S3/E24: R. A. Smith – Questions and Answers Part 13

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R. A. Smith – Questions and Answers Part 13

In this episode, continuing our talks on Work questions and answers, we narrate a response from Russell to a student concerning typical Fourth Way Schools, that is, Pseudo-Schools. The transcript and diagrams for this podcast, can be found on our website at thedogteachings.com under Resources/Podcasts. Our unique 400 page E-book, entitled Gurdjieff: Cosmic Secrets – The TEACHING GUIDE available for download and study – an 8 day journey to awakening with exercises to work on being, and seven chapters explaining the diatonic nature of the universe, with an ultimate exercise to objectively awaken. Available here.

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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 narrate a response from Russell to a student concerning typical Fourth Way Schools, that is, Pseudo-Schools.

To begin:

Student:  Hi Russ,

Wonderful class last week. Thanks.

At the end of our conversation the topic of my involvement in several pseudo-esoteric organizations came up. For myself, after performing The Objective Exercise with you, and waking up, I have no interest, nor need to practice any of the methods of those organizations, which creates somewhat of a quandary, because I still attend the meetings as it allows me to stay in touch with longtime friends, who are also members of those organizations. However, I do not wish to deceive them, nor to encourage them to keep pursuing a futile path. 

After talking with you, I remembered these passages from In Search of the Miraculous, by Ouspensky. I will stick them in as we talk, allowing you to address both what he says, and to answer what I would like to ask; because my aim is to become a teacher just like you, and also start waking people up.

Ouspensky says:  “Besides these three ways yet a fourth way exists by which can go those who cannot go by any of the first three ways.”

“The fundamental difference between the first three ways, that is, the way of the fakir, the way of the monk, and the way of the yogi, and the fourth way consists in the fact that they are tied to permanent forms which have existed throughout long periods of history almost without change. At the basis of these institutions is religion. Where schools of yogis exist, they differ little outwardly from religious schools. And in different periods of history various societies or orders of fakirs have existed in different countries and they still exist. These three traditional ways are permanent ways within the limits of our historical period.”

“Two or three thousand years ago, there were yet other ways which no longer exist and the ways now in existence were not so divided, they stood much closer to one another.”

“The fourth way differs from the old and the new ways by the fact that it is never a permanent way. It has no definite forms and there are no institutions connected with it. It appears and disappears governed by some particular laws of its own.”

“The fourth way is never without some work of a definite significance, is never without some undertaking around which and in connection with which it can alone exist.”

Please address what Ouspensky said, then I would like to ask you a question. 

Russell:  As to what Ouspensky said, it is hard to answer; because before THEDOG there were no schools of the Fourth Way. 

That is, before THEDOG, there was only the idea that there might be a “fourth” way, outside the ways of the Fakir, Yogi, and Monk. But without an Objective Way, those “fourth” way schools were destined to appear around some individual who awoke subjectively, and then, attracted followers, who practiced the “definite significance” of that subjective way. When the individual who started the subjective way died, the subjective way also disappeared. 

Why? Well, because no one was able to show those who followed a subjective way, how to awaken. That is, there were no Gurdjieff 2.0’s. 

But those ways did keep hope alive. Hope, that someday, there might be an objective way of awakening.

Thus, the work of THEDOG does not meet the definition of “definite significance,” in the sense that it is not a subjective way; but rather it is an objective way.

As to why I was the first one to discover an objective way? I do not know. But I did. Thus, there is now an Objective Way for everyone to go from asleep to impartiality, which fortunately, has allowed my work to be duplicated. That is, students of THEDOG are now awakening students in life. And, as far as I know, no Fourth Way school, or any school, has ever been able to accomplish that. 

So we are very fortunate that our school will not die when I die, or when its current teachers die, because more teachers will be added; such is the nature of an objective way.

However, I will point out that the Laws of World-Creation and World-Maintenance were here long before THEDOG was here. I am just the first guy to figure them out, and by so doing, have provided an accelerated path to awakening. 

The Teaching Guide is the instruction manual for taking that path, and for understanding the Laws of World-Creation and World-Maintenance. Let it be known that he, who understands the laws of World-Creation and World-Maintenance, will understand everything about The Fourth Way, and about every way.

Student:  Am I accurate in believing that now the “work of definite significance” of the Sanger School, would be for folks to master Cosmic Secrets in order to awaken, and then to be able to show others how to do the same? I ask, because I want to do what you do. That is, I want to be able to show others how to awaken.

Russell:  Yes sir, I suppose it is. Since, after becoming an objective way, we have become a new kind of “work of definite significance,” similar to the ones Ouspensky talked about, but of a higher order. Which means, we can show others how to acquire that “definite significance,” for themselves.

Student:  Fantastic! I can’t wait.

Ouspensky also said:  “When this work is finished, that is to say, when the aim set before it has been accomplished, the fourth way disappears, that is, it disappears from the given place, disappears in its given form, continuing perhaps in another place in another form. Schools of the fourth way exist for the needs of the work which is being carried out in connection with the proposed undertaking. They never exist by themselves as schools for the purpose of education and instruction.”

Student:  Before you respond, I want to ask you another question; you often say that you are “a guide not a policeman” but if a student like me, who is in California, and who does not live at the school in Texas, wishes to further the aims of the school, is he welcome to do so in California? Which for me would entail returning again and again to the Sanger School, and allowing myself to be trained, and then bringing that knowledge back to California and instructing others. Yes?

Russell:  Yes. 

And, by the way, training you to duplicate my work in California, would not only give me the greatest of pleasures, but would also allow me to fulfill my obligation to humanity, of sharing the truth with as many people as possible while I am still alive.

Now to address Ouspensky’s statements: Schools do not disappear because they have finished some great work. Schools disappear because they were unable to show others how to awaken. In addition, schools should exist for the purpose of education and instruction, but instead have not, because it is nigh impossible to educate and instruct people on how to accomplish a subjective way. 

Again, as to your statement of me being a guide and not being a policeman, that is correct. I will guide you, but I will never police you. That is, policemen are tasked with trying to enforce the rules and laws; whereas I simply teach them. And as such, I will never pull you over and inquire, “Why were you not in class”? 

If you choose to be in class, I will teach you. If you choose not to be in class, I cannot. It is that simple.

I am a guide. I show people everything they need to know in order to awaken… and if they wish to know more than that, that is, how to show other people how to awaken, I will show them how to do that too. 

Before students found me, most had one or more teachers; teachers that were policemen; teachers who law-conformably had to be policemen in order to keep their students following their subjective way.  However, as DOGTALE #63 implies: A school should not have to do that; a school should be like a compass; one that does not force anyone to go anywhere, but rather, just keeps pointing in the right direction.

Student:  I got it Russ, thanks. 

Ouspensky goes on to say:  “Mechanical man cannot give conscious work so that the first task of the people who begin such a work is to create conscious assistants.”

Russell:  Hmmm, how can a man who cannot give conscious work, create conscious assistants? Sounds like an oxymoron to me. 

Firstly, one has to become conscious. Secondly, one has to be able to show others how to become conscious. Then perhaps, they can surround themselves with conscious assistants.

Student:  Is it accurate to say that the essential form of the Sanger School is to develop the 3rd Oblogonian Striving as a gateway to the realization of the 5th Oblogonian Striving?

Russell:  Yes. Only after a successful 3rd Striving, that is, of being able to show someone else how to awaken, will you actually fulfill the 3rd Striving, and thereby open the possibility of achieving the 5th striving; of being able to show others, how to show others, how to awaken.

Ouspensky also said:  “We know practically nothing about real schools except the results of their work, and even then only if we are able to distinguish the results of real work from counterfeits and imitations.”

Student:  I would like to ask you, Russ, “Since the Sanger School found an objective way to awaken, have you had to suffer through many counterfeits?”

Russell:  Of all my students, there have only been two who have tried to use this objective way for their own personal gains. One student, who I wrote about in a disguised way in Beelzebub’s Last Wish (which is available as a podcast, and for viewing on our website thedogteaching.com), tried to use this objective way to attract women. But fortunately, when his students found out, they quickly left him. The other, was a student in Mexico who tried to use this objective way to make money. That is, he started charging people to take them through Cosmic Secrets, and through The Objective Exercise, and then required them to pay monthly dues in order to attend his classes. He was even sending out payment reminders, and late fee bills; and periodically, was gathering donations that he said THEDOG school in Sanger had requested…. NOT

When I found out what was going on, I started the school THEDOG Mexico, under my guidance, and the guidance of two students from our school who spoke Spanish. When I did, his students quickly left, and that ended the practice of him charging others.

Other than that, the teachers of my work have held true to my methods and my philosophy. In fact, listening to them is kind of like listening to me.

So, all in all, I have been very fortunate. The overwhelming majority, of all who have come here, have kept my teaching pure. Perhaps, it is according to law that people who find the truth will sense the need to protect it, as well as to keep it in its original form, so that others, who later find it, will find it as unblemished as they did.

As it says on page v in Cosmic Secrets.

This book is offered, not as a recapitulation of “the Gurdjieff Question”, which it has subsequently come to be called, but rather, as an exposition on what we call “the Gurdjieff Answers”.


Student:  Here is the crux of the matter for me. It is interesting for me to speculate how my life would have been had I encountered the Sanger School as a young adult. I would probably be soaring right now, that is, if your dog, Cheetah, didn’t chase me back to California. 

Instead, the school I found only raised me from False Personality to “Salty Householder.” I did learn some 4th Way Basics along the way, but left them after 15 years. Fortunately, I picked up some other useful bits and pieces from various other Fourth Way endeavors, which kept me going. 

Then I found THEDOG, a real school. Yee-Haw! 

However, as I am not a young buck any more, I need to learn as much as I can, as fast as I can, so that I can help as many people as I can complete the objective journey; and I am counting on you to show me how to do it.

Russell:  I will indeed show you how accomplish the Fifth Striving: the striving always to assist the most rapid perfecting of other beings, both those similar to oneself and those of other forms, up to the degree of the sacred ‘Martfotai’ that is up to the degree of self-individuality.” 

And, as I said, to do so will not only be my greatest pleasure, but also will allow me to fulfill my obligation to humanity, that is, of being able to share this truth with as many people as possible before I die. 

Student:  Well, let’s hope that won’t be for a long time.

Ouspensky also says:  “The very idea of esotericism, the idea of initiation, reaches people in most cases through pseudo-esoteric systems and schools; and if there were not these pseudo-esoteric schools the vast majority of humanity would have no possibility whatever of hearing and learning of the existence of anything greater than life because the truth in its pure form would be inaccessible for them.”

Student:  After reading that, I realized that until I met you last November, I was a Pseudo-School bumblebee. I tried everything those schools told me to do. And as such, I lived on crumbs, and most of my friends lived on crumbs.

But no more! 

I can’t wait to show my friends my “Made in Sanger” tattoo and to say to them, “Go to Texas”. (Just a note, he was not tattooed, nor has anyone ever been required to get a Tattoo.)

Russell:  As your intentions have remained most noble – that is, after 40+ years of not finding the truth, you still kept looking for the truth – because of that, I will offer you and your friends this quote out of Views From the Real World.

“Perhaps the only positive result of all wanderings in the winding paths and tracks of occult research will be that, if a man preserves the capacity for sound judgment and thought, he will evolve that special faculty of discrimination which can be called flair. He will discard the ways of psychopathy and error and will persistently search for true ways. And here, as in self-knowledge, the principle which I have already quoted holds good: ‘In order to do, it is necessary to know; but in order to know, it is necessary to find out how to know.’”

“To a man who is searching with all his being, with all his inner self, comes the unfailing conviction that to find out how to know in order to do is possible only by finding a guide with experience and knowledge, who will take on his spiritual guidance and become his teacher.”

“And it is here that a man’s flair is more important than anywhere else. He chooses a guide for himself. It is of course an indispensable condition that he choose as a guide a man who knows, or else all meaning of choice is lost. Who can tell where a guide who does not know may lead a man?”

Student:  That certainly was what happened to me. I kept finding guides who did not know. I once even considered becoming a member of the Gurdjieff Foundation. But then I discovered that if you became a member, and then looked for answers anywhere else, they kicked you out.

Russell:  Indeed. I have several students, who were also once members, and they too, were kicked out because they looked for the truth in other places. 

Boy, were they happy when they found me.

Probably, because I told them, as I tell all my students, “If there are other teachings out there that you would like to check out, go for it.” 

That way you can eliminate the subjective ways, and better appreciate an objective one (not because I will benefit – I am a guide, not a policeman – but because you will benefit), that is, the sooner you eliminate what is not real, the sooner you will be able to make force on one which is.

The only downside I could see, from suggesting that they should check out other ways, is that if they checked out the Bloodletting Ritual school, their attendance at that school, may strengthen the false belief structures of others who attended, thus, making it harder for those attendees to “discard the ways of psychopathy and error.”

That is, if a band of friends and I were looking for gold, and if we were trying to squeeze gold out of oranges (because oranges kind of looked like gold); then, I found an actual gold mine, which had an unlimited supply of gold, would I still attend the orange squeezing weekend retreats with my friends? If I did, it would kind of suggest to them that the orange squeezing retreats actually have value. 

Or would I tell them, “Hey, I found a gold mine; and from now on, I am going to be getting my gold from there. You can too, if you like; there is plenty. However, I am done squeezing oranges. So you need not save me a seat at the weekly orange squeezing classes anymore.”

Student:  Yep, that all makes a great deal of sense to me. 

I feel so fortunate to have found your work, and that I was able to awaken. 

I imagine that everyone who comes to Sanger awakens.

Russell:  Yes. Most people who came to Sanger did awaken. However, since you phrased your question, “I imagine that everyone who comes to Sanger awakens,” I feel compelled to give you the following rundown of their visits.

Less than half a dozen of the people who came here did not awaken. Instead, they came with the agenda of teaching me “the truths they had acquired,” and as such, were not here seeking what that I had to offer. Thus, I did not share with them The Objective Exercise, but instead discussed several Work ideas with them. When they left, they were happy that they had come. They even bought some books; and as such, were excited to be able to add Cosmic Secrets to their storehouse of, “Look at what I found! I even got to spend time with the author.”

A few other sojourners wanted to learn everything they could about the “law of octaves,” because they were following the ideals of a man who told them that the secret of making money in the stock market was predicated on them having an good understanding of the law of octaves, and of oscillations (cycles). And, since my book reeked of such things, they found their way to Texas in order to learn everything they could.

Most of them did make it through The Objective Exercise, and therefore, did awaken; but some did not. However, they were all extremely happy to have learned about the rules and the laws, which they then took home and happily applied to their professions. Some even called me to see if I would be willing to explain the rules and laws to one or more of their colleagues, to which I declined.

However, it was nice to know that there were a few conscious traders out there that would not go bonkers if the stock market went belly up.

The next measure of seekers, actually came here to change their inner worlds. They went through Cosmic Secrets, The Objective Exercise, and they all awoke. Thus, they became objective-beings of the 1st magnitude, and left here with inner peace, clarity, and the ability to stop thoughts. Then, back in life, having contact with their Stewards, they were able to improve their employment, improve their marriage, improve the relationships with their family, and their interactions with the world.

To this day I am still receiving random emails, letters, Christmas cards, phone calls, and pictures of them and their happily growing families.

They got what they came here for, that is, the ability to easily maneuver through life, and to have in their own thoughts, a certain immunity, even from themselves.

Following those seekers were hundreds of other seekers, who after awakening and experiencing the inner taste of freedom and immunity, demanded more. That is, they wanted to awaken their Higher Mental Centers as well; and as such, memorized 1,001 words of memory work and acquired the Master Exercises. Thus becoming, objective-beings of the 2nd magnitude. After which, they established regular channels of communication with me, wherein, they sought my counsel, and got my advice; regarding the journey towards dying to themselves, and the aim of acquiring the possibility of being born again, and thus, entering the world of reason and impartiality.

Most all, continued along that objective path; and, based on their efforts and dogged determination, they qualified to die. After which, they received the Double or Nothing Exercise Part One, and inevitably attained reason and impartiality, making them objective-beings of the 3rd magnitude.

I must say that everyone who received the Double or Nothing Exercise Part One was able to taste completion; and after much “practice, practice, practice,” were ready to go beyond just dying. And as such, they received Double or Nothing Exercise Part Two. After which, they started the law-conformable process of being born again, and became objective-beings of the 4th magnitude. That is, beings who could legitimately show other beings how to acquire the first 3 objective-being magnitudes.

Student:  That is what I want. 

But time is precious. I need to train. 

I need to visit THEDOG in Texas again, and soon. 

Dang, just thinking about scheduling my next visit, has already made me feel better. Thanks Russ.

Russell:  You are welcome. I will end our conversation with another tidbit from Views From the Real World:

“Do not be overcurious nor waste time on things that attract your attention but are not worth it. Time is precious and should not be wasted on things which have no direct relation to your aim.”

See you soon!

I cannot wait to watch the future unfold.

Student:  Neither can I, good night.


Russell:  Good Evening.  How are you tonight?

Student:  I couldn’t be any better.

As you know, several folks are now meeting with me every week. One of whom is a college professor. He just completed The Teaching Guide, so I took him through The Objective Exercise, and he awoke!  Then, I took my daughter through The Teaching Guide, and through The Objective Exercise, and she also awoke.

I will tell you, as a parent, there is no greater joy in life than to watch your child become unified, and become conscious; knowing that, from that moment forward, they will be in the presence of their Higher.

And, Russ, there will be more to follow. Several of my other friends have also purchased The Teaching Guide, which means, I will soon be taking them through the The Teaching Guide and through The Objective Exercise as well.

What you have given me is truly remarkable. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I have jotted down some musings about my personal journey. That is, of my journey through the various stages of consciousness: self-conscious-man, objectively-conscious-man, and ultimately the completion of the journey. The three stages are: The Objective Exercise, the Master Exercises, and the Double or Nothing Exercises, respectively.

Here goes. I hope you like it.

1. The Objective Exercise: I find myself in a dark room. I am led to a light switch, and told to switch it on. I do so. Sun shines in Paradise. I frolic in green pastures. After a while, the sun sets. I sleep. I awake in darkness, but now that I know where the sunlight switch is, I switch it on. I learn that a “self-conscious-man” is someone who knows where the sunlight switch is.

2. Master: I find myself in a dark room. I am led to a light switch, and told to switch it on. I do so. Starshine twinkles around me. I study the Universe. I sleep. I awake in darkness, but now that I know where the sunlight switch is, I switch it on. I also know where the starlight switch is, so I turn it on too, but I do not see any stars shining? I learn that an “objectively-conscious-man” is someone who not only knows where the starlight switch is, but also knows to switch off the sunlight, in order to study the universe.

3. Double or Nothing: I find myself in a dark room. I sleep lucidly. When necessary, I rise to frolic or study. I can, because now I know where the light switches are, and what needs to be done.

Russell:  Those are some pretty terrific musings my friend. Well said! 

There is no greater pleasure in life than to show a man how to awaken, and then, witness him do the same with others. 

That is prodigious indeed.

Student:  Thanks Russ, I know it must be very satisfying for you to watch your legacy changing the lives of so many people, including mine. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

I look forward to talking with you next week, and better still, of being able to study the Universe with you as well.

Russell:  As do I, my friend, as do I. 

By the way, I will make sure that I switch on the appropriate lights.  

See you then.

Good night.

That ends the question and answer session for this episode.

Thank you for listening.

If you have any questions that you would like answered, then please send them to [email protected], and we will endeavour to answer them and include them in future podcasts.  

And, if you would like to know more about the subjects and exercises we have been exploring, including the book and guide that underpins it all, which is also available for PDF download, 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 obtain Mr. Smith’s diagrams, models, videos and 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 material 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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