S5/E13: Revivifying Consciousness
Published July 14th, 2022
In this podcast we share with you a typical class between Russell and several of his students, wherein he walks them through an I-Am exercise to revivify their consciousness, and then listens to their “best moments.”
Welcome to a series of talks about objective consciousness, an objective Universe, and an objective way to awaken, expanding upon the works of George I. Gurdjieff and Russell A. Smith.
Today, I will share with you a typical class between Russell and several of his students, wherein he walks them through an I-Am exercise to revivify their consciousness, and then listens to their “best moments.”
Russell: Welcome to class. Since each of you has completed The Blueprint of Consciousness, did The Objective Exercise, unified, and awakened, I shall teach you how to revivify that moment anytime you wish.
Start by sitting in a comfortable position, close your eyes, pick a breath, and silently say to yourself, “I” on the inhale and “Am” on the exhale.
After saying your first I-Am, take a moment to register your state of unification. Then, pick another breath, and do it again.
Make the second I-Am better than the first. Again, acknowledge your state.
When that’s done, say to yourself, “Well, that’s not total revivification yet, but that’s a start.”
Then do a third one: “I” on the inhale and “Am” on the exhale. Try to make the third one better than the first two. Each time, pausing and registering your progress.
And then, do it again, and again, and again.
Change your posture if you need to. Do whatever you have to do to make yourself more present.
Sometimes, I turn around in my inner world and demand, “Come on guys, I want all of you to be here.”
This is not just a ‘mental’ thing; but an ‘all of me’ thing: “I” on the inhale and “Am” on the exhale.
Maybe the initial process takes 15 or 20 breaths, but then it happens; I do an I-Am and a vibration arises in me that acknowledges my presence.
When that happens to you, nod your head. After which keep saying your I-AM’s until the other students have all nodded.
[After several seconds go by, everyone has nodded]
Great; everyone has nodded.
Now, when you say your next I-Am, I want you to look at your left foot to see if the presence is there. Sometimes, my left foot looks back at me and says, “Me? You want the presence to be in me too?” “Yes,” I say, “I want the presence to be in you as well.”
And then when I say my next I-Am, it is.
Now check out other places, your right shoulder, your left arm, and your back: “I” on the inhale and “Am” on the exhale.
Establish the I-Am’s in all of you.
Nod, when you have accomplished that. After which maintain your presence until everyone has nodded.
[Again, after several seconds, everyone has nodded]
Super; everyone has nodded.
Congratulations, you have all done pretty well so far, but let’s not stop there, let’s go further. Let’s do some I-Am’s in each of your three spiritualized parts.
Firstly, do some I-Am’s in your Instinctive Center. When you say I-Am, I want you to sense I-Am. That is, I want your Instinctive Center to participate.
Nod, when you have accomplished that. Then continue doing the exercise until everyone has nodded.
Terrific; everyone has nodded.
Now I want you to stop saying I-Am in your Instinctive Center and start saying it in your Moving Center. However, since you are not moving, freeze instead. Become a piece of Granite. Use the frozen-ness of your body to acknowledge that your Moving Center is present.
Nod, when you have accomplished that. Remain present until everyone has nodded.
Awesome; everyone has nodded.
Now, let’s do some in the Emotional Center. In order to do that, try to feel what it means to know that you exist. Out of 75 million species on the Earth, you are the only one that knows they are here. That is, you are the only one that can say the name of God!
Nod, when you have accomplished that.
[In short order, all have nodded]
Well done; you have all nodded!
Now, do some I-Am’s with all of you: Sense that you exist, arrest your movement to acknowledge that you exist, and keep saying the name of God to emotionally realize that you exist.
When you have accomplished that, again, nod.
[All students almost begin nodding simultaneously]
Fantastic; everyone is nodding.
Now, finish your I-Am exercise with a crescendo. Do one final I-Am like this; expel all of the air from your lungs, and then fill them back up by taking in little sips of air that represent your “I,” saying, “I … I … I,” on every sip.
Keep filling your lungs, and building your “I,” until your lungs and “I” are so full that you are compelled to exhale, and when you do, exhale very slowly, saying “Am,” and wash the “Am” down your body.
When you have done so, open your eyes.
[All students open their eyes with a look of amazement on their face and stillness in their being].
Congratulations, you have all just revivified the moment of your awakening, and you did so in short order: 15 breaths to establish your presence, less than a minute to have your Instinctive Center, your Moving Center, and your Emotional Center each participate, another 30 seconds of saying your I-Am’s as a chorus, followed by 20 seconds of building your “I,” and 10 seconds of washing yourselves with your “Am;” all the while, saying the name of God.
Well done everyone!
Okay, any “best moments?”
Student: [All students continue to sit in silence; smiling … until one student finally breaks the silence by saying] I have a sequential one. Last Sunday after class, a couple of students came over to my house, and at one point, one of them stated, “Moods occur in the mechanical part of the Emotional Center.” After which, I got up and wrote that down. Then, on Wednesday, I was watching the news; they were talking about a new treatment for depression that uses Botox. Apparently, injecting Botox into the foreheads of chronically depressed people will keep them from frowning, and as such, their depression gets lifted, which caused me to recognize the profound truth of Sunday’s statement. So, on Thursday, I put attention on my face; I lifted my eyebrows and assumed an expression of pleasant anticipation. By that evening, my body chemistry had changed. I had been struggling with some unpleasant thoughts for several months, but suddenly, they were gone. I was thinking clearly and was present and sparkly inside; it was just amazing. Who would have thought that in order to control your state, you only need to control your face?
Russell: Yee-Haw! Congratulations.
Student: Thank you.
Russell: Anyone else?
Student: Thursday morning I was driving to work just before sunrise; it was cloudy. I was driving east when I saw colors in my rear-view mirror, behind me was a perfectly formed rainbow. So now, I am both looking forwards at the sunrise and backwards at the rainbow; it was quite beautiful.
When I turned onto the freeway, the sunrise was to my right and the rainbow was to my left. Whereafter, the rainbow started to double, and the doubling started to grow. Then, at my exit, the red sun poked its head above the horizon, and I started to cry. It was so beautiful, and the beauty continued. The sunrise was now behind me, and the rainbow was now in front of me. Then, a large bird glided in front of the rainbow; and, oh my God, it was perfect.
Russell: Wow, that sounds really awesome.
Student: I was doing an I-Am exercise today while playing golf. My eyes were open, and when I looked at a tree that was in my field of view, the leaves became individual, so much so that I was able to recognize and distinguish each one of them.
I continued doing the I-Am exercise throughout the round, and right before the 16th tee there was an embankment that had a lot of rocks on it; and, once again, I could see and distinguish every rock. It was as if the rocks stood up and shouted, “Here I am.” And, in an instant, I counted all 10,000 of them!
Needless to say, by doing the I-Am exercise while playing golf, I had several “best moments,” as such, I shall be doing that more often.
Russell: That’s excellent. You know it says in the Bible that God has all our hairs counted. Maybe that’s the result of Him doing His I-Am exercise. 🙂
Okay, anyone else?
Student: I have three. The first occurred when my husband discovered that he had a flat tire but was not affected; he simply fixed the flat and went on his way. The second occurred when I felt gratitude towards another student for not calling me a dork. I was trying to get on THEDOG website but had forgotten my password, as such, I called them and asked for help. As they were walking over, I found my password. If I had just been a bit more patient, I could have saved them some time and effort. However, they were very cordial about it, as well as very happy to hear that I had found my password. The third occurred this morning when I was getting out my winter clothes. When I did, I realized that my wardrobe had dwindled down to such an extent that it no longer needed to be seasonalized, which was a very good thing.
Russell: That’s terrific. Thank you for sharing.
Okay, who else?
Student: Well, my memory work coupled with my efforts and the joy of watching it all come together has certainly been a “best moment” for me. As such, I am very much looking forward to sharing it.
Russell: In that case, let’s not make you wait any longer. Go!
Student: Fantastic. I am going to do Ouspensky’s ‘Notes on Decision to Work’ from Alfred A. Knopf’s publication of The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution.
“Think very seriously before you decide to work on yourself with the idea of changing yourself, that is, to work with the definite aim to become conscious and to develop the connection with higher centers. This work admits of no compromise and it requires a great amount of self-discipline and readiness to obey all rules and particularly direct instructions.
Think very seriously: are you really ready and willing to obey, and do you fully understand the necessity for it? There is no going back. If you agree and then go back, you will lose everything that you have acquired up to that time, and you will lose more really, because all that you acquired will turn into something wrong in you. There is no remedy against this.
Understanding of the necessity for obeying rules and direct instructions must be based on the realization of your mechanicalness and your helplessness. If this realization is not strong enough, you had better wait and occupy yourself with ordinary work: study of the system, work in groups, etc. If you do this work sincerely and remember all the rules, it will bring you to the realization of your state and your needs. But you must not delay too long. If you want to come to real work you must hurry. You must understand that the opportunity that exists today may not come your way again. You may lose all your chances by hesitating and waiting too long.
If you decide to work and accept all that comes in the work, you must learn to think quickly. If you are offered a task you must answer at once that you accept it. If you hesitate or take time to answer, the offer of the task will be withdrawn and it will not be repeated. You may be given time before actually doing what you were told to do, but you must accept the task at once. An attempt to talk things over, an ironical, suspicious, or negative attitude, fear, or lack of confidence, these will make the task impossible at once. If you feel hesitation about the task offered to you, think about your mechanicalness, think about your negativeness, about your self-will -- but think quickly. You can do nothing against your weak sides by yourself. The tasks offered to you have the aim to help you. If you hesitate or refuse them, you refuse help. This must be quite clear in your mind.
The realization of your helplessness and your deep sleep must be permanent in you. You can strengthen it by constantly reminding yourself of your nothingness, of your meanness, of your weakness of all possible sorts. You have absolutely nothing to be proud of. You have nothing to base your judgment on. You can see, if you are sincere with yourself, all the blunders and all the mistakes which you made when you tried to act by yourself. You cannot think rightly. You cannot feel rightly. You need constant help. And you can have it. But you must pay for it -- at least, by not arguing.
You have to do gigantic work if you want to become different. How can you ever hope to get anything if you hesitate and argue on the first steps, or don’t even realize the necessity for help, or become suspicious and negative?
If you want to work seriously you have to conquer many things in yourself. You cannot carry with yourself your prejudices, your fixed opinions, your personal identifications or animosities.
But at the same time try to understand that personal is not always wrong. “Personal” can even help in the work, but personal can be very dangerous too, if it is not cleared by the struggle with identification and by the realization of your mechanicalness and your weakness.
Try to understand the necessity for “deliberate suffering” and “conscious effort.” These are the only two things that can change you and bring you to your aim.
“Deliberate suffering” does not mean necessary suffering inflicted on you by yourself. It means attitude towards suffering. Suffering may come as a result of your feelings, thoughts, and actions connected with your task; it may come by itself as a result of your own faults or as a result of other people’s actions, attitudes, or feelings. But what is important is your attitude towards it. It becomes deliberate if you don’t rebel against it, if you don’t try to avoid it, if you don’t accuse anybody, if you accept it as a necessary part of your work at the moment and as a means for attaining your aim.
“Conscious effort” is the effort based on understanding; understanding of its necessity first of all, and understanding of the causes which make it necessary. The chief cause for conscious effort is your need for breaking the walls of mechanicalness, of self-will and lack of self-remembering, which constitute your being at present.
In order to understand better the necessity for accepting tasks given to you without hesitation, the necessity for “deliberate suffering” and “conscious effort,” think about ideas which brought you to the work, think about the first realization of your mechanicalness and the first realization that you know nothing. In the beginning you realized this and you came for help, but now you doubt whether you must really do as you are told. And you try to find ways to evade it, to stand on your own judgment and on your own understanding. You understood clearly once, that your judgment and your understanding are false and weak, but now you try to keep them again. You don’t want to give them up. Well, you can keep them, but you must understand that with them you will keep all that is false and weak in yourself. There are no half measures. You must decide: do you want to work or not?”
Russell: That was awesome.
Russell: Okay, who else has a ‘best moment?’
Student: I do. My “best moment” was realizing that I don’t pin-hole my thinking anymore; I think bigger now, outside of just having pin-hole thoughts. Case in point, I was behind a man at a red light, who was doing a very nice thing, he was letting people in from an intersecting street. The light turned green and then red again, and when we got to the next driveway, he let more people in, and at the next one, even more people in, and by the time he let all those people in, which was a very nice thing for him to do, the signal light had come and gone twice, which I saw was pin-hole thinking. That is, he was only thinking about the nice thing that he was doing, and not about the people behind him that needed to be somewhere, who because of him, had to wait for a third light, and probably, the ones in the very back had to wait for a fourth. So, doing nice things does not mean that is the best thing to do in the big picture, maybe just letting in one or two people, and then going on, would have been better; but, for me, it was great, in the sense of me being able to recognize his pin-hole thinking.
Russell: I am sure it was a very en-‘light’-ening moment!
Russell: Anyone else?
Student: I followed through with some aims. Yesterday, I set myself three goals, which I completed. But the interesting part was when I got sidetracked by things that caught my attention, I was able to stop myself and say, “No, that is not my aim.” As such, I was able to bring myself back to the task at hand. And when the day had finished, I felt a great sense of accomplishment.
Okay, who else?
Student: I just wanted to say it’s wonderful when old patterns come in, that I am now able to change them. Thank you so much, Russ, for giving me such a large box of tools.
Russell: You are most welcome.
Student: As you know from the comments I made in the past few classes; I have been observing a particular mood in my Emotional Center. That being said, this week, after doing an I-Am exercise, I realized that the mood was there. So, while I was still under the influence of the I-Am exercise, I asked myself, “What are you going to do about this? There must be something you can consciously do to go against this pervasive mood.” I waited, and the answer came. It said, “Create a relaxed and pleasant expectation on your face.” Just like a previous student had indicated. It was like, what are you going to do about this mood, and blink, blink, blink … simple, just put on a different face. That was my “best moment.”
Another Student: I would like to respond to that if I may. In either the Fourth Way or in Search of the Miraculous, Gurdjieff says, via Ouspensky, “Keep the face and eyes alive.” When I first read that, I started to practice it; and I must say, doing so made a big difference.
Russell: Terrific. Keep your eyebrows up, and you won’t frown.
That reminds me of something I saw on The Dog Whisperer TV show, where the dog was a coward; he was afraid of the city, he was afraid of bikes, he was afraid of shopping carts, he was afraid of everything. So, The Dog Whisperer made him a leash that went from his collar to the tip of his tail, so that the dog was forced to hold up his tail in a posture of confidence and pride. And, after a couple of days, the dog was cured!
So, raise your tails, people!
Student: I just had a huge realization that verifies the mechanicality of our body. Once we know that we are machines, if a part of our body goes bad, like say, our heart has a leaky valve or something, it can be repaired, just like our car can be repaired. Or that we can do something, like lift our eyebrows, and intentionally change the chemistry of our body.
Russell: Well spotted. It’s like any great truth: You first hear about it, then you learn about it, then you memorize it. Whereafter, there may come a moment when it becomes yours. Just like today, when you realized that you can revivify your awakening.
Narrator: Well, as time is running short, we shall end today’s podcast, but promise to pick it back up next week.
Thank you for listening.
If you would like to have an awakening that you too can revivify, simply visit our website thedogteachings.com and acquire Mr. Smith’s book, The Blueprint of Consciousness, a 520-page hardback, which is also available as a PDF download.
There, you will be able to listen to other talks, obtain diagrams, animations, supporting videos, and much, much more.
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Goodbye, until next time.