S5/E08: Gurdjieff & I: An Anode to Awakening

Published June 9th, 2022

S5/E08: Gurdjieff & I: An Anode to Awakening

Gurdjieff & I: An Anode to Awakening

In this podcast we shall join a weekly class where Russell first shared the Sixfold Attention Exercise with his students, and then answered questions about doing and not doing, the Three-Story Diagram, natural awakening, as well as Gurdjieff’s three totalities of functioning.


Three Story Diagram

The Three Story Diagram

Podcast Transcript

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.

Today, we shall join a weekly class where Russell first shared the Sixfold Attention Exercise with his students, and then answered questions about doing and not doing, the Three-Story Diagram, natural awakening, as well as Gurdjieff’s three totalities of functioning.


Let’s begin:


Russell:  Welcome to class. Today I am going to share with you something that is quite unique; I am going to show you how to have six attentions at the same time, on six different things.

To begin, I want you to cross your legs like I am doing. The leg that is over the other is hanging straight down, at the knee, to where it can freely swing. If you cannot do that by crossing your legs, no problem. Simply sit on one of the stools or on one of the tables, so that you can accomplish that. 

Okay, is everybody ready? Can you all swing your dangling leg from front to back? 


Students:  Yes.

Russell:  Great.

Okay, start swinging your leg, your foot, from front to back like I am doing, and keep swinging it. 

Good, we are all now sitting here swinging one foot from front to back. 

While doing so, establish an attention on the fact that you know that you are intentionally swinging your foot. 

Does everyone have attention on the fact that you are swinging your foot? 


Students:  All nodding.

Russell:  Fantastic! Do not let that attention wane. 

Now, I want you to conjure up a second attention; one that is listening to the opera music that I just started playing. That is, on the fact that you can hear it, as well as, have attention on the fact that you are still swinging your foot. 

Can you do them both?


Students:  Again, all nodding.

Russell:  Terrific!

You now have two attentions: one on the fact that you are still swinging your foot and another on the fact that you are also listening to the opera singer. 

Do you recognize that you are capable of doing and maintaining both?


Students:  All nodding and now smiling in amazement. 

Russell:  I am playing opera music because I don't want you to identify with the words; Zen type music also works well as there are no words, as do other outside noises such as birds and grasshoppers chirping, constant traffic sounds, or construction noises, etc. All those things will make for good background noises, which you can hold attention on while doing this exercise. 

Does everyone now have two attentions on two different things; attentions that you all know are present? 


Students:  All continue smiling and nodding in amazement.

Russell: Very, very good!

Now, I want you to bring in a third attention. Either engender a feeling of gratitude or a feeling that is connected with one of the things in your Objective Prayer. 

Can you do that; can you conjure up and hold that feeling as well? Of course you can. In addition, you actually have a fourth attention; one that is listening to my words. 

As such, you now have four attentions: one that knows that you are intentionally swinging your foot, one that knows that you are intentionally listening to the opera singer, one that knows that you are intentionally holding a feeling, and one that knows that you are intentionally listening to my words.

Isn’t that amazing?


Students:  All nodding in delight. 

Russell:  When you do this exercise by yourself, simply replace listening to my words with some memory work, such as, “There are 21 gradations of reason from that of the ordinary man to that of our endlessness, etc.,” or recite a nursery rhyme or something else, and at the same time know that you are maintaining a second attention on a feeling, a third attention on listening to the opera singer, and a fourth attention on knowing that you are still swinging your foot! 

Then, as you have all completed The Blueprint of Consciousness and have done The Objective Exercise and awoke, you should be able to bring in a fifth attention: one from your Higher Emotional Center which senses the watchful eye of your Steward. And, as everyone here has also obtained the Master Exercises and the Double or Nothing Exercises, a sixth attention should be possible, as such, you should be able to insert and hold one of those as well.

So go ahead and add those. 

Okay. Who now has six attentions? 


Students:  All acknowledging that they do, continue to sit there gobsmacked, all the while maintaining their swinging feet.

Russell:  Excellent! 

Isn’t that awesome? 

Okay, I will now end this exercise, as I cannot stand opera!


Students:  Simultaneously, burst into laughter.

Russell:  Well done everyone. You are now all experts in the Sixfold Attention Exercise. 

Okay, now that you are exquisitely present, and I have all six of your attentions, what would you like to talk about next?


Student:  Can I ask a question?

Russell:  Yes, of course you can.


Student:  When we begin to learn how to do and not do, things seem to be gradational. Is that because some of those doings and not doings are the doings and not doings of our Deputy Steward, our Steward, and our Master?

Russell:  Good question. As there are seven types of men, there are seven types of doing. And, even in those seven types of men, there are going to be gradations as to what they can do and not do. That is, if we start with the idea of awakening, whereafter one gains the ability to see that they have accounts, act mechanically, and hold grudges, some, who see such things, will instantly stop doing them. Whereas others will have to see them many times before they can eliminate them. Therein lies the not doing; how long does it take, after seeing an undesirable thing, for it not to happen. 

Before a man awakens there is no doing whatsoever, except subjective doing, where one responds to external things and takes the results as being something that they did. And, if it works in their favor, they take credit for it, and if it does not, they blame it on someone else. Like in the British Open, where on the first tee, one of the three fellows that was tied for the lead, drove the ball right down the fairway. On his second stroke, he almost chipped it in the hole. On his third stroke, he tapped it in for a birdie, taking the lead in the British Open. However, as he walked to the second tee, he noticed that he had too many clubs in his bag; there was an extra driver in there that he was practicing with earlier that was still in his bag, which was an automatic two-stroke penalty. So, after one hole, he suddenly went from leading the British Open, to being one stroke behind. Then, came the blame game with his caddy, and the “I gave you one job to do, and you can’t even do that” attitude. Whereafter, he threw the extra driver across the fairway. I watched the whole thing take place, and as such, was reminded that in the sleeping world there is no doing, there is just responding. In truth, he should have seen the extra driver and removed it before play began, which is what would have happened if he was awake. But even if he didn’t see it, he wouldn't have blamed his caddy. Instead, he would have fessed up to the infraction and accordingly taken the penalty. So, after you awaken, you will be able to see or not see, and as such, you will be able to do or not do. 

It’s a three-fold process: to know, in order to be, and to do. 

However, Ouspensky insisted that the first step was to see oneself, after which a student asked, I thought it was to know oneself; to which Ouspensky replied, “No, you must first see yourself.” 

By doing so, you may be able to eliminate the things that came in via the lines-of-9 that are not real, as shown in the Three-Story Diagram. Such an endeavor will bring you closer to what you are supposed to be, and as such, will give you the possibility of either doing or not doing, whereafter you will move from self-consciousness, truth of self, to objective consciousness, truth of everything, which of course is relative to the storehouse of your own knowledge, as well as to the similarities to the already arisen that you can create. 

Okay, any more questions?


Student:  I have one.

Russell:  Shoot.


Student:  I started thinking about how awakening was our right, and how when reaching maturity we should have naturally awoken, which means, before Atlantis sank, people would just be bopping along, and at maturity they would have awakened. That is, they didn't have to do what we have to do as far as exercises go, so my question is, was there an exercise for them, or was it just natural?

Russell:  That is a great question. The answer to which is very simple, life itself was the exercise. That is, life made them pay attention, as a result, their centers were fully functioning, which kick-started their reason. But unfortunately, after a time, their reason tamed the world. The results of which were that their descendants no longer needed to pay attention, and as such, Atlantis sank, and mankind fell asleep. 


Student:  So, the Bible must have been written in the era after Atlantis.

Russell:  Yes, sir. In Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson, the messengers from above were only sent down to Earth after mankind fell asleep, which is why the Bible says, you know not when the hour comes, as awakening became subjective. Yet we are told in later verses, that awakening is something that should quickly come to pass.


Student:  It seems like, and I may be wrong about this, that Gurdjieff referred to the maturity of a man not being as high as the maturity of an 8-year-old. 

Russell:  Yes, you are correct. In Matthew 18:3 - King James Version: Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” 

Which prompts us to ask, why little children? 

According to Gurdjieff’s three totalities of functioning, awakening was supposed to happen at the age of maturity. At that time we were supposed to have voluntary contact with the first two totalities. 

Let’s stop for a moment and read Gurdjieff’s dissertation about the three totalities. After which, you will better understand my Three-Story Diagram, as Gurdjieff’s dissertation was its base.

Gurdjieff:  The general psyche of every man on reaching maturity, which begins on an average in the male sex at twenty years and in the female sex at the beginning of the thirteenth year, consists of three totalities of functioning which have almost nothing in common with each other.

The course of action of all three of these independent totalities of functioning in the common presence of a man who has attained maturity takes place simultaneously and incessantly.

All the factors making up and producing these three totalities of functioning begin, and cease, to form in man at different periods of his life.

The factors producing in man the first totality of functioning, unless special measures are employed, are formed, as has been established long ago, only in childhood—in boys on an average until the age of eleven years, and in girls until the age of seven.

The factors producing the second totality of functioning begin to form in boys from the age of nine years, and in girls even from the age of four years, lasting in different cases a different length of time, approximately until the attainment of maturity.

And factors producing the third totality begin to form from the attainment of maturity, continuing in the average man at present only until the age of sixty, and in woman only until the age of forty-five.

But in the case of people who have consciously perfected themselves to the so-called "all-centers-awake state," that is, to the state of being able in their waking state to think and feel on their own initiative, these factors still continue to form in man until the age of three hundred years and in woman until the age of two hundred.

The forming of all the factors for the functionings of these three entirely separate totalities of functioning proceeds in people in accordance also with the universal law of "threefoldness."

For the formation of factors of the first totality, there serve as the "anode beginning," on the one hand, all kinds of involuntarily perceived outer impressions and, on the other hand, impressions resulting from so-called "all-centered dozing"; and as the "cathode beginning" there serve the results of reflexes of the organism, chiefly of those organs having an hereditary particularity.

For the formation of the factors of the second totality, there serve as the "anode beginning" outer impressions taken in under a certain pressure and having thereby the character of being intentionally implanted from outside, and as the "cathode beginning" the results of the functioning of factors formed from impressions of a similar kind previously perceived.

The factors of the third totality of functionings are formed from the results of "contemplation," that is, from results received from the "voluntary contact" of the factors of the first two totalities, for which moreover the results of the second totality serve as the "anode beginning" and the results of the first totality serve as the "cathode."

One of the properties of such an actualization of all three separate totalities of functionings producing the general psyche of man is that which, by combinations of the "voluntary contact" of the actions of these three independent totalities of functioning, causes to proceed in one of them the imprintation of those processes proceeding in the other totalities, as well as those proceeding outside of the given man which happen to fall into the sphere of the subjective action of his organs of perception.

The part of this property found in the common presence of man, ordinarily perceived by people, is that which is called "attention."

The degree of sensitivity of the manifestation of this property or, as otherwise defined by ancient science, "the strength of embrace" of this "attention" depends entirely upon the so-called "gradation of the total state" of a given man.

For the definition of this property in man, which is called "attention," there is, by the way, found also in ancient science the following verbal formulation:


This above-mentioned "gradation of the total state" of man extends, as science formulates it, from the strongest subjective intensity of "self-sensation" to the greatest established "self-losing."

That totality always becomes the initiating factor for the realization of a common function of the three separate totalities which represent the general psyche of man in which at the given moment this "gradation of the total state" has its center of gravity. 

Russell: Correlating the above with my Three-Story Diagram, the first totality is the bottom story; it contains the Instinctive Center and the Moving Center, of which the anode beginning is the Instinctive Center and the cathode beginning the Moving Center. Thus, we have both an emitter and a collector.

Then comes the second totality, the middle story, which contains the Emotional Center - where impressions that are important get intentionally implanted - and the Intellectual Center - where impressions that are similar to previously perceived impressions get registered. Thus, again, we have an emitter and a collector.

After which, at maturity, via the voluntary contact of the first two totalities, the third totality was supposed to begin. Unfortunately, Atlantis sank, and mankind fell asleep, and as such, that no longer happened. But fortunately, I discovered an objective exercise that does just that. Thus, we no longer need to become like little children in order to awaken. We just need to digest The Blueprint of Consciousness and perform The Objective Exercise and voilà.

I know that sounds somewhat unbelievable. However, after watching 407 people out of 412 awaken, I am confident that almost everyone who takes the journey will indeed attain a unified state and awaken. Afterall, as Gurdjieff intuitively indicated, awakening is our right, which was supposed to happen at maturity; but, as I said, in a tamed world, without the right methods, that ceased to be the case, and as such, life was no longer able to produce the voluntary contact that was required. However, The Blueprint of Consciousness and The Objective Exercise can.

It is really quite simple. With The Blueprint of Consciousness, one has a model that will instill in them essence-certainty of its truth, which allows them to see and comprehend its results, and as such, nothing will deter them from achieving it. Just like it would be hard to stop someone from running into the kitchen and producing the most scrumptious dessert if they knew that they not only had the recipe, but also had the ingredients. However, if they had all the ingredients, but not the recipe, they would most likely hesitate, as it would be foolish of them to try to make the dessert without the recipe, which is the problem in life. A lot of people claim to have the recipe, and as such, we tried them all, unfortunately, they did not produce lasting results. But this one will. 

So, I challenge you to give it one last shot. Put yourself in the position of seeing the objectivity of my recipe. And in that objectivity, you will know for certain you have indeed received the right recipe, and as such, you will run to the kitchen and produce the dessert.


Student:  So, if we lived in a conscious society where we were raised rightly, we would naturally awaken at the age of maturity. Correct? 

Russell:  Yes. Imagine a community which only contained people that possessed objective consciousness. There would be no fights, angers, irritations, frustrations, or lies, and as such, the children there would only receive right models. Okay, there might be some moans and groans if someone tripped or had too many golf clubs in their bag, but there wouldn’t be any blame or accusations. Instead, everyone would accept what had happened, and act accordingly.


Student:  Well, that is part of my struggle. I use ready-made answers that came from my mother. As such, I don’t have to deal with many things. And, because I am copying my mother, I have quite a different perspective on life, which I can see in raising my grandson. My answers are becoming his. Which makes him different from most of his friends, as he wants to hang out with me all day, and I am unsure if that is a good thing.

Russell:  Well, let me say this, your mother must have been one amazing woman, because by copying her, your grandson wants to be in your presence. Imagine if everybody in the community was raised by your mother, what would their children and their grandchildren be like? 


Student:  But it still seems like I am preventing him from encountering the difficulties of life. In sailing, they say, “It is not easy to sail in calm waters, as there is no wind.”

Russell:  That's true. However, this is not sailing. This is life. As such, it depends on the right functioning of our centers, not on the wind. That is, if all adults were conscious, every child and every grandchild would receive truthful information; information that would allow their conscience and their consciousness to automatically emerge when they reached maturity. In that way, if this was like sailing, every boat would be equipped with a high-powered motor.


Student:  So, it’s the right functioning of our centers that is important.

Russell:  Yes. As I say in The Blueprint of Consciousness, all parents would develop ways of making their children use the higher parts of their Centers. Thus, preparing them for the voluntary contact that occurs at maturity, and ensuring that they all have a very powerful conscious motor.


That concludes today’s podcast.


Thank you for listening.


If you too would like to have a conscious motor, simply visit our website thedogteachings.com and acquire Mr. Smith’s book The Blueprint of Consciousness, a 520-page hardback, which is also available as a PDF download.

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There, you will be able to listen to other talks, obtain diagrams, animations, supporting videos, and much, much more.

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If you have any questions that you would like answered, please send them to [email protected], and we will endeavor to answer them, and perhaps, even include them in a future podcast. 


Goodbye, until next time.

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