S3/E30: R. A. Smith – Questions and Answers Part 19
R. A. Smith – Questions and Answers Part 19
In this episode, continuing our talks on Work questions and answers, we will narrate a dialogue between Russell and several of his students in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, during a video conference call; covering topics such as being humble, personality vs magnetic center, manifestations of man #1, man #2, man #3, and man # 4, a classroom that has no teacher, and lopsided development, as well as by request, a marvelous recantation of Mr. Smith’s story of the little American Indian boy.. 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 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, during a video conference call; covering topics such as being humble, personality vs magnetic center, manifestations of man #1, man #2, man #3, and man # 4, a classroom that has no teacher, and lopsided development, as well as by request, a marvelous recantation of Mr. Smith’s story of the little American Indian boy.
Let us begin:
Student: I had a teacher previous to you, who I remember gave a lecture for about 35 or 40 minutes on how amazingly humble he was, which in retrospect, I find was somewhat amusing!
Russell: Well, yea, announcing to others that you are humble is probably not what a true humble person would do. Like Kwai Chang Cain in the Kung Fu TV series. I love the episode where he ends up in a camp of Chinese railroad workers, and because he is so softly spoken and humble, he does not join them in wanting to protest their living conditions. As a result, the other workers spit on him. Then, while he is unloading some very heavy crates from one of the wagons, a horse, who is startled by a harmless snake, rears up, disturbing the wagon, and causing one of the stacked iron filled crates to begin falling off the wagon. It was going to fall on an old lady, who was kneeling by the wagon, doing what, I do not remember, but it was certainly going to crush her and kill her. Kwai Chang Cain sees what is happening, reaches up, and stops the crate in mid fall. When he does, his loose shirt sleeves slide back towards his shoulders, revealing the dragon symbols that are burnt into his forearms, causing everyone in the camp, who also see the symbols, to realize exactly who he is. Whereby, they immediately prostrate themselves; fall face down on the ground with their hands and arms extended towards this shaolin priest.
They then and there understand why he is so softly spoken and humble.
Student: I remember coming across something in the work like that, which talked about acting from personality, instead of from the magnetic center. Would you please explain the difference?
Russell: I might be able say some words on that.
Let’s find a model.
Do you watch TV?
Student: Yes, almost every night for a few hours.
Russell: Alright, then you should easily comprehend my answer.
Okay. I am sitting in front of the TV with my remote control. I have the window open that shows what is on every channel, and I am scrolling through the list.
There is a show about some guy who kills 30 people, there is one about surviving in the wilderness, there is one where some girl meets some guy and falls in love, there is one about a lost dog who finds his way home, there are some news channels, and boxing is on. Which one do I watch?
Let’s suppose I choose boxing, why do I choose boxing instead of one of the others? Well, boxing tugged on me more than the others did, and way more than one of the others tugged on my magnetic center.
My magnetic center likes to feel honor and the rightness of things, and as such, is not drawn to boxing, or to shows with violence, blood, guts, or evil; whereas another personality may be.
Does that make sense?
Student: Yes, it does.
Russell: So, by noticing what I am drawn to, I will be able to recognize if I am being directed by personality or by magnetic center, and in addition, which personality is doing the directing.
If I am manifesting as a man #1, I may want to watch boxing; if I am manifesting as a man #2, I may want to watch the girl get the guy; and if I am manifesting as a man #3, I may want to watch the news.
But if I am being directed by my magnetic center, I may wish to watch the show about surviving in the wilderness, or the one about the dog who finds his way home. So, if I observe what I am drawn to, my magnetic center will reveal itself. Does that help?
Student: That really helps.
For myself, I have noticed that sometimes it is ultra-clear, sometimes I can’t decide, and sometimes I just keep switching channels until something catches my eye.
Russell: Yes sir, that is what often happens when there are conflicting groups of I’s in us. Remember when we talked about how our inner world was like a classroom of students that has never had a teacher?
Student: Yes, but tell me again, I like that scenario.
Russell: Will do.
Our inner world is likened to a classroom of students who has never had a teacher.
Can you imagine a classroom of students who have never had a teacher?
What are the students like in a classroom that has never had a teacher?
There is chaos. Right?
The children are broken into factions.
There is a shop group; a group that is mechanically inclined, talking about automobiles, engines, and fast cars.
There is a sports group; interested in all thing’s sports, talking about baseball, football, and their favorite athlete.
There is a group of girls; practicing their cheers, and talking about which boy is the cutest.
There is a group of studious students gathered together, with their textbooks open, talking about angles and dimensions.
There are some class clowns; chasing each other around the room, throwing spitballs, laughing, and having fun.
There are even some loners; sitting by themselves at various places in the classroom, as they are not part of any group.
Each group animates the classroom for a while.
Somebody in the shop group says, “Oh, look at that Chevrolet, that is so cool,” and everybody looks out the window and goes, “Oh yeah, that is cool.” And for a moment, the class has a common focus; but that common focus easily fragments, and everybody quickly goes back to the topics of their group.
That is the state of your classroom.
Can you see it?
Student: Yes, I can.
Honestly, I needed that refresher. I remember you also said something about chief feature and magnetic center kids, could you also refresh that data for me as well?
Each group has a chief feature kid. That is, there is one kid in each group who directs and controls the group.
In the sports group, if the chief feature kid says, “The Yankees are the best team in baseball,” all the other kids in the sports group go, “Yeah, we like the Yankees too.”
In the group of girls, if the chief feature girl says, “Bobby is such a dream; he is so cute,” all the other girls swoon and say, “Yeah, he is dreamy.”
Each group follows the lead of the chief feature kid who is in charge of that group.
Fortunately, there are also some magnetic center kids scattered throughout the classroom. Some are in the shop group, some are in the group of girls, some are in the group of studious students, some are in the sports group, some are class clowns, and some are loners.
The magnetic center kids all hope that someday there will be something more going on than just the idiotic talk that goes on every day. They long for a real teacher; a real authority. Someone who will bring order and provide structure to the classroom; steering it towards more important things, rather than who is the cutest boy, which is the fastest car, or who their favorite athlete is.
And every once in a while, some subject comes up that could lead to something that will benefit the entirety of the class.
For instance, if someone says something about mathematics, and someone else jokes that the girls know nothing about mathematics, then one of the magnetic center girls might say, “Well, we are much better at mathematics than the boys are,” which stimulates a moment when the magnetic center kids have a chance to influence the classroom. “Let’s do some math,” one of them says, “So that we can beat the girls.” “Huh! No way,” responds one of the magnetic center girls; and the class engages in a battle of mathematics.
Fortunately over time, the magnetic center kids begin to recognize each other, and as such, covertly try to keep the classroom unified. They stimulate moments, which cause the class to study History, Math, or English, and direct the class towards something they should be doing.
Does that help?
Student: I think that’s a great illustration, thank you.
Student: I have a question, which is more of a confirmation. If I am watching TV and I see that Forrest Gump is on, as well as a documentary about the rise of Hitler, and I decide to watch Forrest Gump, am I correct in assuming that my magnetic center has made that choice?
Russell: Yes. You are very correct.
But I have to laugh, when I first heard about Forrest Gump, I did not want to watch it, as it was movie about some retarded guy, which did not register as being something that my magnetic center would want to watch; and, I resisted watching Babe, as well. I mean, who wants to watch a movie about a pig; that too, did not excite my magnetic center. Then, years later, when I finally watched Forrest Gump and Babe, I loved them. They were both like magnetic center moments on steroids … just incredible!! But the initial impression of them did not tug on my magnetic center.
Student: Right, at first, that is what I thought as well.
I now have a question, which is kind of the flip side of that. In observing the people around me, my friends and family, they all tend to listen to music and watch movies that are very violent. Is that an indication that they have a problem with their magnetic centers, or is it just an indication of their multiplicity?
Russell: More likely than not, it is an indication that they are strongly ruled by only one faction in their classroom, and as such, the other factions, and the magnetic center, get choked out. Remember, man #1, #2, #3, & #4; and how the I’s of man #1 want to watch boxing, football, Fear Factor, Survivor, and shows, which contain violence.
When those I’s are present, they dominate the classroom, and as such, the other groups have very little say so in what the class will be doing.
Student: It is not necessarily pathology then, just multiplicity?
Russell: Most likely, it is just multiplicity.
But it does reveal which group is superior, and gives them designation of being mostly men #1.
We all have man #1, man #2, man #3, and man #4 groups in us, but in their case, it sounds like their man #1 group is far more forceful than the others; and when given choices, the man #1 group wins out more often than the others.
Student: I am talking about more extreme things than boxing, they want to watch documentaries about mass murderers and serial killers, or want to listen to music about how some father molested his child, which is way more extreme than boxing.
So, are you still saying that their manifestations are a result of multiplicity?
Russell: Truthfully, I cannot say, as I truly do not know. But it sure sounds like lopsided development to me, which occurs when one personality becomes dominant over the others, and as such, is driven by a chief feature that has become twisted and tainted. One, which will become even more twisted and tainted as time goes on, just like people that bungee jump, who feel the need to find a higher bridge to jump from, in order to receive the same thrill.
Student: Got, cha.
Russell: It shows a degradation of being. Somewhere along the journey, they did not get the right influences from their parents, from their grandparents, or from society, and as such, reached adulthood with a very weak magnetic center.
Student: Indeed. I see that now; I really do.
Russell: I am sorry that sometimes things are just that way.
Alright, other questions?
After some silence, the student who was leading the group says: “Well sir, it sounds like, we are all questioned out.”
However, before we end today’s class, would you tell us again the story of the little American Indian boy? It is such an inspiring story, and it fits so well with many of the themes we have been discussing.
Besides, we talked about it before class, and collectively agreed that we all wanted to hear it again … in order to hammer home the necessity of us acquiring truth. Truth, which we may or may not have received during our youth; and, when we find some … to, ourselves, drive it into our being, so that we can become that which we have all chosen to become, which is, responsible beings … just like the little American Indian boy in your story.
Russell: Well, I am very flattered that you have all remembered my story, and you want to hear it again. Therefore, I shall do my best to reiterate it to you, word for word.
Are you ready to be a little American Indian boy?
Okay … back in the day, many moons ago, the life expectancy of an American Indian was probably about 60 years, so we will adjust your octave of 80 years accordingly.
During the day, who do you think cared for you as a young child and as an early teenager? Who watched over you? Your parents were not there. They were off fulfilling their obligation to the tribe. So, who raised you?
Students, in unison: “Our grandparents.”
(Apparently, since they had heard the story when they came to Texas to awaken, they knew the questions Mr. Smith was going to ask them, and as such, they all answered him in unison, which caused him to proudly smile, and say, “Way to respond!”)
Russell: Your dad was out hunting, and your mom was out gathering nuts, berries, and grains. Your grandparents were too old to be doing such things, so they stayed in the camp, and cared for the babies, the children, and the young teens. That is why, in cowboy movies, the elderly were the only adults in the camp when the cavalry attacked. It was just them and the children.
So, again, who raised you?
Students, in unison: “Our grandparents.”
(Russell again, smiled and nodded his head, acknowledging their commitment.)
Russell: Your grandparents. You were with them all day, every day, for years. At dusk, your parents came home. You loved your parents and were greatly influenced by them. You were, after all, under the Major oscillation of your father.
One day, you excitedly ran up to your grandfather and said, “Guess what grandfather? Tonight, when father comes home, he is going to show me how to track a rabbit!”
Your grandfather smiled and replied, “Oh, my little brave, that is great, but life is not about tracking rabbits. See the spirit of the mountain, the spirit of the eagle, and the spirit of the forest. Smell the earth, my little brave.” And you said, “Yes grandfather, that is really cool stuff, but tonight I get to track a rabbit!”
Later that evening, your father came home, kept his word, and showed you how to track a rabbit.
Days later, you once again ran up to your grandfather and exclaimed, “Grandfather, grandfather, guess what? Tonight, when father gets home, he is going to show me how to make a bow. To make a bow!” Your grandfather again smiled and replied, “Oh, that is wonderful my little brave, but life is not about making bows. See the spirit of the bear, the spirits of your ancestors, the spirit of the mountain, and the spirit of the eagle. Smell the earth, my little brave.” You said, “Yes grandfather, that sounds really nice, that is really wonderful, but tonight I get to make a bow!”
This continued, week after week, month after month, and year after year. You kept running up to your grandfather saying, “Tonight, father is going to teach me how to ride a pony, how to make a knife, or how to throw a tomahawk!”
Every time you did, your grandfather smiled and replied, “Oh, my little brave, that is wonderful, but life is not about riding ponies, making knives, or throwing tomahawks. See the spirit of the mountain, listen to the wind, see the spirit of the eagle, the spirit of the forest, the spirits of your ancestors, and smell the earth, my little brave.”
Do you see what was happening?
During your youth, your grandfather was telling you about higher things, higher ideas, and the higher meaning behind life. Ideas which you had little interest in. You were interested in riding a pony, in making a bow, in tracking a rabbit, in making a knife, and learning to do the rain-dance. Those things would be taught to you by your father, as you were under his Major oscillation.
In addition, if your father was a tentmaker, I bet he took you with him to watch, and later, to make tents, didn’t he? And by copying your father, you learned the skills of tent-making. That is why there are class systems in the world today, and people adhere to them.
A son learns the skills of his father. You learnt tent-making. But that did not mean that you would become a tentmaker. Indians got to choose. There came a time, after going through some ritual of ascension, that you had to choose. You could no longer be a little American Indian boy, staying in the camp all day long, safe in your teepee, coddled, and fed. You had to become a contributing member of the tribe, and someday, become a Brave.
Let’s say that happened on your fifteenth birthday, and they sent you off into the forest for thirty days by yourself. And if you survived and made it back to camp, you would then begin the journey of finding your own path. You would no longer be under your father’s Major oscillation. Instead, you would spend the next five years of your life making your own decisions … trying this, trying that, and honing your skills. During that time you would be trying to figure out what you were good at, what you loved, and the path you would walk.
Five years later, on your twentieth birthday, you are called before the elders to proclaim your chosen way. You proudly stand before the council and say, “I have chosen. I want to be a hunter like my grandfather, not a tentmaker like my father, but a great hunter like my grandfather.”
It has been twenty years since the day of your birth. During the first fifteen years of your life, your grandfather may have raised you, but you were under the Major oscillation of your father, and it was your father’s duty to prepare you for today.
Then you spent the next five years of your life on your own personal search. Finally, the day of days has arrived. For on this day you become a Brave.
Today is the day you choose the path of the hunter! It is a proud day for you, for your father, for your grandfather, and for the tribe. Everyone is dancing and cheering. Woo-woo-woo-woo! Little brave has chosen to be a hunter! Little brave-one, the hunter!
The next day, you get up before the rest of the tribe, and head out into the forest to go hunting. Your Major oscillation has just begun and will continue for the next twenty years of your life.
That first day, all day long, you chase just one deer. You chase that deer until it is so exhausted that it cannot run anymore. Finally, you are able to get close enough to shoot it with an arrow, hit it with your tomahawk, or wrestle it to the ground and stab it with your knife … and kill it.
You sling the deer over your shoulders, around your neck, and head back to camp. Arriving at dusk, you swagger as you walk slowly into camp, with that deer slung around your neck, and throw it down in front of the squaws, proudly proclaiming, “I am the hunter!”
From that day forward, you are on the hunt every day; 365 days a year for the next ten years of your life. By the time you are thirty, at the prime of your life, you are one incredible hunter. You know every trail, every pasture, and every watering hole. You have also mastered every tactic, every technique, and every hunting skill, because you have been chasing deer, boars, bears, and rabbits for the past ten years. How many thousands of hunts have you made?
You are thirty years old. At the prime of your life and are a very good hunter!
However, something else is supposed to happen at that moment; something else is supposed to begin. You are supposed to start questioning the purpose of your life. You are supposed to ask yourself, “Is that it? Is this all that I am … a hunter? Is this all there is? Is there nothing more to life than just being a hunter? Is this all that I am meant to be?”
You look back at the last ten years of your life and ask, “For the next ten years am I going to be nothing more than what I have been for the last ten years?” At that moment, the moment you start to question your real purpose in life, an eagle flies over and screeches. You look up to see the eagle, and spy the mountain, and wonder why the eagle chose that particular moment to fly overhead and screech. The eagle has flown over before, but in your moment of questioning what life is about, it flew over just then. “Did Grandfather send the eagle? After all, he used to tell me stories about the spirit of the eagle. He must have sent it.” You again look up at the mountain and begin to think about the spirit of the mountain, and the spirits of your ancestors. Is your grandfather’s spirit watching over you? Why did grandfather tell you all those things?
Then, when no one is looking, and for the first time in your life, you scoop up a handful of dirt and smell the earth. And, at that moment, the oscillation of your grandfather enters your world … the world in which you are a great hunter.
Thereafter, every day while you are out hunting, you take time to commune with the spirit of the bear, the spirit of the wolf, the spirit of the forest, the spirits of your ancestors, the spirit of the eagle, and the spirit of the mountain. After all, as a good hunter, you have ample time to accomplish both. And now two separate oscillations are transpiring in you.
Gurdjieff called the space between SO and LA, “The Harnel-Aoot,” where two oscillations are present … and you … now serve both.
In life, things try desperately to stay what they are, even when they are being acted upon by something else. They do not give up easily. A simple model would be this: if some jungle farmer had some little pigs in a pen, made from wooden stakes, and if a snake came slithering through the jungle and got in the pen through the wooden stakes, and swallowed one of the pigs, the snake would be trapped inside the pen, because with a pig in its belly, it could not escape through the stakes. Of course, the other pigs are squealing and grunting because a predator is in their pen. The farmer hears the commotion and comes running out with his machete. He sees the snake, kills it, and cuts it open. When he does, there is a possibility that the pig is still alive, because the pig wants to stay a pig, even though the snake is trying to turn it into a snake. Or a fish, in the belly of a whale, might stay a viable fish for some time, before the digestive juices finally take away its fish-ness, and turn it into a whale. Or you can take a potato, leave in its eyes, do not blind it (smile), put it into hot water for a bit, take it out, plant it, and it will still be a viable potato … and grow. Things hold on to what they are. Just like you are holding on to what you have become.
Do you understand?
The students, in unison, all begin nodding their heads.
(Russell continued speaking as he smiled at their tacit manifestation.)
Russell: The potato does not want to give up its potato-ness. It does not just say, “Oh my, hot water! I give up! I am done!” No, it says, “I am a potato. I am a potato. I am still a potato.” And although the hot water is acting on it, it does not give up so fast; it wants to stay a potato. But there comes a moment when it finally succumbs to the hot water, gets cooked, and can no longer grow.
In your case, the pursuit of higher things was like the hot water. It acted on your hunter-ness as you took time to listen to the wind, observe the eagle, watch the bear, see the mountain, think about your ancestors, and smell the earth.
Then when you reach forty and are at the end of your Major oscillation, that of being a hunter, and are too old to chase deer, you will become the grandfather. Then when your grandchild runs up to you and says, “Guess what grandfather? Someday I am going to be a great hunter like you,” you are going to smile and reply, “Oh, my little brave, life is not about hunting. Look at the spirit of the eagle, see the spirit of the mountain, hear the spirit of the wind, and sense the spirits of your ancestors. Smell the earth, my little brave.”
You will then pass on the wisdom of the ancestral line to your grandchild, just as it was passed on to you.
Your grandfather’s oscillation will solely carry you into your golden years, until you are in touch with nature, the spirits of your ancestors, and in harmony with the world around you. You will not be just some cocky ‘full-of-himself’ retired hunter guy, but a wise old man with a plethora of higher things.
Okay. Your grandfather’s oscillation has successfully carried you beyond the age of fifty-two. You are well grounded, fine-tuned, and awake. Hopefully, you will see the oasis, and make it to the happy hunting ground.
Student: I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we all love that story, as it clearly defines the journey we are on.
And that today’s class was fabulous.
Again, thank you very much for your time sir. See you next week.
Russell: I love you all as well … good night.
That ends the question and answer session for this episode.
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