Podcast Series 2, Episode 26: The Dreaded Lines of Nine

The Dreaded Lines of Nine - The Three Story Diagram

The Dreaded Lines of Nine

A discussion on the Lines of Nine, from the Three-Story Diagram, which enter as impressions into our being, and are conditioned by false truths implanted in the Intellectual Center from outside. Thus, giving us a false intellectual model of reality. It is shown on and supported by “The Three Story Diagram”, which is avalaible here on our website thedogteachings.com.

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Associated Diagrams

The Three-Story Diagram

The Three Story Diagram


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This is a series of talks about objective consciousness, an objective universe, and an objective way to awaken.

Written by Russell A. Smith, and based on the teachings of George I. Gurdjieff. 

Today, we will be exploring The Dreaded Lines of Nine.

One assisting diagram, called The Three Story Diagram, can be found on our website thedogteachings.com or from the link in the description of this podcast.

Let’s begin

Line Number 1. Impressions enter from outside, via the five senses, and become recorded in the Instinctive Center.

We connect with the world through our five senses. We see it, we hear it, we smell it, we taste it, or we touch it, and by so doing, that impression eventually becomes registered in our intellectual center.

A vast storehouse of impressions accumulates. Many are real, but some are not; for example, if you put a tooth under your pillow, a tooth fairy will exchange it for money. 

We never saw a tooth fairy, we never smelled a tooth fairy, we never tasted a tooth fairy, or never touched a tooth fairy; yet, since we were told there are tooth fairies, we believed that there are tooth fairies; or Easter bunnies, or even ol’ St. Nick.

If you understand this truth, you will understand that what we hear is far less reliable than what we see, what we smell, what we taste, or what we touch.

Of course, the other 4 senses can be fooled by the trickeries of man or by optical illusions, however, they are much more dependable, which is why we often hear someone say, “I’ll believe it when I see it; or, I’ll know it is true when can I hold it in my hand.”

Thus, what we hear creates many false beliefs, and is the biggest instigator of our false personality.

Line Number 2. The Moving Center is the first to respond to the incoming impressions.

The Instinctive Center and the Moving Center are intrinsically connected. Thus, sensations trigger movement. 

For example: If you touch something very hot, your Moving Center will instantly pull your hand away. The Instinctive Center communicates with the Moving Center at lightning speed.

In fact, many of us have experienced moments of instantaneous reaction, and have witnessed how fast the Instinctive and Moving Centers are.

The Intellectual Center’s reaction is slower, because it has to first recognize that the hand has touched something hot, decide that it would probably be a good idea to pull the hand away, and then tell the Instinctive Center to inform the Moving Center to do it. 

Gurdjieff once told his students that the Earth breathes. When Ouspensky heard that, he compared the Earth’s inhale and exhale cycle of 24 hours to our inhale and exhale cycle of 3 seconds. 

Here is what he found. We breathe 28,800 times faster than the Earth, which Ouspensky rounded up to 30,000. Using that figure, he extrapolated what are called the speeds of centers. 

He postulated that the Instinctive and the Moving centers work 30,000 times faster than the Intellectual Center. If that’s true, it means that in one second of thought, the Instinctive and the Moving Centers have done the equivalent of 8 ½ hours of work. 

That is why a trained martial artist is able to catch an arrow. Or why we can drink a shot of whisky and almost immediately feel its effects. Or why if we are really hungry, we can take just one bite of bread and start to feel relief. Or why if we ingest something that is not good for us, we will instantly throw up. 

In 8 ½ hours, most any chemist would be able to analyze alcohol, bread, etc., know what it is going to do, and inform us of its effects. Or, if they analyzed something that was going to be bad for us, they could push the vomit button.

Thus, the Instinctive Center and the Moving Center compared to the Intellectual Center have a lot more time to figure things out, which is very good for survival.

Line Number 3. Some incoming impressions enter with such force that their entrance not only causes a reaction in the Moving Center, but also causes them to be registered in the Emotional Center. That is, to have some modicum of meaning, which we call emotion.

Most incoming impressions do not create emotion. But, mother nature says, “If a thing is really important, you’ll need to feel it in order to remember it.” 

I remember the day I stuck a paperclip into the electrical socket. My Instinctive and Moving Centers may have acted first, but my Emotional Center said, “I will never do that again”, and meant it!

Feeling is the instigator of meaning. 

The more dangerous or more pleasant an impression is, the greater will be its meaning. Thus, the more it is felt, the more it will be remembered.

Line Number 4. Subsequent impressions, which reach the Emotional Center, that are similar to impressions previously perceived, incite memory, and become codified in the Intellectual Center. In addition, emotions are more likely to be remembered the more they are repeated.

However, really big emotions – like sticking a paperclip into the electrical socket – may not need to be repeated in order to be remembered. It gets remembered after melting only one paperclip.

Other incoming impressions, which enter with enough force to become registered in the emotional center, that are lesser than the paperclip, may need to be experienced several times in order for them to be remembered. For example, touching a candle flame. You may need to do that more than once before you do not want to do that anymore.

Lesser impressions, like the bitterness of a fruit, may need to be experienced many times before it is avoided.

So is the case of all emotions that give meaning to impressions. 

Real big emotions get recorded instantly, lesser emotions have to occur more than once, but, eventually, they all get remembered.

Repetition can also incite memory. Thus, pretending it has meaning, even though there is no meaning to be had. 

If I tell you over and over and over and over that all dogs bite, you may record that repeated impression as being true, even though you have encountered many dogs that did not bite. 

Sadly, we are capable of being brainwashed… which is what happens, when something is repeated again and again, even though our own observation tells us differently.

But, there is hope for us. 

Line Number 5. If a person unifies their lower centers into conscience, the incoming impressions that were registered in their Emotional Center, will also begin to resound in their Higher Emotional Center.

Unfortunately, most people do not have a Higher Emotional Center. So, their conscience can turn on a dime… or on a thousand dimes. Or, on the allure of some lady or guy. 

People take a vow, then break it… at the first opportunity.

Someone once said, “Locks are made for honest people.” For people of conscience. Which is probably true. Because, as was just said, most people do not have a conscience. Thus, they needed locks to help them act as if they do.

If your car doors are locked, most people will not break into your car to search through your glovebox. If they are not locked some people might.

Case in point. During a sanitation strike in New York City when the sanitation workers stopped picking up people’s garbage, one clever fellow put his garbage in boxes, wrapped the boxes with christmas paper, put them on the back seat of his car, drove his car downtown, parked his car on the street, and left the doors unlocked. He went to work, did some shopping, hung out at the bar, or whatever. Later, when he got back to his car, the packages were always gone. 

However, there were times when he forgot to unlock the doors; and, when he got back to his car, the packages were still there… thus proving that locks are made for honest people.

When the so-called honest person saw the nicely wrapped packages in the back seat of his car, they thought about taking them, but did not because the doors were locked,“Oh crap, the doors are locked.”

Whereas, a dishonest person would have just broken the windows. 

Fortunately, no dishonest people spied them when he forgot to unlock the doors, as his windows were never broken.

So, a person may claim to have a conscience; but, if someone leaves the doors unlocked, and has presents in the back seat, they just may find out that they don’t.

Hopefully, they will find an objective way to awaken their Higher Emotional Center. If they do, they may discover what real conscience tastes like. Then, to them, all car doors will be locked… even though they are not.

So, there is hope for mankind after all.

Line Number 6. The accumulation of impressions, which have reached the Higher Emotional Center, if they were perceived rightly, give birth to objective reason, that is, to the Higher Mental Center, which begins to function with reason and impartiality.

It is somewhat difficult to separate reason and impartiality from intelligence and indifference.

However, I shall give it a shot.


When you have a moment of reason and receive an answer, you stop looking for answers.


Intelligence has the propensity to postulate a plethora of answers, so it constantly keeps looking.


When you are impartial, you treat all rivals or disputants equally; fair and just. You have no bias. 


When you are indifferent, you do not care. You are unconcerned, uninterested, and apathetic. 

Let’s first discuss reason and intelligence. 

It is easy to recognize reason, because the moment you have it, you stop looking for answers. 

Case in point. I was once watching a Disney movie about a young boy who spied an asteroid in his telescope; and, when he told the authorities, they studied it, and all agreed that it was going to hit the Earth, cause a tidal wave, and kill most everyone.

So, they held a lottery. 

One million winners would get to go to a mountain bunker in Colorado, and thus, would be saved. 

The boy, his parents, his girlfriend, and her parents are automatically deemed winners, and make the list because the boy was the first one to spy the asteroid.

However, the day the bus arrived to take the winners to the bunker, his girlfriend and her parents were not on the list. Although dismayed, he left without them. 

On the way out of town he changes his decision, gets off the bus, and runs back to town. When he gets there, the houses have been ransacked and the people have fled, including his girlfriend and her family. Everyone is most likely trying to get to the top of a nearby mountain, in hopes they will be saved. 

He has no idea of how to chase them down; or, if he will ever see his girlfriend again. But then, he remembers that her dad has a motorcycle in the garage, which is probably still there, since the key is hidden in a jar of nuts and bolts. So, he runs to the garage, opens the garage door; and, voila, the motorcycle is still there.

He then begins a frantic search looking for the key. He dumps out all the jars of nuts and bolts into a pile and rapidly starts digging through it. Eureka, he finds it. When he does, he hurriedly jumps on the bike, and quickly inserts the key…. 

Then, all of a sudden, he stops. He leisurely leans over and retrieves a motorcycle helmet, which just happens to be on the workbench, and puts it on, making sure, of course, to fasten it properly. 

After which, he starts the motorcycle and departs in a flash, doing a wheelie as he heads down the driveway. You see him zipping in and out of traffic at blistering speeds, desperately trying to find his girlfriend.

I thought, “What? Why did they write that scene into the movie? Why did he stop? He was frantically animated a moment ago. Why did he stop and leisurely put on a helmet? I mean, an asteroid is going to hit the Earth, and most everybody is going to die, why is he concerned about a helmet?” None of that made sense. So, I started looking for a reason.

The intellectual center immediately had several, “It’s a Disney movie.” “It’s to promote child safety.” “The state has helmet laws.” And, on and on it went. But, none of those answers sufficed.

Then, a few minutes later, after I ended the search and continued watching the movie, the Higher Mental Center whispered in my ear, “It’s a stunt driver.” 


Of course. 

What better way to hide the kid’s face than to have him intentionally put on a helmet. 

Write that in the script, Bill. 

Besides, the kid has probably never even ridden a motorcycle. 

And, if he has, and we allow him to ride it, doing wheelies and zigging in and out of traffic at blistering speeds, the insurance premiums will go through the roof!

Later on, that reason was confirmed. 

The kid is now driving the motorcycle up the side of the mountain at breakneck speeds, weaving in and out of several lines of stopped cars, which are filled with people who are also desperately trying to reach the top of the mountain. 

Suddenly, he spots his girlfriend’s parents’ car and pulls-up alongside.

His girlfriend is now in a quandary. She looks at him, looks at her parents, looks back at him, looks back at her parents. Finally, her mom gives a nod of approval. So, she hurriedly gets out of the car, runs over to the motorcycle, and jumps on. But, before they can leave, her mom yells, “Wait!” 

After which, she leisurely gets out of the car and proceeds to retrieve a second motorcycle helmet that just happens to be on the back seat.

Walks over and hands it to her daughter, who of course puts it on… also making sure that it too is fastened properly. 

Then, the young boy revs the engine and he and his girlfriend take off up the mountain. 

Now you see two riders with helmets on, doing wheelies, and zigzagging up the mountain. 

I smiled.

I repeat, when reason enters, you stop looking for answers because you know you have received it.

You too, have probably done something similar. Perhaps, when you were searching for the name of that kid you knew in 4th Grade. Trying your darndest to remember his name. “Dang it. What is his name? Our lockers were right next to each other. We used to play tag. What is his name? God, I can see his face. What is his name?” 

Then, you stop trying to remember his name, and you move on to other things. 

Then, ten or fifteen minutes later, a name just pops into your head, “Billy Anderson”. 

The higher does not offer you a list of names, but only gives you one. When it does, you immediately acknowledge that his name was indeed Billy Anderson… and stop the search.

Reason functions much in the same way. 

You make a sincere request. Then, move on to other things. Knowing, all the while, that your Higher is looking for the answer.

Sometimes the answer comes immediately. Sometimes it takes the Higher a bit of time to search through all the recorded data. Either, looking for an exact match; or, for what is called, “A similarity to the already arisen.”

Reason often uses similarities to the already arisen, and extrapolates, previous data to find the solution. 

But, when it finds it, it whispers it into your ear, which is just my dramatic way of saying, “It pops into your head.”

So, first, you must awaken the Higher Emotional Center, the seat of conscience. Then, you must awaken the Higher Mental Center to attain reason. 

Impartiality comes quickly thereafter. Actually, I should say, impartiality comes right before that, because without impartiality there can be no reason. 


Well, when your Intellectual Center has already decided that the kid put on the helmet “because it’s a Disney movie”, the place is occupied with your decision. Thus, “there is no room in the inn” … for reason.

If you listened to our previous podcast, you heard the story of the little black bag. Wherein, it was implied, if you do not possess the little black bag that contains nothing at all, you will never get an answer to your questions.

And, as we just learned, only when the place is empty, will you find the answer you seek.

Line Number 7. The functioning of the Higher Mental Center, which can impart objective reason to the Intellectual Center, makes it possible for the Intellectual Center to be cognizant of various realities without having to actually experience them through sensation.

This one is fascinating. It is also called, “Direct knowing, where not even a thought stands between you and what you know.” Just like when the Higher Mental Center whispered, “It’s a stunt driver.”

Another example of “a whisper from the Higher Mental Center” occurred one winter. The drain in the bathtub froze, which had never happened before. So, I had no data of how to stop it from freezing again. And, that night, it was supposed to be even colder. Oh my, “What can I do to prevent the drain from freezing?”

The intellectual center quickly postulated several things, “We could run water all night because running water tends not to freeze.” I thought a minute, then said, “But, we have a well; it would be turning on and off all night long, which may not be good for the well. Besides, will running water stop a drain from freezing?” Next it said, “Well, we could go to the hardware store and buy some antifreeze like people put in their car’s radiator.” I responded, “Yea, we could do that, but what will antifreeze do to a PVC drain pipe? Will it harm it? Eat holes in it. What’s in antifreeze anyway?” And, on and on we went. 

Finally, I looked in the little black bag, which contained nothing at all. Emptied my brain from all speculation, conjecture, and guess, and just sat there silently.

Several minutes later…


Reason finally entered. 

The Higher Mental Center whispered in my ear, “Put salt down the drain.”


I immediately stopped looking for an answer; and, that night put salt down the drain. It worked perfectly!

Line Number 8. The creation of an intellectual construct based on the influence of perceiving objective reason, will create in the Emotional Center the requisite belief structure that it must create in order to support it.

Let’s dissect this concept, as it may be a hard concept to comprehend.

Here are some common quotes from life that may help:

“As a man thinketh so is he.” 

“You are what you eat.” 

“I think I can, I think I can”, said the little engine that could. 

Or the poem by Walter D. Wintle:

“If you think you are beaten, you are;

If you think you dare not, you don’t.

If you’d like to win, but you think you can’t.

It is almost a cinch you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost;

For out in this world we find

Success begins with a fellow’s will

It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you’re outclassed, you are;

You’ve got to think high to rise.

You’ve got to be sure of yourself before

You can ever win the prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go

To the stronger or faster man;

But sooner or later the man who wins

Is the man WHO THINKS HE CAN!”

If one has a strong definiteness of purpose, he will have a strong will. First it must be created in the mind. Then it will be reflected in the body. Or, as Jimmy Johnson, the football coach says, “Control the mind, control the body.”

When the Higher Mental Center awakens, and whispers a truth into your ear, the Intellectual Center, which receives it, will reach back into the Emotional Center and create the belief that supports it.

And, you, will have the emotional force “to do.” 

Aphorism #2, “The highest that a man can attain is to be able to do.”

Line Number 9. If a person does not awaken conscience, there will be no impartation of reason to their Intellectual Center; but rather, they will be conditioned by false truths implanted in their Intellectual Center from outside. Thus, giving them a false intellectual model of reality.

Ah, the danger has finally arrived. The Dreaded Lines of Nine. The crux of this talk. To get to here, we had to explain lines 1 thru 8. Only then, would The Dreaded Lines of Nine make any sense.

Since objective reason does not whisper into the ears of most people, their only source of truth comes from outside.

Unfortunately, the outside is mostly driven by speculation, conjecture, and guess. 

Only mathematics and modern science escape such foolishness.

Mathematics always gets the same results. Therefore, it can be trusted. The scientific method also strives to get repeatable results. Thus, it too can be trusted. 

Mathematics and science are both law-conformable, and are therefore more trustworthy than the claptrap opinions that usually spew out of peoples’ mouths.

Therein, lies the danger. The Dreaded Lines of Nine are incessant. They never cease, and bombard us with an entire spectrum of differing opinions and conflicting beliefs, which makes it almost impossible to find the truth.

We are inundated with opposites. “Believe this, don’t believe that. No, don’t believe that, believe this.” How can one make sense of any of it? What do I do? Where do I start?

I put those questions to my Higher Mental Center, and it responded. It said, “It is actually quite simple. Only trust that which you have personally verified, or can verify.”

It said, “You have acquired a very large pile of material. So, simply go through that material and remove everything that you have not personally verified. Or do what Gurdjieff suggested, ‘Do not believe anything, not even yourself.’ Throw it all out, and only bring back what you yourself have verified. Either way, you will end up with a very small pile. But, at least it will be a pile of verifiable truths. Then, it will be easy.” 

“Wow, I can do that,” I said. 

Then, it continued, “Make a second pile of the, ‘I think these are true,’ but as I have not yet verified them, I will keep them in this pile until I do.” 

“When you are finally done, you will have a pile of truths. Truths that will allow you to easily maneuver through all of the obstacles of life.”

“Your life will be much richer, unencumbered by the weight of ignorance.”

“And, as you verify new truths, your pile will start to grow. As it grows, it will be difficult to put non-truths into the pile of real truths, as the non-truths will seem so out of place. Soon, you will once again have a very large pile. A pile filled with verifiable truths. And, your second pile will dwindle and wither away.”

“Your journey will become easier; and that little black bag that contains nothing at all will finally become your friend.”

It then stopped. 

And, I began. 

Line Number 10. The false truths, false models; for example, that snakes are slimy, will unfortunately create in your Emotional Center the requisite “false belief structures” that must be created for you to support them. Thus, your false personality is born.

False personality. What a great description of what false beliefs create in people. 

They repeat their false beliefs, which create an emotional structure, which supports their false beliefs. They believe that snakes are slimy because they told themselves that snakes are slimy. And, as they say, they get hoisted by their own petard.

Line Number 11. The establishment of false belief structures, false emotions, will also condition a person’s sensations, which is the final coup de gras. Because, if a person believes in false truths, those false truths will acquire superiority over their sensations.

Thus, if they (manifesting from some false belief; for example, snakes are slimy) encounter a real snake and touch it, they will sense it as being slimy, even though it is not.

That is, their Instinctive Center will sense it as being slimy because their Emotional Center believes that it is.

It is what scientists call, “The placebo effect.”

But there is a way to avoid that if one awakens.

Fortunately, there is a proven way to experience two awakenings. The first, awakens conscience. The second, awakens reason, and impartiality. If you would like to achieve them, check out our website. After which, you will no longer be a slave to The Dreaded Lines of Nine.

We will end this podcast with this Gurdjieff quote. Although somewhat cryptic, after what we have learned, it should be a lot clearer.

“Likewise, an all-round awareness of everything concerning these sacred laws also conduces, in general, to this, that three-brained beings irrespective of the form of their exterior coating, by becoming capable in the presence of all cosmic factors not depending on them and arising round about them–both the personally favorable as well as the unfavorable–of pondering on the sense of existence, acquire data for the elucidation and reconciliation in themselves of that, what is called, ‘individual collision’ which often arises, in general, in three-brained beings from the contradiction between the concrete results flowing from the processes of all the cosmic laws and the results presupposed and even quite surely expected by their what is called ‘sane-logic’; and thus, correctly evaluating the essential significance of their own presence, they become capable of becoming aware of the genuine corresponding place for themselves in these common cosmic actualizations.

Thank you for listening.

If you would like to know more about the subjects and exercises we’ve been covering in these talks, including the book and guide that underpins it all, which is available for PDF download, and also gives you access to an ultimate exercise that is able to objectively wake people up, you can find us at the website thedogteachings.com.

That’s T H E D O G teachings DOT COM.

There, you will be able to obtain Mr. Smith’s other diagrams, listen to other talks, 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.

Teachings based upon the works of R. A. Smith and G. I. Gurdjieff.

All material © 2020 THEDOG Publishing

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