S3/E21: R. A. Smith – Questions and Answers Part 10
R. A. Smith – Questions and Answers Part 10
In this episode, continuing our talks on Work questions and answers, we narrate a dialogue between a student and Russell on exercises, keystone cops, enneagram, contemplating, top down, resistance and Objective Laughing. 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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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 dialogues between a student and Russell covering the topics of exercises, keystone cops, enneagram, contemplating, top down, resistance and Objective Laughing.
Student: Hello. Anticipating your call.
Russell: How are your exercises going?
Student: Good. Going pretty good. It happened yesterday and today again; I have been meaning to ask you about it because it’s rather strange. When I do the Three-Fold Attention exercise, especially when I get in contact with the emotional center, I begin to see light, a blue light. This blue…what do I call it, this “aura” like halo; an energy thing, around things is becoming much more evident. Today when I was doing my Objective Prayer, I tried to be three-centered, and boy, it was quite bright; and the more I got in touch with the emotion, the brighter it got.
Russell: That could be a perception of what they call Kirlian photography. If the light is not coming from a light source, that is the only other explanation I can think of. Emanations of the thing itself. That is, you are able to not only see the reflection of the thing, but a reflection of the reflection of the thing; as such, it is shifted to the blue because it’s coming toward you. If it was going away, it would be shifted to the red.
Student: Yes, you are talking about perceiving higher frequencies. Interesting. Well, anyway, I have been seeing that. The Three-Fold Attention exercise was very successful today, better than yesterday. I also did the “I Am” exercise and the Objective Prayer quite well.
Russell: Well, if they were successful, it is only because you are making super efforts.
Student: Overall, all of the exercises are going quite well. Except for yesterday when I tried to do the Lying Still for an Hour exercise, and was not able to. I got into it, and then I fell asleep, and I do not like to fall asleep while I am doing an exercise, so I stopped around 15-20 minutes into it; but will try again tomorrow when I am not so tired. Also, I felt a little bug in me the day before yesterday, I wasn’t feeling well. By the way, I sensed it when it came in.
Russell: Good. Did you activate your “keystone cops”?
Student: Well, I definitely talked to myself saying, “This is not going to get me.” But, I am not going to sit here and pretend that I consciously sent the keystone cops.
Russell: You don’t have to consciously send them; you just have to intentionally send them. It doesn’t need to be a conscious effort; directed attention will work. For instance: If I said, “Think about your nose; just concentrate on the tip of your nose”, and you did, you would probably be able to feel a slight sensation in your nose. So, it is just that simple. If you sense a ‘bug’ entering your sinuses, your throat, your stomach, or wherever, and notice it when it enters, you simply imagine your immune system converging on that location: your white blood cells, your antibodies, everybody, converging on that location… like a bell going off, telling everybody to start heading in that direction. Red alert, red alert… the throat has been invaded, etc.
Student: The last year or so I haven’t gotten sick like I used to. I don’t know what has happened; I might get a little something, but it’s not on the same level it used to be at; and if it does happen, I am aware of it.
Russell: Being aware of being infected is what allows you to quickly work against the infection, but it will work better if you intentionally activate your immune system.
Student: Today, while I was doing my Objective Prayer, I tried Objective Crying; it was pretty good. I brought myself to tears quite easily. I need to try the other one, Objective Laughing. Which will probably happen tomorrow as I will have the opportunity of being alone. But Objective Crying was pretty good today, and my Objective Prayer was quite powerful.
Russell: Very good. A man can do remarkable things; if, he has remarkable things to do.
Student: I am starting to insulate myself daily; and I am getting comfortable with the exercises. I will probably try the Objective Exercise again next week.
Russell: That’s great! Any questions for me tonight?
Student: Well, a student in my former group wanted me to read something that inspired him; but, as I read it, I realized that I had read many similar things many times before; things that told me what I should be… but not how to be it.
Russell: There are a lot of things out there like that. They give you a warm feeling; but you could have gotten that from a hot bath!
Student: laughing… that makes me remember what you said about “types”, “You are all the same type… you are all asleep!” I got a real kick out of that one.
OK, here’s another question for you: When we do the Three-Fold Attention exercise is it synonymous with unifying the three forces, like in the Objective Exercise?
Russell: Yes, that is correct. If we can hold the three attentions separately – in different places; we have the right to hold them together – in the same place. So, the Three-Fold Attention exercise is a precursor to being able to successfully perform the Objective Exercise, as well as one of the best ways to reaffirm it after you have awakened.
The same would apply if we were conducting a chorus of three singers, like the Supremes. We would first have each of them learn their part individually. And then, after they did, we would have them sing those parts at the same time. That would produce a harmony that none of them could produce by themselves. In fact, if we left one of their voices out, the other two could not produce that harmony no matter how hard they tried. That is, only three voices can produce a chord. Do you understand?
Student: Yes sir. Well, that answers my questions. Thank you very much.
Russell: You are most welcome. Keep up those super efforts.
Student: I wish I could make more efforts.
Russell: I understand. However, you can only do what you can do when you can do it. And currently, you are moving in the right direction. I know we all want it by Saturday, noon! But that’s okay. As long as we recognize that our foot is on the right path and that we are getting results from the efforts we are making, we will be able to understand that if we keep making efforts, the higher moments that we are having now, will come more often and will stay longer… and, eventually, they will become permanent.
Student: Again, thanks a million, I will be in touch with you next week, if not sooner.
The next week:
Russell: Well, how’s your work going?
Student: I did do the Three-Fold Attention exercise several times this week, which was great because I realized even more and more that I do have the ability to summon up the three attentions and to hold them separately; and afterwards, when I brought them all to the same place, it was incredible.
Russell: Yes, it is very rewarding to realize that you can control them.
Student: One thing bothers me. I sometimes come up with weird ideas about what is happening to me.
Russell: That’s normal. You are venturing into uncharted territory, encountering many new states, and experiencing many new things, which, oftentimes, is perceived by the new-sojourner as being miraculous. Unfortunately, the miraculous is hard to label; as such, people often label it in many weird ways. But that’s OK. In time, you will learn to use the proper labels. So, it is just unrecognized territory, which at first may look weird… just like that oddly shaped metal part that you found in the garage looked weird; but, was just something that fell off your truck, do you understand?
Just keep making efforts; and as you do, realize that by so doing, you are going to experience many new states and experience many new and unknown things.
Student: Got it. I just need to experience the higher states again and again to be able to label them properly.
Russell: That’s correct. In the beginning of In Search of the Miraculous, probably the 3rd of 4th chapter, there was this little diagram of the carriage, horse, driver, and passenger, which Ouspensky related to the physical, astral, mental, and causal bodies. The diagram showed how the impetus went from the bottom up, from the lowest to the highest. Then he said that it should have come from the top down. That is the difference. Right now, you are working from the bottom up; as such, it is hard to label that which is above you, the first few times you see it, except by conjuring up weird labels. But now that you have awakened, you will visit those places many times; and, afterwards, will start to work from the top down. After which, it will be easy to give a real label to these things. So, it is just a matter of where the influences come from, and in what direction you are moving. Perhaps, that is what Gurdjieff meant when he said, “We are inside out”, i.e., we work from the bottom up, when we should be working from the top down.
Student: Okay, I got it.
Student: In my former group, which I am still a part of, I noticed some resistance to your teaching, which was coming from a few of the older students.
Russell: Be prepared for that. That is just the nature of man. People live in a world of make-believe. That is, they believe they have already found the truth; or believe they are on the right path towards finding it. As such, when someone on a different path, finds real truth, and starts getting real results, they become resistant, because it is in our nature to resist change. Not to mention the fact that people find it hard to admit that they actually do not know the truth; nor are on the right path towards finding it.
Student: Yes, I thought so. Fortunately, I am more able to handle their resistance now than I was when I first started working with you, Which is easy to do because I, myself, have encountered so many miraculous results. But yes, I sense that is why they resist.
Russell: No problem. The next time you sense their resistance, say, “Well for the moment, let’s look at both ends of the stick. Let’s say that what Russ has told us is true: that we are asleep; and, as such, live in our lower stories; and in order to awaken, we need to study the Laws of world-creation and world-maintenance, which made us that way. And, by so doing, we will be able to develop and unify our lower centers and awaken. So, if he’s right, it seems to me that it would be imperative for us to follow his advice. On the other end of the stick, let’s suppose that what Russ has told us is wrong: That we are not asleep; and, as such, have full control over our centers. If that is true, it seems to me that we should still study the laws of world-creation and world-maintenance, since they are the reason we came into cosmic control. So, either way it does not matter. If we are asleep, we should study the rules and laws so that we can awaken; and, if we are awake, we should study the rules and laws because they are what gave us the abilities that we have; and… don’t you think we should know how we got here?
Student: That says it all doesn’t it? I will try that at the next class. And, I am sure I will get better and better at overcoming their resistance as time goes on. It is all part of the learning process, isn’t it?
Russell: Yes, it is. I certainly learned. That is, I learned when to be gentle and when to be blunt. On one occasion when I heard resistance in the comments of people who knew nothing about octaves, I chose to be blunt; and said, “Hey, it’s okay if you don’t initially see the truth of octaves. However, since you purport yourselves to be men who are working on themselves; ones that really seek the truth, then… how about this? Why not learn everything you can about octaves, so that you can make an authoritative decision as to whether or not there is anything there. Until you do that, you really don’t have the right to comment.
Student: Yowzah! I bet that gave them pause.
Russell: It did. Half of them are now students.
Student: One last thing before I go. I have been working on my Objective Prayer, refining it. I thinned it out even more, so that things have greater relevance and are more effective. In doing so, it seems to have become more powerful.
Russell: That’s very interesting isn’t it? By reducing its size, it has become more powerful; I wonder if it is possible to condense it to maybe just an “I” and an “Am” and have it mean everything, or to reduce it to nothing at all… to where it becomes all-powerful! Whew. There’s a thought for you.
Student: Laughs, I will give that some thought. As to the other exercises, I have been doing all 36 of them; of course, some are staples, which I do daily, whereas others I only do once or twice a week.
Russell: Good. Just try to stay comfortable with them all. That is, it is good to have them all in your repertoire. Of course, you need to do the ones that have the greatest impact on you; but, you also need to know the others as well. So that if another student is doing one of those, you will be able to help them do it properly.
By the way, how is your Objective Crying exercise going? Is it still going well?
Student: No, I will be honest, these last few days I have not prioritized the Objective Crying exercise at all, I think I have a bit of resistance to it.
Russell: In that case, since you have a resistance to doing the Objective Crying exercise, do the Objective Laughing exercise. Go lock yourself in a closet and do the Objective Laughing exercise. That is, keep making the sound of laughing until you actually start laughing.
Student: I will do that, and maybe it will trigger Objective Crying.
Russell: By the way, when you actually start laughing, think about how silly you look… locked in a closet, laughing. That will probably make you laugh even louder!
Student: It would. I will do that.
Russell: The whole idea is to activate the horse. That is, to not only exercise it, but to establish some control over it. And the Objective Crying exercise is one of the best ways to activate it, as is the Objective Prayer, and the Three-fold Attention exercise. All of them will activate the emotional center, and now you can add Objective Laughing to that list. Then, maybe, once the emotional center is more active, there will be less resistance to doing the Objective Crying exercise. Do you see what I am saying?
Student: Yes, sir… that is very clear.
Russell: Life itself is often funny; and it is good to laugh. Laughing is kind of artificial self-remembering; that is why we may find it easy to remember jokes.
Student: I will try that for sure.
Russell: Well, keep making good efforts, keep doing your exercises, and keep up your doodling, that is, trying to formulate ideas about the structure. As you doodle, you will learn more and more about the laws of world-creation and world-maintenance. And don’t be too concerned as to how valuable your doodles are, when you make them. Just realize that by making them, whether they are valuable or not, you will gain greater knowledge about the structure. Do you understand what I am saying?
Student: Yes, I do; and thank you Russell, I will talk with you on Thursday.
Russell: Yes, sir. Have a good meeting, just try to act as you would if you were conscious.
Student: I will try to remember that.
The next week:
Russell: Good evening.
Student: How are you doing?
Russell: I am doing great. How about yourself?
Student: Pretty good. Pretty good.
Russell: I know you have quite a bit to report on.
Student: Yes, Sunday went quite well. The work on Chapter 4 went well. We talked about oscillations. I gave them some examples from various fields, and proved to them that all forces are affirming forces. I also showed them how the circle, in reality, is an oscillation; and how, if you calculate the inner scales of the octave, you will find more oscillations.
We spoke about how oscillations occur and how they are inherent within the structure of all living and nonliving things; we went over quite a few examples. One student said he thought it went quite well, and that he had learned a great deal from it, which was great for me to hear.
Russell: That is terrific. It sounds like you are creating some excitement in the group, which is evident by how many new people keep showing up.
Student: Yes, indeed. So, it’s going well; things are moving in the right direction.
Russell: I had a talk with one of your students the other day. He was all pumped up and wanted to share with me the things he had discovered. He said he wanted to get to more of your meetings but was afraid to ask you to pick him up.
Student: Yes, he told me that too. Then, he said, he was thinking about buying a car.
Russell: Well, good for him.
Now, as to you, how are you doing?
Student: I went to Laughlin, and did the Work while I was there, sometimes under the influence of alcohol, but the alcohol did not influence me like it used to; there were parts of me that still remained intact, which is not the way it used to be. So, something has changed… I am not the same Cord! The trip was quite good for me because it showed me what I must strengthen.
I do have a question about the kinetic connection to the laws. I was wondering if it was possible, using the knowledge of the laws, to alter one’s genetic structure?
Russell: No, you cannot alter your genetic structure; however, you can cause dormant parts of it to function.
Part of the evolutionary process occurred because life was able to activate, intentionally or unintentionally, different parts of the genetic code.
Student: I was reading through Ouspensky about the rigorous exercises that Gurdjieff made his students do, and about a short, but very intensive fast that shocked their organism, and was wondering what your thoughts are about fasting. Ouspensky also spoke about breathing in a certain way… but I am not sure as to what he meant.
Russell: I once kind of fasted; I only ate bread and drank water for 30 days, which certainly cleaned out my machine. However, I am very cautious when it comes to altering the physiology of the body. But, as we are becoming an obese society, fasting is probably a good thing.
As to breathing, I know that when I do the Three-Fold Attention exercise, I will sometimes get into a state where my breathing changes, but it does so all by itself, just like it changes if I run up and down the road. When things like that happen, I allow my breathing to change; but I never try to make it change.
There is no doubt that if you have a certain thought, or perform a certain function, that your breathing may change for a moment; but you are not doing that, the body is doing that. That is, your bodily systems are designed to function based on need. I believe that if people intentionally do breathing exercises, they can interfere with their natural rhythms, like the guy who called me and told me he was hyperventilating 12 hours a day, because he was taught that the excess oxygen could get him into a higher state… and now, he was having a tough time not hyperventilating, which was tragic. So I am with Gurdjieff who said, when asked about breathing exercises, “My advice is stop all of your breathing exercises.” Do you understand?
Student: Yes, I do. The other thing was repetition, and methods of prayer that help people concentrate. Is having a repetitive prayer in the mind the same as doing the Objective Prayer exercise?
Russell: Yes, I suppose the practice of either, whether you have a repetitive prayer in your mind or are doing the Objective Prayer exercise, serves two functions: #1, it occupies the place so that other things cannot. That is, the first thing you must learn to do is to occupy the place. And there are a couple of ways to do that. You can say, “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, over and over again, with such intensity, that nothing else gets in; or #2, as a clever man, why occupy the place with Mary Had a Little Lamb, when you could occupy it with something that has meaning, something that has value, something that feeds the soul. So firstly, learn to occupy the place; and secondly, learn to occupy it with something that has meaning. You not only have the ability to think, but you also have the ability to think about this or that, that is, think selectively. Selective thinking is like the Rosary Beads that they use in the Catholic Church, or the mantras that are chanted by Monks, or the repetitive movements that are practiced by Yogis; they all serve the same purpose: #1, to occupy the place; and #2, to occupy it with something that has meaning… something that feeds the soul.
That is why we memorize things and why we have an Objective Prayer.
Student: One last thing. The next thing Ouspensky spoke about was doing mental exercises. Which, I assume, are probably similar to Orage’s counting exercises.
Russell: Yes. The first thing you need to know about Ouspensky’s mental exercises is that they were all memorized. All of them. That is, they either required you to exactly repeat something or exactly perform something.
In other words:
As a man thinketh, so is he; and, as a man doeth, so he becomes!
That ends the question and answer session for this episode.
Thank you for listening.
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