S3/E13: R. A. Smith – Questions and Answers Part 2

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R. A. Smith – Questions and Answers Part 2

In this episode, we continue to narrate question and answer dialogues with Russell A. Smith. The topics covered are on a student seeking knowledge in order to become a qualified teacher of Russell’s work, why teachers and schools are needed, suffering, planetary influences, and the four laws of fate, accident, cause and effect, and will .  The transcript 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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Transcript

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Welcome to 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 simplify and explain what Gurdjieff actually meant within the various subject areas of the Fourth Way. All material discussed is drawn from Russell Smith’s book, Gurdjieff: Cosmic Secrets – The Teaching Guide.

In our last talk we went through the first part of an actual question and answer dialogue session with Russell A. Smith. In this podcast, we narrate a conversation with a student seeking knowledge in order to become a qualified teacher of Russell’s work.

Russell Q: About life things: How have you been treating your employees at work?

Student: With more compassion in the sense of not allowing myself being identified with any feelings.  Understanding also, that they are in the same boat I am in and that they handle their job in the best way they can; to realize that they are caught up in life, just like I am.  And realizing that their feelings and their aspiration, whatever you want to call it, might not be at the highest level as possible, just like mine are sometimes; so, sometimes they will feel out of place and they will reflect that – but it is not about me.

Russell Q: Now that you are awake, based on your new manifestations, are you noticing that there is a difference in the way they manifest toward you?

Student: Most definitely.  Yesterday, the day was so hectic that I did not work inside myself at the level that I had wanted to, very little as a matter of fact, and I felt the day begin to get filled with a little loss of control.  And of course, today after working diligently and doing certain things, I find that everything, even though the situation here at work has not changed between yesterday and today, I find that today I have a great deal more control; but, it is not an external control, it is only of myself, and, it is not a control of willfulness, in a negative sense, but more a control of sentiment.  It’s almost like, if I was not working on myself, things would unravel, that in order for me to maintain myself, I must continue to do the Work.  And it was quite enhancing – you know, life could be so much easier… all I have to do is do the work.

Russell: I had a talk with a student who asked about the necessity to be here now, and the necessity to do our own work.  My response was, “The reason we have to be here and now is because God can’t be.  So, we must pick up the slack.  He created laws, which prevent Him from coming down to this level; so, He is depending on us to be here – because He can’t.”

Student: Ahhh, I get it.  God cannot be here, therefore I must be.

Russell: That is correct.  God says, “I am depending on you because I can’t be at that level, only you can.”  That is a big, awesome responsibility.  That ought to choke you up a little bit.  That ought to make you feel your humanness, your obligation, your right.  Make you want to be all that you can be in this time and place.  Because He cannot.  If He could, He would come down here and do it for us.  But He cannot.  He is depending on us to do it…for ourselves.  We have to raise ourselves up to where we can reach Him, and He can reach us.  He cannot come down here to where we are.  He cannot do anything down here.  So, since God can’t be here, we have to be.

Student: Thank God.  I will try and Be.

Russell: And you know what God spells backwards?

Student – Of course!!  D-O-G (as in “the Dog”).

Student: Okay – Thanks again. The other thing I wanted to ask you is about which exercises we should focus on?

Russell: Start with the Magnetic Center exercises.  It is important to start at the beginning.  And the Magnetic Center exercises are the guts of the Work.  Your students should get very familiar with those first. Then, when they are comfortable with the Magnetic Center exercises, other exercises may be given; but first let’s make sure they are practiced with them.

Student: Good.  Then that is what will be done.  Fortunately, the level of commitment will make this productive for me.

 Russell: That is what is most important… that it is productive for you.  We cannot do the work for anyone else.  We can only do the work for ourselves.  So, it will be an opportunity for you to polish yourself, and, as you know, it says… by teaching others you will learn yourself. Thus everybody will benefit.

Russell: The other thing I want you to do is to work on the Objective Crying exercise.

Student: Very well.  The emotional part is becoming strong, very strong.  Going back to the moment after I did the Objective Exercise, when I first awoke, and cried – and got in touch with my essence; and now, do it intentionally is helping a lot, remembering that I can cry.  I can cry; it is nothing new; I have been there before, so it is nothing new for me, but has been buried within for a long time.  And now, when I do it intentionally, there is a part of me that always comes up, a very strong part, that does not want to show emotion, and… I really have to struggle with that.

Russell: Yes, you are going to be confronted by your false personality now more than ever, because your false personality has convinced you for many years to only work on what it wanted you to work on.  And it has made you believe that you did not have to work on your emotions.  And now, when you start to work on your emotions, it is going to rebel.  It is tricky; it will find all kinds of ways to justify its aims; and, by so doing, will try to make you think that you are working on yours.  So, you have to start doing something against what it likes.  The first aphorism is “Like what it does not like.”  We have to tackle the False Personality straight on and go against that side of ourselves. The side that doesn’t want to work on the parts that it thinks are not necessary.  It will paint it all kinds of ways in order to stop you from making force against it, because it knows that the result will be the death of itself, and it doesn’t want to die; thus, it will try to persuade you to work on other things, so it still has control.

Remember, the whole idea of the objective crying exercise is to objectively cry, not to subjectively cry.  Subjective crying is when something external moves you to tears, and objective crying when you yourself are able to move yourself to tears. I do not want to drive a nail into your hand and make you cry because of the pain – that is subjective crying, that is a different thing.  I do not want you to have to run down to the morgue every day and see the dead people so that you can cry.  Instead, I want you to make artificial sounds of crying and to hold artificial thoughts that are conducive to crying. And thus, by creating such thoughts and by producing such sounds, you will soon find yourself actually crying… for no reason at all, other than you can. And, by doing so, you will become a master of your emotions.

We will now continue with questions from other students.

Q.  One of the DOGTALES is, “You can’t call a turtle.”  What does that mean?

A.  I was having a discussion with someone about where we fit in, the development of man, and about our cognition and the evolution of life, that is, when things took on a new level of meaning.  I went from the instinctive story, to the middle story – where animals started to develop meaning; and, to make a point about the animals that came before that, I looked at him and said, “You can’t call a turtle”; which meant, turtles have no meaning.  They do not recognize language.  They are nonresponsive to those kinds of things, because they stand in that position in the model.

Q.  Then the turtle only has the first story, instinctive and moving?

A.  That is correct.  Turtles are not loyal.

Q.  In order to break habituation, we use exercises like “opposite postures” and “stopping thoughts”?

A.  Yes.

Q.  In Gurdjieff: Cosmic Secrets, on page 8, looking at the natural octave of 48 to 96, we see it as going from zero to 48?

A.  Yes. Every octave sees itself as a totality.  It does not see itself as a doubling; it sees itself as a totality.  In other words, if I were middle-C, then I am at 256 vibrations, and if you said to me, “Hey, go up to 512, and complete your octave”, I would say, “Okay.”  But, from my perspective I start at zero because I am already at the starting point, at 256.  In fact, if you came back to me later on, and I hadn’t moved up at all, and you asked me, “How far have you gone?” I’d say, “Nothing”, because I was still at 256, at the starting point, at zero.  This is my state.  The journey from my perspective would be a journey of 256.  It would be from 0, moving up 256, because that is how far I am going.  So, every octave sees the journey as being from nothing to all, or all to nothing.

Q.  Is there a simple model of how that applies in our internal world?

A.  It is more of just trying to understand the structure of things.  If we look at the life of a tree, we will see that there is no doubling there; trees go from nothing to all.  But their development still follows the proportions of an octave, as do all things, whether it is the formation of the earth, or the formation of a galaxy, or even the formation of centers.  They all start at nothing and go to all.  That was placed in the book because I was introducing the idea that things do not have to be on a piano to be an octave, that is, they can be anywhere.  Everything, that is a whole phenomenon, will have seven stopinders, even if it is the formation of a planet, or the growth of a tree.  Everything sees the journey as a totality.  For instance: It sees the journey from 512 to 256 as going from all to nothing or from 256 to 512 as going from nothing to all.

Q.  I suddenly noticed that while you were speaking, I was fooling around with my jacket.  Is that a case of self-observation?

A.  Observation is when one center sees something taking place in another center.  So, obviously you had a passenger in your carriage that noticed what was going on and mentioned “Oh, look at this.”  If something had not been looking, you could have been doing it for some time and it would not have noticed it.

Q.  What is suffering?

A.  Suffering is subjective.  It does not matter what a man is doing. If he is digging and doesn’t want to be digging ditches he will suffer; but if he is digging ditches and wants to be digging ditches, he will not suffer.  

Q.  Does that mean that a conscious man never has to suffer?

A.  We are awake sometimes and we are not awake sometimes.  When we are awake, things are great.  When we are not awake there is blame and suffering, and we should want to do something about that.  And yet, Gurdjieff says, that any time a man makes efforts, there are always “I’s” in his machine that wants him to stop making efforts. To go against those “I’s” is conscious suffering. We are lazy machines; and, as such, that means that there is always something in us that doesn’t want to make efforts. However, we have to make efforts if we are going to grow and change.  But, again, suffering is suffering because of the way it is perceived.  Is it only suffering if it is perceived by us as suffering?  “Oh, my God, I don’t want to do this; and yet they expect me to do this; so, now I’ve got to do this… and that means I suffer.”  But is that really suffering?  

Q.  Is there such a thing as a real man having real suffering or is that just an illusion?

A.  That is probably just an illusion.  Did Jesus suffer?  Even when they nailed him to the cross, did he suffer?  He said, “For this I am here, for this is the reason I have come.”  or something like that.  “This is my destiny.  This is what I am supposed to be.”  Is there suffering in that?  Is there suffering to not covet your neighbor’s wife?  No.  This is what I am supposed to be doing.  This is where I am supposed to be at.  That is the state of my Being.  If I wasn’t in that state, then I would be suffering, because there would be “I’s” in me that didn’t want to be in that state.

Q.  Can a child that is really distorted be brought out of it through right action or is it a genetic defect in his mind.

A.  I do not know the child; it could be he is the way he is as a result of repetition or as a result of a genetic thing from birth.  In some people, part of the mind does not work, and communication does not take place between the various other parts; or it takes place falsely.  That is certainly possible, but it is also possible that he is distorted due to receiving wrong impressions from life.  Maybe the little boy, who treats the world with cruelty and disdain, was abused by his father because he was protective of his sister; and, as such, always took the beatings.  Thus, he is cruel towards others but loves his sister.  I do not know.  It is hard to answer those questions.  Both things are possible, but I would lean to the latter instead of the former.  Most things in personality are fraudulently acquired.

Q.  Even Hasnamuss?  Sometimes they get so distorted they cannot change.

A.  That is correct, and the more they are distorted, the harder it is for them to change.  Gurdjieff introduced us to the idea of Hasnamuss-individuals, and to the idea Hasnamussian “I’s”, of which, we all have some; distorted “I’s” that do not want to change. Just as we have some Good Householder I’s in us, some Tramp I’s in us, and some Lunatic I’s is us.  So, my advice, don’t let any “I’s” in you get so distorted that they cannot be changed.

Q.  Children are born with differences.  Some are quiet.  Some are loud.  Some cry all the time.  Surely these things are in essence and in the genes and not personality?

A.  We are born with capacities.  We are born with strengths.  We are born with inclinations to certain things; things that build personality.  So, we have to ask, “Is that really true that all things are genetic, or is there some kind of development going on in the child before birth?”  Maybe there were arguments between their father and mother when they were in the womb, and they can feel the anger coming from their father and the fear going through their mother, or the medication she is taking has an effect on them.  What about the chemical changes going on in the mother?  They have images in the womb of babies smiling, crying.  So maybe there is an influence there that is being imparted while the baby is gestating for nine months and the chemistry of the mother is running through the baby.  What is going on in the mother is changing the chemistry that is going on in the baby.  Maybe the mother was drinking alcohol.  That will change the chemistry.  Maybe she was on some drug and that changes the chemistry.  If she was frightened or afraid or worried, maybe all that changes the chemistry.

Even after birth, what impressions are coming in? Too cold, too hot, too loud, wrong diet, constipation, irritating diaper rashes. Not to mention the ability of human beings to feel fear, love, and other emotions that will condition them.

Q.  What about the influence of planets?

A.  Good question.  We have a lot of data about the influence of planets.  I think our data on the influences of planets has become confused and misconstrued.  We certainly exist among planetary influences.  If we did not have a moon going around, we wouldn’t have life.  If we did not have the sun, we wouldn’t have warmth.  If we live in a desert we get hot.  If we live in the mountains we get less oxygen.  If we live by a lake we have water.  All of that is a planetary influence.  If we lived from our essence, if we manifested from our Being, we would be in touch with the planetary influences where we existed and we would therefore be under the Law of Fate.  We would recognize the seasons and the dryness and the wetness.  We would get clothes to overcome the cold and build fires.  We would dig wells to get water.  We would be under a relationship with our environment. We would see all those things are connected with the place in which we live and thus are in our essence and in our personality. But I know that is not what you are asking about. You are asking about planetary influence coming from other planets other than the sun, earth, and moon. Well, the outer planets act like shields and cause asteroids to crash into them instead of into us, that’s certainly an influence. As to other influences that the astrologers would have us believe, to which you probably refer, I like what Carl Sagan said. He said the only thing, proven by science, that comes from the other planets and reaches the earth is gravity. However, since they are so far away, their gravity is exceedingly small. But if gravity does affect us, influence us, and make us what we are, then the obstetrician that delivered us into this world, since he was very close, would have exerted an immeasurably greater gravitational force on us than that of the planets; and, therefore, if anything, we should be like our obstetrician… I hope he was a nice person. 

Q.  I know we are under the Law of Fate and the Law of Accident.  How does that affect us before and after The Objective Exercise?

A.  First, we will give a definition of the laws.  Accident is when there is no connection between two things except when they meet, a random meeting.  Ouspensky explained, if a man stands next to a building to get out of the rain, and a brick that was loosely set just happens to fall and hits the man.  That is an accident. There is nothing to connect the line of the life of the man to the line of the life of the brick except for that moment. 

Fate says, the man stands under the building and gets hit by a brick, because he grows up in a city where all the buildings are condemned, crumbling, and falling down, and all kinds of people get hit by stuff falling off the buildings.  So that if he gets hit by a brick, he is more under the Law of Fate than the Law of Accident.

There is also the Law of Cause and Effect where he bumps up against the building and the vibration loosens a brick and causes it to fall.  Or he makes a rude gesture to a  man on top of the building, and the man throws a brick at him.  Those are cause and effect, since there is a connection between the man and the brick.

Then, there is a fourth kind of law, the Law of Will, which says, what other people do intentionally is an act of their will.  So, if a man stands next to a building, and there is someone up on the building who is mad at the world and decides to drop a brick and hit the man, that is the Law of Will.  

Ok, now we shall get to your question. Your question was about the Law of Fate and the Law of Accident, and how they relate to us before we wake up and after we wake up?  Well, before we wake up, we are certainly under the Law of Accident, and because of that our center of gravity is probably outside of ourselves; and, as such, puts us in greater positions to suffer accidents.  For example: Before I woke up, I would be in a car driving across Cleveland, looking for some buddies to have some fun with.  I spent a lot of time on the road, driving going back and forth, which put me in a position of having a much greater chance of being in an accident.   Or I would be off in a daydream and trip over the curb.  I was constantly being pulled to be in some other place, or not present in the place where I was. That is how things went before I woke up, which certainly made me more susceptible to having accidents.  After I woke up, I was not attracted to those things.  I no longer felt so insecure that I needed to drive 50 miles across Cleveland to hang out with some buddies; and I was more present when I walked and, therefore, was more likely to see the curb.  And, as such, I was less susceptible to the Law of Accident.

The Law of Fate is the influence of my family, the influence of my environment, and the influence of my comrades.  That is my fate line.  I was taught certain things by my parents, manifested in various ways because of my environment, and followed the views of my comrades. After I awoke, I began to develop a critical eye and could stand apart from things and say, “Wait a minute, is that really true?” And by choice, I could begin to separate from the influences of my fate line.  Now, I am not so easily persuaded. Now, I am not so easily duped. Now, I have a permanent passenger that can stand apart from things and see them as they are. Some of the things that were taught to me by my parents, my schools, my teachers, my culture, and my comrades, I freed myself from.  Others, I kept… I still like meat and potatoes.  I kept that!

Q.  When Gurdjieff talks about the lunatic, he talks about formatory thinking.  Is this that black or white kind of binary thinking?

A.  Yes, it is. It’s much better served when there are only two views.  It is much easier for a white supremacist to say I are white, and you are not.  That is it, there are only two choices; either you are white, or you are not.  Therefore, if you are Jewish you are bad.  If you are black you are bad.  Whoever you are, if you are not us, you are bad. There are no other lines of distinction.  It is easier to do that than to say the Jews are ok, the Spanish are ok, the Blacks are ok, but the Muslims are bad.  Its much tougher to have a varying model because it is not just two things anymore.  The more things you bring into the model the harder it is to support.

It is often said that if you don’t go to our church, you can’t go to heaven. One of my students whose father was a Baptist minister, once asked him, “Daddy, what about the people in Africa that aren’t here and can’t go to our church?  Can’t they go to heaven?”  He said, “No, honey, they can’t.”  Something in her said, “That is not true; it cannot be that way, and thus, I cannot believe in your religion anymore; I’m out of here”, and she left and never went back. 

Q.  What about self-calming?  I find that I need to use it when I get really upset; sometimes I need to eat.  What should I do?

A. If the situation is difficult, go ahead and eat something and calm yourself.  Then, when you are calm, go back and see what disrupted you. Perhaps then, you will be able to work on it when it is not present.  Like Ouspensky explains, it’s easier to learn to swim when the water is calm, than it is during a storm.  So if you need to count to ten and calm yourself, or have a beer, or eat a big piece of chocolate cake so that you feel better, and your stomach feels a little full, OK, now you have got some self-calming going on, so your irritation isn’t as big.  Then go back and try and realize why you allowed yourself to be irritated by whatever it was that irritated you.  

Q.  Does Harnel-miatznel have a meaning in my life?

A.  It is everywhere. All things change, grow, or evolve by shocks and by blending. The first thing we learn about the Law of Three is called, “Harnel-miaznel,” and the first thing we learn about Harnel-miaznel is that it is all about blending.

For instance, to make bread you must first blend flour and water. There are many ways to blend flour and water. You can use more water than flour; and, instead of getting dough, you will get a runny paste. As kids, we used to blow up balloons, cut a newspaper into strips, dip the strips into the paste, and put the pasty strips on the balloons. When the strips dried, we would pop the balloons, cut out some eyes, and paint a face on it. Voilà, we made Papier-Mache, not dough. To make dough, you need to use the right proportions of flour and water. Once you have the right proportions, you only get dough if you then blend them… and blend them… and blend them. It is called kneading; and, you have to keep kneading it until it reaches the proper consistency. Then, it will be ready to receive another force, the force of the hot oven. I will point out, that once you blend the flour and water into dough, you have given the dough a death sentence. It will not last long as dough. Let it sit too long and it will sour. If you do not want your dough to sour, do not blend the flour and water. Keep them as flour and water. Separate, they can last a long time…. OK, you kneaded your dough up to the proper consistency and got it ready to receive the second force. The force of fire. A transformation then takes place and turns the dough into bread, after which, more blending can take place. You can blend the bread with a knife and cut it into slices. You can blend the bread with butter or jelly. You can blend the bread with caramel drizzle or sugary sprinkles, but it will not fulfil its purpose, unless a third force enters, which will be another kind of oven, one that can transform the bread even further; the oven of a man’s stomach…. With all three forces the flour and water will fulfil their highest potential. Notice that most of the event proceeds by the process of Harnel-miaznel, by blending; and, you could have even added more blending to the process. You could have blended in yeast and made risen dough. You could have blended in raisins and made risen, raisin dough. But no amount of blending can make bread (unless you are Superman and can knead the dough so fast that the heat created by the friction of your kneading, baked the bread). However, you cannot make bread without blending. You cannot just put flour and water in a pan, put it in the oven, and expect it to turn into bread. Blending is extremely important.

Q.  I have been thinking about the aphorism “A man who doesn’t have a question, probably doesn’t have a quest.”  I find that I read but I don’t really have a question.

Russell:  I have a question for you.  Why do you read?

Student:  I read because I need to know more about me and about the Work.

Russell:  That in itself proves that you have a question.  You would like to know more about this Work so what do you do?  You read.  Therefore, you do have a quest.  The quest is to know more about the Work and the question is the reading in order to find out.  That is the asking.  So, you are doing the first one ok.  You obviously have the question, and you are on the quest.  As far as the question between knowledge and Being, Gurdjieff certainly said, “We have to know in order to be and to do.”  I suppose that is true of any model; that first, you must know something about cooking before you can cook or know something about scuba diving before you can scuba dive.  You must know something about many things before being them.  So, knowledge always comes first.  Knowledge always precedes being.  We do not take somebody out and put them behind the wheel of heavy equipment, a bulldozer, and tell them to do something.  We do not put somebody in the cockpit of a plane and say fly the plane.  We recognize that they are going to have to learn about planes first, learn all the buttons.  They are going to have to have the knowledge first before they can apply that knowledge.  Thus, knowledge always comes first.  So, knowing and Being are inextricably connected.  You must know in order to be and to do, and knowledge always comes first.  

Q.  I haven’t been able to make my machine do the exercises.  What would be the best way to make me work?

A.  I have gone over the idea of how to maintain the permanent presence.  It depends upon how many cards you have when you do the process.  Some do not have to do so much, and some have to do much more.  There is a feature in us all, Gurdjieff called it a chief feature, it is that we are lazy.  We do not want to do things.  The whole idea of doing exercises is an aversion to us.  We do not want to have to do anything at all.  But if we understood that higher centers only function if the best parts of our machine function, we would make sure that we were doing everything we could be doing to make those best parts work.  We would be picking centers.  We would be bringing attention.  We would be thirsty for study, reading, and learning more.

The parable of the sower applies from the Bible.  It says the wise man sows his seed and some of the seed he sows the birds come in and steal.  You give a person some consciousness, some reason, and somebody comes along with a new idea and stops his force; some bird stole it.  And then some of the seeds that the wise man sows falls on shallow ground and the seeds start to grow.  The man woke up.  He is looking good.  He is studying, doing his exercises; but down below the surface are a bunch of rocks and there is no water. So, on the first hot day the plants wither and die.  The first big difficulty, the first aversion, the man ceases to make force and he stops.  Then it says the wise man’s seed fell upon thorny ground and again the plants started to grow.  Success at last.  ‘Betty Jean’ has woken up, got her presence… but then the thorns grew.  In the Bible, it is good, at least that it told what the thorns were.  It called them the little duties and little cares of life.  “People have the remarkable ability to major in minor things.”  You give someone these really good tools to become awake and to stay awake and pretty soon he is off doing other things.  He has these little duties and cares, which he puts his attention on, and forgets the things that are important; and, pretty soon, his consciousness just dissipates, fades away, and he falls back asleep.  And then it says that the wise man kept sowing and finally the seed he sowed fell on good ground.  But it also says, the good ground does not yield the same results; some yielded thirty, some yielded sixty and some yielded a hundred-fold.  Which means that some people who get into this Work and awaken do just thirty percent, just enough that they are happy, and continue their lives with a sense of presence.  Others awaken with such a dynamic presence in themselves, which is there all the time, it drives them to qualify for the Master Exercises and go on to obtain Double or Nothing.  And then there are some whose awakening is so permanent and so enlightening that they not only achieve all of the above but go on to become the teachers and show others how to awaken.  So, I guess, that is just the way it is.  Which good ground will you be?  Are the birds gonna’ get ya?  Is the first hot day gonna’ get ya?  Are the thorns gonna’ get ya?  Are you going to yield thirty, and go away from here happy with life, or sixty, and earn the Master Exercises and Double or Nothing, or is your ground fertile enough to come back a hundred-fold, and drive you to teach others?  Fortunately, we are humans, so we can till the earth, remove the rocks, and we can do things that will help us get rid of the thorns, so that at least we can be good ground; but that takes work, and in Gurdjieff’s model, man is a lazy machine. 

Q.  At what point does a person need a teacher?

A.  You are asking a question that is hard to answer because certainly teachers were necessary from the very beginning.  Someone had to teach you how to eat with a fork, someone had to teach you to put your clothes on, to use the bathroom, someone had to teach you language, someone had to teach you how to climb, run, and throw a ball.  If we were given birth and left in the woods, we probably would not have survived.  So, we all need teachers.  Have you seen the movie, The Earthling?  It is about a family on vacation in the Australian Outback.  Their son, a little boy about 6 or 7 years old, went exploring while the mother and dad were preparing the travel trailer for camp, and in the process of moving the camper about, the camper goes over the cliff; the parents are killed.  The little boy is left alone in this vast wilderness and knows nothing.  In the meantime, a local man, who grew up in the Outback, returned from living in the city.  He is dying from a fatal disease and chose to die at his old homestead, his childhood home, and thus, is making his way deep into the land.  He witnesses the accident from afar and realizes that without his help, the little boy will not survive this harsh land if he does not intervene.  But due to his physical state, he knows he does not have the time or the energy to take the little boy back to civilization, it’s too far.  So, he cracks two rocks together, which the boy hears from afar, and eventually follows the sound to the man. Now the man must do tough things for the sake of the child’s survival.  For instance, the man will not share his food with the boy, which forces the boy to catch his own.  So, he has to find a way to teach the boy how to survive without him, or the boy is not going to make it; and he has to do it quickly, which he does.  It is a very heartfelt movie.

So, a teacher has to be at another level.  Now it depends on which kind of teacher you are talking about.  There are teachers for man number 1 to help him become man number 2, and teachers for man number 2 to help him become man number 3, and teachers for man number 3 to help him become man number 4, etc.

So, there are different teachers and different teaching at each level.  Just like in a school, as a student progresses, you go to another teacher.  Ok you have what you need from this teacher so now you advance to another teacher.  The difficulty is, somewhere, in the course of our life, we decided that we were going to be our own teacher and were qualified for the job.  We started taking the role of teacher and false personality got in. We’ve all heard the story of the man who yells, “What do you mean?  I never raise my voice.”  That is where we are at, trapped in our own illusion.  Whatever our perception is, we are caught by the formatory apparatus; and no matter what we manifest we cannot see past the perception we have of ourselves.  So, once you fix the perception that that is that, and this is this… “I’m great.  I’m already conscious.  I can do” … you have trapped yourself with your own perception.  You will never see reality; you will only see the perception, the illusion, you have of yourself.  Like the man who thinks he never gets angry and is angry all the time, or the guy who thinks he is never late and is always late, or the person who says they are on the right track and that they know what to do, and yet, when you talk to them, they are distraught.  They claim to know the truth and know what to do, but everything coming out of their mouth, when you talk to them, says otherwise.

So, schools are necessary.  People have to find ways to change, to give up their own will. Because their will has led them to believe in their own perceptions, and that keeps them trapped. In order to change, they must put themselves under someone else’s will who says, “Hey there, you’re not free there.”  If they did that, there might be some real observations apart from their own perceptions, because they would have bowed to the will of someone who might give them an objective perception.

But finding a teacher, especially one who knows how to change your being, is tricky… as it says in Views From the Real World, “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?”

Q.  So, it is all about giving up one’s will?

A.  Right, but we all want to be our own teacher.  We don’t want to have to copy somebody.  We want to figure it out on our own.  That is why we don’t read the assembly instructions before we try to assemble something. Sometimes, students say they don’t want to learn and repeat my stories, they want to use their own, that is, they want to develop their own style. When I run into someone like that I say, “Copying someone is the first step towards developing your own style”.  Secondly, “What makes you think you are so good that you could copy anybody anyway?”

Thank you for listening.

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 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 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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