Podcast Series 2, Episode 25: A Fable for Feeling or And so, “Once upon a time”

A Fable for Feeling or And so, “Once upon a time - a knight on a horse

A Fable for Feeling or And so, “Once upon a time”

An interlude, with a fable for feeling, in  a fairy tale that makes you feel. The story of a young prince on a journey to find the truth, how he awoke, and of the teachings.

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

It is primarily based on the works of George I. Gurdjieff and Russell A. Smith, and aims to cut through the swathes of subjectivity that cloud our evolution and journey through life. 

Each episode in this series focuses upon a particular element of their teachings and aims to bring simple understanding to what was frequently hidden in plain sight within the various subject areas of the Fourth Way.

In our last talk, we completed part 4 of a four part discussion concerning The Harmonic Nature of the Universe.  In part 1, we found the Duality. In part 2, we discovered Oscillations. In part 3, we uncovered a third scale of inner octaves. And, in part 4, we saw the most beautiful structure in the world, the Transfer RNA molecule… the first molecule of life.

Today, Mr. Smith offers us a respite. 

One of his students, Rick Russell, a pretty intellectual guy, needed more emotional content in his life. So, Mr. Smith assigned him the task of writing a wonderful emotional story, steeped in truth, without intellectualizing it. 

He told him, “Make it a fairy tale, a fable, one that makes you feel. Tell your story, the story of a young prince on a journey to find the truth, how you awoke, of my teachings… or something like that.

A story that weaves in octaves, alludes to secrets of the school, exposes some of your pitfalls along the way, and reveals the rewards at the end.” 

Quite a task, it was.

But off went the brave student, determined to accomplish the assignment he was given… and, with Mr. Smith prodding and guiding, he did.

I now offer you the Fable of Rick Russell. 

A Fable, not to make you think… but, to make you feel.

And so, “Once upon a time….”

We first find our hero as a young prince, leaving his home, thinking that his father is a bit of an old fool; and, an unpleasant one at that. 

He’s off to seek adventures in the world. 

Notsurprisingly, things do not go altogether well for him. 

He finds the world a much larger and scarier place than he had originally thought, where adventures are not often rewarded with gold or damsels in distress. 

When our story opens, our young hero, who has been searching for truth for a very long time, has not found much of anything. 

Along the way, he has worked here and there at various farms and other businesses, and has acquired an old farm horse, (a beat up old nag, to be truthful), an old and rusty sword; and, at some village along the way, a young boy who thinks that he needs a squire.

“But I’m not a knight,” protests our young hero, “and I don’t need a squire.” 

“Oh, but you will become one,” says the boy confidently. 

“Just let me tag along. I can be useful, I promise, and there’s no place for me here at home anyway.” 

”OK, but just for now,” our young adventurer replies, “ and I’m not promising you anything. Not even a good adventure, most likely.” 

And so the two set off.

They wander, for years, stuck in the land of SO, trying this and trying that, looking for wisdom and adventure, but finding little but heartache. 

Our fellow has heard of a wondrous land called Shangri-La, said to be high in the mountains, protected from the weather, where there are Green Pastures even in the midst of Winter. 

Though many people claim to know how to get there, no one seems to have actually been there. 

And every lead that they follow comes only to the deadest of ends. 

They are both no longer either young, or eager. 

In fact, they have both become terribly discouraged and are considering giving up the quest altogether.

But one day, looking into a magic mirror the aging prince has discovered along the way, he finds tales of a wise man who might actually know the Way to Shangri-La. 

Unwilling to give up his quest quite yet, the prince asks the magic mirror if this wise man can still be found – the prince is willing to go on one last adventure as is his faithful, aging, would-be squire, who has now even taken on the duties of a deputy steward – all unpaid, of course.  

The mirror responds: “Yes, this man is yet to be found, in a mysterious and unknown part of the country which you have never visited, the vast land of TX, but still within the country of SO. ”

Our hero and his would-be squire get this news in the summer of the year, and it takes them a while to get ready for the journey. 

Eventually they pack all of their bags, load them onto the poor old horse, and, once again, set off on an unknown journey. 

“Probably another wild goose chase,” grouses the would-be squire.

Soon they find themselves in the strange land of TX, which is green and hot and really unfamiliar. 

But, surprise of surprises, when they come to the place the mirror has told them about, there is an old guy there, who claims to be the very wise man they are looking for. 

“I hear you are looking for Shangri-La”, he says. 

“Why, yes”, says our hero, “I am. How did you know??”

“They all are,” says the old guy. 

“But it isn’t really called Shangri-La, you know. Just LA.”

“Really,” comments our skeptical hero, “and it isn’t even in the mountains, I’ll bet.” 

“That’s right, too,” says the old man.

“Well,” asks our lad, “what do you know about it then – this wonderful land of LA? And, are there always Green Pastures there, even in Winter?” 

“I’ve been there,” comes the answer, “ and at least you got the part right: there are green pastures there, even in winter.” 

“You have?? Really? (First time anyone ever said that!),” thinks the prince – Then blurts out, questiongly, “Can you show ME how to get there?”

”Yes, and I will even give you a map and a compass that always points in the right direction,” answers the old man. 

“You’re on,” says our hero. “What have I got to lose?”

And so it begins. 

It turns out that the old guy wants a lot of work to be done first (surprise, surprise, nothing new there!); and, it is a while before the old geezer declares that he is finally ready to show our lad how to get to the Land of LA. But by now, he has finally convinced our hero that he really MIGHT know the way to get there. 

So one fine day, the old man spins our lad around a few times, teaches him a magic exercise, and WHAMMO!! — the lad appears in the land of LA!!

He is so shocked and freaked out that he cannot speak for a whole day. 

Soon, thereafter, in this new and wondrous land of great Silence, where there are indeed Green Pastures even in Winter, he comes upon a marvelous castle. 

In the castle, he finds a beautiful Queen, who tells him that this is NOT the end of his adventures, but only the very beginning. 

It turns out that the land of LA has been plagued by Dragons for as long as she can remember; and, in all of the villages throughout the land, people live in fear of them. 

“At last,” thinks our hero, “an Adventure worth the undertaking!”

“Will you have me as your knight,” he asks the Queen, “and allow me to serve you, and to hunt down these dragons that have been destroying your kingdom?”

“Yes, I will,” answers the Queen… and knights him on the spot.

And so, at last, our would-be squire has become a real Squire. 

“You know,” says our no-longer-so-young man, now a knight to the Queen, “I never even asked your name!” 

“My true name is ‘I-can-wish’,” she replies, “but, I don’t tell that to just anybody.” “I won’t forget,” says our new knight, “and, I won’t tell your name to just anybody either.”

“Before you go off to hunt dragons, you must rest up,” says the Queen, “and your horse is a fright!” 

As indeed he is, the poor old nag. 

So the prince rests up, feeds and grooms his horse, packs food for his journeys, and turns again to the wise old man of LA, who is, miraculously, there also. “I really know nothing about hunting dragons,” the prince admits. “Can you help me?”

“Of course,” says the wise old guy, “Been waiting for you to ask.”

And so, after yet another test, which again, takes the knight a while to pass, the wise man of LA proceeds to give our hero all manner of tools, and weapons, and maps, and food, and a compass… and helps him pack his saddlebags with everything that he will need to slay dragons. 

Finally, our hero, and his transformed Squire, are ready to set off on the quest. “Good luck,” the old man says. “Remember, dragons are sneaky devils! 

Always know that help is available – do remember the magic mirror; and, never forget to ask.” 

Then, the old man winks, smiles his crooked smile, and goes back into the castle.

Well, again, slaying dragons turns out not to be so easy, either. 

They ARE sneaky devils!

Expert at camouflage, deceit, and ambush; and, have been breeding in the countryside for generations. It seems they are hiding under almost every rock. 

But our hero’s sword has been cleaned and straightened, and the old man’s weapons are the best weapons for slaying dragons which have ever been invented! 

Still, there are a lot of dragons, and it takes time.

After a while, our hero begins to realize that the dragons are not only diminishing (due entirely to his own efforts), but they are in real trouble! 

If he keeps this up, there won’t BE any more dragons! And dragons are beautiful, amazing beasts. And, he has already killed the most evil ones. So our knight arranges a meeting with Huff, the chief dragon, head of the only remaining dragon clan. 

Not surprisingly, Huff is Very Suspicious of the young man who has been slaying all of his kinsdragons. But, dragons are not without Reason: Huff understands very well that his entire species is endangered to say the least! And, he knows full well, why the young knight has been on the warpath. After all, Huff and his family have been laying waste to the kingdom for years! So, he agrees to a Parlay.

The young knight, who has been developing his own Reason and Impartiality, has a proposal for the fiery dragon, “Perhaps people and dragons can learn to live together in peace?” 

He proposes that the dragons stop burning the villagers’ crops, and killing the villagers; and, that some of the areas of forest, which the dragons have reduced to ash, should be made into new fields; and others, which have already become beautiful green meadows, be used for raising goats and cattle to feed the starving villagers. The villagers, in turn, will give the offal to feed the dragons, instead of offering them their virgins.

Huff agrees (he has but little choice). And soon the scheme begins to work! 

The people, though originally still terrified of dragons, eventually begin to trust them; and, even to love the beautiful beasts.

And, the grateful dragons reciprocate, and begin helping the villagers by using their fiery breaths to superheat the villagers’ kilns and metal furnaces. 

The potters’ new ceramics are both stronger and more beautifully colored.

The blacksmiths are able to forge new and better swords, shields and plowshares. 

And, when tales of their artistry and the extraordinary strength of their new alloys, spreads to nearby kingdoms… prosperity grows. 

Word of all this soon reaches Queen I-can-wish. 

She realizes she has been wasting the knight’s talents as a mere warrior, and invites him back to the castle to become her adviser.

When the Queen asks him, “Who is going to resolve the many problems still facing my realm”, the bold young knight responds: “I am, I-can-wish, I am!” 

“Well then,” responds the Queen, “You, shall do so, and that shall become your true name: ‘I-am, I-can-wish, I-am’”. 

And, so it was.

Shortly after returning to the court, the knight, now a Visier, realizes that some of the Queen’s courtiers have been in the service of the most evil  (fortunately, now dead) dragon for some time, and have been deceiving and robbing the Queen for years. 

Massive corruption, bribery, and thieving had continued, unchecked, all during the dragons’ reign. And, the Queen’s treasury had been ransacked.

But now, since the disreputable courtiers are in disarray, the knight is able to reveal their duplicity to the Queen. 

When she hears of their conievings, she sends them all off to do manual labor on the farms, so they may yet learn the value of honest work. 

And the knight? He is wondering what to tackle next, when a messenger arrives from his old home. His father, the old King, is dying, which throws him into a bit of a panic. 

He has successfully avoided considering his responsibilities to his own kingdom and family for some time, and finds himself quite grief stricken, having realized by now that his father is not at all the unpleasant old fool he had taken him for as a young man… he knows he must go home. 

The Queen agrees: he has obligations to fulfill. 

But he also realizes that he has no idea of how to get home! After all, he arrived in the land of LA by magic. 

So, back to the old wise guy it is.

The wise man of LA has been waiting for him, not surprisingly: he seems always to be several steps ahead of our hero.

“Yes,” he says, “of course you need to get home. But you can’t go back the way you came. I happen to have a couple of more gifts for you, which should help a great deal.” 

The first gift, a small tool which fits neatly into the knight’s pocket, turns out to be a miniature miracle: it can turn any hostile, unhealthy situation into a beneficent one, in a trice: “just take it out and shake it!” says the wise old man. “It takes a bit of practice to learn to use it, though”… and the old guy won’t let him leave until he has mastered it. Finally, he sees that the knight has got the hang of it at last

“You’re ready for the Second Gift,” he tells the knight, handing him a small black bag. “Go ahead, look inside!”

“But it’s empty!”, says the surprised knight, “there’s Nothing in there!” 

“So true,” replies the wise man of LA, “but it is nonetheless very precious.”

“I’m not sure I get it,” says the knight, “but you have never steered me wrong. I’ll guard it with my life! But what do I do with it??”

“Keep it with you at all times,” asserts the wise man. “It will tell you where to go.” 

“When you are in a Quandary, open the bag and listen closely, for as long as is necessary. It will never fail you.”

“Wow,” says the bewildered knight, “Really?? Is this really so important?”

“It is the most precious thing I’ve ever given you,” replies the older, wiser man. “Use it always.”

“And, Son,” he says, fixing on the young king-to-be with his most penetrating look, “Earn this.”

“I will, Sir,” says the prince, and means it.

The next morning, just as the prince is about to set off on his journey home, having packed durable food, his many maps, his compass, weapons, and tools, upon his patient but uncomplaining and now splendidly healthy looking horse, another messenger arrives at the castle. 

His father has died. 

Now indeed, the prince can waste no further time. He sets off at dawn with a heavy heart, his faithful Squire at his side.

Almost immediately, he is lost. He is in completely uncharted and unfamiliar territory, and there are many turnings and forks in the Way. 

Frequently he has to stop and take out the little black bag and listen carefully. Sometimes it takes a long time to get a reply. But always, if he waits, it indicates the right way to go. 

It is indeed a very strange way to travel. He never knows what is going to happen next! Sometimes there are unexplainable detours…. And, he has to help people he doesn’t even know!….. 

After a while, though, the process becomes more familiar, as things usually do; and, he and the bag grow to be companions, almost friends. (Although the bag’s utter silence is still rather disconcerting on occasion.)

One evening, after a particularly exhausting and difficult day, the young king and his squire come over a rise, and…..

Suddenly, before them, is a familiar landmark: an unusual mountain that the prince remembers from his childhood!

With a shout of joy, the prince spurs his horse forward, crosses a small stream, and knows instantly that he is in the kingdom of TI, a neighboring country to his own beloved kingdom of DO. 

Oddly, he has never been there before, or known anyone who has been (except probably that mysterious old wise man). 

Although said to be near his own kingdom, TI seems to be a magically hidden place, quite inaccessible by any ordinary means. 

It has been rumored, or prophesied, that in this country lives the most beautiful Princess in the world. 

But no-one has ever even known her name; or, indeed, whether she is just a figment of some romantic troubadour’s overactive imagination. 

And yet, here he is, undeniably, in the land of TI!

The young king is determined to find out if the old rumors and prophecies are true. So, at the nearest farm, he inquires about the way to the royal castle. “You can see it from here,” says the farmer, pointing. “But you know, it’s surprising how few visitors we see.” 

The young king spurs his horse forward, yet again. 

He and his squire are tired and dirty from the journey, hardly fit to appear in a royal court, but he has to go. 

Clutching the bag that contains nothing at all, he approaches the castle, knowing that this bag would never lead him to the wrong place.

Fearlessly, he knocks on the castle door……

Well, folks, I think we all know what happens after that. 

There is a real princess, and she is 7 times more beautiful than the young king had thought it possible for any woman, however blessed, to be. 

He realizes that he has always been in love with her, even though he has only seen her in his dreams. 

And by some miracle, such as only happens in real fairy tales, she agrees to become his Queen. (As we, dear listener, knew she would.) 

So we draw the curtain on our tale at this point, as the rest is too private to bear telling.

Suffice it to say, great is the joy, and long the celebrations, in the kingdoms of both TI and DO, and even in all of their farthest neighbors, including, of course, the faraway kingdoms of LA, SO, FA, MI, and even RE. 

The wise old man of LA smiles his crooked smile. Things have worked out just as he had hoped.

But surely, you say, there is at least one secret you can tell us from this sacred time of rejoicing: What was the young Queen’s real name??

Of course, the young King has not forgotten to ask this vital question.

“What is your true name,” he blurts out, just after recovering from his overwhelming joy at receiving her agreement to marry him, “the one you have never told anyone else?”

“My true name is,” his beautiful bride replies, I-can-wish—I-am-can-wish—I-am. But don’t tell just anyone.” 

“I won’t, Beloved,” promises the King. “It is the most beautiful name I have ever heard.”

And did they live Happily Ever After?? Perhaps…. but that is another Story.

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 – just like it did the young prince – you can find us at the website thedogteachings.com.

That’s T H E D O G teachings DOT COM.

There, you can also obtain the-old-wise-man’s, I mean Mr. Smith’s diagrams of the structure, listen to other talks, as well as learn all the mathematics that supports them, and much much more. 

And, you will have real time access to the materials we discuss.

That’s thedogteachings.com

Goodbye until next time… and wash that horse.


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

All material © 2020 THEDOG Publishing

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