S4/E18: The Many Facets of Our Inner World

Published October 28th, 2021

Diamond facets

The Many Facets of Our Inner World

Continuing our talks on Work questions and answers, in this podcast I will narrate a dialogue between Russell and several of his students about payment, the difference between the brain and the mind, the many types of lying, suffering for our sins, what is forgiveness, what is oneness, creating moon in oneself versus feeding the moon, dreams, and what it means to direct and create conditions but not help.


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 I will narrate a dialogue between Russell and several of his students about payment, the difference between the brain and the mind, the many types of lying, suffering for our sins, what is forgiveness, what is oneness, creating moon in oneself versus feeding the moon, dreams, and what it means to direct and create conditions but not help.


Let’s begin:


Student:  I came across this on page 348 in The Fourth Way and I would like for you to comment about it: “The great question is, what is the coin in which we have to pay. Effort is not really currency yet; effort has to be exchanged for something else and something else again, until you get to something that can be currency. It is very complicated.”


Russell:  Yes it is; and, no it isn’t. 

Yes it is, because, unfortunately, we live in a monetary world where everyone expects to be financially compensated for what they do, whether it be digging a ditch, telling you that you are identified, or that you must tithe if you wish to go to heaven. 

In most schools, you must pay: you might be charged a fee, be required to make monthly payments, be asked to make generous donations, or to relinquish your possessions in order to join the school. 

But is that what payment really is, or is that just the thing you do, like when you go to church and put a $5-bill in the collection plate? 

Whatever the model, you figure you have done your duty, and as such, you will get your just reward. 

But is that what payment is?

No, it’s not. 

In this school, payment means making right efforts, firstly to awaken; and then helping others to awaken.

At least, that is the way I see it. 

In 40 years of taking seekers on the journey, I never charged anyone for my teachings, nor required a payment. 

That was my payment. 

Why? Well, because, after I ‘subjectively’ awoke, and then discovered a way of showing others how to ‘objectively’ awaken, I realized that we were all a part of the same family, the human family, and as such, I could not charge others for my guidance. Afterall I did not charge my children for my guidance, nor did my parents charge me. Thus, I was obliged to share the objective truths I had found with everyone, at no charge. 

So, back in the day, other than the cost of airfare, and now, for the cost of printing and shipping my book, as well as the cost of making podcasts and having someone produce and maintain the website, I still place no financial burden on anyone. 

It may take you a while to get used to the idea that real payment comes from your actions, not from your wallet. 

But, if you really want to pay (after you get my book and awaken), go out into the world and always manifest from your highest place.


Student:  Yes, sir. I now see what real payment is. Thank you so much.

Russell:  You are most welcome.


Student:  I am relatively new to the group. Can you distinguish for me the difference between the brain and the mind?

Russell:  Certainly. 

In The Fourth Way there are many brains. And whatever term they use: brain, mind, or center, they are talking about the same thing. 

Take your pick: we have an instinctive brain, a moving brain, an emotional brain, and an intellectual brain; or, an instinctive mind, a moving mind, an emotional mind, and an intellectual mind; or, an Instinctive Center, a Moving Center, an Emotional Center, and an Intellectual Center. 

The Fourth Way chose to use the term Center instead of using the terms brain or mind, but they are the same thing. Not to mention the fact that the terms center, brain, or mind are labels, and as such, they are easy to get hung up on. Ouspensky said, be very wary of labels; labels will often lead to confusion. 

Going further, if we look inside the skull of a human being, we will find at the top of the spine, the Medulla Oblongata, which is the same brain that a lizard has. Why? Well, we evolved from lizards. 

The Medulla Oblongata is the core of our Moving Center. There are other brains in us as well, which are the cores of our other centers, they also evolved over time. 


Student:  There is another term, “Universal Mind,” which means an intelligence that pervades the Universe; I don’t know whether or not that is true, or where I am going with this question, but I always thought that the mind was where the permanent observer is, and that the brain was responsible for keeping my body functioning. But after listening to your explanations, I think that I am beginning to understand. 

Russell:  Good. 

As to your idea of the mind being where the permanent observer is; in our model, we have no permanent observer, the observer changes constantly. 

Only during moments of self-remembering, or when we find ourselves in unusual circumstances or situations and have the feeling of, “How strange. I am here,” is when the real observer is present. 

Apart from that, our observer changes constantly, and we forget, from one day to the next, what we observed. 

The truth is, we are a multi-faceted machine with many brains; from the brain of a lizard, to a brain that can compare two sticks and determine which one is longer, all of which are connected to the formatory apparatus where the data from one brain gets registered ... and instructions get sent to the other brains.

As to the idea of there being a Universal Mind, well, that most likely is the idea that men of common mind will all choose to do the same thing. That is, they will all choose to put the fallen baby bird back in its nest, rather than to stomp on it with their boot.


Student:  That is most helpful. Thank you.


Student:  While I was reading some fourth way material, the topic came up of lying, but it didn’t really specify which type of lying, only that there were many types of lying. Could you explain, please.

Russell:  Sure. 

Firstly, there is basic lying. Like if I said, “There is a dinosaur outside, or that the people who work for company A are better than the people who work for company B.” That is one kind of lying. 

But there are other kinds of lying as well. Like when I use the word ‘I,’ and I believe it to mean all of me, or that I possess ability and will to make a decision; where in truth, I am asleep and a machine and do not possess such an ability. So, that too is lying. 

But I do not see those things as being lies, as I believe them to be true; I actually believe that I can make decisions and that I have a permanent I - that is, by gum, if I say I am going to get up early tomorrow, I am going to get up early tomorrow. Then, when tomorrow comes, I decide I am still sleepy, so I stay in bed. Which means that the I that expressed itself the night before was lying. 

So, that is what he meant by lying.  

Does that help?


Student:  Yes it does. If I said it didn’t, I would be lying (smiling).  

My other question to you is: do you think that suffering is created because of the attachment we have to our sins? 

Russell:  Suffering is a big model. Gurdjieff said, “Only conscious suffering has any sense.” 

However, we do not suffer consciously, we suffer mechanically. We suffer because we have remorse over our manifestations; the undesirable results of which we call sins. 

Have you heard of sleepwalking?


Student: Yes, indeed.

Russell:  Okay, let me ask you this. Suppose you were sleepwalking; and, while sleepwalking, you knocked over a lamp and broke it. Would you be to blame for doing that? Would that be a sin?


Student:  No, of course not. It was just an accident.

Russell:  Correct. 

Therefore, if you realize that most of your life was spent in sleep, then in truth, you never sinned, because everything you did was just an accident done while sleepwalking. So, there are no sins; there are just the accidents done by sleepwalking machines.  

Or, did you ever have a car where the tire blew out while you were driving?


Student:  Yes. 

Russell:  Did the car sin?


Student:  [giggle] No.

Russell:  See, the car just had a bad moment. It had a mechanical function that went wrong.


Student:  So, are you saying that if we were conscious, would we not sin?

Russell:  Correct. We would not sin. Unless of course you apply Aphorism #8, which says: If you already know it is bad and do it, you commit a sin difficult to redress. Which means that conscious people know the difference between right and wrong, whereas sleeping people do not, and as such, they are just carried along by the current.


Student:  Okay. Thank you Russell. That makes perfect sense. 


Student:  Could you talk a little about useful suffering and harmful suffering?

Russell:  Sure. That one is easy. 

Gurdjieff said, if you have no food and therefore do not eat, that is mechanically suffering, harmful suffering. But if you have food and choose not to eat, that is conscious suffering, useful suffering. 

We suffer because we blame ourselves for what we think we did. But again, we didn't ‘do’ anything; things just happened, and as such, there is no reason to blame ourselves for that which happened. For example: We lose our temper and yell at our kids, and now we suffer. However, we did not yell at them consciously, we yelled at them mechanically. 

We suffer for a lot of things that we do mechanically. 

The Work talks about sacrificing your suffering, well sir, mechanical suffering is the suffering you must sacrifice.


Student:  Thank you Russ. That was perfect.


Student:  I have almost finished reading The Fourth Way, and I do not understand about the ego not forgiving. What does that mean?


Russell:  That is a good question. 

Ego is the sense of “I,” and the sense of “I” never does anything wrong. So the sense of “I,” or ego, never needs forgiving. 

Whereas, if we think that someone deliberately bruises our sense of “I,” we get disturbed, and therefore, are inclined to blame them. That is, to place blame on whoever caused that disturbance. 

The need for forgiveness usually means that we blame someone for what they did, and thus need to forgive them. 

However, we do not do that with other things. If we did, then if our car got a flat tire, we would have to blame the car, and then forgive the car. But we do not do that. We do not blame the car, because the car did not do that deliberately. 

So, when dealing with machines and animals, there is no need for forgiveness.

Student:  Thank you very much.


Student:  I have a tiny little question. How would you describe oneness?

Russell:  How would I describe oneness? 

Well, let’s see, I suppose that oneness could be described as a function that is in total agreement with all.


Student:  Would you say that one more time please?


Russell:  Sure. Oneness is a function that is in total agreement with all. 

That is, if you look at your inner world as being a large classroom with many children, then any decision that you make which benefits the class, will usually be resisted by some. 

But now imagine that you make a decision and no one resists; that is, everyone agrees. That would be oneness.

Automobiles are supposed to function as one; their systems are designed to work together. It is only when one of the systems does not work in accordance with the others that the car has problems. That is, a wheel goes out of alignment, and thus, pulls the car to the left.  

When I look at the Egyptians and wonder how they built the pyramids, I imagine that perhaps they wanted to build the pyramids. And as such, it would not be hard for 1,000 guys to all pull on the rope at the same time. 


Student:  [Laughing] Yes, I can imagine that too.


Student:  I have a question, on page 140 in The Blueprint of Consciousness where we are counting the vibrations and the stopinders in the inner octaves. You say that in Scale-1 there are eighteen vibrations created between the four fundamental points that come from scale-0. 

Did you arrive at 18 by counting all the vibrations in Scale-1 (22) and then subtracting the four fundamental points that came from Scale-0 (DO, SO, MI, and RE), or did you arrive at 18 by subtracting the four Do's of Scale-1 from the 22 vibrations?

Russell:  Either way; both are the same vibrations. I often say, “Do not count the Do's because they come from notes that were most likely fundamental points in the previous scale, that is, a DO, SO, MI, or RE, which became Do’s in the following scale. So, they are the same.


Student:  Also, in other Gurdjieffien writings, the authors often write about the Moon becoming like a planet, and the Earth becoming like the Sun. But is that objectively true? 

What is the fate of the Earth and Moon in Creation? 

What do they aspire to become? 

And what does ‘creating Moon in oneself’ actually mean?

Russell:  Firstly, the Earth and Moon do not aspire to become anything.

However, someday, the people who live on the Earth will colonize the Moon. And when they do, the Earth will have become like the Sun, as the Earth will give life to the Moon, just like the Sun gives life to the Earth. And the Moon will become like the Earth, as the Moon will have life, just like the Earth has life now. 

Because of that, we get the famous statement from Gurdjieff that organic life feeds the Moon!

Secondly, consider that we are here because the Moon is a permanent centre of gravity for the Earth. That is, it holds the Earth at a constant tilt, which both stabilizes the Earth’s climate and creates conditions for the extremely slow process of evolution to proceed. 

Thirdly, consider that we perhaps need something like that in ourselves. Something that acts as a permanent center of gravity for us. 

Which brings us to the idea that life needs two Moons: one out there in outer space that keeps the Earth in balance, and one inside ourselves (our Steward) that keeps us in balance. 

So we can either ‘create Moon in ourselves’ which accomplishes the latter. But, if we do not, no worries. At least our existence will feed the former, because our descendants will someday colonize the Moon.

So, that is what is meant by ‘feeding the Moon,’ and ‘creating Moon in oneself.’ 

Does that help?


Student:  Yes it does, Russ. That was brilliant!


Student:  On Wednesday morning I had a dream, and all week long I have been trying to interpret that dream; trying to make sense of it, but as of yet, I have been unable to do so. Can you help me with that?   

Russell:  No. Not really. 

First of all, you should quit trying to interpret your dreams. 

Dreams are just fragments of memories that have been constructed by the mind into random stories. That is, they are just a hodgepodge of random postures, random sensations, random feelings, and random thoughts that the mind tries to make sense of.

You, trying to make sense of them, of that randomness, and trying to construct them into something that has meaning, is just pure imagination.

Thus, I advise you, put no stock in imagination, only in what is real. 

However, while you are awake, use the power of your imagination, and try to imagine yourself becoming real.


Student:  I will, Russell, thank you. That will make my life so much easier.


Student:  My question is about the aphorism: “Here we can only direct and create conditions, but not help.” “Here,” refers to a school. Does that imply that trying to create conditions outside of the school is futile? That “conditions” are limited to the school and to the people in the school?

Russell:  Well, let me put it this way, for the past two years, you have been in medical school with the aim of becoming a doctor. Why don’t you go downtown and tell everyone what you have learned, so that they too can become a doctor?


Student:  Because they do not want to become a doctor, and unless they go to medical school, they will never become a doctor.

Russell:  There you go; because they do not want to become a doctor, and unless they go to medical school, they will never become a doctor. That is, if they were interested in becoming a doctor, they would be in medical school. 

However, just being in medical school will not make them a doctor, they have to want to become a doctor, which means: study, study, study, memorize, and learn stuff, correct?


Student:  Indeed.

Russell:  So the model for a medical school is the same as the model for a Fourth Way school: “Here we can only direct and create conditions but not help.” That is, here we can only show you how the body works, give you the proper books to read, and tell you the methods and processes that are used, but you are the one who has to study, study, study, memorize, and learn stuff; we cannot study, study, study, memorize, and learn stuff for you. We can only show you what you need to learn, and do it in conditions that are favorable for you learning it, but we cannot make you a doctor.

Student:  I get it.

Thank you, Russell, for creating conditions for me. And, believe it or not, for also helping: as your insightful and informative answers always provide great motivation.

Russell:  Well, thank you sir, for studying, studying, studying, memorizing, and learning stuff.


Student:  I have a question. I spent the last several days with a friend of mine; a woman who is both bitter and sad. Unfortunately, no matter what I said to her did not make her not bitter and sad, which saddened me. How can I help her? 

Russell:  Well, how many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?


Student:  I don’t know. How many?

Russell:  Just one, but the light bulb has to want to change.


Student:  I get it. I understand, she has to want to change, but are you saying that in those instances, where someone shares with me their problems, that the only thing I can do is sympathize with them and say, “Hey, I’m sorry that your life is difficult; I hope it gets better?”

Russell:  No, that is not what I am saying. 

I am saying, be the work. Be a conscious human being who offers sound advice to everyone who asks, so that all who meet you will wish to attain the freedoms that you have. 

That is, be conscious, smile, and encourage everyone. 

If you do that, then, perhaps, your consciousness, smiles, and encouragements will make their lives go a little bit better. 

And yes, sometimes the best response is, “Hey, I’m sorry that your life is difficult; I hope it gets better.” So that’s there too.

The key ... is to always have a choice, and to always be present.


Student:  I think I understand. You are saying that when I am in a situation like that, all I should do is remain positive, encouraging, and stay awake.

Russell:  Yes, at least begin there. Then, after you learn how to do that, also learn how to direct and create conditions. 

That is, if you know, for example, that your lady friend likes to cook, then perhaps, when she gets depressed and negative, you could bring up cooking. That might get her busily explaining the many ways of making a pot roast, which would keep her occupied for a while, as well as, arrest her negative thoughts. And then, when that wears off, and she once again gets back to her model of depression, maybe you could bring up something else about cooking, or about some other subject that she is also interested in. For instance, if you know that she also likes sports, you could say, “Hey, who do you think is going to win the football game this weekend?” That will get her talking about football, and will stop her from being depressed.


Student:  That will take a lot of energy.

Russell:  On your part?


Student:  Yes. It will take a lot of energy on my part to keep her engaged.  

Russell:  It shouldn’t.


Student:  It shouldn’t?

Russell:  No, it shouldn’t. 


Student:  Why not? 

Russell:  Well, more or less, the same number of associations will be going through your head, whether you are talking about sports, about cooking, or quietly sitting at home watching a movie. That is, the flow of associations are constant, only the topics change. And as such, creating different topics for her to talk about takes just as much time and effort as it does for you to decide whether or not to paint your guest room. 

In fact, for you, it should be easier, not harder; because, if you do it correctly, she will be doing all the talking, and you will just be sitting there smiling, nodding, and directing the conversation; and all the while, going over your memory work.

So, in truth, it does not take any more energy for you to sit there and listen to her complain, as it does for you to say, “Hey, tell me again about that dish you make with the chili peppers,” and then sit and listen to her talk about the dish. 


Student:  I got it! I can do that. I really can do that. Thank you.


Student:  Well Russell, you have once again answered all our questions. Thank you for being here. We love you. See you next week.


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.  

Or if you would like to purchase Russell Smith’s book The Blueprint of Consciousness, a 520 page hardback, which is also available for PDF download, or learn more about the subjects and exercises we have been exploring, you can do so by going to thedogteachings.com.


That’s T H E D O G teachings DOT COM.


There, you will be able to listen to other talks, obtain diagrams, models, animations, and videos, as well as learn all the mathematics that supports them, and much, much more.


But most importantly, you will have real time access to the materials we are discussing.


That’s thedogteachings.com


Goodbye until next time.



Shopping Cart
THEDOG Teachings