Bob always reminds them, loudly, and when they are surrounded by a bunch of other family members, that they should have went to a certain school, or bought specific shares of stock, or gone into this career or that career, or not have married that girl, etc., etc. And that, if they had just listened to what he told them, their lives would have been so much better.
And every time they go to the Family Reunion, they know it is going to happen. So, here they are, at the Reunion, and here comes Bob, and the same thing happens, again; and they get embarrassed and disturbed. Well, wait a minute. They knew they were going to the Family Reunion. And they knew that Bob was going to be there. Why didn’t they insulate themselves?
Why didn’t they envision what Bob was going to say, what Bob always says – because they have heard it so many times before, and therefore they would have been prepared for it, been expecting it, and actually be looking forward to it… knowing that it is going to happen.
Then, it would not come as a surprise.
Now, every time Bob walks by during the Family Reunion, they kind of have a little smile on their face because they know it’s coming, they just don’t know when. He didn’t say anything this time, that’s okay… it’s coming.
The Reunion goes on a little bit, and sure enough, an hour later, people are standing together and here comes Bob, and he says to them, “Hey did you ever buy that stock I told you about? You should have been as smart as me and bought it!”
However, this time, they are prepared, and being prepared, they now say something like, “You know, that was really a good deal Bob. Have you got any other good stocks that I can take advantage of?” And, all of a sudden, because they insulated themselves, they have no adverse reaction to what Bob says, there is no irritation, there is not a “something” there that disturbs their inner world.
In fact, they encouraged him to give them some other advice, and he goes away happy. It takes all the force away from Bob and the things he normally says, because they insulated themselves.
I suppose we do this instinctively when we meet a dog. As we go to pet the dog, something in us says, “Insulate yourself, the dog could bite.” Don’t jump. Don’t act excited. Don’t make any big, sudden movements if he happens to start growling. Just go slow.
You are insulated. You are ready for any response. So now, if the dog does growl, you are prepared for it. You are insulated. Instead of going, “Oh!” and jumping and screaming, or something else, because you are not insulated, you don’t further agitate the dog.
So, talk to yourself in advance to nullify that force, the force of Bob or the force of the dog.
So, it is a little like “Two ends of the Stick” but it is more specific because you know what you are going to encounter: dogs, Uncle Bob, your boss at work, or that one client, etc. And every time you see that client, they are always the same way. So, you insulate yourself against it. And, since you are going to see that client today, and hear their repetitive complaints, you will be expecting what they are going to say, be ready for it, and have no adverse or unexpected reaction.
Now, what they say only provokes a smile because you are expecting it.
Number 12 on the list of exercises is “subjugate will.” In the process of a man developing his or her Magnetic Center and gathering I’s that are interested in work, there is going to come some point in his work where, if he wants to advance, he is going to have to subjugate his will.
It would happen in any field of endeavor. If we decided to be violin players, we could do a lot of violin on our own: get a violin, get a book, read some stuff, but at a certain moment if we are really going to become a violin player we are going to have to go to Juilliard or study with Heifetz or somebody. And when we make that move, when we take that position, we are going to have to subjugate our will. We are going to have to hold the violin like he tells us, we are going to have to play the little ditties that he tells us. We can’t say, “Well, I don’t want to do that. I want to do it my way.” He will say, “Get out! You came here to learn, didn’t you? Then you have to subjugate your will and do it the way I want.” So in any great field, no matter what it would be, the person has to subjugate their will to that authority, to that person who knows.
Most of us have seen the movie The Karate Kid. When the little kid wants to learn Karate, Mr. Miyagi says, “Sand the floor”. The kid isn’t too happy, he wants to learn Karate; but he will sand the floor. Then, the next day it’s “Paint the fence” then Mr. Miyagi says, “Paint the house” “Wash the car” “Wax off” “Wax on.” The kid is subjugating his will, he does not know why he is doing it, but the kid is trying. Then the kid finally gets pushed a little too far and says, “I am not going to do your housework anymore.” Of course Miyagi shows him that all these things that he was doing were developing the rotations and the muscles that would be used to block. Miyagi says, “Now, show me ‘sand the floor’.” Then immediately tries to punch the kid. The “sand the floor” movement blocks the punch, and all of a sudden, the kid is going, “Yeah, I like this stuff. This is pretty cool.” It came because he was willing to subjugate his will even though he did not know what it was for. He was just washing cars and painting houses; he wanted to learn Karate, but he was willing to subjugate his will. Then a person could be put under the tutelage of someone who knows, and advance. That is when a school really opens up for a man.
And that is the beginning of the formation of Deputy Steward. Because until he has somebody objective to show him what to do, he will never know how to manifest his Deputy Steward rightly. It will always be suspect. His Deputy Steward will say he needs to do movements, he needs to eat this kind of food, or he needs to do these kind of postures, and without a guide, without someone who has already made the journey that can show him what to do, he will try all kinds of things. Where if he went to Juilliard, the master violinist would help him develop the I’s that are necessary to make the finger movements just the right way enough times to start making the machine work in the right fashion.
Deputy Steward is an I that emerges out of Magnetic Center; it does not have real authority, but it has been given authority by the Magnetic Center. Somebody has to step forward and start doing something.
Some “I” has to start exerting itself, to try and get the rest of the machine to start working. It might not be the real Steward yet, but at least it has been given authority by the Magnetic Center. Because the Deputy Steward is one I in the Magnetic Center that has at least been empowered by the rest of the Magnetic Center to try and get the house into some kind of an order.
How is it ever going to change if you do not empower something in you that says, “I am going to read, or I am going to do an exercise or pick a center when I leave.” Who is going to do that if the Deputy Steward does not say, “Hey, we are supposed to pick a center?” “Okay.”
I mean, if you do not emerge something from yourself to start doing something, then all you are doing is going through Magnetic Center moments, you are never developing the machine. You have to run off to the beach every time to get a Magnetic Center moment from the water, but you do not do anything in between. Most people are like that. So now their whole life is to go bungee jumping or to go to this thrill or to that thrill, because all they have accumulated is a bunch of Magnetic Center moments, but they have not done anything with them. They have not empowered any I in themselves to coerce the rest of the machine to do something, to say, “Let us just read a paragraph or one of those sections in Views, and then we can go and play ball. Just a little bit. Just a something.” And then who knows? If that Deputy Steward gets the machine going, it might read more than that, it might actually get involved and find it interesting and read two pages instead of just a paragraph. But it isn’t going to read anything unless somebody steps forward in the machine and says, “Come on guys, just a little bit, it will just take 5 minutes, 2 minutes, that isn’t much time, we can do that. Okay? Okay.”
Somebody has to begin, that’s Deputy Steward. Somebody has to stand forward. Somebody has to say, “We are in this great work, we have encountered these Magnetic Center moments. We know about higher and what are we going to do toward it? Are we going to do something today toward it? Did you pick an exercise for the day? Do you do these things?” What are you waiting for, the clouds to part and some benevolent thing to come down and make you? It isn’t going to happen that way. You have to empower something in yourself and start exerting it to say as many times during the day as possible, “Hey, have I done an exercise? I have not done an I AM today. Let us do an I AM. I haven’t read anything today, lets read a little bit.” Somebody has to stand forward, that’s Deputy Steward.
For the second part of the exercises, the first exercise on the list is “imagine yourself conscious.” We have this wonderful property called imagination, but we use it for the wrong things. We imagine all kinds of things that are not real; but yet it is such a powerful part we could use this thing of imagination as an ally and as an asset and the best way to do that would be to imagine yourself conscious. Think of what you would be like, how you would react, how you would stand, how you would feel, how you would respond to people, how you would be in a crowd, how you would treat this person next to you. If you could imagine and hold that image in your mind, imagination is one of the tools for training the horse. The horse does not speak a language. Our emotional center has no language; we can’t say “don’t be angry”. We can’t say that. The horse is going to be angry. The only way to train the horse is through the reins. And the reigns are visualization. So if we can envision ourselves not being angry, if we can get a mental image of seeing our self-contacting this person we are angry at and having them say to us, whatever it is that bothers us, and see, imagine in our minds, ourselves not being angry at that; now the horse gets some of the instructions. So we have to use this property to our advantage. And imagining yourself conscious will do that.
So imagine yourself conscious would be the right use of imagination. And the visualization will communicate to the horse what you wish to do. As Gurdjieff said, the horse does not know the language or maybe it speaks Arabic and we don’t know that, so we can’t communicate with it. But people try, they think that they can, by intellect, say, “Okay I am not going to lose my temper anymore.” The horse doesn’t hear that. There is no communication with it at all; it has no idea that is what it is. It only sees visualization. It needs the imagery. So man has to see himself and imagine things taking place, and imagines, and see himself maintaining his calmness. Now the horse gets some direction because of that visualization and he begins to communicate with the horse.
2. UNCONSCIOUS MUSCLE MOVEMENT – Views from the Real World, Page 90, Chapter “How can we gain attention?…”:
Our next exercise is called “unconscious muscle movements.”
Gurdjieff made reference, “that mans’ unconscious muscle movements let the world around him know that he was a booby.”
But we are not going to be talking about the obvious unconscious muscle movements, like fidgeting or tapping your foot.
The ones we are going to discuss and more subtle; and, are probably more devastating… because they are the ones that we do not readily see.
One of them is the touching of one’s nose.
Whenever a person touches their nose, it means they are possibly lying. They are probably not telling the truth. They are not 100% sure of what they are saying; or, they do not believe what you are saying.
When you deal with people in life, watch when they touch their noses. When they do, it is very likely, that what they are saying is askew; or, that they don’t like what you are saying; or, that they don’t agree with you on some particular model.
You can learn so much about the world around you if you notice the nose hits. For instance, when you stop and ask directions, “I need directions to get to such and such”; and the person you asked starts touching their nose as they reply, “Yeah, you go…” Don’t believe them! Because they do not know. They are just guessing. They want to pretend like they know, but they do not.
There is a psychological connection between not being truthful and touching your nose.
I found this study on the internet:
“Spanish researchers monitored changes in people’s skin temperature as they lied, finding that the nose is the center of all truth.
The next time you’re interrogating a murder suspect or maybe questioning a lover about suspected infidelities, set aside the polygraph test and grab hold of the person’s nose.
That the nose is the center of truth is the conclusion of new research published by a team of psychologists at the University of Granada in Spain.
The researchers call it “the Pinocchio effect” for obvious reasons. The Disney character’s nose would grow longer as he exaggerated the truth or straight-up lied about ditching school to hang out with monsters. But while the Spanish team discovered that the condition isn’t specific to Italian wood puppets, they found that rather than grow, our noses get hotter when we fib.
By monitoring people’s skin temperature with a special heat-sensing camera (think Predator vision) and asking them questions about subjective experiences, feelings, and emotions, the psychologists were able to discern the truthfulness of people’s responses. It turns out that when we lie, blood rushes to the center of our faces. If you’re behind the lens of a thermography camera, the lies light up our noses and the inside corners of our eyes. The technique is not quite as effective in measuring objective truth in answers to yes/no questions. Rather, it’s a means of gauging people’s deeper feelings about bigger, murkier issues, like the beauty of art or faith in God.
“Is it possible to differentiate [between] a person who every Sunday [says] the Lord’s prayer but in fact is a nonbeliever?” said Emilio Gomez Milan, one of the lead researchers on the study. The research suggests it may be.
Subjects for the study answered from inside an fMRI machine and, separately, seated in front of thermographic cameras. Gomez and his partner, Elvira Salazar Lopez, then cross-referenced the brain scans with the facial temperature results to draw their conclusions. Not only do our noses brighten when we’re fibbing, but the other areas of our faces–cheeks, chins, foreheads–cool down.
When we lie about our feelings, a component of the brain’s reward system, called the insular cortex, activates. It’s part of the cerebral cortex, which is the control hub of emotions, perceptions of pain, and our blood pressure. When we’re grappling with the issue of, say, how to answer a friend’s question about another friend’s work of art–”Isn’t it beautiful?”–the insular cortex comes alive and sends blood to our noses…”
Perhaps the guy who wrote Pinocchio actually understood this phenomenon. Or maybe not. However, it does not change the fact that blood rushes to our nose when we lie or sense discord.
Our noses probably get increased blood flow, because our ancestors were animals that had a great sense of smell. And, one of the first stimuli, in any danger, is the sense of smell.
If a dog sense something is off, you will see their nose hit the air, first thing. Why? Because their sense of smell is their first line of defense against danger.
So, here we are, eons later, as unregenerate beings, who no longer have much of a sense of smell. Yet, any perceived discord still cause our noses to be stimulated. We feel the increased blood flow, prompting us to want to touch it.
When watching talk shows on TV, it is very obvious. The moderator says to the guest actor or actress, “What was it like to work with so and so on that movie?” The person responds, “Ah, (nose rub) it was great, it was terrific (nose swipe) working with them was great. They are a really good actor/actress (touches nose, again), I really enjoyed working with them, I learned so much (wipes nose with sleeve).”
The fellow in Texas says, back in the day, he witnessed this happening during his sales presentations. He would get half-way through a sales presentation; and, do what is called, “a trial close”, and the person he was talking to would say, “I don’t know, (rubs nose) it looks alright.” The fellow in Texas said he knew right then that the prospect was not going to buy what he was selling. So he continued his presentation, trying to present it in greater detail, in hopes that the prospect would become more enthusiastic.
An opposite of nose hits… would be chin rubs.
When a person starts rubbing their chin, that means, they like what they are hearing or looking at. “I like that. I think that’s a good idea. That makes sense.”
I have said, again and again, how by knowing this, that when I used to make sales presentations, if I was half-way through my presentation, and the prospect started rubbing their chin, I would turn the contract toward the prospect, hand them a pen, and say, “Signature goes here. Check number goes there. You get the third copy. “And how, not surprisingly, they would take the pen and sign the contract. Why? Because they had already (in their mind) bought it, they liked it.
The rubbing of the chin is a definite indication of favor. Nose hits are definite sign of discord.
So watch for those in life.
If you observe yourself touching your nose, try to see if you can discover the cause.
Sometimes, it is a blatant lie, sometimes, it is an innocent lie; for example, if I asked you, “When did you meet your spouse?” and you said, “In the summer of 1980;” and then, you touched your nose. That nose touch might have occurred because you really met them in May, which is really more in the spring than the summer… but you said summer, and something in you knew that it was really in the late spring of 1980, so you touched your nose. Or, perhaps, you actually first met them in January, at some gathering, but other than saying hello, you really didn’t “MEET” them until June, when you ran into each other on the beach and ended up spending the whole summer together.
So, you really did not answer my question, truthfully, because you first met them at that thing in January, but it wasn’t until June…etc. But you are not going to go through all that explanation, you have already committed to saying the summer even though something in you (nose touch) knows that you actually first saw them in January.
That is what happens when we sense discord, the nose will stimulate, the hand will come up, and we will touch our noses.
So, if a person does not believe you, or if they are telling a lie, or if there is some uncertainty passing through them, they will hit/touch/rub their noses
If they touch or rub their chins, they like it.
If they fold their arms, they are defiant; they are holding their position; they are standing their ground; and, it is very hard to get any idea through to them.
In addition, if you watch people seated in a group, and one person is speaking, you may notice that some folks will be leaning toward the speaker, while others are leaning away.
The ones leaning toward the speaker, are in agreement with them, those leaning away, are not. Everyone will be leaning slightly toward the people they support, and away from those they do not.
Unconscious Muscle Movement provides for a very fascinating and telling study.
So watch for these unconscious movements in life. Watch for the nose hits in others… and in yourself. See how many times you can catch them.
Sometimes, when I catch myself touching my nose, I say, “Well, my nose itched.”
But the question is, why? Why didn’t my ear itch? Why didn’t my forehead itch? Why didn’t my backside itch? Why is it always my nose that itches?
Don’t panic. It is just in our nature.
3. EXTERNAL CONSIDERING – Views from the Real World, Pages 94-96, Chapter “Everyone is in great need of one particular exercise…”:
Next is external considering. The best way to understand external considering is to understand internal considering. In internal considering people want their due. Most everybody does everything they do for their due. Even a guy that stops on the side of the road to help somebody with their tire is hoping that the guy that he helped will thank him. And if he doesn’t get thanked enough, he will be disappointed; for example, after helping the guy with his tire, the stranded guy says, “Hey, thanks for stopping”.
Gee, I now feel a little disappointed. The (stranded) guy should have said more, he should have at least offered me some money, I wouldn’t have taken it of course, but that would have at least gave me my due; and I didn’t get that, I feel upset because I wasn’t thanked enough; I wasn’t considered enough. People didn’t give me my due.
Well, when we understand that is how internal considering works, then we can understand external considering because it says, “Give them their due”. Make sure if somebody stops to help you with a flat tire, you go, “Oh my God, thank you so much. You are just a life saver. I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t stopped. You are such a wonderful human being to think about others and to stop.” Now this guy is just feeling great about himself, he says to himself, thanks so much, I got my due. If someone lets you pull in onto the freeway or get on, or stops at the light and lets you go through first, make sure you wave, make sure you make several movements to let the guy know “thank you, thank you,” so he feels good; that is external considering.
I don’t need my due. I can give it to this guy. I know that the world is caught by this, so I make sure when I am in the grocery store line, I thank the clerk for checking me out. During all these things, I always look for some way to send in that thanks, to give that guy his due, because I know how his world is and what it revolves around. People donate money to the church, or to the hospital, provided of course, the new addition to the building will say “Anderson Wing”, so they can get their due; Anderson built this one, yeah, go Mr. Anderson. People want their recognition for what they are, they always want their due. So to external consider, knowing that, give it to them. Make sure you say thank you, make sure you are courteous, and make sure you acknowledge everybody that opens the door or lets you cut into the traffic flow or signals to take a parking place, or whatever it may be. Make an effort to thank them, make an effort to give them their due; that would be external considering.
4. WALKING WITH MOMENTUM – Views from the Real World, Pages 116 & 161, Chapters Energy―sleep & The three powers―economy:
Gurdjieff says we use all the wrong muscles when we move. We hammer with the whole arm and the shoulder when we only have to hammer with the wrist. If I said make a fist, you might feel there is tension clear up to your shoulder and arm when really all you have to tighten is your fist. But you will end up using all these muscles that are not necessary. So we want to be aware of that. Gurdjieff says the head and face should be alive, the rest of the body should be relaxed.
So if you can relax the rest of the body, then to walk with momentum is simply to give a push, as if I was standing behind you and I shoved you, you would move forward but the force of my shove would wear off and you would start to slow down, but if I walked up and shoved you again you would move forward some more. So imagine you are shoving yourself. You are making an effort to make a momentum in the forward direction and then you are stopping that momentum, and then the momentum just kind of carries on for a step-and-a-half and it starts to die, then you push again, it starts to die, then you push again; and now, you are using momentum. Gurdjieff said if you walk with a constant, regular gate you are just using too much energy.
We would walk around the property, before we built all the houses, and we had a trail around here and I walked with people and they would be walking like this (demonstrates a steady pace) and I would be walking like this (demonstrates a pace that goes forward, then lags behind, forward, then lags behind; a non-steady pace). And I would be pretty much with them, beside them, and then I would move ahead just a tad and fall back just barely; because I was not just keeping a constant walk. I would give a little push, create momentum, then slow down and they would start to pass me and I would push, etc. You use a lot less energy that way.
There are some other ways that can be used for walking to reduce energy and one of them is gravity walk. This is where you bend forward from the torso just enough so that you are going to fall, but if you shuffle your feet, and take small steps, you do not fall; but, you do not ever catch up to your center of gravity, so your center of gravity is always slightly in front of you, so you are always falling. Mountain climbers will learn to “fall” up the mountain. They actually lean forward enough that they are falling and all they are doing is keeping their feet up underneath them to keep them from falling; and in a sense they are falling up the mountain. They are not pushing themselves up, they are falling up the mountain. A marathon runner at the end of a marathon race will be using gravity running at the end of the race. He is leaning forward just shuffling along, just keeping his feet up underneath him using his forward momentum, using his gravity to keep him going, because he is out of force. If you take too big of a step you come up under your center of gravity and stop yourself; if you take too small of a step you fall on your nose. But if you shuffle just right, you will always be falling into the future. You are just keeping yourself from falling. That is another way of walking with momentum. You can jog with that and you can walk with that. It is amazing how far you can go without any effort, because you are just “catching up”, your feet are just catching up to keep from falling.
The 19 things I saw – song: these are the 19 things I saw, when I sought reality. I wrote the words to a song that is sung to The Twelve Days of Christmas.
It is done to the same tune, a repeating series of 19 things. In fact, it is done in a way that if you were going to explain the work to somebody, you could start with the song, and just go right through the 19 things and explain the work.
The first thing I saw, when I sought reality, is a machine that’s a multiplicity. That is how the work begins: we are machines, we are a multiplicity, there are many I’s. One I says, “I am going to get up early”; and another I is not in on it, the next morning. One I reads the page in the book and some other I’s are having a conversation, and you get to the bottom of the page and you don’t know what it is about. We are a multiplicity. You could talk for an hour about how man is many, how man has many I’s. That is the first thing you have to see if you are going to work on yourself, is that you are a machine that is many; legion…multiplicity.
The second thing I saw is two-naturedness. There is a possibility of higher for man, that he is made of both body and spirit. There is a higher nature for us.
The third thing is three types of men: the physical, the emotional and the intellectual.
The fourth thing is the four seeker ways that are built off this physical, emotional and intellectual; and the fourth way.
Then there are five states of I: Multiplicity, Magnetic Center, Deputy Steward, Steward and Master.
Then there is six leaks a leaking: unconscious muscle movement, unnecessary chatter (talking for talking’s sake), imagination, lying, internal considering, identification.
There are seven centers serving. Eight Pentads purging. Nine movements moving. Ten lines aligning. Eleven notes a needing (the food diagram without a conscious shock). Twelve matters molding (the table of hydrogen’s). Thirteen octaves acting (3 scales, 13 octaves, 71 vibrations).
Fourteen cards concealing – it takes 14 cards to represent the whole model, they might be used in different suits, but there is still only 14 kinds of cards.
Fifteen oscillating – that is how many steps a process goes through in an oscillation: fa-so-la-ti-do-re-mi-fa-mi-re-do-ti-la-so-fa; fifteen steps.
Sixteen man’s remembering. When a man produces the first conscious shock, he makes five more notes. So he goes from 11 notes – 7 notes of food, 3 notes of air, and 1 note of impression – to 16 notes. Called self-remembering.
Seventeen lines defining. This is the Enneagram showing all the lines, even the lines that go from the past, to the future, all connecting.
Eighteen Fa’s transforming producing the transform emotion shock, creates 2 other notes – Fa 6 and Do 6 – and now we have 18.
And then 19 outer octaves.
We sing it and go around the room and everyone takes a different one and then we add it all at the end: 19 outer octaves, 18 FA’s transforming, 17 lines defining, 16 man’s remembering, 15 oscillating, 14 cards concealing, 13 octaves acting, 12 matters molding, 11 notes a needing, 10 lines aligning, 9 movements moving, 8 pentads purging, 7 centers serving, 6 leaks a leaking, 5 states of I, 4 seeker ways, 3 type men, 2 naturedness, a machine that’s a multiplicity. In the process, we get data and each one of these bits tells us something about the work. It is a whole bunch of data in its own; so we have this little song that contains the whole model of all these various things in numbered form sung to the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas song.
Do the simple ones, just to work on intellectual center, to develop some prowess in it. It is also a good way to occupy the place.
It takes some effort; I do simple ones. I will count up by sevens and down by sixes alternatively: 0 – 7 – 100 – 94 – 14 – 88 – 21 – 82 – keep going down by six and up by seven, to see if you can get all the way back to a hundred and zero. And that is tough, because something has to hold what you said. Something has to take what was said before and add to it, then hold the other number what was said and subtract from it, while holding the last number. Then go back to the previous number and add to it, while holding the other number too, then subtract from it, then hold that one and back again to the other one, to add to, while holding this one, to subtract from…etc. Something has to take what you said before and hold it while either subtracting or adding something from it and still hold this other one, etc. Well…you can’t be worried about “Uncle Bob” anymore. You are too engaged in trying to keep the numbers in your head. That is counting.
Ouspensky’s model is not really stopping thoughts; Ouspensky’s model is holding one thought. You are not really stopping them, you are having one thought: I am sitting here, I am Peter Ouspensky, and you are trying to keep one thought in and hold the rest out; and that is what he calls stopping thoughts.
It is actually possible to stop thoughts. One of the byproducts of April Fools is that there is “silence in heaven for the space of about half an hour”. Thoughts stop; and I can stop thoughts now. I can just go (demonstrates). Nothing is said in my head. It is just empty. Nobody is saying anything. They are just waiting for me to say something because I am running this machine now and everybody is just sitting there waiting. It is such a glorious thing when there is calm and empty and quiet for the first time instead of an incessant flow of thoughts, vying for the place and vying for rule and vying for their pleasures and vying for whatever it is that they want to do. All of a sudden when that authority (Steward) walks into the house, walks into that “classroom” and everybody takes their seat and the commotion that was there a minute ago, the 50 kids in the classroom all saying different things and talking about different things and people being interested, stops; all of a sudden there is dead silence. Everybody is waiting, sitting at their desk, waiting to see what the authority is going to tell them to do. A powerful moment to experience, indeed.
8. UNCOMFORTABLE POSTURE – Views from the Real World, Pages 167 & 239-241 (hb) Pages 167 & 231-233 (sb), Chapters First talk in Berlin & “Now I am sitting here…”:
Gurdjieff said that if you wish to come in contact with your machine, put it through some uncomfortable postures. We have this body that does not know much about our work but if we put an uncomfortable posture on ourselves, the body will scream at us and say, “Move me!” and you say, “No! I need you; you are part of me, too.”
We are doing this so we can remember ourselves. I need the body. Get an uncomfortable posture so that you get the attention of the rest of the machine. Then get up and move. Use all those changing sensations as reminders. Say, “Hey, every time I feel these kinds of sensations, you are a participant, you remind me my aim is to remember myself.”
Just an unknown world sound. I don’t know where it came from, but it is a centering sound. It certainly is an exercise that’s good to stop the rest of the machine. I have found though, if you could turn the sound of a sigh into an audible sound, that would be the Om for you; in resonance with your machine.
For instance, you solve some problem and all of a sudden you have that moment of release, and you go…(demonstrates sigh – letting air out of lungs) if you can make that audible, instead of some manufactured om, which might sound big and full and have some resonance, the om, if you could make it into the sound when you sigh, it would be smaller and subtler but would have a greater resonance with your machine then the manufactured one that you thought was better because it sounded deep and full.
10. “I AM”, “I CAN”, “I WISH” – Life is real only then, when “I am”, Pages 110-111 & 135-136, Chapters Third Talk & Fifth Talk:
This is simply: A man is liken to a carriage, horse, and driver. The CAN is the carriage, the WISH is the horse, and the I AM is the driver. So when a man does this exercise, he is acknowledging the three parts that are necessary for the Whole to function. He says I AM and acknowledges his driver. He says I CAN and acknowledges his carriage. When he says I WISH, that is the power of the horse — the property of recognizing his horse. Then he says I AM CAN, which connects his driver to the carriage by his seat and the brake. Then he says I AM WISH, which connects his driver to his horse through the reins. Then he says I CAN WISH, which connects his carriage to his horse through the shafts. And then he says I AM CAN WISH and recognizes the Whole as a team.
I AM I CAN I WISH
I AM CAN I AM WISH I CAN WISH
I AM CAN WISH
And in so doing he recognizes them individually, recognizes their connections to each other and then recognizes the commonality of the Whole. All functioning in UNITY.
Gurdjieff gives us a beautiful scenario of why man can’t awaken.
He explained how a man, who wishes to have a new thoughts, sits in an old posture and immediately finds himself in old thoughts.
We are corrupted by the machine, because postures are connected. Every posture has corresponding postures that are connected to it. For example: if you get down on your knees, clasp your hands together, and bow your head, you will probably find yourself in thoughts of prayer. Why? Because those postures are most likely connected.
So, opposite postures allow us to break those connections… and the mechanical chain reactions that follow.
For example: make a fist and grit your teeth, like you are mad at me and want to punch me; then think nice thoughts about me.
You will find it is hard to do. Why? Because the posture of clenching the fist and gritting teeth, is usually accompanied by other corresponding thoughts and emotions.
If you introduce different thoughts or emotions into the mix, that is, something other than what is normally connected with that posture, like “I love you”… it doesn’t want to fit. Why? Because those postures are not normally found together.
So, I am going to create opposites in me, other than what is normally there, because someday, if someone really pisses me off… and my fist starts to clench, and my teeth start to grit, I just might run into the “I love you” stuff, which I intentionally connected to those postures, and thus, I will be able to stop myself from punching his lights out.
By having opposite postures. That is, by, intentionally, putting something in that is contrary to what has always been there, I may be able to stop myself. To stop the automatic, mechanical, chain-reaction, which is created in me by the other centers who got stimulated by the initial posture.
So, do this exercise and create opposite things.
Have opposite thoughts to the way you feel.
Have opposite feelings to your physical posture. For example: throw your chest out and hold your head high, which is a physical posture of accomplishment and success; then, try to feel inferior, try to feel humble.
Or drop your shoulders, and slightly tilt your head forward, which is usually a posture of failure or dejection… then feel like you just won the lottery or can stop the wind!
So create opposite postures: Opposite feelings to opposite thoughts; opposite thoughts to opposite physical postures; opposite physical postures to opposite feelings; and so forth.
How many can you create?
You will find that it is hard to put a smile on your face and have bad thoughts. The bad thoughts will confuse the smile…and you will go, “Wait a minute, I can’t do that.” Well, yeah, they are opposites and find no comfort together.
We are accustomed to having certain postures connected. And, we are comfortable when we do. I know that. But I want you to break that habit.
I want you to put something opposite in there. So, that you are not a machine… where, when you take a posture in one center, the rest of the centers do not just blindly follow, because certain postures are always connected.
I want you to have something opposite in there.
It is kind of like removing one domino from a line of dominos. When the dominos start to fall and they reach the place where the one domino has been removed, they will stop falling.
Likewise, in me, when I clench my fist and grit my teeth, perhaps, I too will run into the place where I intentionally put in the “I love you” instead of the “I want to kill you”… and I will stop.
I will feel pride instead of dejection. For example, If I botched a presentation and lost a big commission, I will try to feel pride if I take the posture dejection.
Then, later on, when I take a similar posture of dejection, I just may run into the pride… and instead of being depressed all day long, I may uplifted…. Proud, that, even though I failed, I made the attempt, which motivates me to make the next presentation better than the last.
Opposite postures is a great way to break our mechanicalness.
The fellow in Texas says, “When my son was first learning how to walk, sometimes he would fall down and hurt himself. The normal accompanying postures would be that of a frown, of a whimper, and of tears, which usually were prompted by the postures of sadness and concern that came from onlooking parents. So, I, instead, smiled, cheered, and clapped my hands in excitement, for his attempt…. Surprisingly, he would start smiling too. Then, later on when he fell down, he would smile, clap his hands, and genuinely act excited. After which, he would, enthusiastically, get back on his feet and try again. House guests, who witnessed this behavior, were amazed that he smiled and got excited whenever he fell down. Why? Because no one ever told them that they were capable of having opposite postures.”
This exercise is designed to break the labels of what is called the “formatory apparatus”
The formatory apparatus is a part of the Intellectual Center that defines the world by attaching labels to everything. It doesn’t know what things are, it only knows their labels. Unfortunately, the formatory apparatus labels everything. And furthermore, once the formatory apparatus labels something, we can’t think about it anymore. All we think about is its label.
In life, there are many models and systems presented, that seek to compartmentalize people into types, numbers, codes or any combination thereof. Be it zodiac signs, racial or cultural stereotypes, and a multitude of personality profiles or other demographic types. Many of these are supported and encouraged by global organizations and groups, using extensive and intensive systematic structures. Indeed, people can even gain qualifications and accreditations in these things. All based upon someone’s pre-defined labels. However, once labelled, people cease to see any deviations that fall outside the given label.
For example, once someone is labelled as a “this” or “that”, even though simple gossip or hearsay, they can make a thousand manifestations that are not of a “this” or “that” nature. But, the one time they make a manifestation that fits someone’s preconceived or attached label of what a “this” or “that” is, they say, “See, I told you! They’re a ‘this’ or ‘that’”. They cannot see anything else. They can only see their label.
For instance, if someone has the label, “All dogs bite”, they will not see that dogs are loyal, they will lick you, wag their tail, and are generally kind; and, most dogs, therefore, don’t bite. They will only see their label, “All dogs bite.”
Well, how are we going to stop the formatory apparatus if all it does is label; knowing, that the moment it labels something it cannot think about it, apart from its assigned label.
In order to stop it, we want to practice an exercise called Viewing Without Verbalizing.
You start by looking around at things and see if you can see them without labelling them. See if you can see them without saying what they are – for instance, that is a phone, a red wall, a TV, an idiot, a bigot, a racist, a light, a tree or anything. See if you can just look at these things and see them but not say anything about them, not give them a label, because the moment that you give them their label you cannot see the thing itself. You only see the label you put on it.
So, if we have a label, “That that particular so-and-so is lazy”, and we put that label on them, then every time we meet them, even if they’re working hard, we will only see them when they take a break, and say, “Yep, they’re lazy”. That is, we only see them when they manifest according to the label, we put on them.
In order to view without verbalizing, we may have to go fast at first. We may have to get our eyes going quick enough, so that there is not enough time to label what we see. But, as we get good at it, we will be able to look at a tree and see the tree, and not the label we put on it.
We will be able to look at something and see it for what it really is. Whereas, before, we would have labeled it, and not have been able to see it objectively. We will only see the label we have affixed. So, practice this whenever you have a moment where you find yourself looking around at the world, to see if you can see the world without any labels.
Just look, don’t label.
This is when a man awakes, but in order to awaken a man has to do some preparatory work, to get the machine ready for awakening. So we call these exercises, exercises for the preparation and development of Steward.
* = important ** = most important exercises for Steward
Or as we like to call it PICK A CENTER. It starts with “intentional observation.” It is not just to observe yourself but to pick a center and observe that center, to bring all your attention to either movement, emotion, or feeling.
Intentionally develop that center, knowing, as we have already learned, that nature is not going to do it for us, reason has already destroyed all the things that would have made us observe.
All the roads are paved, and the dangerous animals are all gone, so there is no need for us to observe; unless… we understand the model and see why we lost our conscience.
Now, we can intentionally say, “There are no saber tooth tigers, but I can pretend there are.” I can listen for them and I can watch for them. I can be aware. I can use my instinctive center. I can bring in intentional observation and develop it, even though there is no need to since there is no danger. So that’s the key. Intentionally observe a center.
Intentionally make emotions their highest, see the meaning in things.
Intentionally try and hear every sound, smell every smell.
Intentionally see what takes place with your movements. Try and walk with stealth. Try and walk so you don’t make a noise.
You are bringing attention to your higher parts of centers.
Very important. Why? Because we cannot make the journey without enough cards, and this is the exercise that trains the parts that became lazy. Because life did not demand that they worked.
After we finish todays chapter, when you open the door to go upstairs to your room, PICK A CENTER. Either Instinctive, Moving, or Emotion and make that center work with full attention. Then when you come downstairs, again, PICK A CENTER. Every time you head upstairs or come downstairs, PICK A CENTER. Make it work with incredible attention.
When you pick the Instinctive Center, make it hear every sound, make it see every movement, make it smell every odor, make it taste the scents in the air. Sense the wind and the cloths touching your skin. RED ALERT.
When you pick the Moving Center, make every movement be seen and acknowledged. Sense your balance. Sense the movements required to climb the stairs. You will probably have to slow your movements down to see them and bring full attention to them. Often when students open the door to come downstairs, they try to do it with such stealth and so quietly that Cheetah, our dog, who usually lays on the front porch, does not hear them coming. DEFCON 1.
When you pick the Emotional Center, try to feel the meaning of everything, what does a doorknob mean? What does it mean to have stairs that allow you descend gradually and not have to jump off the upstairs porch? What does it mean to have grass? What does it mean to have a driveway? What do trees mean? What does all the life you see mean? Cheetah wags her tail when she sees you, what does that mean?
One student said, “I am not sure what you mean, ‘to see the meaning of things.’” I said, “OK, do not use the bathroom for 30 days. Go do your business outside behind a tree. Wipe yourself with a leaf. Do that for 30 days and when I let you start using the bathroom again, I bet you hug the commode! I mean there is a seat to sit on, soft toilet paper on a roll to use, and a door you can close and lock when you are in that vulnerable posture.” I bet you understand what a bathroom means then.
So, suck the meaning out of things. Feel them. Hey, you may even tear a bit when you do.
In life, PICK A CENTER whenever you walk to or from your car. There are many great opportunities to exercise the higher parts of centers. Polish the Queens… make them function. We need them if we wish to wake up. We can survive in life with just the Jacks, but if we want higher things, we need the Queens and Kings. So, this exercise is critical to you becoming what you have the right to become.
2. ASSIMILATION OF AIR (food) – All and Everything/Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson, Page 1054, Chapter Beelzebub in America (last page):
“Assimilation of food.” Again, it is just a little blurb from Gurdjieff that says there is a special room they go to where they take in both foods. Hey, we never do that! I never try and take in air. When I read that I said, “Huh, okay, I am going to see if I can eat my meal and be aware that I am breathing.” (demonstrates full inhale and exhale) Okay that is not so hard, but I have to have an attention there that keeps saying, “I am taking in air. Air is another food.” And when I did this, things changed a little bit. There was a consciousness, there was an awareness that wasn’t there before when I was just shoving the food into my mouth as fast as I could. Now at least I am aware there is another food. And it probably helps the assimilation of the first food as well.
An exercise to go with this one that might help in remembering to breathe when you eat is called the slow eating exercise. And the way you do this is you sit down at your meal, let’s say, at breakfast, and you load something on your fork and you pick it up and you look at it, and you say what Gurdjieff said, out of Beelzebub’s, “So and so and so I must, do not eat until I bust.” (explode)
Say that to yourself as you are looking at your bite of food, or at your piece of toast. “So and so and so I must, do not eat until I bust, G.I. Gurdjieff.” I always say G.I Gurdjieff at the end of it because it is his quote.
I pick up my fork and I load on my “eggs”. And I look at the eggs and I say to myself, “So and so and so I must, do not eat until I bust, G. I. Gurdjieff.” Then I eat that mouthful of eggs. I make sure I put my fork down. Because if I don’t put my fork down what I am doing is loading the next piece and I am getting ready, as soon as there is any room in my mouth, to stick it in there. I am not going to do that this time. I am going to eat slowly. I am going to put my fork down and I am going to finish that piece I put in my mouth until it is gone. And so I chew it up, eat those eggs, a couple of pieces are there still, I swallow those, clean out the mouth with my tongue, and get the rest of the eggs gone. Okay, that bit, that bite, is gone. Okay, now I pick up my fork, and I load up a piece of “sausage”. And I look at the sausage and I say, “So and so and so I must, do not eat until I bust, G.I. Gurdjieff.” Then I eat it. I put my fork down. I eat my piece of sausage, and I don’t allow myself to start loading my fork and get ready for the next one until I have all the bits and pieces of the sausage gone. Now I pick up a piece of toast and I look at the piece of toast and I say, “So and so and so I must, do not eat until I bust, G.I. Gurdjieff.” And I take a bite of toast, put it down; and I finish that piece of toast until it is gone out of my mouth. And I pick up my coffee and look at it and say, “So and so and so I must, do not eat until I bust, G.I. Gurdjieff.” Take a sip; put the cup down; and I finish my coffee, swallow my coffee. Then I pick up my fork again and I cut off some more eggs and I pick up the eggs and I look at the eggs and then I go, “So and so and so I must, do not eat until I bust, G. I. Gurdjieff.”
Now I guarantee, you are going to get about half done with your meal and you are going to be full. You are going to go, “I am not even hungry anymore, I only ate half of this.”
Good, maybe you could stand to lose a few pounds!
But we eat by ritual. We eat like a shoveling contest of how fast we can get it on the utensil and to get just enough room in the mouth to put some more in. “Get some more food in the mouth.” We never stop with one forkful because we have always more food and stuff going in there (the mouth).
Stop that. Do this exercise at least maybe once a week. Then you will be very aware of air, because you are not caught in this constant ritual of loading your fork, getting it ready to stuff in your mouth, then loading more food…before you are even finished eating the current bite.
This exercise needs a star placed with it. It is a very important exercise. You have read about it, but we probably do it a little bit different, so I will give you the flow of the I AM exercise that we do.
In an I AM exercise, a person says the word “I” silently to themselves as they inhale, and the word “AM” as they exhale.
So, in order to do this exercise, find a comfortable place where you can sit still, and then decide the breath on which you are going to start.
I am sitting there saying, “OK, I am going to do an I AM exercise and I am going to begin on the next breath.
OK, ready, here I go… I silently say to myself “I” on the inhale, and “AM” on the exhale”. Then I stop and ask myself, “How much of me was present?” Was I just saying two words, or did I feel a sense of presence in myself from saying them? A sense of me. A sense of my existence. I then say, “OK, well, that’s a start!” Then I choose another breath, and again silently say to myself, “I” on the inhale, and “AM” on the exhale.
My aim is to make the second “I AM” greater than the first “I AM”.
I continue saying “I AM” on chosen breaths, and after each one I tell myself, “That’s better, but that’s not all of me yet. That’s just the beginning. That is not all of me, but it’s a start.” So, I do a third one, “I” on the inhale and “AM” on the exhale, and I again say, “That, too, was not all of me… but it was better.” Then I do a fourth one, with even more tenacity, trying to get more of me involved.
Maybe it takes 7 or 8 breaths of this nature, and all of a sudden on the “8th” breath, when I say “I” on the inhale and “AM” on the exhale, I feel a change in my body. And there is an assemblage of presence in me; and I go, “OK that is the beginning. That is finally starting to be my “I AM”. OK, let me see how big I can make it.”
I start by looking at my left foot, and asking, “Is the “I AM” taking place in my left foot?” And my left foot looks back at me and says, “Me? I’m supposed to do this. You want me to do this? I’m supposed to do this too?” “Yes! I want you, my left foot, to be present in the I AM”. And so on the next breath when I say, “I AM”, I again have the calmness and stillness in my body, but now, I also feel it in my left foot! My left foot is in my awareness. It was not in my awareness before. But it is now.
And then I start to look at other parts of my body as well, and ask, “OK, how many of you can we get involved? Let’s get ALL of you involved. Let’s make the next “I AM” bigger and better… with even more of you involved.” And, I continue, until I get as much of me as I can participating in these two words: “I” and “AM”.
We all learned we have an instinctive center – that senses; a moving center – that carries us along in life; and, an emotional center – that sees meaning in the world. Understanding that, we try to get each center to individually participate in the “I AM” exercise.
“OK, instinctive center, you’re first.” On the next “I AM” I want everything to fire in my senses. I want every nerve to respond and say, “We are here.” And I do several “I AMs” in this way, trying to get the instinctive center to acknowledge its presence.
After achieving this, I stop performing the “I AMs” with my instinctive center… and move to my moving center. Since I’m not moving, I will use the stillness of my body to indicate that my moving center is participating in the exercise. I hold my body in stillness as I say, “I AM”. By my stillness, my moving center is saying “I AM”. It says, “I am here doing it with you. I am still!” It’s like I’m a statue, frozen like a rock. Nothing is moving. And I do several “I AMs” in this frozen state.
Next, I move to my emotional center and try to FEEL my “I AMs”. I do this by acknowledging that I am the only species on the face of the earth that can say “I AM”. There are 75 million species of living creatures, and none of them know that they are here, except for me! Nature has been creating life for 5 billion years, evolving up to humankind – who is the only species that KNOWS they are here. I hopefully will complete the journey in 80 years. That is, become fully self-conscious, and acquire all that a human is destined to acquire. What an obligation! That means something. I feel it. And now, there is an emotion in me, of this idea: that I am the only species that knows of its existence; and what it means. So, I do emotional “I AMs” that are full of meaning.
Then, after I complete the emotional “I AMs”, I do all three centers together. I sense. I feel. I still my body. Again, all three centers together. I want everybody. I want the whole chorus. And I do that for several breaths, until… I am zinging.
Finally, I always like to finish my “I AM’s” with what I call a “building I AM”. Where I just say “I” with little sips of air. I just say “I” with sips of air. Just say “I” with sips of air. And, every time I say “I”, something builds. Something gets bigger. And bigger. And bigger. And bigger. And there comes a moment when I know it is time to say “AM”, because I have built up so much of the “I” in me I am simply not able to build it up anymore.
And then I exhale and say, “AM”. And usually something goes “whoosh” down through my body. My whole body tingles.
I took in little teeny sips of air and built my “I”. Little “I’s” gathered until they got so big, I could not take in anymore. And I was compelled to say, “AM”, and “Whoosh!”.
This is a very important exercise. Take a breath and say “I” on the inhale and “AM” on the exhale. Always say, “That’s not it yet.” Then do it again. Make the next one better.
You can do this. You can make the next one bigger. After that one, say “Better, but that’s not it yet”. Then do another one, make it better. Do another one, make it better. Do another one, make it better. Make each one better than the last. Try to do each one with more of you. Straighten your posture. Change something. Make the next one better. There will come a moment, maybe the 7th, 8th, 9th, or 10th breath, when the assemblage of your “I AM” starts and you feel some conscience, some presence, in your whole body. Then, look at your left foot to see if it is there too. Make it happen there as well. Then get other parts of your body to participate.
Use your instinctive center to do it. Use your moving center’s stillness to participate. Use your emotional center to recognize the value of what it means to be the only creature on the face of the earth that knows you are here. The obligation that puts you under! Then, do them all together.
Finally, end up with one that just builds the “I”. Just “I”, “I”, “I”, “I”, “I”, “I”, “I”, “I”, “I”, as you sip in air. Oh my! Time to say “AM” … and …. Whoosh!
Stop and for a few moments feel the presence of yourself.
This is an extra exercise I want to insert here.
This exercise is very powerful. It allows you to almost instantly raise your state. It is a simple exercise, but the results are very profound. At various moments during your day, you ask yourself, “Where am I on a scale from 1 to 10?” 1 being your worst state and 10 being your best state. “Where am I on a scale from 1 to 10?” That’s it. All you have to do is just ask yourself. Where am I on a scale from 1 to 10?
Try it now. Where are you at right now? If I asked you, right now, to give me a number of where you are on a scale from 1 to 10, what would you say? Remembering that 1 was your worst moment of consciousness and unity… and 10 was your best, where would you say you are, right now? Here, right now. Where are you? What number?
At this point, the numbers are meaningless. They just give us a place to start. So pick one. Let us say that you picked 6, just for a number. You are at a 6, which is an okay number. Now, here is the important question: What can you do to get to 7? That’s it! Now that you have identified that you are at a 6, what can you do to get to a 7? Simple!
Perhaps you can change your posture and get to a 7. Perhaps, envisioning the smile on the face of your child will get you to a 7. Or, perhaps, remembering a moment from your Objective Prayer, will get you to a 7. Something… will get you to a 7. And, surprisingly, most people find that to go from a 6 to a 7 takes only a matter of seconds!
Wow, really? You can get to a 7 in less than 20 seconds… just by remembering the smile on your child’s face. Yes. Amazing!
Are you at a 7 yet? I am sure you are. Congratulations.
So now, the question becomes. Do you stop at 7 or do you try for 8? Look through your memories and find a memory that will, again, change your state. One that will bring you to an 8. Or use your imagination to do it. Imagine that the love of your life says that they love you too, and that they will marry you. That may do it.
Wow! Are you an 8 yet? I bet you are. Good. That one took less than a minute. Okay, let’s not stop there. Let’s try for 9. Is that possible? Can you conjure up another thought? That is, remember your graduation, change your posture, or hold some image that will take you to a 9. I think you probably can. And, I am sure you can do it in less than 2-½ minutes.
And, you do.
Okay, now that you made it to a 9, do you stop there… or do you try for a 10? If you can make 9 in less than 2-½ minutes, how long will it take to make 10? Is it even possible to make 10? And, if you do, is it possible to make 11? Maybe, if you had the right thought, it would change your 9 into a 10.
For me, whenever I get to a high number, and am not sure if I can find a thought that will raise me further, I imagine that the most supreme being in the Universe, if there is one, has just stopped what they are doing, and turned their attention to the earth, because they heard that someone was trying to reach 10, and they just want to see if they will make it. That thought works for me. Find one that works for you. If you can perceive such a thought, it will probably take you to a 10. And, surprisingly, it will only take a few minutes.
Perhaps you will find that every thought you need, will be found in the Objective Prayer exercise (the 7th Steward exercise), because your Objective Prayer is a series of ideas that are designed to raise your state… no matter what state you are in.
If I am at a 4, I say, “I am a 4”, and then I start my objective prayer, and it accelerates me from a 4 to a 5, to a 6, to a 7. The makeup of those thoughts changes my state. And, by recalling them, I have a proven way to always move up. Just 2-½ minutes to change my state from an 8 to a 9. Just 2 ½ minutes…not a lifetime! So, why would I ever live at a 6 or a 7 again, when I know that I can go from a 6 to a 7 in less than 20 seconds, or from a 7 to an 8 in less than a minute, or from an 8 to a 9 in less than 2-½ minutes.
Sometimes you may find yourself at a 3 or 4 – due to life circumstances – but there ought to be a way to move from a 3 or 4 to a 5, and then from a 5 to a 6… Just as there was a way to move from a 6 to a 7… and beyond. Because of that, I am sure you will find something that will get you from a 3 to a 4 to a 5 as well – no matter how discombobulated you are. There will be something that you can do to change your state.
If we just remember this and often look at ourselves throughout the day, and ask, “Okay, where am I collectively in my state of consciousness. Where am I on a scale from 1 to 10?
Okay, I am feeling pretty good. I am at a 7… Now, what am I going to do to get to an 8? I know…. I will change my posture or remember a special moment. I will do something.” Maybe it takes 20 seconds or 30 seconds for me to change my state. It will most likely be relatively quick. It will not take a long time. It will not take a week. I will not have to sit in a lotus position for 2 days to do it. I simply have to calm myself, gather myself, and think of something. It is easy to remember something which raises my state. Changes me. Changes my chemistry.
That is how it works.
Fortunately, if I have the moments of my Objective Prayer memorized, I can, at any time – no matter where I am in myself – stop and ask myself, “Where am I on a scale from 1 to 10?” And, when I do, I can use my Objective Prayer to take me right to the top…. Maybe, even past my old 10.
You tried that and you saw how difficult that was. I have replaced that with “Threefold Attention.”
You can try the “Three Finger” exercise in the future but the most important exercise on the page is “Threefold Attention.” I will give it 2 stars.
This is one that a man can do. He can divide himself into 3 attentions if he does this threefold attention exercise.
An amazing exercise, that show us how we can have; and, focus multiple attentions.
Many people think we can only have attention on one thing at a time.
However, anybody who ever had a song playing in their head, which goes on all day long, knows that we can have an attention on that song, and yet still be able to function in life. So, it’s possible to have more than one attention.
A person has three different parts of themselves, three different brains. They have the reptilian brain at the top of the spinal cord, responsible for instinctual sensing and basic movement, the cerebellum, or limbic system, responsible for coordinated movement, motivation and emotional meaning, and the outer neocortex, which is the intellectually developed brain of higher thinking mammals, responsible for language, abstraction, planning and perception.
Each of these brains has its own memory, its own will, and its own attention… and that’s why, sometimes, if we can’t remember a phone number, we may grab a pencil and try writing it….and by writing it, we remember it, this is because the memory of that number can be in the brain that is responsible for movement, not in the intellectual brain.
So, we have these different brains or centers, and each one of them has its own memory, its own will and its own attention.
If these three attentions were brought together and held on one thing, then, instead of a random song going on by itself, we could have one unified attention directed on the task in hand.
Sometimes, we witness this when we’re driving down the road and have the radio on, and all of a sudden, a song comes on that draws our attention, and we say, “Turn that up, I want to hear that one”.
Why do we do that? Why does that song need to be turned up?
It’s because the memory of that song is in multiple centers. There’s a memory of that song in the instinctive center, we know the melody. There’s the memory of that song in the moving center, we’ve danced to it. There’s a purely emotional memory of that song in our cerebellum, where we feel the meaning of the song, because perhaps we were listening to it when we fell in love. And there’s a memory of it in the intellectual center, because we know the words.
And since we have different centers, and they all have a memory of that song, that one gets turned up.
We didn’t do that for the song before, nor the song after, but THAT particular song needs turning up.
We will also notice that whichever center we were most present in, at the moment the song came on, takes the lead… and the other centers lend their attention to it.
If we were in our moving center when that song came on, we turn up the radio and start tapping the beat on our steering wheel. The moving center will have the lead, and the other centers will support it.
If we were in our instinctive center when the song came on, we will start humming the melody and singing the tune, which will also be supported by the other centers.
If we were in our emotional center when that song came on, we may find ourselves in melancholy thoughts of past loves; or, remember the wonderful time we had at the beach party when we first heard it.
If we’re in our intellectual center when the song came on, we might start singing the words, and may be surprised to find that we actually know more words to that song than we thought.
So, if you ever had these things happen, you would have seen that different centers are involved. Each with its own memory, its own will, and its own attention.
OK, the exercise is called the “Threefold Attention Exercise”.
I will instruct you how to establish three separate attentions and then show you how to unify them into one.
Find a comfortable place to sit and start to count your breath.
Don’t alter your breathing, don’t try to change it. Just count it.
You can choose – you can count 1 on the inhale and 2 on the exhale, or 1 on the exhale and 2 on the inhale, it doesn’t matter. Some people like to double count. They count the whole cycle.
They inhale as 1 and they exhale as 1, so they can hear and confirm the number they are on.
It doesn’t matter which one you do, it just matters that you have a rhythm to count: 1,2,3,4.
It is important when you start this, that you understand you are trying to bring every part of you to the count. Every part of you should come there and count.
All of you.
We don’t want to get to 80 and wonder if we have done the 80’s. We don’t want to have a moment of uncertainty, where we ask, “Am I in the 80’s or the 90’s?”
We want to get to a moment where there is enough of us doing it, that something in us knows that we are never going to lose the count. We KNOW the next number is 83, and the one after that is 84, and the one after that is 85.
There is something in us that recognizes we are not going to forget our count. It is like we are locked into it. We are there.
It may take 50 numbers, or 60 numbers, or 70 numbers, or less…somewhere. But there will be a moment where you can say, “I’ve got this! I am all here. Every part of me knows where I am, and I am not going to forget the number I am on.” That is, there is not counting in one part, and other parts are doing other thing and thus corrupting the count.
Every part of me is counting. I brought all of me to the count.
The moment I have that realization, the moment I sense that I am all there counting, and I am not going to forget what number I am on, I will try to create a second attention.
I pull my instinctive center away from the count and say. “Now, you, sense.”
Focus on some sound, the sound of your breath, or on a ticking clock, or on the sounds of traffic, or on any nearby sounds.
Continue counting your breaths while you do this.
If you do this right, all of a sudden, there will be two things taking place.
One part will have an attention on the count of your breaths, and another part will have an attention on what it hears… and, it hears.
Sounds will be bigger, bolder, clearer and more distinct, and there will be a remarkable awareness that you are doing both. That is, you still have one attention on counting, and now you have another attention on what you are hearing.
And it is like, “Wow, I have two separate attentions! One is counting; and, one is sensing.”
And sometimes the counting gets even stronger because the instinctive part has been pulled away and is no longer there to corrupt or influence it.
So now, I get both of these going until I have a firm realization that there are two things there.
There is this counting; and, here I am… 75, 76, 77. And at the same time there is an awareness of this great scope of sound and a dimension of sensing that I also have; and, they are separate.
There are two things simultaneously taking place. I am not jumping back and forth. I am not going 84, smell the air, 85, hear the traffic. It is not one attention jumping from one thing to the other; it is two separate attentions that are happening at the same time… on two separate things.
The moment I lock into the 2nd, I then go for the 3rd.
I pull the emotional center away from the count, which leaves the moving center doing the counting, and I say to the emotional center, “You come here. You feel.”
Now, sometimes people don’t know what to feel. If you don’t know what to feel, start with something like gratitude. There is always something to be grateful for.
Grateful for your family, grateful for your work, grateful for being alive, grateful for being a human, grateful for something. You can get a feeling of gratitude. So, find something that you are grateful for and hold that image.
See if you can get a third attention going, in addition to the part of you that is counting, and the part of you that is sensing. If you can, your counting may get even stronger.
So now, I have one attention on counting, a second attention on sensing, and a third attention that is feeling gratitude. And there is something in me, if I do it right, that gets the sense that all three are taking place at the same time.
One part is counting, still nailing the numbers, not missing a thing. Another part is sensing, everything is loud and full and noticed. And a third part has a feeling going.
It’s an incredible moment when you get all three.
And, if you get all three, your physiology may change, just like if you ran up the road and back. When you got back, you would be breathing differently. The body would say, “Whatever demands you put on me, I will regulate the bodily rhythms in order to provide what is needed for that effort.”
For most people, their breathing will go shallow and become very rapid. Out of nowhere, they will be sitting there counting their breaths and all of a sudden, the rhythm of their breathing changes and starts going very fast and shallow; and, they didn’t do anything to change it. However, the body knows that in order to hold these three separate attentions, it is going to have to re-regulate the system and breathe differently.
For a few people, the breathing will slow down and become very elongated. But, for most people, it will speed up and become shallow.
Sometimes, the breath can go so rapid that the mind cannot say the numbers, yet you can hear the moving center going 145, 146, 147, etc. It is like, wow, the moving center can count that fast, but the mind cannot. You can hear the moving center ticking off the numbers, even when the breath is going super-fast.
OK, you now have one attention sensing, a separate attention feeling, and a third attention counting; and they are all going fast and furious. In fact, the counting may lock-in even tighter. And you may have an incredible realization that there are three separate attentions happening in you without the participation of your intellectual center, which will create a fourth attention, that of the intellectual center… who will be astonished by the strength of having these three attentions: One attention sensing, a second attention feeling, and a third attention counting.
Hold that full state for a few counts, until you realize that you can hold these three separate attentions. Three distinct and separate attentions.
Then, when you are ready, unify them on one thing; the awareness of you… the presence of you.
Now they are all holding attention on just one thing… the wholeness of you.
Well done, stop and hold the presence of yourself for a few moments.
“Hands in motion” is an exercise for the moving center and the intellectual center to work together. To do it, you simply take your two hands and you go like this (hands in front of chest, one over the other, not touching, fingers straight, elbows bent, and you rotate the hands around each other in a circle). You move your hands around each other in a circle. But you don’t just try to do it with movement, you try to do it with mind. You try and have the mind see what muscles have to be moved to do that. To get the mind to see what had to lift up and what had to push forward and what had to go down and what had to go under. And of course you start slow to try and get it; but, there will come a moment when the mind joins in. It is almost as if the moving center and the mind go, “Hello, I did not know you were here. My goodness, you are doing this with me. We are both doing this. I am doing this, and you are participating in it. You are seeing all the movements; it is like we are both doing this. Cool!” And if that happens, or when that happens and you kind of lock in and you are participating with the movement with your mind, then speed it up. See how fast you can get it going. Of course we know there will come a speed, where your mind can’t do it anymore. The mind can’t participate in this, it is too fast. The moving center is much faster than the mind. But at a slow enough speed the mind can participate. It is a funny feeling when the mind hits it and the mind joins it and now the mind is actually seeing all the movement and it is like these two guys are doing this together. They never met each other before, but the mind is engaged, the mind is along with it.
Hands in motion. You have to go slower to start. Let the mind be a participant as if it is doing it as well and there will come a moment where it joins; and it is like I am doing this, the mind is seeing it, not just the moving center is doing it, the mind is there with it. Then you speed it up and there comes a certain speed where it is gone, you can’t see it anymore, you can’t participate in it anymore.
This one needs a star: “Objective Prayer.”
This exercise helps you identify the most important uplifting moments of your life and arranges them in the most meaningful and impactful order.
We have all had meaningful moments that touched our emotions. These are known as magnetic center moments because, once experienced, they stick with us for a very long time. For instance, we saw a beautiful sunset, we got a promotion, got married, or witnessed the birth of our first child, etc. We have had many great moments that took place during our life.
What I want you to do is make a list. Write down the Magnetic Center moments of your life. For example: a particular walk on the beach, when you got your diploma, your first puppy, when this took place, when that happened, when you met this idea, or encountered that. Vivid moments of your life that touched you. We have all had them.
What if we gathered these sacred moments of our life, these Magnetic Center moments, gathered them up, and made a list? Wouldn’t they have more force if they were rounded up?
Our inner world is dense and tangled like a jungle. Our Magnetic Center moments are like little clearings in that jungle. We know that somewhere there is a big clearing and have tried to find it. If we connect the little clearings created by our magnetic center moments, we will create pathways that may lead us to the big clearing.
Okay, so what I want you to do is create a list of your magnetic center moments. Then review and edit your list, to where you maybe have around ten of the most important moments of your life. You may have started with 30 or more on your list, but when you get done, you should have around 10.
The aim is to find the really dynamic ones. The ones that are the most vibrant. The ones that, when you think of them, they put a warmth in your heart. Every time you remember them, they put you in tears.
Then you arrange them in different orders. That is, now that we have these 10 moments, we try to find their most effective order. We start by remembering one moment. And, when we think about it, it changes our chemistry. We then remember another moment. It, too, changes our chemistry.
So, singularly, both change our chemistry. But perhaps, together, the second moment will pick up on the momentum created by the first moment, and create, in us, an even greater impact, or chemical change. And we say, “That was pretty interesting!”
A little later we try again. But this time, we change the order. We try that one first, and this one second, and another one third and, “Wow! That order was better than the other one! I am going to keep those three together.” And so, by doing this, we find the most objective order for us. We find an order that picks up on the momentum created by the one that preceded it. Now it has a greater force than it would have had by itself, and becomes, for us, what we call an Objective Prayer. A prayer we can recite, which takes us right to the top. An objective order of Magnetic Center moments that changes our state more than any other.
So, play around with the order until you find the one that is most effective for you. When you do, you will have found the best way to change your state with just by a simple set of memories. So first, make your list, then identify the ones that are really important, and dwindle it down to a handful of 7, 8, 9 or 10 things. Next, try them in one order, then switch them around, and try them in another order. Find the most effective order for you.
Now, what may be a magnetic center for you, may be different for another, depending on your age, where and how you were raised, or what you encountered. Examples vary, but here are some to inspire you. Here’s one that affected me.
There is a movie called Yankee Doodle Dandy about the life of George M. Cohan. The movie is a true story about his life. At the end of the movie he has been ushered in to meet the President of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt. He doesn’t know why and thinks that he is in trouble for mocking the President in a play he is currently performing. After hearing Cohan’s life’s story, the President says, “Sounds like you had an amazing life Mr. Cohan, the reason I called you here is because I want to give you this.” And he hands Cohan The Congressional Gold Medal of Honor. The highest military honor for serving one’s country.
No musician had ever received this before. He has written two songs, including Over There, that were just as inspirational for the war effort as any gun or any person. After being handed the Medal of Honor for his two songs, he leaves the White House, and walks out on to Pennsylvania Avenue. The Second World War is in process at the time, and the troops are marching down the street, singing Over There; it’s their marching song. Cohan joins them and he starts to walk along with the troops, and one of the soldiers looks over at him and says, as he is not singing, “What is the matter old-timer, don’t you remember the words to this one?”
I get chocked up every time I remember that scene and feel what it means. It means something.
For Gary E, one of his came from his dying cat, who looked up at him, at his last breath, and gave the longest purr of recognition before it passed. Even thinking of this brings tears to his eyes.
Magnetic center moments do not have to be that profound or moving. There was an animated show called He-Man on TV, with the evil villain Skeletor. And when the evil Skeletor showed up, He-Man, this mild-mannered guy, would take the sword off his back and hold it up in the air. When he did, the narrator’s voice, strong and definite, said, “I…have…the power.” For the person who had this magnetic center moment, they said, whenever they heard it, it would send a tingle up their spine… and, when said at the right point, it turbo-charged their objective prayer.
Magnetic Center moments can be Cohan walking with the troops, a dying cat acknowledging his care giver, or it can be just the line, “I have the power”, coming from a He-man cartoon. It’s whatever touches you or has meaning. That is, when you recall the moment, it changes your chemistry.
These are the Magnetic Center moments of our lives.
Like the dog, “Lassie” coming over the hill, doesn’t that touch you, when, even with a broken leg, and when everybody thinks she is gone, she finds her way home, and reunites with her owner?
Those kinds of things touch me and others. These kinds of things have meaning and enliven us and can be used objectively to lift us up. Even in our darkest moments.
Your Objective Prayer will change as you encounter other meaningful moments in your life. Make it a living list.
Now the next exercise is “lying still for 1 hour.”
This exercise is designed to make you master of your lower centers.
It is a tough exercise. However, what’s nice about it is, you only need to do it once every few weeks, and while you are doing it, you can do several other exercises: You can do your Objective Prayer; you can do I AM’s; you can do the Threefold Attention exercise; you can occupy yourself with many of the other exercises that are described in these podcasts.
To properly do the exercise. Lay on your back with some support under you neck. I want you to start the exercise in a somewhat comfortable position. Set an alarm clock or timer, so you will be notified when the hour has expired.
Then lie perfectly still.
Your body will want to move.
Don’t let it.
Tell it, “No, no, I am in charge. You are not moving.”
The body may say, “Just a little adjustment, just a teeny bit.”
You say back, “No. no, no no, you are okay, it is not death, it is not going to kill you, it is not going to hurt you.”
The body may say, “But it itches.”
You say, “I don’t care, let it itch.” Then, don’t let the body scratch it.
Amazingly the itch will go away because it doesn’t get scratched.
You start to realize that you have some prowess over your body. The body starts to realize that you are serious about this exercise and that its participation is needed.
I will tell you a funny story about the I AM exercise, which will demonstrate how the body will readily participate when it knows you are serious.
A student in England, who – when they did their I AM exercise – would always reach an incredible place in themselves. Kind of like making a 10 when they did their I AM exercise – instead of the Where Am I on a Scale From 1 to 10 exercise. And then, one day, they called the guy in Texas and said, “I can’t get my I AM to 10. It lost the oomph. I can’t get it anymore. I don’t know what’s the matter, but I can’t get it anymore. What do I do? What do I do?””
The guy in Texas said, “That is easy. Do it for 3 days.”
The student said, “What? You are kidding me.”
The Texan said, “Nope, you heard me correctly… do it for 3 days. Sit down with the ‘attitude’ that you are going to sit there for 3 days until you get it back to a 10.”
The student said, “Really?”
The Texan said, “Yep! Do it with that much tenacity, and with that much resolve. The resolve that you will sit there for 3 days. Then, do it constantly, steady, for 3 days until you get your I AM where you want it to be.”
The student said, “Well, OK.”
Then student called back the next day and said, “Well, I did it for 12 hours… and then I did another session for 4 hours; and, I got my I AM back!
I’ve got it!
And, it is even better than a 10, it is like I am at an 18.” Wow!
Then the student asked, “Now what do I do?”
The guy in Texas chuckled and said, “Now, it is easy. All you have to do is say to your body, I am going to do an I Am exercise, take your pick: get me to the 18 on the 8th breath; or, I will sit here for 12 hours… your choice.”
And guess what the body will do then? It will say, “Yikes, we don’t want to sit here for 12 hours, we better get there by the 8th breath.” It knows you have the tenacity to sit there for 12 hours, so it musters all the troops and yells, “Come on you guys, we have to get there by the 8th breath.”
And the body does.
When that student now does their I Am exercise, they say, “It is amazing… on the 8th breath I am at a 20.
So, once you tell the body, “It is your choice. You get me there on 8 breaths or we will spend 12 hours sitting here. Take your pick.”
When you do, the body will mobilize itself pretty quickly. That is, once you have told body what the requirements are; and, have proven to it that you are capable of sitting there for 12 hours in order to reach your aim… it will comply.
It will say, “We will get you there fast. We don’t want to have to sit here for 12 hours, we will do whatever it takes to bring you to the state you wish to attain.”
Definiteness of purpose is very important.
The centers respect definiteness of purpose.
It is a function of will, where the will is saying I am going to do this; and, since the machine knows that you will, it will give you all the force it has…. It knows that you are serious, because your prior actions have proven that. “I am going to sit here, motionless, for 12 hours if you do not get me to an 18 in 8 breaths.”
And, if the body knows that you will do that, I guarantee you, you are going to get to an 18 in 8 breaths. However, if it knows that you are bluffing…it won’t.
So, put that same tenacity into your Lying Still for an Hour exercise. If you do, your body will readily submit.
As was said, you can do several other exercises while you are lying still: You can do your Objective Prayer; you can do I AM’s; you can do the Threefold Attention Exercise; you can occupy yourself with many of the other exercises that are described in these podcasts.
“Chi” is a wonderful little exercise that can be done everywhere, sitting on a plane, standing in a line at the grocery store. The name Chi was just given to me. I don’t know if we can relate it to the ancient art of Chinese energy, but it is kind of like that. There is a model of self-remembering that we try to remember too big of things. We want to remember ourselves and remember this big thing. In truth you’d be better off remembering the little thing, making a little thing in self-remembering. Little things can get remembering, big things are too big. I suppose that one of the models to use would be the old war movies, Cowboy-Indian movies. Everybody has watched enough of those in their life. Remember the scene – it is just about in every one of them – where they are surrounded by the Indians or surrounded by the Mexicans or surrounded by the Germans, or somebody, and they are caught in, but they always figure this out: one guy can get through. We can send one guy. If we send a lot of guys, they’ll get spotted. But one guy, we can send one guy. One guy can make it. He can sneak through the lines; he can get past. That is what Chi is about, finding one guy. One guy to become higher. One guy to self-remember, one guy to get through, instead of the whole army.
Now self-remembering in our food diagram is talked about as the impressions becoming higher; and, we get from Ouspensky, a model of what an impression is: an impression is the smallest unit, or increment, of either a thought, sensation or emotion. The smallest bit of one of those is an impression. So we only have to find a small one and then let it become higher. And so to do that, we do what I call Chi. And the way we do it is, we take our middle finger and our thumb on both hands and we start with them about half an inch apart. And then, without looking at them, we start to draw them together very slowly and close the gap. And we know it is getting close. We don’t know when it is going to touch, but we know the moment that the finger comes in contact with the thumb that will be one little teeny impression. And in the process, I am waiting and there is an anticipation that builds. It feels like my fingers have already moved a foot and they haven’t touched yet, but I know they are going to sooner or later. And slowly but surely, I approach them, knowing that they are moving, they haven’t reached, it feels that they should have by now, but I am waiting and I am waiting and waiting and all my focus now is waiting, looking at that moment when those fingers are going to come together. And then there might be a moment when one of them touches and your arm jerks, you feel the electricity just move up your body, down your back, into your head…somewhere. It almost makes you leave the chair because everybody is waiting for this one little thing to happen and the moment that it does, there is an impulse of that little teeny impression being registered, that little tiny sensation. Sometimes it will make you jump. There it is! And then you break contact and do it again.
You can stand in the grocery line, waiting on the clerk, and you bring your fingers and you just drop them down beside yourself and you start bringing them together while you are waiting and you are waiting and then there is that sensation, that little, teeny guy, one little small piece is made higher. One little guy is amplified out of all proportion to its own little sensation because of the focus and the anticipation and the waiting and the waiting. Everybody stops and is waiting and then there is the touch, there is the sensation, a little teeny impression. A little guy gets through.
10. MAKE ONE THING YOUR GOD – Views from the Real World, Pages 90-93, Chapter “How can we gain attention?…”:
And again this is about little things. Gurdjieff says if you want to change the machine, do not pick something big, you will never do it. Pick something small. You have a garage at home that needs to be cleaned out. Don’t say, “I am going to clean out the garage.” You’ll never start. It is too big. Say, “I am going to move 1 box, just 1 box.” That is not too big. And you make that one thing your God and you clean that 1 box out. Now you have gained some momentum and maybe you think, “Well I am this far I may as well clean another box.” Next thing you know, the garage is cleaned. But it got cleaned only because you went after one little thing. You make one thing your God. You pick one little thing and you bring that into your life and you try and hold that. The rest will accomplish itself because little things are done; small aims.
11. I WISH TO REMEMBER MYSELF – Views from the Real World, Page 241 (hb); Page 233 (sb), Chapter “To all my question…”:
You read about this one. The reason this is on at this position is that these are the words we will use in April Fools. We will do it a little different then you read about it in the book, but we will use those words. And when you read about it in the book, Gurdjieff said say the word “I” and just see where your center of gravity is; it could be in the moving center. Don’t try to make it anywhere, just see where it is in you. Where your center of gravity is when you say “I”.
Watch what happens in you, when you say “wish”.
When you say “to remember” he says there’s supposed to be some barely perceptible reverberation in the solar plexus or the chest.
And when a man says “myself” he is referring to all of himself, including his atmosphere.
As if different bells sound. “I”, 1 bell sounds; “wish”, a different bell sounds; “to remember”, a third bell sounds; and “myself”, the general bell goes off. That is the official exercise in the book. But we will use those words in a little slightly different form in the April Fools exercise.
“Voodoo” if shared publicly!