S4/E31: Just Eight Days and Counting

Published January 27th, 2022

Just Eight Days and Counting

Just Eight Days and Counting

In this podcast we will share with you conversations between Russell and two of his students. One of which has completed the objective journey, and the other of which is just about to.

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.

In today's podcast I will share with you conversations between Russell and two of his students. One of which has completed the objective journey, and the other of which is just about to. 


Let’s begin.


Student:  Helloooooo!

Russell:  How’s one of my favorite gals doing tonight?


Student:  I’m pretty good, how about you?

Russell:  I’m terrific.


Student:  I am all feelings, I have every feeling inside, not just one.

Russell:  Wonderful! 


Student:  They are just sitting there waiting to be called upon.

Russell:  That is great. That is what will soon bring you to Master.


Student:  It sure feels like it.

I was reading about opposite memories, and it said that one of the best exercises to try when you are joyful, is to remember moments of sorrow, and when you are sorrowful, is to remember moments of joy. At present, that is my experience. 

Russell:  Fantastic. That is a great way of creating balance. Just like if you felt all powerful, you should try stopping the wind.


Student:  I have been very successful at holding contradictions, now what must I do?

Russell:  Now you must remain free. That is, you must learn to stay in “Philadelphia," a city which symbolizes the concept of freedom. If you can, you will be able to react to all situations based on choice, not on mechanical reactions. At one moment, you may choose to be loud and boisterous, and at the next moment, you may choose to be gentle and kind. As Gurdjieff said: sometimes you need to turn your cheek, and sometimes you need to make them forget their grandparents.


Student:  Kind of like, “The highest that a man can attain is to be able to do.”

Russell:  You got it.

What Aphorism is that? 


Student:  Number two.

Russell:  Correct!

Have you finished memorizing them all?


Student:  Yes, I have. I recite them every morning.

Russell:  That is fabulous!


Student:  It is no different than doing anything else. I mean, it really isn’t. You are going to do something when you get up in the morning. Why not recite the Aphorisms?

Russell:  That is apropos. It is better to recite the Aphorisms, than to go over the accounts you have against your neighbor. Because if you do that, it will be the accounts that you memorize. 


Student:  So true.

Russell:  Okay. How was Sunday’s class?


Student:  The first thing that comes to mind is that I am not talking as much, as I am attempting to do the third-response exercise. But at present, my third-response is very slow, and as such, I must look really dumb.

Russell:  Only to yourself, not to everyone else. The sweetest sound to a man’s ears, is the sound of his own voice, so they are probably very happy that you are not talking as much, so that they can.


Student:  Yes, indeed. 

In addition, we studied your book. We read about inner octaves, their mathematics, and what occurred in the pauses between the DO’s.

I also observed that we often speak without experience. That is, we tell cockamamie stories that were dreamt-up by some sleeping person, and then quote them in order to make the cockamamie story sound even more truthful.   

Russell:  Yes, sadly, that is the nature of man.

Okay, on another front, how did your interview go?


Student:  Oh! It went great. We negotiated back and forth, and ironically, because I was not identified, I ended up getting more money than what they had originally offered.


Russell:  There you go.

Student:  It was amazing. I didn’t have any of the identifications that I normally would have had.


Russell:  That is quite wonderful.

Student:  Yep, It was plain and simple.

I would also like to mention that it feels like I am not bringing as much of myself to the exercises as I used to. For instance: when I do my I-Am’s. Saying the “Am,” will still bring me to tears. Or breathing in the “I,” and out the “Am,” will cause me to see how the sensations of the “I,” are being blended with the emotions of the “Am.” But there is not a real clear delineation between the two, like there once was. 

Russell:  That is normal. All things become easier when they are repeated, which makes it seem like less of you is doing them.


Student:  Oh, good.

Russell:  The bottom line is, every day you are making proper efforts, and because of that, you are getting better results.

Is it a bad thing to get better results?


Student:  No. In fact, it is more wonderful.

Russell:  There you go. Think of it this way, what if, just one I-Am would bring you to your best place, would you bother to say another? Not to mention the fact that if you only needed to say one I-Am, you perhaps would think that you are not working at all!


Student: [Laughing]. Yes, I probably would. 

Russell:  Why is it so hard for us to believe that we have done something, unless we spend all day doing it?

Why is it that we cannot just say one I-Am, and bring ourselves to our best place? 


Student:  Wow! That would be really neat.

Russell:  Well, perhaps we can. 

When I first started to do the 3-fold attention exercise, it used to take me quite some time to separate into thirds, but now, by the count of 5, I am already at two, and by the time I reach 8, I am there.


Student:  That is just wonderful. I look forward to doing just that. At present, my 3-fold attention exercise takes a bit longer. However, every time I do it, I make great efforts, and continue doing it until I reach separation. And I always get a jolt when I bring the three centers back together. The word jolt may be a bit strong, but I am at a loss as to how else to describe it. 

Most of my other moments of self-remembering are connected with external things, like I have a picture on my steering wheel of my father’s funeral, to remind me that death is on my shoulder, which always causes me to remember myself. 

Russell:  Wonderful. It is great to have reminding factors, even though some of them are about the loss of your father. However, over time, you will find a plethora of pleasant reminding factors as well. You may even get to the point where air, light, and everything else around you becomes a reminding factor. Then, you will be coasting downhill, but until that occurs, you will still need to be clever and create personal reminding factors, just like the picture of your father’s funeral on the steering wheel. 

After which, you may get it down to doing just one I-Am, and be done.


Student:  Is that when we become a man #5? 

Russell:  Well, it would actually be more likened to having glimpses of becoming a man #6. Remember, being a Man #5 is not at one point, it is an entire journey, which began when I showed you how to awaken your Higher Emotional Center, and it will continue until you receive the Double or Nothing exercise, after which you will start having glimpses of objective reason. That is, glimpses of a Man #6.


Student:  That is where I want to be, and what I want to see.

Russell:  Well, based on your efforts, you will soon be there.


Student:  For a person who does not ponder much, is there a way of learning to ponder better? 

Russell:  Certainly there is. Here’s one. Imagine the room where you hold your meetings; and, in your mind, rearrange the furniture in every possible way. That is one way of learning how to ponder.


Student:  Okay. Well, that doesn’t sound so hard.

Russell:  No, it is not hard at all, you simply have to imagine what it would look like to have this piece of furniture over there, and that piece of furniture over here, which is how I constructed the houses on the property. I simply saw every board, and counted every nail. That is, I first saw where everything was going to go, and how it would all fit together, before I ever picked up the hammer.


Student:  Wow! That's amazing.

Russell:  What is even more amazing, is discovering how many different ways there are of arranging several pieces of furniture.


Student:  I can see that now.

Russell:  It is a great mental exercise. 

So, that is pondering. 


Student:  Okay. I am going to do just that. 

Which reminds me, I haven’t done my jigsaw puzzle in a while, and I don’t know when I will get to it, but I will. I will.

Oh, and just today, another very interesting thing happened. I had Views from the Real World with me in my Real Estate class, and the girl sitting behind me said that she had The Fourth Way at home, as well as another book that was blue with white lettering. To which I queried, “In Search of the Miraculous?” And she said, “Yes.” After which, we began talking about the Work. Then, another girl who had been listening, asked me what the Work was about. So I explained its premise to her; that a man has many I’s but only thinks he has one. Citing the example that I would tell my daughter that this weekend we were going to do something, and then, when the weekend came, I would tell her that we were going to do something else. To which she replied, “Oh, I do the same thing with my daughter.” Anyway, she wanted to know which book to read first.

Russell:  Super.


Student:  God, it was really nice.

Russell:  It is called doing right third-line work.


Student:  Yeah, it was great. Ever since I found the Work, I wanted to share it with others. You know, to pass it on; but anyway, it was great. 

I felt like I was being tested, and at the same time, I got to witness something miraculous happening, because I remember how miraculous it was for me when I first found the Work.

Russell:  Well, there you go. 

Working on yourself is paramount. Working with others who are on the same path is helpful. But showing that path to others, who then ask you for guidance, is motivational. So, I understand why that moment was so miraculous.

Alright. Have a fantastic week. 


Student:  I will. And thank you again, Russ, for your teachings. 



Following that, came a call from another student.


Russell:  Hello.


Student:  Hi Russ.

This is going to be a strange, but I hope, wonderful call.

Sunday, when I left your home, it was a very painful time for me; everything was frazzled. What you had told me while I was there, made so much sense, that I carried it with me all week. So much so, that it changed my being, and as such, when I got home from work today, I decided that I could not delay my journey any longer. I want to come back, and I want to come back very soon. That is, I am ready for you to guide me through Gurdjieff: Cosmic Secrets and to show me how to awaken, and I am ready for you to do it right now. Can we start tomorrow morning? I can be there by 8AM. 

Russell:  Wonderful. Your eight-day journey shall begin tomorrow at 8AM. Read Chapter 1 tonight, and I will see you in the morning.


Student:  Wow, Russ, just hearing you say that has lifted a burden off my shoulders which I have been carrying around with me for most of my life; and as such, the things that usually awaken me at 2 o’clock in the morning, will dare not raise their ugly heads. 

Russell:  That sounds fantastic.


Student:  It is fantastic. In fact, it is more than fantastic, because in eight days I am going to awaken. 

Russell:  There you go, buddy.


Student:  I mean we are talking about substantial, important changes.

Russell:  Yes, we are. Nothing is more important than awakening.


Student:  So, as I said, it started off being a really rough week. However, I kept replaying what you had told me about the five obligolnian-strivings in my mind, which had a noted benefit. Like the other day, when the lady who came to watch the kids was late. I had planned on leaving the house by 7:40, as I had to be in court, but she did not arrive by 7:40. Then, it got to be 8:00; and then 8:10. Normally, I would feel the pressure of being late for court, and would start pacing. 

Logic said, it is not looking good. 

But the second-obligolnian-striving said, I should have a constant and unflagging instinctive need for self-perfection in the sense of being, which, at the moment, I was having trouble doing, as I needed to be in court. 

Her tardiness could have ruined my day, but instead, by repeating the second-obligolnian-striving over and over again, I was able to hold back the pressure to where it finally dissipated. 

It was wonderful.

Russell:  No, what was wonderful, was that you were able to rise above the norm.


Student:  I must say, it is certainly nice to see such tangible and substantial changes. What else would you call them other than a change of being? That is what has been happening to me, isn’t it?

Russell:  Yes, that is exactly what has been happening.


Student:  And the whole week has been that way, really.

Russell:  It is great when a person’s being starts to change. And tomorrow, at 8AM, you will begin an eight-day journey that will permanently alter it.


Student:  I almost can’t wait. I am so excited. 

The rest of the week went swimmingly; I would be talking with someone and would remember the second-obligolnian-striving, and something inside of me would just sit up.

Russell:  Yes, I have been there, and soon, we will have them all standing in a row!


Student:  The wife looks different; the kids look different. In fact, everything looks different. So, like I said, the week went swimmingly.

Russell:  Wonderful. How are your Aphorisms coming?


Student:  Pretty well. I have memorized two of them. Didn’t you tell me on Sunday, to just do two a week?

Russell:  Yes, that is exactly what I said; just do two a week.


Student:  Some of them are so short, it hardly seems fair.

Russell:  Well, consider yourself lucky that I didn’t ask you to memorize two chapters a week!


Student:  Ouch! That would have been like 40,000 words.

Russell:  Indeed, it would have. So, thank me, for only asking you to memorize two Aphorisms, and then thank Mr. Gurdjieff, for making them so short.


Student:  Thank you Russ, for only asking me to memorize two Aphorisms. And thank you Mr. Gurdjieff, for making them so short; especially the first two. To be honest, I don’t know why I hadn’t memorized them in the past, and only now have become so motivated to do so.

Russell:  Well, now that you know that you are actually going to get results, you have overcome the uncertainty of not knowing, which has always stopped you from making efforts.


Student:  I think you are right. After our talk on Sunday, and the week that followed, I no longer have any doubts that I will indeed get something, which is why it was so easy for me to remember to say the obligolnian-strivings, to memorize two Aphorisms, and to call you today and book my journey for tomorrow. 

Russell:  That’s just wonderful.


Student:  A lot of things have become different in just one week, like not listening to the radio while driving to work, which sounds kind of silly, but I was so busy doing my I-Am’s and repeating the obligolnian-strivings, that I didn’t even think about turning it on.

Russell:  That is exciting.


Student:  A lot of changes, a lot of very good changes, too numerous to mention. I mean, control just kept coming in. 

Russell:  There is nothing more exciting than to watch someone else’s lights come on.


Student:  Starting tomorrow at 8AM, I shall become the illuminati.

Russell:  [Laughing]. So it shall be done.


Student:  Do you think that eight days will be long enough, or do you think I should stay longer? 

Russell:  I am confident we will be able to complete your journey in just 8 days. But you are welcome to stay longer if you wish. I do not have another student coming in for two weeks.  


Student:  Then, maybe I should stay for two weeks. However, if I stayed for two weeks, I may never want to leave!

Russell:  No problem; we will just build you a little house over there by the pond. Your kids will love it.


Student:  Yes, they would.

Russell:  So, either way, eight days, or two weeks, you choose.  


Student:  Okay, I’ll do the eight days then. God, it’s still hard for me to believe that you can wake someone up in just eight days, even though you have done so with a dozen other students since we first met.

Russell:  Ah, you remembered our first meeting. Do you remember telling me how you thought that you would never acquire anything permanent?


Student:  Yes, I do.

Russell:  Isn’t it amazing that you are already having glimpses of doing just that? 


Student:  Yes, it is.

Russell:  Before that, there was no time to do the Work, but after that, there was always time to do the Work, even when you were talking with someone!


Student:  It is interesting how it doesn’t interfere, in fact, it stops interference.

Russell:  [big sigh].  Good catch.


Student:  It is pretty exciting to watch how much better I function after I only achieved a little control.

Russell:  That is wonderful.


Student:  Yes, it is.

Russell:  To dream of such possibilities, and then to discover them within your grasp, must be a joy.


Student:  It sure is. 

I must tell you, after contacting James Moore in England, who referred me to the lady in Australia that had your address, who subsequently sent it to me, has proven to be one of the best days of my life. Firstly, because I discovered that you lived only 50 miles away, which made it possible for me to drive up, almost every weekend, and learn from you. Secondly, because, after meeting you, my inner world began to change. I know that occurred over six months ago, and between then and now I hadn’t booked my eight-day journey, but I wanted to get the ordinary stuff out of the way first, before I tackled the extraordinary.

Russell:  I understand. Fortunately, in just eight days from now, the extraordinary will become the ordinary.


Student:  That sounds terrific. 

And equally terrific is the fact that the momentum created in me has been building.

Russell:  I am very pleased to hear that.


Student:  Like the other day, one of my kids got in bed with us at 5:00. He couldn’t sleep because he had mosquito bites; so I got up and retrieved the Calamine Lotion. But instead of going back to bed, I stayed up and did exercises. Then, last night, I was pretty tired, which made it very hard for me to engage the Emotional Center, but something in me caused me to stay up until I had successfully completed seven exercises.  

Russell:  That’s amazing. 


Student:  It was amazing. In fact, it was almost like magic.

Russell:  Well, just wait till we do The Objective Exercise and put a permanent passenger in your carriage. That, my friend, will be better than magic.


Student:  That sounds just awesome, Russ.

Russell:  Just make great efforts for seven days, and on the eighth day I will get you there; I promise.


Student:  I can almost imagine it. 

I have been watching you for over six months, and you are always soaring. That is, you always approach things from a very high place.

Russell:  Well, thanks for that.


Student:  I want to achieve the 51% model that you shared with me.

Russell:  That, sir, is a great aim.


Student:  Just thinking about achieving it gets me excited.

Russell:  I am glad that it does. As such, your eight-day journey will be a breeze.

Okay. How are my favorite boys?


Student:  They are just great. They stayed up late last night, and this morning when their babysitter was late again, I got them up early just in case I needed to take them to the office with me. When I did, they were very helpful and cooperative. So, as far as role models go, I guess, I am not too bad.

Russell:  No you are not, and very soon you will be an even better role model.


Student:  Yes, I will. 

Just eight days and counting.

Well, I need to get them to bed, so I will say goodnight.

See you in the morning.


That completes today’s podcast.


Thank you for listening.

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

In addition, you may now pose questions at our new Telegram group THEDOG Teachings, which is open to everyone to join and participate in.

You may also find us on Instagram at THEDOG Teachings, where we have posted all of Gurdjieff’s Aphorisms and THEDOG school’s DOG TALES, as well as simple explanations of many diagrams and models.

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, animations, supporting videos, 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. 

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