S4/E16: The Moments In Between

Published October 14th, 2021

Time In Between

The Moments In Between

Continuing our talks on Work questions and answers, in this podcast we will narrate a dialogue between Russell and one of his students about Steward, making the Aphorisms yours, Third Response, and many other exercises, as well as, what Russell calls, filling the “Moments in Between.”

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.

Continuing our talks on Work questions and answers, in this podcast we will narrate a dialogue between Russell and one of his students about Steward, making the Aphorisms yours, Third Response, and many other exercises, as well as, what Russell calls, filling the “Moments in Between.”


Let’s begin:



Russell:  Hello, and how are we tonight?


Student:  Hi. I am pretty good. Just got home.

Russell:  Oh, wonderful. Did you have a good day?


Student:  Did I have a good day?…yes, I did have a good day.

Russell:  Did you remember yourself today?


Student:  I did.

Russell:  Wonderful. How’s your Steward treating you?


Student:  Steward is a funny animal. He talks to me when I don’t expect it!

Russell:  Ah, ha! Good!


Student:  He kind of seems to be smarter than I am.

Russell:  Ha, ha.


Student:  He comes around and says I should do something, and I don’t argue, which makes me feel good, as he offers good advice. However, I don’t know if that is just my imagination.

Russell:  Probably not. That is what happens to most people after they awaken. 

We have a critical mind when we go into new things, that keeps us from being duped like most things try to do. I know, when I started to transform, I had the thought, “Am I just conceiving this? Is this just my imagination?” But, after a while, I finally threw up my hands and said, “No, I am convinced; there is something present. It is more than just my imagination,” and it certainly gave good answers. 


Student:  Well then, I guess it is just a matter of me listening to Steward.

Russell:  Yes. It is.


Student:  I always think that there is an anti-Steward in there too; my false personality.

Russell:  That too is correct. 

Steward represents conscience. 

We have all heard the saying, “Let conscience be your guide.” 

Well, that may be true, but first you have to hear it before it can guide you.


Student:  Yeah. That is true. I think the best state for me to be in when I listen to Steward is when I am totally neutral. Then the Steward seems to speak.

Russell:  Wonderful, but law-conformable.


Student:  We had a pretty good meeting Wednesday.

Russell:  That's great. 

I heard you wrote an Aphorism on the board.


Student:  Oh, yeah, I always sneak them in, one way or another.

Russell:  Sometimes, that’s what you have to do. 

Did you have to look in your book before you wrote it on the board?


Student:  Ah, yes, I did.

Russell:  Okay, well, work on that. Make the Aphorisms yours, not George Gurdjieff’s. 

I want them to be yours.


Student:  The Aphorisms are pretty valuable, huh?

Russell:  Yes they are. They are very valuable.


Student:  I suppose they will accumulate in you and give your Steward a guideline.

Russell:  That’s correct. They are almost like cotton, they become the fabric of your life!


Student:  [Laughing] Okay.

Tomorrow ... is my day to go to Brazil.

Russell:  Enjoy yourself, take in what you can, remember yourself, listen to your Steward, and remember what you have learned, because you now represent more than just yourself, you represent the school. 

So, I want you to be super sharp.


Student:  There is a lot of truth in that.

Russell:  Yes there is. Just like you are a doctor, which means you represent the medical profession.


Student:  Well, the medical profession is not perfect, there are a lot of things wrong with the medical profession.

Russell:  Maybe so. But perhaps, that is because doctors don’t represent it well enough.


Student:  Well, yeah. I see now what you mean by ‘represent’. That is the model for it, right?

Russell:  Yes. It is.

If everyone thought that their doctor was wonderful, they would also have good thoughts about the medical profession.


Student:  You know, I think I’ve told you that my place in the Universe has changed a little bit. Now when I remember myself, I don’t see myself as me sitting in a chair, but instead, I see myself as me sitting in a chair that is flying through space! Is that about right?

Russell:  Yeah, that’s cool. That’s about right.


Student:  You know, I am just a tiny little nothing, flying through space, constantly, it’s recurring; it’s one of those things. 

You told me once that after a while the Steward would become permanent and take hold, or something like that.

Russell:  That is correct. It becomes innate in you.


Student:  Yeah, there are a few of those things that have become innate, but it’s a slow, slow process.

Russell:  Fortunately, if you keep working on yourself, Steward will appear more often and will stay longer, until it finally no longer leaves.


Student:  Oh, okay.

Russell:  When it becomes comfortable in the machine, the state that it creates becomes permanent.

At first, it is by effort and function, and then, when the state of consciousness finally changes you, it will be there all the time. 

Okay. Have you been working on your exercises?


Student:  Yeah, I have been doing most of them, and trying desperately to keep my attention on them when I do. But sometimes, it is like I go to sleep, and forget that I was doing an exercise, like the Third Response Exercise.

Russell:  That is why I tell everyone to only do the exercises for 5 minutes. Hopefully, they will be able to keep their attention on the fact that they are doing an exercise for 5 minutes. 

Fortunately, as you become accustomed to holding attention on them, holding attention on them will become less and less necessary, because, as you do them, they will become more and more comfortable; and as such, they will start to be just what you do.


Student:  I can see that. If I really think about it, when I was younger, I always had a third response; and everybody said, that guy, he is weird, he’s marching to a different drummer. I think that was probably because I always had different responses than what first popped into my head. I was always looking for alternatives, because, I guess, I thought it was too mundane to just spout out what was mechanical or what was opposite. 

Okay. So, what else have I done? Well, I did the Three-Fold Attention Exercise several times, and I did The Objective Exercise a few times as well.

Russell:  Oh, cool. How did they go?


Student:  Um, the Three-Fold Attention Exercise went pretty well, but The Objective Exercise was much better when you were here and led me through it. 

It is certainly a powerful exercise, the burning out of the stages is what really gives it the impetus of strength.

Russell:  Yes. Indeed.


Student:  It is a very good analogy, too, to let them burn out like a flare.

Russell:  Yes sir. It is.


Student:  Okay, what else have I done? I have been attempting to go to bed early and get up early to do exercises, but I have been failing terribly at that. It would be nice to get up early and do all the exercises in the morning, but so far that has not been accomplished.

Russell:  That’s okay. 

Do them as the opportunity presents itself. You don’t have to make the opportunity, it will, inevitably, present itself. Something in you will stick up your hand and say, “Let’s do some I-Am’s,” or, “We have a few minutes – let’s do an exercise.” That is, take advantage of what is available. 

I don’t think many people would be successful if they said, “Okay, I will get up at 5:00 AM, and then from 5:00 to 5:30 I will do this, and then from 5:30 to 6:00 I will do that. Then, if they do that, they often say, “Okay, I am done doing exercises,” and they don’t do any more the rest of the day. 

Thus, it is better to not cram them into one session and then stop there. Instead, go out into life; and, when a moment presents itself, do an exercise.

Here are some examples:

Firstly, write the exercises on slips of paper, fold them up, and put them in a cup, next to where you make your coffee, so that you will see the cup when you make your coffee. Then, draw one out each morning, and see how many times you can weave that exercise into your day. Grade yourself, and smile every time that you succeed.

That is, fill the “Moments in Between” with something. 

Examples: Every time you walk from your house to your car or from your car into the hospital or vice versa, “Pick a Center,” that is, put heightened attention on one center. You should be able to make an incredible effort if you do that, afterall, you only have to do it when you walk to or from your car, which fills a ‘moment in between.’

When you are waiting in the checkout line at the store, hold one arm down by your side and with your finger and thumb do the “Chi Exercise.” That too fills a ‘moment in between.’

After one patient leaves, but before the next one arrives, do a few “I Ams” in that ‘moment in between.’

When you pop into the cafeteria to grab a bite to eat, use that ‘moment in between’ to “Breathe when you eat.”

I must say, if you fill the moments in between with exercises, you will do much more work on yourself than you would have done if you scheduled doing the exercises from 5 to 6 in morning.

Hey, a commercial is on, quick, mute the TV, you have 3 minutes to fill a ‘moment in between’ and do an exercise.

Yee-Haw, the traffic signal just turned red, you have a ‘moment in between’ in which to bring yourself to presence.

Stuck sitting in the bathroom? … Hey, that could be a long ‘moment in between’ wherein you could do several exercises; and if you are at home, keep a ‘Work’ book in the bathroom, so that you can grab it and read away when you're stuck. 

Become a champion at filling the moments in between. Watch how, if you fill them with exercises, they will begin to change your life.


Student:  Wow, Russ. 

That is incredible if I think about it in that way. 

Just amazing. 

I shall, henceforth, fill every ‘moment in between’ with an exercise. Thank you so so much.

Okay. Let’s see, what else can I report?

I am working on my memory piece … “Go out one clear starlit night…”  I have written it down so that I can take it with me to Brazil. 

By the time I get back, I plan to have it totally under my skin. 

Especially now, with your advice of whipping it out and studying it in some of the moments in between.

Russell:  That’s wonderful. 

That is intentional effort, and intentional effort builds higherness. 

Oftentimes, the value is more in the effort than it is in the results.


Student:  Yeah. That is probably where I have the greatest weakness.

When I am tired, there is something in me that says, well, my body deserves a rest. 

Russell:  That is common to us all. But, as I said, exercises should be done for only 5 minutes. So, do an exercise before you rest; it will only take you 5 minutes. Then you can rest well.


Student:  Yeah, I will do that before I zone out; and, when I do, I will probably zone out a lot better too ... So that’s a double win.

Russell:  Terrific.  


Student:  Okay, what else. 

I have done the “Hands in Motion Exercise” several times. Come to think of it. I often do it during commercials. Yee-Haw, I was filling the moments in between without even knowing what I was doing, yay me! 

Russell:  [Laughing] Yee-Haw, indeed, yay you.


Student:  I have been doing other exercises, but oftentimes, I find myself sitting for an hour, just contemplating my existence.

Russell:  Okay. That works. But again, try to fill the moments in between with concentrated efforts. It does not have to be for an hour. 

It’s like, there you are in the middle of something. For instance, you just finished your coffee and you next plan to go out and clean your pool, but before you do, take five minutes and bring yourself to a collective state by saying a few I-am’s, doing an exercise, and saying hello to your Steward ... affirming him. And then you go out and clean your pool.


Student:  It seems many small aims are better than one big one.

Russell:  Ah. That is a good observation.


Student:  They have more, what do you call it, when you give a ball a kick and it starts rolling?

Russell:  Momentum.


Student:  Ah, yes, momentum. 

Russell:  Kicking the ball very hard may give the ball a lot of initial momentum, but constantly kicking the ball with little kicks, over and over, will cause the ball to go much further. 

Just like filling the moments in between may take you to the moon. 

Probably because big aims are in the future, and because of that, we get conditioned to living in the future and thereby avoid doing anything in the present. Whereas, small aims are always in the present. But, unfortunately, we often avoid the present, and instead of making an effort in the present, we end up planning our next vacation. 


Student:  Yeah, I can certainly see that in myself. 

Yesterday, my mind was on Brazil, and when it was, I was not in the present. In fact this morning, I walked into the cafeteria, intending to be present, then another Doctor asked me about my trip to Brazil, and my presence just totally slipped away.

Russell:  That’s okay. 

The value is in the fact that you tried to be present. Next time, perhaps, it won’t slip away as fast. Why? Because with each effort, you get better.


Student:  Do you think that, eventually, it will stay with me all the time?

Russell:  Yes sir. Indeed I do. 

That, I can verify from the personal observations of my own inner world.


Student:  That is good news.

Russell:  It’s like Pammy said, “You get to a point where you cannot not remember yourself. Remembering yourself becomes constant. Then you wonder how you ever got along without it.”


Student:  A new student, who you told about our meetings, started coming to them after he went to Texas and worked with you. 

Wow, I have to say, he is doing fantastic.

Russell:  Yes. Well, he came here and woke up after doing his first exercise, the Three-Fold Attention Exercise.


Student:  Was he very enthusiastic?

Russell:  Was he very enthusiastic? Let me put it this way, he came here with a Yoga background: He gets up every morning at 5:00 and does two hours of yoga. He has been doing that for 10 years. He chews his food down to a pulp. He does various breathing exercises. And, he only eats nuts, berries, and fruits. 

Then … he came here. And, on the first day, I had him read the part in Meetings with Remarkable Men where Gurdjieff meets a master and asks the master if his breathing exercises, if his practice of masticating his food, and if the various other exercises he has been doing, have any value. And the master looks at him and says, “I would advise you to stop all your exercises.” And then the master admonished those who gave them to him, by saying, “Let God kill him who he himself does not know and yet presumes to show others the way to the doors of his Kingdom.” 

Next he reads the part about restricting one’s diet to only eating certain foods, and how, by chewing those foods down to a pulp, one interferes with the functioning of one’s stomach. And how the master advised Gurdjieff to swallow whole bones if possible, so that his stomach would once again start to function the way that it should. 

After reading all that, he immediately quit doing his morning exercises, and started eating jelly beans, meat and potatoes, and all the foods that most people eat. 

It was like something in him said, “You don’t have to Work without knowledge any more, you should pay attention to what your body tells you it needs; and trust that.” 

The next day when we went through the book, he rapidly assimilated the materials like a hungry dog who was fed a glorious feast. Then on the third day after we finished Chapter 3, I sent him back to his room to do the Three-Fold Attention Exercise; and, when he did, he awoke. 

An hour later, he came back to the house with his Steward.

What a glorious moment it was!


Student:  Wow. 

And it stuck with him?

Russell:  Indeed it did. It wouldn’t leave. He had a double arrow of attention for the rest of the week. 

We finished the book and then did The Objective Exercise in order to strengthen his Steward, which of course it did. 

After which, he went back to Phoenix. 

A few days later, he called me to report that, the night he got back, he went out and ate fried chicken ... and then, swallowed the bones!


Student:  [Laughter] Oh God! That’s amazing.

Russell:  Yep. He jumped in with both feet, saying, “I found something I have been searching for all my life, why wouldn’t I jump in with both feet?” 

And, of course, it was his discipline of doing Yoga that set him up. He had developed good discipline, but didn’t have the right information, as to know ‘what to do.’ 

So, when he found it, he went “all in.”


Student:  Yeah.

Russell:  So, he left here on a cloud. He must have said thank you, thank you, thank you to me, fifty times


Student:  That is amazing, no wonder I observed him doing so well.

Russell:  Yeah, it was pretty exciting. 

Then, a lawyer from Dallas came out today; he has been here about 10 times. However, we hadn’t done The Objective Exercise, so today, we did.

We went to the back of the property, and after I explained it to him and led him through it.... 

He had an immediate change of consciousness. 

So much so that I left him there for over two hours. He was just standing there under a tree, observing what was taking place in his inner world ... for over two hours. 

When he finally came back to the house, he said, “I don’t know what is happening to me, but I am different. Something in me is different; and it is incredible. 

I am different, but then, at the next moment, I am the same; but then, at the next moment, I am different again, and am in ecstasy.” I said, “Well, that is the way it works. You have awoken your conscience. 

When your eyes see things, it is the same, but when your conscience sees you seeing things, it is ecstasy. 


Student:  Do you think I have always had a guy like that in me?

Russell:  Yes indeed, you have always had it. You were born with it. Most likely, it was covered over by your false personality and got shoved into the background. However, self-consciousness is our right. 

We are not asking for anything special. We’re just asking for what is our right; our Steward. 

Steward makes us normal beings. And then, from normality, we can go on to acquire higher things. But as Gurdjieff said, we must first come to normality. We have to first become normal human beings; beings with a conscience, ones that can see the truth of themselves.


Student:  I understand, and just like the newest student, I will feast like a hungry dog until I achieve it.

Russell:  Bravo for you! 


Student:  Okay.  What do you want me to do in Brazil?

Russell:  Well, what I want you to do in Brazil is to have fun doing all the things that Brazilians do; and in the moments in between, do the exercises and work on your memorization. 

Afterall, you will be in new surroundings. Use them to remember yourself. 

I am confident that you will represent yourself, and our school, very well.


Student:  Okay. I’ll report back to you when I return.

Russell:  I look forward to it.


Student:  I’ll take your book along.

Russell:  Great. You’ll have something to read during the flight.


Student:  I’m not going to pack too much ... but I will carry your book.

Russell:  That’s terrific. With my book, and with your memory work, you will have everything that you need.


Student:  Indeed I will! 

Okay. Well, I am looking forward to talking with you when I get home.

Russell:  Me too.


Student:  And, I will try to fill all the moments in between with exercises and memory work.

Russell:  That is fantastic. 

Have a wonderful trip, and remember yourself.


That ends this question-and-answer session.


Thank you for listening.

If you have any questions that you would like answered, please send them to information@thedogteachings.com, and we will endeavor to answer them, and perhaps ... even include them in a future podcast.  

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Goodbye until next time.

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