S3/E29: R. A. Smith – Questions and Answers Part 18
R. A. Smith – Questions and Answers Part 18
In this episode, continuing our talks on Work questions and answers, we narrate a dialogue between Russell and several of his students, covering topics such as the Choot-God-Litanical period, creating a permanent observer, purging inexactitudes, what triads are, and internal and external considering. 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 will narrate a dialogue between Russell and several of his students, covering topics such as the Choot-God-Litanical period, creating a permanent observer, purging inexactitudes, what triads are, and internal and external considering.
Let us begin:
Student: After studying The Teaching Guide and doing The Objective Exercise, I awoke, and having accomplished that, I now sense that there is more to do. That is, that waking up is not a ‘well you are now done kind of a thing,’ but rather, the beginning of being in Purgatory, and as such, I was wondering if you would help me better understand what Purgatory is, and what I should do now?
Russell: Sure, I will be glad to.
In our work, Gurdjieff’s purgatory is a place where higher beings go to “purge the inexactitudes” from their being that they have acquired in life.
Here is how he describes ‘the Choot-God-Litanical period,’ which caused the Holy Planet Purgatory to be created in the first place:
Gurdjieff: “And so . . . from the very beginning, when these higher being-parts arose in this way and were perfected in beings to the required sacred gradation of Objective Reason, that is to say, when in accordance with the lower Mdnel-In of the Sacred Heptaparaparshinokh, the body-Kesdjan was, thanks to the second being-food formed in beings, and in accordance with the higher Mdnel-In of the same sacred law, the third highest being-body was, thanks to the third being-food, coated and perfected; and when these completely perfected higher being-parts were divided from the lower being-parts, then they were deemed worthy to be immediately united with the Most Most Holy Prime-Source and began to fulfil their Divine foreordained purpose.
“This continued so right up to that time when that terrifying cosmic event occurred which, as I have already told you, is now called the ‘Choot-God-Litanical’ period.
“Until this common-cosmic misfortune, all the higher being-bodies which arose and were perfected in certain Tetartocosmoses and in their first generations were united immediately with the Most Most Holy Protocosmos itself, because their common presences had already actualized results fully corresponding to it.
“The point is, that before this terrifying cosmic event of which I am speaking, the sacred Theomertmalogos which issued from the Most Most Holy Sun Absolute was still in a pure state without the admixture of any extraneously caused arisings whatsoever with their own subjective properties, and when this sacred Theomertmalogos came into the spheres of those planets on which the sacred crystallizations arose and from the results of the transformations of which higher being-bodies were coated and perfected through beings-apparatuses, then these latter received their presences exactly as they had to, to correspond to the required conditions of existence in the sphere of the Most Most Holy Sun Absolute.
“But afterwards, when the mentioned common-cosmic misfortune occurred, on account of which the sacred Theomertmalogos began to issue from the Most Most Holy Sun Absolute with the admixture of subjective properties of extraneously caused arisings, then from that time these sacred cosmic arisings ceased to have the possibility of corresponding to the required conditions of existence in the sphere of the Most Most Holy Prime-Source.”
Russell: It was after the above mentioned calamity that Our Endlessness was compelled to create the Holy Planet Purgatory, on which, higher beings could dwell, and attempt to purge the admixture of wrong information they had acquired during their lives, in hopes that someday, they would be able to join Our Endlessness on the Most Holy Sun Absolute.
Therefore, we too, here and now, after performing The Objective Exercise and awakening, must also purge the admixture of wrong information that we acquired during our lives, if we wish to go further and awaken our Higher Mental Centers.
Some people call the process “Killing sacred cows;” while others call it, “The purification of the Intellectual Center.” Whatever they call it, it begins when they awaken Steward, and as such, have something in their machine that can observe the admixture of wrong data they received.
Otherwise, they are destined to believe in the last ‘I’ that expressed itself, as well as will never be able to see that their opinions, views, and beliefs constantly change.
Only by acquiring a permanent passenger can they say, “Hey wait a minute, that opinion has not been verified, not to mention that it is different from the opinion I had yesterday.”
Fortunately, you have acquired awakened Steward, and as such, you should be quite capable of seeing and removing any wrong data.
I must say that Gurdjieff’s model is a great model of how inexactitudes got into our belief structures, and as such, why they need to be removed.
However, for those of you who have not yet acquired Steward, it will be difficult for you to destroy the false information you have received, because without a permanent passenger, you will be unable to easily recognize which information is false.
So firstly, you must acquire Steward, in order to have ‘a something’ in you that can recognize false beliefs, and then be able to remove them. After which, your Intellectual Center will ‘spiffy’ up a bit, and become the beginning of what is called Objective Reason.
Does that help?
Student: Yes, it does; it most certainly does. Thank you.
Russell: That was my journey as well, because I was told many untruths by various people who were supposed to know the truth, and as such, I believed their untruths to be truths, and only later did I discover that their truths were actually untruths … around which I had built elaborate belief structures. So, before I could remove them, I first had to find them, and then tear down the belief structures that I had created.
That, my friend, was my Purgatory.
Student: That is so clear, thank you.
Okay, I have another question: in order to purge our inexactitudes, do we need help from you, or from other students? Or, will we be able to recognize them on our own?
Russell: Well, you do need an impartial observer who, by observing them, will recognize them. Perhaps, that is what was meant by the saying, “Let Conscience be your guide.” Fortunately, after awakening and acquiring conscience and Steward, you should be able to recognize them on your own. But it wouldn’t hurt to have myself, or a friend, offer their observations.
There is also an aphorism which says, “Consider what people think of you, not what they say,” which too, might help. But nothing beats having your own ‘personal impartial observer.’
Student: I understand.
Perhaps a good litmus test would be for me to hold-up what I have verified, against what I believe, and if there is any discrepancy, to put my trust in what I have verified.
Russell: That is a very good way of putting it.
You can also apply Gurdjieff’s proclamation that he put at the beginning of Beelzebub’s, which is, “To destroy, mercilessly, without any compromises whatsoever, in the mentation and feelings of the reader, the beliefs and views, by centuries rooted in him, about everything existing in the world.”
In other words, “Throw everything out, and only take back in that which you, yourself, have personally verified.”
That is Purgatory!
Student: And I assume that applies to the very small, as well as, to the very large.
Russell: Yes sir, it does. From the little things, like Frosted Flakes are better than Wheaties, to the big things, like one political party is better than another.
Student: I want you to know that, for me, after awakening, things are really going well in life, and I also want you to know how grateful I am for your teaching.
I do have a question though, which is kind of a basic question, it is from Chapter 13 of The Fourth Way, which talked about Triads, and the use of Triads. Ouspensky says that the right use of triads involves coordinating our aim with our actions, which takes a lot of observation on my part. So my question to you is: would you please explain to me exactly what triads are; and what is meant by their right and wrong use?
Russell: Sure, I would be happy too.
Actually, triads are very easy to comprehend once you realize that there are only six.
Do you remember when we went through the model of Feeding the Community in the Teaching Guide?
Student: I sure do.
Russell: Okay, let’s begin there:
To accomplish the event called “Feeding the Community,” we needed to use the following triad:
DO = Function / Kitchen / Cyclical;
FA = Being / Food / Transformed;
LA = Will / Customer / Purpose.
We had to use that triad if we wanted to have a successful event called, “Feeding the Community.”
However, if we had a different event in mind, we would have needed to use a different triad.
For example: let’s say you lived in France during World War II. The Nazis had invaded your country. They were raping your women, shooting your men, and taking over your nation. In that situation, maybe you would have said, “I know what I will do? I will invite them over for dinner and intentionally undercook the pork, so that, instead of transforming food, I will try to transform Nazis!”.
Do you understand?
Russell: In that event, your aim was not to Feed the Community; it was to kill Nazis, and as such, you will need to use the triad that transforms the customer.
Another example would be: let’s say, your life was going poorly. That is, you were falling behind on your bills, your credit was shot, and you could not get another loan.
But you know what you could do? You could go down to the appliance store and buy one of those big kettles that is used to fry whole turkeys in. But instead of using it to fry a turkey, You could put it on the stove, fill it to the brim with oil, get the oil bubbling, and then, when you lower in the turkey, the oil would spill over the brim, run down the sides, hit the fire, and ignite. So, instead of transforming a turkey, you might be able to transform the kitchen, and as such, collect some insurance money.
That would solve your woes.
If that was your aim, then use the triad that transforms the kitchen. But if your aim was to kill Nazis, then use the triad that transforms the customer. However, if your aim was to feed the community, then use the triad that transforms the food.
Do you understand?
Student: I do. That is very clear.
Russell: Again, if you wish to accomplish an event, you need to use the right triad, because if you use the wrong triad, there is no telling what you might accomplish.
Another example of triads would be: I bet you have made a few campfires in your lifetime. All right, make a campfire and then get a sheet of plywood, one that is 3/4 of an inch thick. Hefty stuff.
Okay, now take that sheet of plywood and put it in the campfire, so the plywood is standing upright, lengthwise, with one eight-foot edge down in the fire.
What will happen to the plywood?
Student: It will burn.
Russell: Correct. If you orient the three forces (the fire, air, and plywood) in that configuration, the plywood will burn.
The triad of burning plywood.
Okay, let’s see what other triads we can find.
This time, using the same fire, the same air, and the same plywood, you will put the plywood in the fire so that the plywood is lying flat on the fire.
What might happen then?
Student: The fire may go out.
Russell: That is correct, by configuring the forces in a different way, you might smother the fire.
Who would have thought that you could use a sheet of plywood to put out a fire, but you can. Which is kind of how they put out oil well fires in Texas, whereby they smother the fire in a slightly different way.
Do you know what that is?
Student: No, not really.
Russell: Well, what they do is this: first of all, in an oil well fire, there is this gigantic flame shooting up out of the ground, because the oil which was under high-pressure, started spewing into the air when they initially hit the pocket of oil. Then unfortunately, there was a spark, and as such, the oil burst into flame. Now there is fire shooting up into the air.
So, what they do is this: they put TNT on a boom, run the boom over the fire, and explode the TNT. The massive explosion of TNT consumes all the oxygen, and since there is no oxygen, they too, in a sense, smother the fire, and the fire goes out.
“The oil is on fire! Quick, blow something up!”
Let’s try another one. There is your fire, and here is your plywood. Again, put the plywood flat down on the fire.
What did we just say might happen if you do what?
Student: I could smother the fire.
Russell: Correct. But this time, stick some bellows under the edge of the plywood and start pumping in air.
Just in case you need a refresher course on what bellows are. Bellows are a simple device that is designed to furnish a strong blast of air. The earliest models consisted of a flexible bag that had a pair of rigid boards on the sides, which could be expanded and contracted, by opening and closing the handles. It was then fitted with a valve, which allowed air to fill the bag when the handles were opened and forced air out of the bag when the handles were closed. It had many applications, but it was primarily used by blacksmith’s to blow air into a forge, thus making the fire in the forge hotter.
With the use of a bellows, what do you think might happen to your plywood?
Student: I guess the plywood would burst into flames?
Russell: Well, almost. What actually happens is this: the coals become so hot that they literally melt their way through the plywood. The center of the plywood charcoals and cracks, thus exposing it to oxygen, whereafter, a ring of fire works its way out from the center, consuming the plywood.
So again, by changing the orientation of the three forces we can produce a different triad.
Let us try one more. Take the same plywood, the same fire, and the same air, and again, put one edge of the plywood down in the fire like you did in the first triad.
When you did that the plywood was consumed.
But this time, blow some 200mph hurricane winds across the fire.
What do you think will happen now?
Student: Well let’s see, I guess the fire would be blown out, because the air would be moving too fast to support a flame.
Russell: That is correct. Well done. Not to mention the fact that if the air was moving really fast, you would be lucky to still have your plywood!
But, even if your plywood was tied down, you are right, the air would be moving too fast to support a flame.
That is why you can blow out a candle with a burst of air.
Who would have thought that by blowing air on a fire, you could extinguish the fire? But if the air is moving fast enough, you can.
By using different triads, that is, by configuring the same three forces in different ways, we can see how we can attain different results, and so far, have revealed four triads. However, two other triads are possible, because the three forces can be orientated in six different ways.
Let me know if you need help configuring the other two, but after exploring four, you should now have a pretty good idea of what triads are, and what Ouspensky meant when he said that the right use of triads involved coordinating our aim with our actions.
Okay, in summation, if you want to kill Nazis, make sure you use the triad that transforms the customer, if you want to collect insurance, make sure you use the triad that transforms the kitchen, but if you want to feed the community, make sure you use the triad that transforms the food.
And, if the latter was your aim, make sure you cook the food thoroughly, so that you do not inadvertently transform the customer, and make sure you have good safety protocols in your kitchen, that is, a fire-extinguisher, a sprinkler system, etc., so that you do not inadvertently transform your kitchen.
Do you Understand?
Student: Yes, I do. I really do. Those are some great examples, thank you.
Russell: You are welcome.
Student: I have a question. I was reading about internal considering, on page 12, in The Fourth Way, would you please share with me your understanding as to what internal considering is?
Russell: Sure, I would be happy to share that with you.
I suppose in its simplest definition, internal considering is the idea that people want their due. That is, they want to be acknowledged for what they have done.
Student: Wow. That is simple.
Okay, I have another question, but this time it is about external considering. The last time I was at the school, I was hanging out with some of the students; one of them asked me if I was hot, and said they would gladly turn on the air conditioner if I was. Was that external considering?
Russell: Yes, more likely than not it was external considering. External considering, is considering what other peoples’ needs and wants are.
Student: Could you say more about external considering and internal considering? I really want to thoroughly understand them.
Russell: No problem, we shall dissect them like a blowfish.
Let’s start by introducing Aphorism #9:
“The chief means of happiness in this life is the ability to consider externally always, internally never.”
What exactly does that mean?
Well, as we already said, external considering, considers the needs and wants of others. Whereas, internal considering only considers our needs and wants.
But let’s go deeper. To better understand external considering, we will use a few examples: I have a student living upstairs, who really likes the cold, but as the thermostat to the air conditioner is downstairs, and the upstairs is separate from the downstairs and can be only accessed by climbing up stairs which are outside; we had to take great measures to considere her proclivity, which required us to open all the air conditioning vents upstairs, and close most of the air conditioning vents downstairs, so that the air conditioner would release more cold air upstairs than it would downstairs.
Because of that, we had to go upstairs and downstairs for several days, opening and closing vents, until we got the temperature just right.
Another example of external considering would be: suppose it was a tad cold outside, and I was sitting in my house with my sweatshirt on, and someone came in, who I knew was not accustomed to being in a cold climate, let’s say, they were from Puerto Vallarta, and as such, were used to being in a warm climate.
I was comfortable, because I had on a sweatshirt, but I considered that they may not be comfortable, because they were wearing Puerto Vallarta attire. Thus, I took off my sweatshirt and turned on the heater.
After all, if I took off my sweatshirt and turned on the heater, I would still be comfortable, and with the heater on, they may become more comfortable.
Going even deeper, I offer DOGTALE #70:
“Never ask permission to externally consider.”
What that means is: if you are moved to act out of kindness, generosity, or goodness, do so spontaneously; that is, do not ask permission to do so.
For example: If you were sitting on a crowded bus, wherein all the seats are taken, and as such, some people had to stand and hold onto a leather strap, what do you think would happen if you looked up and asked one of them, “Would you like to have my seat?” They would probably say, “No, I’m ok.” Right? Even though they would have liked to sit down. Why? Well, because they do not want to inconvenience you … Which means, by asking them if they would like you to consider them, they considered you. So instead of asking them for permission to consider them, just do it; stand up and gesture with your open hand that the seat you are in is available.
If you do, I bet they will smile, say thank you, and take the seat.
Thus, you will have successfully considered them.
Student: Would it be reasonable to say: that the air-conditioner model was a model of everyone winning, rather than of just one person winning?
Russell: Yes, that is correct. We did not turn up the air conditioner so that she would be comfortable and we would be miserable.
Student: Right, you turned up the air conditioner, and then adjusted the vents, so that everyone would be comfortable.
Russell: You got it!
Okay, that is one kind of external considering; the one that considers the legitimate needs of others.
Now, let’s look at internal considering, so that we can discuss another kind of external considering; the one that considers what others’ want.
Remember, that I said the simplest definition of internal considering is the idea that people want their due? That is, they want their actions to be acknowledged?
If so, then it should be easy for you to comprehend the second kind of external considering. One, that tells you to sufficiently acknowledge their actions.
Student: I think I get it. If everyone wants their due, then we should give it to them.
Russell: Very good. Well done. You got it.
Okay, let’s talk more about how people internally consider, and as such, how we can use that knowledge to externally consider.
One model can be seen in the story about the good samaritan who stops to help someone fix a flat tire. We just learned that the good samaritan most likely stops because he is internally considering, and as such, wants his due.
He is hoping that the flat tire guy, who he stops to help, will adequately thank them for stopping and helping, and if he does, our good samaritan will feel very good about himself. However, if the flat tire guy does not thank him enough, then our good samaritan will be very disappointed, because he was not given his due.
That is, after helping the flat tire guy, if all the flat tire guy says is, “Thanks,” then our good samaritan will feel great disappointment because the flat tire guy did not thank him enough! The flat tire guy should have thanked him a heck of a lot more than that! That is, the flat tire guy should have at least offered him some money, which of course, he wouldn’t have taken, but the flat tire guy didn’t even do that, and as such, our good samaritan is unfulfilled because he was not thanked enough, not considered enough, and not given his due.
Another model of internal considering occurs when someone donates money to a church or to a hospital, knowing that the church or hospital is going to install a plaque that reads “The Anderson Wing.” So, in that way, the Andersons will get their due in perpetuity, “Hey the Andersons built this wing, way to go Andersons.”
If we understand how internal considering works, we will understand how the kind of external considering works, which says, “Give them their due because that is what they want.”
So make sure, if someone stops to help you fix a flat tire, that you go all in, and say, “Oh my God, thank you so much. You are a lifesaver. I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t stopped. You are such a wonderful human being. Thank you, thank you, thank you.” If you do that, the guy who stops to help you will feel great about himself because he got his due.
Or, if someone lets you pull into traffic, make sure you wave, and wave, and wave, at them, to let them know how appreciative you are.
You do not need to do that for yourself, you, afterall, are awake; but you do need to do it for them, because they want to be thanked … and overthanked.
So make several gestures that say, thank you, thank you, thank you, so they will adequately be thanked and thereby get their due, and, as a result, will feel good about themselves.
You got that? I repeat, try to always remember that people ‘do what they do’ because they want to be recognized for what they do. So, make sure you always recognize them, so as to give them their due.
Like always acknowledge the guy who holds the door open for you.
However, if you hold the door open for them, it is good practice not to look at them, but rather to look at the ground. That way, you do not force them into giving you, your due.
There is one additional benefit from external considering, which can be found in the Biblical phrase, “You reap what you sow.” That is, if you plant positive seeds in others, you will most likely get back positive responses, and since most of us like getting back positive responses, external considering will prove to be one of the best ways of achieving that.
However, the real benefit lies in a deeper truth, which can also be found in the Bible phrase “You reap what you sow.” Which is, “You always reap much more than what you sow!”
Thus, external considering will generate an over abundance of positive responses, and as such, will make you rich!
Okay, I think we have sufficiently considered considering.
See you next week.
That ends the question and answer session for this episode.
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