S3/E25: R. A. Smith – Questions and Answers Part 14
R. A. Smith – Questions and Answers Part 14
In this episode, continuing our talks on Work questions and answers, we narrate a dialogue between a student and Russell on topics such as threefold attention exercise, emotions, speeds of centers, push & pause, the hands in motion, and the objective prayer exercises. The transcript and diagrams for this podcast, can be found on our website at thedogteachings.com under Resources/Podcasts. Our unique 400 page E-book, entitled Gurdjieff: Cosmic Secrets – The TEACHING GUIDE available for download and study – an 8 day journey to awakening with exercises to work on being, and seven chapters explaining the diatonic nature of the universe, with an ultimate exercise to objectively awaken. Available here.
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Welcome to a series of talks about objective consciousness, an objective universe, and an objective way to awaken, expanding upon the works of George I. Gurdjieff and Russell A. Smith.
Continuing our talks on Work questions and answers, in this podcast, we narrate a dialogue between Russell and a student covering topics of the threefold attention exercise, emotions, speeds of centers, push & pause, the hands in motion exercise, and the objective prayer exercise.
Russell: Good Evening.
Student: Hello. How are you?
Russell: Doing great. Okay, tell me about the wonderful, or the un-wonderful week you’ve had.
Student: Well, I will start with the wonderful.
Student: Last Sunday night you will recall we spoke.
Student: We were discussing, what exactly are emotions, and you told me to read something out of either Views From the Real World or Life is Real Only Then, When “I Am.” I forgot which one.
Russell: Haha, sorry that you did.
Student: It ended up being a good thing. I first looked in Views for it. I was sitting on the floor, kind of in an awkward position, which inflicted a little pain on the body, so it had the sense that maybe I was doing something, if you know what I mean.
Russell: Yes. I do.
Student: If you are too comfortable, then you wonder, well, am I really doing anything. So, at any rate, I sat there on the floor looking for it, and I thought, well maybe it is in Life is Real Only Then, When “I Am,” and so I got that out and started reading; thumbing through, and I got to the part where Gurdjieff talked about how he had been out on a long road trip and came back to the Prieure. When he got back, he decided to take a walk, try to relax, and get re-familiar. He found himself in some sentimental surroundings. So, he sat on a bench, the very bench where he used to sit and write, and when he did, it started an automatic flow of associations in him about his mother and how she used to walk by, followed by the peacocks, the dogs, and the cats; and about how his wife would come by. I don’t remember what else he said, because at that point, I really got emotionally involved with what he had already written, and the stereoscopic pictures it created.
Russell: Oh, yes, that sounds lovely.
Student: And, how, all of a sudden, new depths emerged. I sat there reading for quite some time, and it was really kind of inexplicable, and yet quite simple.
Remember how we use to take our walks to the mailbox and you would describe, now your left leg was moving, then your left arm … only this time it was what he was doing with his inner mental functions, a totality of functioning; and his writings were reading like a diary, yet they had such a dimension of life to them. It was, in one way, the same as ever, and yet, in another, it was like looking at something with my eyes relaxed in stereoscopic vision.
Russell: Wonderful. Sounds like a Great moment!
Student: It was an awareness of the second totality, which, of course, back in the old days, when I used to do what we call ‘sittings,’ which I guess, in the short term, means sitting still and meditating. I always had the idea that when you do that, you don’t want to have emotions. You don’t want anger, you don’t want this, and you don’t want that, you just sit there and look for some kind of abstract ecstasy, whatever that is, something like the new Gurdjieff groups are looking for, hoping something comes in from the outside.
Russell: Ah, yes. For Grace to enter, I got it.
Student: Yes, some mystical force to enter and do it for them. So, that was the highlight of my week. I have been reading Life is Real ever since.
Russell: Wonderful, wonderful. Just awesome.
Student: I have not had the same exact experience, but that one on Sunday had such great depth; it really triggered my emotions. I am sure you know what I mean.
Russell: Yes, I do. It was probably a real moment of self-remembering.
Student: Well, in a sense, it was. While I was reading, I was doing the Three-Fold Attention exercise, and was having a lot of body awareness, sensations, emotions, and mental functions all happening at the same time. Not to mention the big emotional charge out of what I was reading. I never had that before. I guess, in a sense, it wouldn’t be stereoscopic, but trioscopic.
Russell: There you go. I understand exactly. That is very good. That is exciting. That is wonderful to hear. Three attentions, all involved in the same moment, unified. A man making a total of 30, and sounding his chord.
Gurdjieff promised us one thing, something, which I have clung to ever since I began the Work, which is, if you make efforts, moments like the one you had on Sunday, will come more often and will last longer.
Student: Well, I certainly have had more and more moments like that after my visit with you. And, going through life, I have been trying to be a little more aware of life’s emotional aspects. I have more success some times, and less success other times; but, generally I am becoming more and more aware of the emotional aspects of life.
Russell: That is fantastic. As I said, if you keep that up, remarkable moments will come more often and will last longer.
Student: There has been some of that. Of course, sometimes when I do the Three-Fold Attention exercise I cheat a little bit by looking at pictures of my kids, which always makes me emotional.
Russell: That is a good thing. Only a fool doesn’t take advantage of help that is available.
Student: Kind of explains why some people meditate, holding pictures of their teacher.
Russell: I am sure that is why they do it.
Having an ever present, constant, reminding factor can only help. It is all a matter of being able to have emotional things to focus on. Things that are connected to many endearing and wonderful moments, which creates a reminding factor. An ever present, constant, reminding factor … a picture of your loved ones, a picture of your teacher, or a picture of your child. Of course, you can close your eyes and have an image of them in your mind, but having a 8×10 full color photograph is a short-cut, and a bonus!
Student: Well, I hope at some point it all becomes one, but at this point I still have some weak faculties of emotion, so after a few minutes I get fatigued, or get distracted.
Russell: Yes, sir. That is law-conformable. Gurdjieff said that initially it takes energy, but later, it gives energy.
Student: Yes, I can definitely see how it gives energy, I have experienced that.
Russell: Okay. When you are doing the Three-Fold Attention exercise, are you getting a good count going, a good separation of the senses, and a third attention on your emotions; and do you feel separated into three parts?
Student: Yes, and it is usually very strong.
Russell: Wonderful. Terrific.
Student: Yes, and I’m pretty much in control.
Russell: Isn’t that great? You have been doing that exercise for, what, two weeks?
Student: Yes, I awoke two weeks ago.
Russell: Fantastic. You see how quickly one can get results when one makes right efforts.
No hocus-pocus, or mumbo-jumbo needed.
I am sure you have already come to the realization that what you are experiencing is not from your imagination.
Student: No, it definitely is not from my imagination.
Up until two weeks ago, I distrusted emotions. I sometimes did things out of anger, and when that happened, I had no control. But I now see that emotions can be controlled, and when they are, there is no anger; instead, there is freedom.
Russell: Yes, sir. Control means freedom! It means emotional life. And since the Emotional Center is capable of working 30,000 times faster than the Instinctive/Moving centers, which work 30,000 times faster than the Intellectual Center, one can, with that control, rapidly heal any ailment, as well as do things that seem miraculous. That is, go beyond the spectrum of their normal awareness, because, in a sense, their Emotional Center is 24 years ahead of their Intellectual Center. Do you comprehend that idea?
Student: No. Please explain it to me.
Russell: Okay. I will try.
Can you imagine being with your child, and something happens that puts them in danger, and within one second of perceiving that danger, your Emotional Center has 24 years in which to analyze your reactions, and to choose the best possible responses, thereby negating any danger to them. That is, you block the projectile that is about to hit them in the head, or catch them just before they fall into the Grand Canyon. If you have ever done things like that, then you will understand the tremendous speed of the Emotional Center.
Another example: I saw a show that was pretty amazing. It showed a yogi who had fallen down and cut his knee. He sat there motionless for 30 minutes, and in that time, the cut healed over and the scab fell off. Something that should have taken the body weeks to do, took him only 30 minutes to do.
I try to do that with infections. That is why I don’t get sick, no colds, no flu, no sore throats, and no doctor visits for almost 40 years. How is that possible? Well, when one learns the language of the Instinctive Center, one knows when a virus or a bacterium has entered the body, and lodged itself in the back of the throat; it kind of has a certain sour taste. And, at that moment, I instruct my Emotional Center, which works 30,000 times faster than my Instinctive Center, to assist my Instinctive Center in eradicating the invader … and, it does.
Student: Wow. Something like that happened to me just a few months back, the wife and I had taken the kids to the national park. I put the youngest, my daughter, on my shoulders, and proceeded to walk up to the top of a rock formation that had a stream of water flowing down the center. Unfortunately, I slipped on the way down and lost my balance. I almost fell down the mountain. But fortunately, the concern for the safety of my daughter caused me to, instead, run down the mountain. I was leaping across the stream of water, desperately trying to find dry spots to hop, skip, step, and jump on in order to regain my balance. I don’t know how I did it. It took me 40 or 50 feet of running down the mountain, before I finally got my balance back and was able to stop. When I did, I let out a big sigh of relief, and then looked down to where my wife and sons were. When I saw them, they, and a group of onlookers were all standing there with their mouths open, staring up at me, with looks of amazement on their faces, and were watching me as I hopped, skipped, stepped, jumped, and ran down the slippery slope of the mountain with my daughter on my shoulders.
It was a kind of a miracle that we were not hurt.
But now, after listening to your description of the speed of the Emotional Center, I understand how the Emotional Center was able to do everything that I just described.
Well, I certainly would have been sad if you or your daughter had been hurt. But instead, I am glad, because of your first hand knowledge as to how fast the Emotional Center can “run you down the mountain.”
Student: So what saved me was the Emotional Center, not the Higher Emotional Center?
Russell: Yes, most likely it was the Emotional Center.
Student: The emotional center, wow!
Russell: Yes, the Emotional Center is capable of working 30,000 times faster than the Instinctive/Moving centers.
The next time we meet, I will show you a diagram on the speeds of centers. It breaks each center down to its parts and its parts-of-parts. Each works at a certain speed, and in turn, each of their parts-of-parts work at a certain speed. The centers work at speeds that I equated with the various Hydrogens. That is, Hydrogen 6, 12, 24, 48, 96, and 192. But as I said, I will cover the diagram with you the next time we meet.
Student: I am looking forward to it. I often wondered how the speeds of centers were related.
Russell: So, the next time you are out, we will do two things: 1) we will go over the speed of centers’ diagram with you; and 2) I will give you back your jacket!!
Student: [laughing] I am glad you said that! I was wondering what happened to that.
Russell: Now, back to the Three-Fold Attention exercise.
It is good to hear that in a short period of time, you are getting great results from the Three-Fold Attention exercise, and bringing things in, as you say, under some degree of control.
That is excellent.
Student: Well, it is fleeting, but at least it is there, I kind of have the taste of it.
Russell: Well, you know something very valuable then. Which is, if you have some control over it now, and keep practicing it, you will establish even more control over it in the future.
Student: I would think so, it seems everything works that way.
Russell: That is right, it is a law.
Where there is more, more is added; where there is little, even that is taken away.
Student: I must say, I have had some consistency with that exercise. However, I kind of slacked off a little bit after Sunday’s remarkable experience.
Russell: Well, that too is law-conformable. After a victory, most folks like to pause. Even a tiger will not be inclined to chase another rabbit after he just caught and ate one.
Student: Right. The proverbial pause after the push. I got it.
Russell: However, after a victory is when we should push even harder. You know, reap the benefits of the momentum.
By the way, what else have you been reading?
Student: Well, mainly, Life is Real Only Then, When “I Am,” and of course, several chapters of your book.
Russell: Good, sir. Any more study of the octaves?
Russell: Hey, that is even better.
Student: I have been studying octaves, and reviewing oscillations.
Russell: Wonderful. Just wonderful.
Well, I made the tRNA stick.
Student: Oh, did you? What did you call it?
Russell: The tRNA stick!
Student: HaHa. You bought the raw materials when I was out there last week.
Russell: Yes I did.
Well, I have now made it, and I will show it to you the next time you come out.
It is pretty amazing, you can actually fold it twice and see how life works!
Student: See life “unfolding.”
Russell: HaHa. That’s it, but in reverse.
Student: Well, anyway, I think I am moving in the right direction.
Russell: I would concur, most assuredly, I would concur.
Any other questions, or anything else that has arisen that I can help you with?
Student: Well, I think most of them were “folded” into this conversation.
Russell: HaHa, I love the puns. Super.
Student: And, I don’t know if this is a valid way of looking at things, but as I told you, I have so many little things going on, it occurred to me that I am never going to be able to get my engine running fast enough to get them all done. So, I need to find a way to shift gears.
Russell: There you go. Your center of gravity sooner or later has to shift from being on external things to being on internal things.
Student: Maybe that will happen soon, I hope.
Russell: Well, with effort, it cannot be denied. On the other hand, without effort, it will never happen. So that is why it makes no sense to sit around and wait for it to happen, when all you have to do is make efforts, which will cause it to happen. That is, observe yourself, study your possible evolution, do some simple exercises, and bring attention to the parts of you that don’t get exercised. As you do, those parts will become more developed, and the machine will respond.
By the way, have you been breathing when you eat?
Student: Uhhh, from time to time.
Russell: Good, sir. Keep it up.
Student: I remember, then I forget, then I remember, then I forget.
Russell: Such is the nature of man.
Student: Well, I think at least once, at every meal, I do remember to do it.
Russell: Well, that is super. That is excellent.
What other exercises, other than the Three-Fold Attention exercise, and the I Am exercise have you been doing?
Student: About the only other one is the Hands in Motion exercise. I try to do that with the Moving Center and the Intellectual Center; is that right? Perhaps you could go over that one again to refresh my memory, and I could use some help on my Objective Prayer as well.
Russell: Okay. Those are two great exercises.
We shall do the Hands in Motion first.
The Hands in Motion exercise is an exercise that causes the Moving Center and the Intellectual Center to work together.
To do it properly, you simply take your two hands, hold them in front of your chest, and rotate them over and under each other, in a circle.
But you don’t do it with just your Moving Center, you also try to do it with your Intellectual Center. That is, you try to have the mind see all the movements that have to be done, and all the muscles that have to be used.
You try to get the mind to see the muscles that are needed to lift one hand up and drop the other down, and the muscles that are needed to push one hand forward and draw the other back.
And of course, you start very slowly, otherwise the mind will not be able to participate.
If you do it correctly, it is almost as if the Moving Center says to the Intellectual Center, “Hello, I did not know that you were here. Oh my goodness, you are doing this with me. We are both here moving our hands. I am doing it, and you are participating. I am making the movements, and you are seeing all the movements that need to be made. Wow! We are both capable of rotating our hands. Cool!”
And when that happens, and when you know that they are both there doing it, you slowly try to speed it up, to see how fast you can go and still have the mind there seeing all the movements. Of course, there will come a time when the mind can’t do it anymore. That is, the mind can’t participate when the hands rotate too fast, because the Moving Center is much faster than the Intellectual Center. But at a slow enough speed, the Intellectual Center should be able to participate.
It is an awesome feeling, when the Intellectual Center joins the Moving Center, and both of them, together, are performing the movements.
Okay. The next is the Objective Prayer.
The Objective Prayer exercise helps you identify the most important, and uplifting moments of your life, and arranges them in the most meaningful, and impactful order.
We have all had meaningful moments that touched our lives and triggered our emotions. They are known as magnetic center moments, because, once experienced, they stick with us for a very long time. For instance: they may occur if we see a beautiful sunset, get a promotion, get married, or witness the birth of a child, etc.
Now what I want you to do is make a list of them. That is, to write them down. Write down your Magnetic Center moments. For example: a particular walk you took on the beach; when you got your diploma; your first puppy; your first kiss; when this happened; when that happened; when you met this idea; or when you encountered that one.
The vivid moments of your life.
We all have them.
What if we gathered them together? What if we gathered the sacred moments of our lives; these Magnetic Center moments, and made a list of them? Wouldn’t they have more force if they were all in one place?
Our inner world is a dense and tangled jungle. Our magnetic center moments are like little clearings in the jungle.
We know that somewhere in the jungle there is a big clearing, and we want to find it.
To do so, we try connecting the little clearings with pathways, perhaps they will lead us to the big clearing.
So, as I said, what I want you to do now is create a list of your magnetic center moments. Then review them, and reduce that list to where you have around 10 or so of the most meaningful moments of your life. You may have 30 or more things on your list when you begin, but when you are finished, you should only have around 10.
The aim is to find the really dynamic ones. The ones that are the most vibrant. The ones that put warmth in your heart, and tears in your eyes.
Then you try arranging them in different orders. That is, now that you have 10 of the most uplifting moments of your life, you try to find the most effective order of recalling them. You start by remembering this one, and it changes your chemistry. Then you remember that one, and it changes your chemistry a little bit more.
Singularly, they both will change your chemistry. But together, they will change your chemistry even more. That is, the second one picks up where the first one left off, and you say, “Wow! That is pretty awesome!”
A little later, you try a different order. You try that one first, this one second, and another one third, and wow, that order is better than the first! “I am going to keep these three together.” By doing this, you will find the most objective order of recalling your magnetic center moments, and you will find an order that picks up on the momentum created by the magnetic center moments that preceded it, and collectively, they will become for you what is called an Objective Prayer. A prayer that, when you recite it, takes you right to the top.
So, play around with the order until you find one that is most effective for you. When you do, you will have found, with just a simple set of memories, the best way of changing your state.
So, firstly, make a list of your magnetic center moments. Secondly, reduce that list down to a handful of 7, 8, 9, or 10 of the most impactful ones. Thirdly, arrange them in one order, and then in another, etc. Until you find the most effective order for you.
Our magnetic center moments touch us, they have meaning for us, they enliven us, and they will objectively lift us up, even in the darkest of times.
As an example of what magnetic center moments are, here is one of mine.
There is a movie called Yankee Doodle Dandy. It is a true story about the life of George M. Cohan. After coming out of retirement to perform in a musical called, “I’d Rather be Right,” which is about the President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Cohan is summoned to the White House. He thinks he is in trouble, but the President just wants to ask him about his life. The movie takes place as Cohan shares the story of his life with the President.
At the end of the movie, after hearing Cohan’s life’s story, the President says, “Sounds like you have had a pretty amazing life Mr. Cohan. The reason I called you here today is because I wanted to give you this,” and he hands Cohan The Congressional Gold Medal of Honor; the highest civilian honor that you can receive for serving your country.
No one in Cohan’s profession had ever received the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor. The President tells Cohan it is being given to him for his two songs, Over There, and You’re a Grand Old Flag, explaining to Cohan that they were just as beneficial to the war effort as any gun, or any person.
After being handed the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor, Cohan leaves the White House and walks out onto Pennsylvania Avenue. The Second World War is in progress, and the soldiers, who will soon be going to battle, are marching down the street singing his song “Over There.” Cohan, who is still a little bit dazed, after meeting the President, begins walking along with the troops down Pennsylvania Avenue, as so many other smiling, and singing civilians are doing. Then, one of the soldiers notices that Cohan is not singing, so he mockingly says to Cohan, “What’s the matter, old-timer, don’t you remember the words to this one?”
I get choked up every time I remember that scene. I feel what it means. Cohan wrote that song, and just received the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor for writing it … from the President!
For Gary Eggleton, one of his magnetic center moments came from his dying cat, who looked up at him; and, in its last breath, gave the longest purr of recognition before it passed.
Even thinking of Gary’s moment brings tears to my eyes, as it does to his.
It is worth noting that your magnetic center moments do not have to be as profound or as moving as these. In fact, one of mine is from a cartoon show called, “He Man,” that my kids used to watch. In it was an evil villain called, “Skeletor,” and whenever Skeletor showed up in the cartoon, He-Man, a mild-mannered guy, would take the sword off his back, hold it up into the air, and the narrator would say, in a strong and definite voice, “I … have … the p-o-w-e-r.”
For me, whenever the narrator said those words, they sent shivers up my spine … and when I say them at the right place in my Objective Prayer, they always turbo-charge it.
Magnetic center moments can be either: Cohan walking with the troops, a dying cat acknowledging his caregiver, or the line “I have the power” from a cartoon.” Or, whatever touches you, and has meaning for you. Moments, that when you recall them, change your chemistry.
Moments like those are the magnetic center moments of our lives.
In addition, our Objective Prayer will change, as we encounter other meaningful moments in life, and will become, for us, a living Objective Prayer.
That ends the question and answer session for this episode.
Thank you for listening.
If you have any questions that you would like answered, then please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will endeavour to answer them and include them in future podcasts.
And, if you would like to know more about the subjects and exercises we have been exploring, including the book and guide that underpins it all, which is also available for PDF download, you can do so, by going to thedogteachings.com.
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Goodbye until next time.
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