S3/E28: R. A. Smith – Questions and Answers Part 17
R. A. Smith – Questions and Answers Part 17
In this episode, continuing our talks on Work questions and answers. we follow on from last week’s podcast, where Russell was talking to his students about how to deal with a sleeping world, completing a task, creating and maintaining a purpose. In this podcast we include the topics such as stopping yourself, occupying the place, the Ray of Creation, the Objective Walking exercise, and more on the purpose of our existence. 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.
In last week’s podcast, Russell was talking to his students about how to deal with a sleeping world, completing a task, creating and maintaining a purpose, working through resistance, imagining yourself conscious, the Enneagram, the Three-Fold Attention exercise, becoming a 30, and identification, as well as some quotes from Gurdjieff’s writings and Russell’s responses.
Now, let’s listen in to the rest of that class, which includes the topics: stopping yourself, occupying the place, the Ray of Creation, the Objective Walking exercise, and more on the purpose of our existence:
Russell: I again applaud you Mr. Gurdjieff. The road to enlightenment is indeed filled with speculation, conjecture, and guess. Thank God, we found an objective way, which cuts through all the wiseacreing, and actually shows folks how to awaken … and it only takes them about a week!
Okay, let’s add two other snippets from Gurdjieff’s writings, ones that are also out of Views From the Real World, which just happens to be my favorite.
Gurdjieff: “The more a man studies the obstacles and deceptions which lie in wait for him at every step in this realm, the more convinced he becomes that it is impossible to travel the path of self-development on the chance instructions of chance people, or the kind of information culled from reading and casual talk…”
“…Perhaps the only positive result of all wanderings in the winding paths and tracks of occult research will be that, if a man preserves the capacity for sound judgment and thought, he will evolve that special faculty of discrimination which can be called flair. He will discard the ways of psychopathy and error and will persistently search for true ways. And here, as in self-knowledge, the principle which I have already quoted holds good: ‘In order to do, it is necessary to know; but in order to know, it is necessary to find out how to know.’
“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?
“Every seeker dreams of a guide who knows, dreams about him but seldom asks himself objectively and sincerely—is he worthy of being guided? Is he ready to follow the way?”
Russell: Again, thank you Mr. G. That clearly depicts why we must learn to stop ourselves; as well as stop following subjective ways.
Thirty years ago, when I found an objective way, I knew my discovery could spark a spiritual evolution in man, but now, it seems, it is igniting a spiritual revolution in mankind. That is, every time another book sells, one more nail is removed from the coffin of man’s sleep.
What a great time it is to be alive!
Okay, as I mentioned last week, the key to staying unified is the ability to stop yourself. That is, you must learn to control your thoughts, that is why metanoia, repentance, and having a complete change of heart is so often talked about in the Christian religion.
But in order to have metanoia, repentance, and a complete change of heart, you first must change your thinking and acquire control of your thoughts. If you can’t control your thoughts, you can’t do anything else. So we must start there. After which, we will be able to add the idea that ‘doing’ always begins by ‘not doing;’ and as such, stop petty grievances, irritations, and accounts from coming out our mouth.
If we still have petty grievances, irritations, and accounts coming out our mouth, it indicates that those things have been rattling around in our brain for quite some time.
So, we have to start by changing what is in our brain. We have to think differently and control our thoughts. That is why I emphasize doing memory work, because by reciting memory work, we can occupy the place with something intentional, and thus keep undesirable thoughts from being there. Like we did when we were kids; when someone called us bad names we would loudly say ‘nah-nah-nah-nah-nah’ etc. In that way, we were able to keep the bad names from getting in.
When I began this work, I did not have much memory work; and, I had kind of outgrown saying, “nah-nah-nah-nah-nah,” etc. So instead, I would repeat Mary Had a Little Lamb in my mind, as loudly as I could. Because I figured that if I repeated Mary Had a Little Lamb loudly enough, nothing else could get in; not the hatred for my neighbor, nor the forebodings of what was happening to my family; and as such, I could keep the undesirable thoughts out.
It not only worked, but I got so good at saying Mary Had a Little Lamb, she is now a good friend of mine!!
Then I discovered that if I memorized some Work ideas, that is, if I memorized something that had meaning, I would be able to not only occupy the place, like I had with Mary Had a Little Lamb, but could feed myself something positive and uplifting. So I began to memorize a plethora of work data. That is why I can spew out so much of this teaching word for word.
Student: On page 142 in Life is real only, then when “I am” when Gurdjieff was talking about various exercises, he alluded to the fact that his students were unable to do the exercises as well as he could. Do you think he was acknowledging, since he awoke subjectively, that he was unable to show others how to awaken. That is, he knew that they would never be able to get the same results from doing the exercises?
Russell: I do not know if that was the point of his allusions, or if he was just alluding to the fact that he could stop himself. Thus was able to concentrate on what he wished to think about, and therefore, got better results. But, your conceptualization is certainly a possibility.
Personally, I too can hold my mind on just one thing. That is, if I say I am going to do the I-Am exercise, I subjugate myself and bring all of me to do the I-Am exercise. So I perhaps, can do the I-Am exercise better than most.
That ability started after I awoke. I discovered that I was able to put in a thought, which I wanted to entertain, and keep it in there for as long as I wished. Perhaps, that is what Gurdjieff meant when he talked about having long thoughts.
The result was, if I was listening to student-A, all of me was there, listening to student-A. I would not be commenting in my mind on what student-A was saying, nor having thoughts about student-B.
Such practice later became one of the Master Exercises, which someday I hope, you will acquire.
It all started because I could occupy the place with Mary Had a Little Lamb. Then later, when I added more meaningful memorization, and subsequently awoke, I was able to keep everything that I did not want in the place, out of the place; and as such, I stopped judging the world, and thereby became impartial to it.
I just saw it for what it was.
No disappointments; everyone was doing what they could.
No judgements; everyone was working on something.
No blame; everyone was trying their best.
Some were moving faster than others, some were moving slower, some were backing up, and some were accelerating, that was just the way it was.
If I allowed myself to be influenced by any of their actions, or non actions, it would pull me in, and drag me down. Thus, I tried to be the best model I could be, in order to make their world as pleasant as I could, so my actions or non actions would lift them up instead of drag them down … knowing that if they kept on trying, they would eventually overcome whatever it was that had them befuddled, and they would get to a better place.
So, it is now on you to stop just one thing from getting into you, and then, stop another.
Make that your exercise of choice for the week, and see how many things you can stop from getting in. That is, learn to say, “I don’t want you in here;” and then start repeating Mary Had a Little Lamb,” or some other memory work that will occupy the place. As I said, you must do something, and I don’t care what memory work you use to stop the undesirable thoughts from getting in, just stop them … don’t allow them to go on, don’t allow them to build momentum, don’t allow them to incite other associations, and don’t allow them to unleash the plethora of accounts that we hold against the world and against others. “Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb…”
Student: Gurdjieff says in Life is real only then, when “I am” on page 129, “The air, from which are eliminated the elements necessary for our life, to be transformed afterwards in our organism into other cosmic substances for the needs of the general universal actualization, like every definite cosmic concentration is composed of two kinds of active elements with two properties, quite contradictory in their totality.” What is he talking about when he mentions the two active elements that are contradictory regarding the air?
Russell: I do not know if he was talking about the air we breathe, or … that Air we breathe is to Food as the Astral octave is to the Physical octave, which he sometimes did. That is, the Air octave is the assisting octave for the Food octave, just as Astral matter is the assisting octave for life; and since it is, if you know how the assisting octave of Air works, you will know how the assisting octave of Astral matter works. In addition, since he also said that Astral matter always opposes Physical matter, then perhaps the contradictory reference he made is a reflection of that opposition.
Student: I would like some guidance from you … I find, when I am doing the I-Am exercise, and I get to the part of, “I am the only creature that knows that I am here,” I wrestle with the existential question of “why me.”
I have looked at how I present myself, as well as, how I serve others; and I would like an exercise that will make me better recognize my purpose in life.
Russell: That is a conundrum. I understand your state. Unfortunately, I do not know of an exercise that will give you more purpose, other than the I-Am exercise, and the part to which you referred, which conceptualizes that: out of the 5 billion species that have gone extinct, and the 8.7 million species that still exist, we are the only ones that know we are here. For me, just the thought of that sends chills up my spine. For me, that idea is the coup de gras. I know I am here; I can sense both me in the world, and the world in which I am in. There are no other creatures that can do that!
What charge does that put on me? Surely, it must. Why create a species that knows that they are here, if you do not have high hopes that they will do something with that knowledge, and become something, because of that knowledge?
As it suggests in The Teaching Guide: it may be because God cannot be here to help us, and thus, HE has given us the possibility of helping ourselves.
Afterall, we are the only species charged with the task of self-completion. All the other species are law conformable. That is, they are what they are; and as such, they cannot become higher. We are the only species that can become higher. We are not shoved up like the others. Instead, we have to figure it out on our own, and then, become higher. Therefore, we are the only part of Creation, which by figuring it out on its own, and becoming law-conformable, can add something to the Universe. But there’s the rub. Along the way, we receive an overabundance of wrong information, through which we must navigate; rejecting what is false and trying to become what is real. It would have been a lot easier if God had come down here and gave us the right information. But then we would be like all the other animals, and would not be able to create an addition to the Universe. That is why we are charged with the task of finding out the truth for ourselves, and why God can not come down here and say, “Hey, you guys, over here – it’s this way.”
Do you know the Christian model: “God so loved the world that HE gave His only begotten son?”
When I first heard that I questioningly wondered … if God so loved the world, why didn’t HE come Himself? HE could have just hovered in the sky and said, “Do this, don’t do that,” making it easy for us to come to something Higher instead of sending some kid, who ended up being crucified. “Hey God, you should have come yourself.” But then I reasoned that if God had come Himself, we would be like all the other animals, and would not be able to create an addition to the Universe, because without the possibility of being able to figure it out own our own, we would not be able to crawl out of the nothing, become a something, and then add that something to the Universe.
We therefore, do have a purpose, the greatest purpose that has ever been bestowed on any living creature, the charge of being able to give something back to the Universe; back to God.
Student: Thank you Russ, I now have chills running up and down my spine. Before your explanation, I was sensing that I did not matter, and that nobody was going to convince me that I did. But you have, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Russell: You are most welcome.
However, in the big picture, you may be right. That is, we may not matter … as it all is washed in time.
What does organic life on earth even mean?
I suspect in the big picture not very much.
However, out of the 5 billion species that have gone extinct and the 8.7 million species that still exist today, if here on earth there is the potential for one species to become conscious and give something back, then perhaps that, in and of itself, is a ‘something’ that does matter.
Student: What is that something? I know what Gurdjieff said it is, but please tell me what it is in your words.
Russell: Well, the answer can be seen in my Ray of Creation diagram, and my words can be found in The Teaching Guide, which are as follows:
When I made the Ray of Creation diagram, I tried to incorporate everything that Gurdjieff and various other Fourth Way authors had described in it.
Because I wanted the Ray of Creation diagram to depict the story of Creation, and reveal how and why everything was what it was.
Then I noticed that there were three groups of three octaves, that is, three Trinities, and I said to myself, wow, the two higher Trinities could be the stuff that souls are made of. Which would mean that the 7s, 6s, and 5s octaves would represent the world of Physical matter; the 5s, 4s, and 3s octaves would represent the world of Astral matter; and the 3s, 2s, and 1s octaves would represent the world of Mental matter.
I envisioned that the Mental Matter spewed out of the Absolute and was later joined by a lesser amount of Astral Matter; after which, Physical Matter came into existence.
Next, I saw a system that could only be successful if it was constructed from the bottom up. Which meant that the higher matters had to wait for the Physical Matter to take the lead.
It seemed that Physical Matter, after billions of years of making elements, molecules, and life, etc., had finally worked its way up to man, who apparently was the only entity in the entire Universe that was capable of assimilating the two finer matters in himself and organizing them. Thus causing them to become crystallized. After which, these fixed higher matters, that is, these higher being-bodies, could independently exist without the necessity of needing physical matter, nor the necessity of needing a physical body.
Then, following my postulations, scientists discovered that there was indeed a higher form of matter called Dark Matter. I thought, “Hey, that would be a great candidate for what I had called Astral Matter.”
Several years later, they discovered an even higher form of matter called Dark Energy, which also had a place in my model, as Mental Matter.
Then they discovered that the Dark Energy was pushing away the Physical Matter of the Universe, and that the Physical Matter was not only rushing away from the Dark Energy, but it was picking up speed! I thought, “What’s with that? Hmm, well let’s see, Jesus rose, and since Gurdjieff said that higher matter always opposes Physical Matter, I envisioned that Jesus rose because He had crystalized His higher being-bodies.” And as such, when His higher being-bodies were liberated from His physical body, they, by being opposed to Physical Matter, created a repelling force against the Physical Matter, which therefore caused Jesus to arise … and as other higher being-bodies were created, they likewise arose. Eventually these higher being-bodies gathered in the nothingness of space, and collectively began pushing against the Physical Matter of the Universe, and as more higher being-bodies gathered, the greater the push against the Physical matter became, and as a result, the Physical Matter began picking up speed. Solves that!
In addition, scientists claimed that Physical Matter accounted for only 5% of the Universe and that 95% of the Universe was missing. They said that approximately 5% of the Universe was Physical Matter, 25% was Dark Matter, and 70% was Dark Energy. I knew, from my Ray of Creation diagram, that Mental Matter would dominate, that Astral Matter would be less, and that Physical Matter would be the least. In the Ray of Creation diagram, one can find many ways which conform to these percentages.
But the bottom line is man is charged with the responsibility of crystallizing higher-being bodies, which the higher matters of the Universe are apparently incapable of doing by themselves.
And the crystallization of Higher-being bodies, not only allows man to exist after death, but also keeps the Holy Sun Absolute from diminishing in volume, which eliminates God’s concern of losing his place of existence.
If that is true, and our purpose is to ensure that God keeps his home, then what a grand purpose that is.
Student: Wow, that is a grand purpose! To think that we may be capable of becoming real human beings, and lessening the sorrow of our common father is indeed something very great. And, thank you again, Russ, for lessening my sorrow.
Russell: You are most welcome.
I will also add this: we are like a box of parts, and if we assemble those parts correctly, phenomenal things will happen, but if we do not assemble those parts correctly, then all we are is just a box of parts. So, it is in our best interest to start assembling them correctly … and then try, every day, to be more present in their assembly.
Life is a journey with many ups and downs. For myself, I can still remember the low moments of my life; the moments when I did not want to get out of bed in the morning. Then I found the Fourth Way, and began working on myself, after which, came many high moments; moments, where I could not wait to get up in the morning, and try again to remember myself.
After experiencing those higher moments, I am convinced that waking up, not in the morning, but in life, is why you and I are here, and that is what life is all about.
We have discovered the reason for our existence; and as such, can become a participant in our own lives, whereas, before we were not participants, just followers, trying to acquire what everyone else was trying to acquire. And, as a result, got pulled into their purpose, which was getting married, having children, having a dog, and living in a house with a white picket fence.
Sadly, until I found the Work, my center of gravity was not in myself.
But, after finding the Work, which said, “You are asleep, you are a machine, and you cannot do;” and after realizing the truth of that, I quickly said, “I don’t want to be like that any more, I don’t want to be a machine, I want to be able to do.”
Every day since then, life has become a thrill. I get up every morning and do my damndest to see how long I can maneuver through the obstacles of life, and be aware of my thoughts, thus becoming a participant in my own life.
I will be walking down the sidewalk; and there I will be, walking down the sidewalk, with no judgments, and not thinking beforehand if the food I am going to eat for dinner is going to be good or bad.
Consciousness even started to invade my dreams. In my dreams, I would be walking down the sidewalk; and there I would be, walking down the sidewalk, with no judgments, and not thinking beforehand if the food I was going to eat for dinner was going to be good or bad.
Student: I see that experience as a sign of your growth. That is, when consciousness started invading your dreams, it was a good thing.
Having no judgements does not mean that things do not matter, and that you have become callous; and not thinking beforehand if the food you are going to eat is going to be good or bad, does not mean that you are becoming indifferent, and do not care. It means that you are becoming impartial, and as such, do not have to care.
Russell: Well thank you for that.
Student: What I am going to take away from what you have been telling us is that because we are human beings, we do, indeed, have a purpose; and as such, we are the only species that has the possibility of choice, which to me, is a very big ‘something.’
In addition, I would like to ask you, when you were walking down the sidewalk, were you doing the Objective Walking exercise, which I guess really doesn’t matter; but, when you mentioned walking down the sidewalk, it reminded me, by association, to ask you about the Objective Walking exercise, as I want to make sure that I am performing it properly. And, I would also like to know how it came about?
Russell: Firstly, I am happy to hear that you will be taking away a very big ‘something.’
And secondly, it doesn’t matter how your questions were stimulated, as they are both valid questions. Questions that you need to ask, and questions that I need to answer.
Firstly, I was not doing the Objective Walking exercise when I was walking down the sidewalk, I was just walking down the sidewalk.
Secondly, as to how to properly perform the Objective Walking exercise, and how it came about. I will start with the latter.
It happened in England in 1997, at the All and Everything Conference, where I had just presented “A Law-Conformable Schematic for Awakening Higher Centers,” or, I should say, it happened after the All and Everything Conference, when a small group of participants assembled to further discuss practical ways of Fourth Way work.
During that gathering, we were sent outside with instructions to remember ourselves. Most of the folks grouped up and walked together down the sidewalk, chatting, and enjoying the environment. I, on the other hand, fell back from the pack, went across the street, and walked down the beach. Where I began to walk in a new way.
I was walking on a paved surface, which ran down the middle of the beach, my hands were in my jacket pockets, my head was slightly tilted down, and my eyes were focused on the ground, a couple of feet in front of my steps, which created a bubble of the visual area, which fell within the periphery of my sight.
I did not allow myself to look up.
Then, taking slow deliberate steps, about 1 per second, I began swinging my foot out in front of me, and then dropped my heel back on the ground with a sense of force, which not only helped me count my steps, but allowed me to easily lock-on to the count.
Next, I focused on the sounds and smells that also came into my bubble of vision, to where the only things that existed were the things that entered the bubble. I had many urges to look up towards some sound, which originated outside of the bubble, but I refrained.
I remember receiving a great shock when an approaching maintenance vehicle suddenly entered my bubble, and whizzed by me — passing within inches, but I did not look up.
I completed over a 1000 steps in this focused state; and was in an extremely high place when I returned to the meeting room.
Higher perceptions and moments of direct knowing were whizzing through my brain. I even passed my turn reading from Beezelbub’s Tales, as that would have required a much lower attention.
Months later, I added the Three-Fold Attention aspect, of holding an emotion, to the Objective Walking exercise, which was pretty easy to do, as I already had the counting and sensing locked-in.
Synopsis of Exercise.
Walk with your head slightly bowed, and your eyes focused on the ground a couple of feet in front of your leading foot. And try to create in you a fixed bubble of visual perception.
Do not allow yourself to look up.
Then take slow, deliberate steps, about 1 step per second, swinging your foot out in front of you, and then dropping your heel on the ground with a sense of force (somewhat like a goose step). Count each step until you lock-on to the count.
Then, focus on the sounds and smells that also enter your visual bubble; trying to experience only what enters. Refrain from looking towards any phenomena that might originate outside the bubble.
Once you have the counting and sensing locked-in, add a third attention. Create an emotion and hold attention on that emotion.
Perform 1000+ steps in this focused state.
That is how to perform the Objective Walking exercise properly, and how it came into existence.
Okay, make the Objective Walking exercise your secondary exercise for the week.
See you next Sunday.
That ends the question and answer session for this episode.
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