S3/E33: R. A. Smith – Questions and Answers Part 22
R. A. Smith – Questions and Answers Part 22
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 Three-Story Diagram, liking what it does not like, not letting the outside get on the inside, intelligence versus reason, and creating reminding factors. The transcript and diagrams for this podcast, can be found on our website at thedogteachings.com under Resources/Podcasts. Our new 520 page E-book, entitled The Blueprint of Consciousness, is 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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The Three-Story Diagram
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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 several of his students, covering topics such as: The Three-Story Diagram, liking what it does not like, not letting the outside get on the inside, intelligence versus reason, and creating reminding factors.
Student: My question is in reference to The Three-Story Diagram and the lines of 9. Also, will you review how the Instinctive and Intellectual Centers influence our Emotional Center.
Russell: Yes, I will.
The Three-Story Diagram is a great diagram to often refer to.
That being said, get out The Three-Story Diagram and we shall begin our review.
(The three-story diagram can be found on our website at thedogteachings.com within this podcast episode).
The diagram shows how impressions enter, where they go, and what they do. It does so with arrows numbered 1 through 11 that indicate the factory’s order of functioning, including a description of each. It also explains how the factory should work, as well as, how, and why, it ceased working properly.
So, keep your eyes on the diagram, open your mind, and follow along as I describe them.
The lines marked 1: Impressions enter from outside, via the five senses, and become recorded in the instinctive center.
The line marked 2: The moving center begins to function in response to these impressions.
The lines marked 3: Some of these incoming impressions enter with such force that their entrance not only creates a corresponding reaction in the moving center but also stimulates the registration of that impression in the emotional center.
The line marked 4: Subsequent impressions, which are registered in the emotional center, that are similar to, like impressions previously perceived, incite memory, that is, create a codification in the intellectual center.
The line marked 5: If a man unifies his lower centers into conscience, then the incoming impressions, which have been forcibly recorded in the emotional center, will also begin to resound in the higher emotional center.
The line marked 6: The accumulation of impressions, which have reached the higher emotional center, if they are perceived rightly, will give birth to objective reason, that is, to the higher mental center, which will begin to function with impartiality and reason.
The line marked 7: The functioning of the higher mental center, which can impart objective reason to the intellectual center, makes it possible for the intellectual center to be cognizant of various realities without having to actually experience them through sensation.
The lines marked 8: The creation of intellectual constructs based on the influence of perceiving objective reason, will create, in the emotional center, the requisite belief structure, which it must create, in order for the emotional center to support a given intellectual model.
The lines marked 9: If a man does not awaken conscience, there will be no impartation of reason to his intellectual center; but rather, he will be conditioned by false truths, implanted in his intellectual center from outside, thus giving him a false intellectual model of reality.
The lines marked 10: These false truths—false models, e.g., “Snakes are slimy!” will, unfortunately, create in his emotional center the requisite “false belief structures”, which they will inevitably create in order to support them. Thus, false personalities are born.
The lines marked 11: The establishment of these false belief structures, along with the accompanying emotions necessary for their support, will also condition a man’s sensations and movements. Then, if a man (manifesting from some requisite false personality) encounters a real snake … and touches it, he may still believe that the snake is slimy, even though it is not.
However, Gurdjieff tells us in the following passage that it is possible for a man to up-root these false beliefs–by centuries rooted in him–if he understands the Laws of World-creation and World-maintenance:
“Likewise, an all-round awareness of everything concerning these sacred laws also conduces, in general, to this, that three-brained beings irrespective of the form of their exterior coating, by becoming capable in the presence of all cosmic factors not depending on them and arising round about them–both the personally favorable as well as the unfavorable–of pondering on the sense of existence, acquire data for the elucidation and reconciliation in themselves of that, what is called, ‘individual collision’ which often arises, in general, in three-brained beings from the contradiction between the concrete results flowing from the processes of all the cosmic laws and the results presupposed and even quite surely expected by their what is called ‘sane-logic’; and thus, correctly evaluating the essential significance of their own presence, they become capable of becoming aware of the genuine corresponding place for themselves in these common-cosmic actualizations.”
I hope that answers your question.
Student: Yes, it does. I saw and understood everything that you said. It was most helpful … and I must say, The Three-Story Factory diagram is quite an exquisite diagram. Thank you, so much Russell.
Russell: You are most welcome.
Again, if we consider the fall of man, and imagine what the world would be like if he had not fallen; it would have been glorious.
Through proper contact with the world, our children would have grown-up from the bottom up. That is, when they received information from the outside world, it would have been true information; information from wise men. Information from the best of the best of us, from those who possessed reason.
So, our children would have received right information from both the Lines marked 1 and the Lines marked 9. They would have received true data from their Instinctive Centers, which passing through their Emotional Centers would have given them right meaning; and, they also would have received truthful information from the elderly and the wise.
That is how it is supposed to work. We are supposed to grow-up from the bottom up. Our emotions are supposed to be triggered by sensation, and as such, would have given us proper meaning. After which, impressions of a similar kind, previously perceived, would have created in us a “universal intelligence.”
But unfortunately, the Lines marked 9 entered, and someone told us that Voodoo was real, that ghosts were real, that Chevrolets were better than Fords, or that only members of their church go to Heaven. And as such, we received a plethora of data that was untrue; data, directly implanted into our Intellectual Centers from the wiseacreing of others.
Even Gurdjieff poked fun at our skewed beliefs, saying, if that guy says it is true … and that guy over there also says it is true, then, it must be true, because two guys say it is true. And sadly, the more times it is repeated, the more we believe it is true. Furthermore, since the Intellectual Center is inextricably connected with the Emotional Center, the Emotional Center becomes tainted, and as such, develops wrong belief structures which support the intellectual model. That is, it supports the idea that ghosts are real, or that one religion is better than another.
I suppose, that is why, many esoteric ways begin with repent … change your mind, because only then, will you be able change your beliefs.
Thus, we have to start there. So that we ourselves, can impart, unto our Emotional Centers, true beliefs.
Does that help to further answer your question?
Student: Yes, sir, it does, that was very clear.
Student: I have a question. Where do we draw the line regarding “like what it does not like”, or transforming negative emotions into positive emotions as in your story about eating oysters, where you overcame your negative reaction to them.
I mean, it is one thing to eat something in order to neutralize a negative emotion; but something like ‘being afraid of heights,’ I am not sure that I want to bungee jump off a bridge in order to overcome my fear of heights. How do I address those things, in regards to liking what it does not like, or transforming negative emotions?
How far do I take it?
Russell: That is a good question.
Start with little things.
Find one little thing that you do not like, and try to like it. It is not about putting yourself in harm’s way. It is about finding one little thing that you do not like, and trying to like it. For instance, if you do not like wearing red, then wear red; if you do not like eating peas, then eat peas, as long as you are not allergic to peas. By learning to like little things, you will be able to tackle bigger things … big negative emotions.
And, since you mentioned my oyster story, and how oysters were a big thing for me, I shall again, tell you my oyster story.
Many years ago, I discovered that I was repulsed by oysters. Eat oysters?
They looked like snot on a shell.
If I was in a restaurant, and somebody at a nearby table ordered oysters, I could not eat my meal … and most times, had to leave the restaurant.
Oysters were disgusting!
I needed to transform that belief.
So, I found an oyster bar, and ordered a dozen oysters on the half shell. “Do not fry them, do not bake them, just give them to me raw,” I said.
I grabbed the first oyster and slurped it off the shell. I almost puked. It was horrible. But I chewed it up and swallowed it. How revolting.
I ate the whole darn dozen … fighting back the inclination to barf with every slurp.
The next night, I went out, and ordered a dozen more. Nasty! But I did it. The next night, a dozen more, and the next night, and the next night, and the next night. I did that for an entire month. I even got a few bad ones along the way, and had terrible stomach cramps and diarrhea, but I lived.
After 30 days, guess what? I liked oysters.
Now, if I see someone eating oysters, I might just order a dozen.
I will never have a bad reaction to oysters, ever again.
I transformed that negative emotion into a positive one; into an emotion that can never again become negative.
However, as I said, transforming negative emotions does not mean putting yourself in harm’s way.
That is, to overcome your fear of heights, you do not have to start with bungee jumping; just go and stand on the upstairs porch and look over the rail. Or, at a parking facility, park on a higher floor, walk over to the retaining wall, and look over the wall. Take little steps in order to overcome your fear of heights. Again, do not push yourself to extremes. You do not need to go bungee jumping, or go into outer space! Just start by standing one step further-up on the ladder.
By taking things one step at a time, you will be able to expand yourself and develop greater tolerance.
There are however, things outside the purview of liking what it does not like, things that I do not want to enter my being. For instance, I do not want to watch a sport where someone intentionally kicks someone else in the face, or bludgeons them relentlessly. That is different from watching a sport where someone may get knocked down; and as such, might get hurt, which is not the same as intentional face breaking.
Or cock fights and dog fights, those too, I do not want to watch.
Neither do I want to listen to music that talks about shooting people, or sexualy abusing people. I do not want to hear about such things.
I might not enjoy country western music, which I may need to listen to, but that does not mean I have to listen to music that suggests extreme violence.
So, “liking what it does not like,” does not mean that I have to overcome all things.
Our work is not about being stupid, it is about taking control of our machine.
I do not like hitting my thumb with a hammer. Does that mean, I need to sit around and beat my thumb with a hammer until I like it? No. That would be stupid.
Nor, do I like the effects of poison ivy. Does that mean, I should roll around in poison ivy? No. Of course not.
Loud sounds also hurt my ears. Does that mean, I should blast air horns in my ears until they bleed? Certainly not!
Nor, do I like getting punched in the face. Does that mean, I should taunt someone until they punch me in the face? No, that would be foolish.
This work is about common sense, about gaining control; it is not about being stupid and hurting oneself.
Furthermore, if we gain control over little things, like someone constantly clicking a pen, listening to country western music, or wearing red, then, overcoming big things will be easy.
Student: Wow! That is terrific Russ.
I have another question: I have often heard you say, “Do not let the outside, get on the inside.” What do you mean by that?
Russell: That is an easy question to answer.
I want to control the narrative in my inner world. I do not want it to be controlled by the outside, that is, by externals.
Ouspensky said, “We have to avoid labels.”
When we label things and make judgments about things, we are letting the outside, get on the inside, rather than just seeing the things for what they are and acknowledging them.
Let’s say, you walk into a room and two people begin to whisper, do you automatically think that they are saying bad things about you? If you do, then you are letting the outside, get on the inside … and believing that they are saying bad things about you, is probably, not even true.
They could be saying something about someone else, or planning a surprise party for you. You do not know; but since you have decided that they are saying bad things about you, you have let the outside, get on the inside.
And even if they were saying bad things about you, why should you care? They have a right to their opinion. What they say can only affect you if you label it, and by so doing, let the outside, get on the inside.
Or if you are out with your girlfriend and someone looks at her, do you get upset because someone other than you is looking at your girlfriend? They could be looking at the Chevrolet that just passed, or at something else.
And besides, if they are looking at your girlfriend, it might be because she is pretty; why the heck would that upset you? You should be happy that someone else also thinks she is pretty.
Our determinations and judgments are usually based on nonsense: she is wearing too much makeup, that is a judgment; his shirt is the wrong color, that too is a judgement; her nails are too short, and his hair is too long, are both judgments. Judgements, which let the outside, get on the inside.
Do you understand?
It’s okay to see the world around you, but when you take it in and internalize it, and by so doing, let the outside, get on the inside, you are tainting your inner world.
That is, if you go into the kitchen, and there are dirty dishes, what do you do? Do you wash them, or do you go through some inner or outer diatribe about who left the dirty dishes?
Or if your dog tracks in mud, do you get mad at the dog … or do you just clean up the mud?
You can easily spot when you let something from outside, get on the inside, because you often, will not be able to get it out. And sometimes, it will remain in there forever.
You might acknowledge something once, but if you bring it up 5 times, 10 times, 15 times, or everyday, for a week, or for a month, then you are a goner.
Student: Oh my Goodness, Russell … that is so true. Thank you.
Student: I have a question. Society has attached the symbol ‘666’ as having some demonic meaning, is that true, or is there some other rational explanation?
Russell: Well, we know where the forces are in an octave, and we know that the denying force is at FA, which is ⅔ of the way down from the top DO, and we also know that the decimal of ⅔ is .666. So perhaps, the original meaning of 666 was just the math of where the denying force is.
Student: I get it. That makes sense. Thank you.
Additionally I would like to know, why should we strive to be real men?
Russell: Because, being real men is our potential. Just like making oranges is the potential of an orange tree. All life strives to reach its potential.
Student: Okay, in that case, how will I know when I become a real man?
Russell: Simple, a real man is someone who can follow the 10 commandments.
Or if you would rather have another model; take the best qualities you find in the animal kingdom and then apply them to man: like being loyal, monogamous, or having unconditional love, etc. That is, the best qualities in the animal kingdom, should be qualities you find in man.
Student: Okay, you answered that .. but what about this, “Why is ‘choice’ so important?”
Russell: Without choice, we are machines. Without choice, we are automatic. Having no choice is acting from reaction; having choice is acting from decision.
Choice is the beginning of reason.
And choice is the ultimate goal in life.
Student: Okay, I have one other question … regarding intelligence versus reason. My dog has intelligence; it knows where I keep the dog bones, but it cannot go to the store and buy them, that is, it has no reason.
Man too has intelligence. In fact, some men are highly intelligent; they invent, create, contemplate the past, plan the future, and do complex calculations, etc. How then, is reason superior to that intelligence? And are we born with Reason, or does it have to be developed like movement? And, if we are born with Reason, when does it become active? And, once it becomes active, how does impartiality allow it to function?
Russell: Wow! That is a very interesting and complex set of questions. Which I shall do my best to answer.
Firstly, as I said, choice is the beginning of reason.
That is, without choice, there can be no reason, and without reason, we are just machines.
Unfortunately, man uses the weakest form of reason; and as such, only considers two things at a time: republican or democrat, etc.
However, if he had a choice of many things, that would be better; and if he had a choice of all, that would be best.
So, as I said, having choice is the beginning of reason. Animals cannot choose; and as such, they have no reason.
Intelligence on the other hand, is simply the ability to recognise what one has encountered in the past, and then act on that in the future. Thus, the dog knows where you keep the dog bones.
Reason, as I said, in its weakest form, only compares two things, and then chooses between them. After which, it can compare something to that choice, and to that choice, and to that choice, etc. That is, invention is not really invention, but rather, just an accumulation of better choices.
Computers do not start off as computers, they start off as abacuses, and then someone adds to that, and then adds to that, and then adds to that, until they become computers.
Or, skyscrapers do not start off as skyscrapers, they start off as huts, and then someone adds to that, and then adds to that, and then adds to that, until they become skyscrapers.
Fortunately, human beings are born with reason; a toddler can put a square peg in a square hole. But unfortunately, human beings stopped developing reason when they realized that comparison made them superior to animals; and, after realizing that they were superior to animals, they needed to do no more.
I repeat, reason emerged when we first put the square peg in the square hole, but it stopped developing, because comparing two things was good enough.
Thus, reason got stifled; and after man became mechanical, it got even worse. That is, he did not need to compare two things any more, he just needed to choose one.
Student: Wow! That is so clear. Thank you very much for answering my complex question.
Russell: You are welcome.
Student: I too, have sort of a complex question. I would like to ask about a paragraph I read in The Fourth Way that said the Intellectual Center cannot, by itself, help in awakening. Only work on the emotional center can. Furthermore, it said, we can only awake through unpleasant emotions … that awakening through pleasant emotions had not been invented yet.
Is that true Russell?
Russell: Well, yes, and no. It is true that we are more likely to remember ourselves through unpleasant emotions, because encountering unpleasant things, which cause unpleasant emotions, may be detrimental to our existence, and as such, they need to be remembered.
But pleasant emotions may also create moments of self-remembering, however, since pleasant emotions are not caused by things that threaten our existence, they need not be remembered as much.
We also have to be careful when reading or hearing ideas.
Often, teachers, when answering someone’s question, will be answering a question that someone else has asked, or will be addressing a question that is of concern to the group. In so doing, they might say, you can’t do it with the Intellectual Center … you have to use the Emotional Center.
Yet, in the work, there are many references that say we have to start in the Intellectual Center, because the Intellectual Center is the only center over which we have any control.
But, wait a minute, you just said, we can’t do it in the Intellectual Center. Now you are telling us, we must start there?
Yes, the bottom line is: it is still the horse that needs changing. However, in truth, we must first educate the driver because only then will we be able to control the horse.
So, we have to start with the mind in order to be able to change the disposition of the horse.
But, Ouspensky was right, the journey takes place in the Emotional Center, not the Intellectual Center.
And since we are asleep and all messed up, much of the work will be about “liking what it does not like,” which means that we will be working on unpleasant emotions. Even Gurdjieff said, “The moment we make efforts, “I’s” will arise in us that wish to stop making efforts,” and therein lies the difficulty, and the unpleasant emotions.
Does that kind of hit on what you want to know?
Student: Yes, it does, it most certainly does. Thank you very much.
Student: My question has to do with alarms. It says on page 338 in The Fourth Way that we have to change alarms. I was wondering if you would talk about that, because I now see that we can become comfortable with alarms, to where they are not alarms any more.
Russell: Yes, that is true. Fortunately, there are many ways of creating and changing alarms, we just need to make the effort to do them.
We might start by getting a bunch of little colored dots from the office supply store. All office supply stores carry them. People put them on files: red ones, green ones, blue ones, and yellow ones. There are hundreds in a box, and they are not that expensive.
So, buy some dots. Then run around your house and stick them in 10 or 15 places: behind doors, in cupboards, in drawers, over here, and over there, even on the rear view mirror of your car, or on the steering column.
“Shewww, I got that done; I got my 15 dots placed.”
Then, as you go through your day, you might open a cupboard and see one of the dots. And something in you goes kadommmmmm, and you have your first moment of being reminded to remember yourself.
Wow! You have a reminder that says, where are you? Are you present? Are you here?
When you see the dot, you have a moment of knowing why you put the dot there in the first place. You put it there to be a reminding factor. That is, to have something come in and remind you to say, “I-Am.”
So, you say, “I Am,” and you remember yourself.
Then you see the dot in the bathroom medicine cabinet, and kabaang! Okay great, thank goodness I put a dot there as well, this is pretty cool.
Then, you find one in a drawer, and kabooooooom.
And, when you see the one on the steering column of your car, kadoong!
Wow, these dots are great.
But then, after a week or two, when you again see the dot that you first saw in the cupboard, you notice that it no longer goes kadommmmmm. Why? Well, because you have become comfortable with it being there. When that happens, and you recognize that it is no longer a strong reminding factor, simply take it down, run to your dot stash, grab another color, and put a new dot somewhere. If you keep changing the location of your dots, you will always be creating new alarms, new reminding factors.
And, you may find other ways of creating alarms. For instance: you might put your watch on so that the face of your watch is on the bottom of your wrist instead of on the top. Then, every time you check to see what time it is and look at the top of your wrist, kadiiiing; you will again be reminded to remember yourself. But that too will only last for so long; and after a while, you will automatically look at the bottom of your arm. When that happens, put your watch on your right wrist, instead of on your left, etc.
Keep looking for ways to create alarms. That is, to create reminding factors.
Does that help?
Student: I thank you, that is great. I am going to stop on the way home and get some dots!
Russell: Terrific, I think those dots will hold you until next week … if not, eat some oysters!
In closing I will say, “Hush der dem.” Be present at every breath. Do not let your attention wander for the duration of a single breath. Remember yourself always and everywhere.
That ends the question and answer session for this episode.
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