S4/E19: Fifteen Minutes Closer to Heaven

Published November 4th, 2021


Fifteen Minutes Closer to Heaven

Continuing our talks on Work questions and answers, in this podcast I will narrate a dialogue between Russell and two of his students, about the joys of memorizing Aphorisms, what the mind can do, the stop exercise, the objective walking exercise, counting the vibrations in the three scales of an octave, oscillating DO’s, the mathematics of Ouspensky’s Diagram of Nutrition, waking up with God, the residue of being a Thirty, and the law of saturation.

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 two of his students, about the joys of memorizing Aphorisms, what the mind can do, the stop exercise, the objective walking exercise, counting the vibrations in the three scales of an octave, oscillating DO’s, the mathematics of Ouspensky’s Diagram of Nutrition, waking up with God, the residue of being a Thirty, and the law of saturation. 


Let’s begin:



Student #1:  Hello. 

Russell:  Good evening. How is your Three-Fold Attention Exercise coming along?


Student:  It has been very good. I try to do it more times each day than I did it the day before; and, to hold it longer.

Russell:  Excellent.


Student:  Now, about my reading. Several weeks ago, I was going through some of the core books, highlighting areas that I wanted to explore further, and once that was accomplished, I was going to go back and concentrate on those. But now that I have received The Blueprint of Consciousness, it has become my core book, and for the life of me, I can’t find very much to highlight, because it is so understandable as it is.

Russell:  Wonderful. 

So, you like it then?


Student:  Like it? I love it. Reading it makes me relive the 8 days I spent with you in Texas, when you took me through Gurdjieff: Cosmic Secrets and showed me how to awaken.

Russell:  Well, that is just terrific. That was its purpose.


Student:  Truly, what an all-encompassing book it is. It thoroughly explains so many valuable things, it really stimulates my attention.

Russell:  Yes, it seems to do that with many people. 


Student:  It is definitely an instructional guide. There are so many relevant things in there; it not only makes sense, but is very easy to understand. So, yeah, I really like your book. Afterall, its contents are the same as those which showed me how to awaken.

Russell:  Well, thank you for your glowing report.


Student:  You are most welcome.

And let’s see, what else? I am up to #27 on the Aphorisms out of 38.

Russell:  The First 27?


Student:  No, it’s funny, I haven’t been memorizing them in numerical order.  I did the first 16 that way; then I skipped to 20, and did 20, 21, 22, and 24, and then I skipped again and went up to 30, then it kind of skips all around.

Russell:  But you do know them by their numbers, right?


Student:  Yes, I know them by their numbers.

Russell:  That is good. Learning them by their numbers makes them easier to recall, as you can count them off when you recite them.  


Student:  Exactly. I made sure I did that, because I knew you were going to quiz me. I plan to have all 38 memorized by the end of the month.

Russell:  Terrific. I predict you will do it sir; and, I promise you, I will not quiz you until next month.


Student:  [Laughing] It’s a blast. The information becomes yours when you memorize it. It’s exciting. And, it’s really nice to know that if you feel yourself getting a bit out of sorts, you can just recite a piece of memory work and wash everything else away.

Russell:  Yep, if you occupy the place, nothing else can.


Student:  Yeah.

Russell:  It is like having a filibuster in your mind, “We have the floor.”


Student:  There you go. 

Well, that is what I have been mostly focusing on so far. 

Russell:  Fantastic.


Student:  It is really interesting. After memorizing many things, other Work ideas start popping into my mind; it’s pretty fun.

Russell:  Wonderful. 

Have you been doing the Third Response Exercise?


Student:  Yes. That one kicks in all the time.

Russell:  Super.


Student:  I have noticed that when you measure what you are going to say, it makes a big difference. And, with Third Response, everything falls into place.

Russell:  Yes. It is a marvelous way to live.


Student:  When I get immersed in a situation and find myself slipping down into old habits, I quickly grab the tools you have given me, and in no time, I am once again standing at the top. And, it happens very quickly. 

To be the master of one’s self is really exciting.

Russell:  I bet it is.


Student:  Yes. So, overall, I am very excited. And to think that it only took me eight days of studying with you to wake up, makes it even more exciting. There is really no limit to what the mind can do, or I should say, to what the Higher Mental Center can do. 

After awakening, I thought, “Gosh, I only have to memorize 1,001 words of memory work to get the Master Exercises,” and look what those have done for me. So, I decided, after I got them, to not stop at just 1,001 words, but to memorize even more. 

Russell:  That is a terrific aim. I applaud your decision.


Student:  Oh, I also wanted to ask you, I was reading in Views From the Real World about the Stop Exercise, and it said that it was not something that you can do on your own, that someone has to initiate it. Is that true?

Russell:  Yes, that is true.


Student:  Why is that?

Russell:  Well, if you initiate the stop exercise, it will be up to you when it begins, and up to you when it ends, which kind of negates the idea of giving up one’s will. 

However, if you set a timer to randomly go off, then you can use the bell on the timer as an initiator, and as such, the exercise will not be given by you. 

But you run the risk of the timer going off when you are coming down the stairs; and, if it does, you may inadvertently fall. That being said, we have a rule in Texas that if you use a timer to initiate a stop exercise, you are not allowed to fall. 

Thus, by the sound of the bell, you may be able to give yourself a stop exercise. 

But the question now is, for how long will you stay stopped? That is, when will you say go? Is it when you first notice discomfort, or will you push through a few moments of discomfort? If so, how many of them will you push through? 

So, there are some other considerations to be made. 

Perhaps what you need is some kind of dual timer, maybe the duration of a TV commercial. Then you will be under a more appropriate stop exercise … holding yourself stopped until the commercial ends. 

But then the question becomes: will you really give up your will, or will you say, “This is a long commercial; I have stopped for long enough.” 

So factoring all that in, it is always better to give up your will to someone who knows when to initiate the stop exercise; and, when to end it. But if you can find a trigger that will do that for you, you may be able to experience a stop exercise without needing a conscious guide. 

But again, if you are in a precarious posture, never allow yourself to get hurt.


Student:  It also says that, when you stop, you are supposed to hold the same thoughts in your head. Is that correct?

Russell:  Well, almost. 

You are supposed to do one thing: arrest everything inside and out, and in order to do that, you need to keep running your attention around your body and checking to see that everything stays exactly where it was when the stop exercise was given. 


Student:  And maintain the same position?

Russell:  Yes. The same gaze on your face, and the same tension in your arms.  

And let’s say, you were reciting an Aphorism when the stop exercise was given. Then when the command to go is given, you should be able to recite the next word in that Aphorism.


Student:  Ahhh, that is a terrific explanation Russ. Thank you. 

I particularly like the idea about using an alarm, and as soon as you hear it, to stop everything, both inside and out.

Russell:  Indeed. And, you are most welcome.


Student:  I also wanted to mention to you that while I was hiking, I did the Objective Walking Exercise, which was really interesting. I was counting my feet striking the ground, sensing everything that entered my bubble, and generating a strong emotion of gratitude; to where, I lost track of hiking. 

I was able to maintain it for almost all of my 8-mile hike. And, when the hike was over, I was in a state that I normally never achieve from doing physical exercises. So, it was glorious.

Russell:  Excellent.

Have you also been reviewing Gurdjieff: Cosmic Secrets?


Student:  Yes. It was kind of fun too. Um, let’s see. I verified, on page 41, that in scale-0 there are 8 vibrations, in scale-1 there are 22 vibrations, and in scale-2 there are 66 vibrations. Then, I backed out, and saw that there are 71 vibrations in all three scales. 

And, oh yes, of those 71 vibrations, could you explain to me again, why the vibration at 1024 has 3 notes from different scales, but is only counted as one vibration?

Russell:  Sure. 

1024 does have three notes: the LA from scale-0, a FA from scale-1, and a Fa from scale-2, but 1024 is still only one vibration.


Student:  Ah, yes. I remember now. Somehow my mind wanted to count it as three vibrations, as there were three notes there.

Russell:  That is understandable. However, there is only one vibration at 1024; the vibration of 1024.  


Student:  Okay. That was simple enough. I got it.  

One more thing. Are the top and bottom DO’s also oscillating DO’s?

Russell:  In this case no, because we do not see, or know, if there is an octave above the top DO or an octave below the bottom DO, and as such, we only see the top DO descending and the bottom DO ascending. But if there was an octave above and below those DO’s, then yes.

That is, if we put an octave above the top DO and below the bottom DO, then the top DO would also be able to ascend, and the bottom DO would also be able to descend. And, all DO’s, which are able to both ascend and descend, are oscillating DO’s. 


Student:  I see it clearly now, thank you.

Also, I am really hung up on the Diagram of Nutrition by Ouspensky. I am having trouble following it. I mean, I can see where the food octave is, but I do not understand how the air and impressions octaves work. 

Russell:  No problem. Go to page 255 in The Blueprint of Consciousness and there you will see the same three octaves that are in Ouspensky’s Diagram of Nutrition. 

Look at the octave on the right, isn’t it the octave from 96 to 192?


Student:  Yes.

Russell:  Okay. Now go to page 284, and look at The Mathematical Food Diagram, where I placed (in red) the mathematics of those octaves within Ouspensky’s Diagram of Nutrition. 

Isn’t the food octave that is there also the octave from 96 to 192?


Student:  Yes, it is.

Russell:  And, when you get to MI-192 (at 120 vibrations in red), isn’t that where the DO of the first shock octave enters, exactly as on page 255?


Student:  Yes it is.

Russell:  Ouspensky’s Diagram of Nutrition is the same three octaves that are on page 255: the Affirming Octave, the First Shock Octave, and the Second Shock Octave, which come together and cause something to be shoved up.


Student:  Ooooh, wow! I see it.

Russell:  Food mathematically starts at 96, Air at 120, and Impressions at 144; or, using Ouspensky’s Hydrogen numbers, Food starts at DO-768, Air at DO-192, and Impressions at DO-48.

The Diagram of Nutrition is nothing other than three octaves in the ratios of 8, 10, and 12. 


Student:  That is awesome, Russ. Thank you very much.


Student #2:  Hello Russ,

Russell:  Howdy ma'am. How are you today?

Student:  I am terrific, however, my formal exercise time has been suffering. During the day, I do not have as much time as I would like to have to perform my exercises. 

But I do wake up ‘with God’ and go to sleep ‘with God.’ That is, as soon as I wake up, I do the Objective Prayer Exercise, which always gets me to my highest place, and I also squeeze in some exercises before I go to work, like the I-Am Exercise, and the Three-Fold Attention Exercise, but sometimes, I only have like 15 minutes.

Russell:  Well, that makes you 15 minutes closer to Heaven.


Student:  Wow, that is great to hear. 

Do you really think that 15 minutes is sufficient? Well, that, plus, I also read something every evening, no matter how tired I am, and before I go to sleep, I once again do the Objective Prayer Exercise and reach my highest place, as I also want to go to sleep ‘with God.’ 

I know of course that for most of my day I am asleep; but, when I sit back for a moment, my Steward is watching. I mean, it is not me watching, it is my Steward watching. I can tell the difference. I know, even though I am asleep, my Steward is watching. That is, when I go to my office and sit back for a moment, my Steward is always watching.

Russell:  That is terrific. You began to function properly when you awoke. And since then, you have been doing everything that you should be doing, and doing it consistently. So, I have no doubt that if you continue to do what you have been doing, that you will unequivocally, successfully, complete the journey, which is wonderful.


Student:  Yes, it is wonderful. And, when I am doing my exercises, it is even more wonderful. The energy is just amazing. 

I was wondering if that energy was the same energy that coats the Kesdjan body.

Russell:  Yes, it is. It has to come from somewhere.


Student:  It’s really fine, almost like velvet.

Russell:  Indeed, it is very fine.


Student:  Is it a derivative of emotion? Or maybe, the derivative of having three centers functioning as one?

Russell:  Probably the latter. It is the residue of being a Thirty.


Student:  The residue of being a Thirty. I like that. That is very becoming. 

I also noticed, when I am doing the Objective Prayer Exercise, that sometimes I get displaced, because I am focusing on getting the energy instead of focusing on changing my state. That is, I get distracted by the energy. Other times, when I am just doing the exercise, and not focusing on the energy, there seems to be even more energy.

Russell:  That is a very good observation. If you do the exercise to get energy, your state will not be as high as it should. Whereas, if you do the exercise because you are attempting to reach a high state, which is the right thing to do, then the energy will be even greater. 


Student:  Yeah, for me, that was verification. 

Thus, from today forward, I promise to do things because they are the right things to do, not because I am expecting to get something from them. 

Russell:  Bravo!


Student:  I have another observation. I am beginning to see what is true, and what is false. Both are becoming very evident.

Russell:  That is even more terrific.  

Any other observations?


Student:  Well, from what you just said, should I avoid striving for the energy, which feels like velvet, the presence?

Russell:  No, and, yes. Do not strive for the energy, strive for the presence. That is, the energy that you seek, will be achieved, when you become present; and, when you become present, the presence that you seek, will be within you. Therefore, just try to be a right human being, and whatever comes with that, take it.


Student:  Ah yes, to be a right human being. That is my aim. 

Although I may have less time to do my exercises, it seems to me that whether or not I am doing them, I am working from a different level: where the wish to remember myself, and the wish to attain my aim of being present, is stronger than it has ever been before. 

If I have any concern, it would be on how to better understand the terror of the situation, and on how to create a stronger wish, so that more of my day is permeated with the real, instead of with the false. 

I guess I will just have to wait and see.

Russell:  I assure you, there will come a day when you realize that the passenger is always in your carriage.


Student:  Actually, I think that is happening now. As I said earlier, whenever I sit back for a moment, my Steward is always watching. And as such, I have many more moments of self-remembering, and of having a double arrow of attention. My aim now is to move beyond the double arrow of attention, and to remember that I am also in the presence of something much higher; the Master. 

I do not know how far away he is, but I am also not in a hurry, because currently, my life is very full.

Russell:  Fantastic, that is how it is supposed to be.


Student:  Recently, a friend of mine lost her daughter. That reality brought my vulnerability closer to home, which made me want to work even harder.

Russell:  I am sorry for her loss, but death is inevitable. And as such, we have to run as fast as we can, for as long as we can, in order to create something in ourselves that can withstand the shock of death. 

That is, to get the residue of being a Thirty to crystallize.


Student:  Is that what we are doing? That is nice to know; it provides me with a very strong light along a different tunnel.

Russell:  It is simply the law of saturation.

When I took Chemistry, the teacher took a glass of water and put some salt in it. She stirred it up until the salt dissolved. Then, she added more salt, and stirred it up until it too dissolved. She kept doing that until the water had reached “the point of saturation.” After which, she added one tiny bit more salt, and when she did, eureka, all of the salt that was in liquid form, turned back into salt.

It was amazing, one little bit more salt, and bam, all the salt that was in the water crystallized back into salt.

We are attempting to do something very similar. That is, to build up something in ourselves, to where, when we die, it too will crystallize.


Student:  Does that relate to the phrase, where more is given, more will be added, or something like that?

Russell:  Almost. It’s on page 259 in Views From the Real World, in the Chapter Influences, concerning the Law of Attraction and the Law of Repulsion, and reads: “To him who has much, more is given. From him who has little, even that is taken away.”


Student:  Is that what we are trying to do?

Russell:  Yep, in a way, that is exactly what we are trying to do, we are just trying to be the ‘to him who has much’ guy.


Student:  Wow, this stuff is incredible.  

The Work is very big, and it is difficult to talk to others about it who have not yet read and studied the books. 

So, I guess, all we can do for them is to recite things from memory.

Russell:  Yes, we could do that, or we could give them a copy of The Blueprint of Consciousness. Afterall, once they awaken, things will be very easy to discuss.


Student:  Yes, that is a much better idea. I know, because, when I first read your book, the Work ideas became very clear. So, that is what I shall do.

Thank you Russ for writing The Blueprint of Consciousness, and for exposing the journey from its beginning to its end. And, most of all, thank you for showing me how to awaken. For that I am truly grateful.

Russell:  You, my lady, are most welcome, and are most deserving.


Student:  Well, that is what I have been up to.

I am not doing all that I could be doing, but I am doing something.

Russell:  That’s okay. Like I said, those 15 minutes you spend every morning doing your exercises, makes you 15 minutes closer to Heaven. 

Also, there is something to be said about making consistent efforts, rather than super ones, even though something good can come from making super efforts. I guess, because, sometimes, after making a super effort, we are inclined to say, “Well I made a super effort, so that means, I don’t have to do anything for a while.” 

That being said, I would much rather teach someone who is consistent.


Student:  Come to think of it, I don't know if I have ever made a super effort; but I do know when I don't make consistent ones. So I guess I will just keep being consistent. 

Okay, Russ, that is all I have for you.

Russell:  Well, that was quite a chunk. See you soon.


That ends this question-and-answer session.


Thank you for listening.

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Goodbye until next time.




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