S3/E36: R. A. Smith – Questions and Answers Part 25
R. A. Smith – Questions and Answers Part 25
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: does a soul need food, the three essences, is there a heaven, do higher bodies exist, having a big enough reason, and manifesting from truth. 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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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: does a soul need food, the three essences, is there a heaven, do higher bodies exist, having a big enough reason, and manifesting from truth.
Russell: Some of these questions were asked and answered in previous podcasts, but as they have been asked again, and are so important, I have answered them in greater detail.
Student: Does the soul need food, and if so, how do we verify that?
Russell: Everything develops by the process of feeding. That being said, so too must the soul be fed. But let’s back up a bit before we talk about feeding the soul.
When we say the word octave, we are actually acknowledging that there are three octaves, because no octave can complete itself without the help of two assisting octaves. And because of that, man is depicted as a three-story factory.
The physical octave begins in the lower story and is made of physical matter, but the physical octave cannot complete itself without the help of two other octaves, which are made of higher matter. Those octaves initiate the middle story and the upper story. Therefore, there is by law, an octave of kesdjan matter and an octave made of higher-being matter. Matters that can assist the matter of the physical octave to evolve.
The process is as follows: when the physical matter, through the process of Harnel-miatznel, that is, just by blending, gets up to a certain point, it finds itself incapable of getting past that point just by the process of Harnel-miatznel, but since it has risen to that point, it has become receptive to receiving another force, a force producing a shock, which will allow the physical matter to rise further.
The second force, which begins the second story, is the octave of kesdjan matter, also called astral matter. The second story contains the Emotional Center and the Intellectual Center, which means that kesdjan matter gives us the properties of feeling and intelligence.
But according to the rules and laws, the ascension of both the physical octave and the kesdjan octave cannot evolve further unless a third octave enters.
The third octave, which begins the third story, is the octave of higher-being matter, also called mental matter. The third story contains the Higher Emotional Center and the Higher Mental Center, which means that higher-being matter gives us the properties of Conscience and Reason.
That is why after doing The Objective Exercise and awakening conscience, we have a new way of sensing the world.
Let’s take a moment and talk about the three ways we sense the world. That is, about our three essences.
We have three “essence” centers:
The Instinctive Center is the essence of our lower story.
The Emotional Center is the essence of our middle story.
The Higher Emotional Center is the essence of our upper story.
The lower story’s essence is based on sensation. It sees, hears, smells, tastes, and can touch. For instance: It can see a puddle. Puddles are caused when a depression collects and holds water.
Thank you, lower story, for seeing the puddle.
The middle story’s essence is based on meaning. It is able to interpret incoming sensations by comparing them to “previous sensations.” It has learned that if you step in a very shallow puddle, the water may not rise above the sole of your shoe, and your shoe and foot will most likely stay dry. But if you step in a not so shallow puddle, the water may rise above the sole of your shoe, penetrate your shoe, and cause your sock and foot to get wet. It has also learned that if you step in a deep puddle, the water may rise above your shoe, and not only will your sock and foot get wet, but you may ruin your shoe.
The first scenario is not so bad, but the latter two could be disastrous. So, you choose to hop over the puddle.
Thank you, middle story, for avoiding potential disaster.
The upper story’s essence is based on morality. It is capable of considering how your actions, which are the result of your interpretations, might impact others. For instance: If you are wearing rubber boots, a puddle is of little concern to you, but if you step in the puddle (whether it be deep or shallow) you may cause the water to splash, or to ripple outward, and overflow the soles of someone else’s shoes … so, again, you choose to hop over the puddle.
Thank you, upper story, for considering the potential disaster that I could have inflicted on someone else’s shoes.
Note: Meaning and morality change as we mature. A small child who sees a puddle may run through it (without considering its depth or the impact that the water might have on his shoes) … or he may jump into the puddle with both feet (without considering the impact that the water might have on mine).
With maturity, and with the input of all three essences, we can easily maneuver through the things we encounter in life, with very few disasters, not to mention the fact that peoples’ feet will stay dry.
Now, on to your question, “Do souls need food?”
As I said, everything develops by the process of feeding, which brings us to the question, “Okay, if everything develops by the process of feeding, then what do souls eat while they are in the development stage?”
Since first degree souls are made of kesdjan matter, which begins in the middle story, and since the middle story contains the Emotional and Intellectual centers, we should be able to comprehend the fact that emotional meaning stands behind our intellectual data, and as such, right meaning is the food of the kesdjan body.
And, just as physical food might make us salivate, emotional food might make us tear-up. Therefore, we could say that tears are the saliva of the kesdjan body.
Whereas, the higher-being body, which begins with the Higher Emotional center, is fed by externally considering others, causing them to rejoice. That is when they smile because we did not ruin their shoes.
So, three things are in development, and all three of them need to be fed. The physical body eats bread, the kesdjan body eats meaning, and the higher-being body eats external considering.
However, after we die, the time of kesdjan development is over. So, while you are alive, gobble up as much right meaning as you can; like Winston Churchill, who they say would cry if he saw a bird killed in his yard … and he was not ashamed of his tears.
Thereafter, if we believe the postulate that souls are immortal, they need not be fed. But perhaps that only applies to kesdjan bodies, or to higher-being bodies who have perfected themselves, as indicated by what Gurdjieff told us, when he talked about how kesdjan bodies decay. Saying that if higher-being bodies, who are still in the process of perfecting themselves, perceive that their kesdjan body is about to cease, they will get into a state called Techgekdnel, wherein, they start looking around for a discarded kesdjan body in hopes that they can use it to complete their perfecting; one that has been left behind by someone who has already perfected their higher-being body, and as such, no longer needs their kesdjan body, and therefore, discards it.
Which means that kesdjan bodies do not possess immortality, but perhaps the higher-being body will.
Okay, that brings us to a third question, “What is the food of the higher-being bodies after death?”
Well, according to the Two Squiggles diagram, which was discussed in last week’s podcast, the higher-being body is formed when the kesdjan body acquires Reason, and in opposition to us, is in the flow of Being, not in the flow of Knowledge. And as such, after death, perhaps it is fed by the benevolence of being an angel, which is a permanent form of external considering.
I hope that answers your question about feeding the soul.
Student: Yes, I think it does, thank you very much.
But just to verify what you have said, while we are alive, feeding the soul is done by finding the right meaning of things, and by external considering, is that correct?
Russell: Yes, that is correct.
Another way of understanding this idea is to consider that the Universe contains three matters. Higher-being matter (called “Dark Energy”), which makes up about 70% of the Universe. Kesdjan matter (called “Dark Matter”), which makes up about 25% of the Universe. And of course, physical matter, which makes up about 5% of the Universe.
Of the three, the physical matter is the most important. Why? Because the physical matter is charged with the task of evolving into man, who hopefully, will take the other two matters into himself and organize them into crystallized higher forms.
Apparently, the two higher matters are incapable of doing this by themselves. Thus, in order to independently exist, it was foreordained by our creator, that the physical matter would have to do it for them.
Does that also help?
Student: Wow, yes it does … that is awesome.
Student: I have a question. If we leave this earth in soulful form, how is that of any use to anybody, except to ourselves.
Russell: Good Question. That, and these as well, are questions for the ages.
Is there really a heaven? Is there really a God who has charged us with the task of crystallizing higher bodies? Is the Holy Sun Absolute really diminishing in volume as Gurdjieff said? And is creation, whose ultimate achievement is man, really a way of stopping that diminishment?
If the answers are yes, then creation has a purpose, and so do we, and perhaps, even an obligation.
You know, it is almost like asking the question whether or not atoms are wondering what it would be like to be salt!
Russell: But in truth, we do not know the answers to those questions, even though many people have postulated them. Perhaps, the only way to discover the answers is by surviving the shock of death, or perhaps, if we learn the rules and laws and find an axiomatic structure in the Universe, and reverse engineer that structure, we will be able to see how the Universe has worked from the very beginning, which may give us insight as to how the Universe works now, as well as how it might work in the future.
If so, the statement becomes, “Well, since we can know the structure, we might be able to extrapolate the purpose of that structure, and if we can, we may be able to see that it is our right to crystallize higher bodies, and by so doing, fulfil an even greater purpose.”
In a way, we are like an oak tree, which has the right to make acorns. That is, making acorns is in its nature. That being said, we too must have a right, and if that right is to make higher bodies, then, making higher bodies is in our nature, and if it is in our nature, we should want to fulfill it.
So discovering our right is the biggest hurdle, because after discovering our right, we can begin the journey without hesitation.
I hope that in some way, that answers your question.
Student: It does. It most certainly does. Thank you.
Student: Is there a way to tell if our higher bodies are being developed?
Russell: Yes, there is.
As I said, since the three bodies are the result of three essences, we can check on their development by observing how we sense the world. Did we see the puddle? Do we avoid stepping in the puddle because it may ruin our shoes? Do we consider the fact that if we step in the puddle, it may ruin someone else’s shoes?
If I know the latter two are occurring in me, I know that my higher bodies are indeed in development, and to the extent of how often they are occurring in me, reveals the extent of their development. And as such, I can know, when my physical octave reaches its end, whether or not my kesdjan octave is approaching its major oscillation, and my higher-being octave is approaching its minor oscillation. If they are, I am confident that they will continue after death. (To learn more about this process, see the Three Bodies Diagram and the accompanying text, which can be found at thedogteachings.com, in Resources/Diagrams/Chapter 5).
Ouspensky said, if we look at our function, it will tell us what center we are in, and if we look at our attention, it will tell us what part we are in.
We can do the same thing here, as regards the development of our higher bodies: firstly, we can see what meaning has been found, and secondly, we can see if we are actually externally considering others.
Does that further clarify the process for you?
Student: Yes, it does. I now clearly see how it works. Thank you very much.
Student: I also have a question. I remember a diagram presented by Ouspensky to Nicol in Commentaries, about us having four bodies. Yet, you say that we only have three bodies. Would you explain?
Russell: Great observation. And yes, I will.
Much has been written about man having four bodies. Written by folks who were influenced by religion or metaphysics.
Let me explain:
In religion, man has four bodies – physical, natural, spiritual, and divine.
In metaphysics, man has four bodies – physical, astral, mental, and causal.
But in Gurdjieff’s model, man only has three bodies – physical, kesdjan, and higher-being.
Why are religion and metaphysics different from Gurdjieff?
Well, hold up four fingers.
How many spaces do you see?
Eureka! There are only three spaces. Bodies are in the spaces, not at the fingers. However, we need four fingers to identify those three spaces.
Religion and metaphysics labeled the fingers, Gurdjieff labeled the spaces.
Thus Ouspensky and Nicol, most likely based their beliefs on the religious and metaphysical labels, and as such, focused on the fingers not on the spaces, causing them to perpetuate the idea that man has four bodies, even though Gurdjieff told them he has only three.
Bottom line, things take place in the spaces. The points are only there to designate when something has undergone a change of space. For example: at some point in your life, you were a teenager.
Being a teenager, takes place in a space, and has a duration.
At 12:00 AM on your 13th birthday, you entered the space of being a teenager, and stayed in that space until your 20th birthday. After which, you became an adult, and will stay in that space until you become a senior citizen.
All life happens in the spaces. The points are only there to designate a change of space … like 10th grade, 11th grade, and High School.
Spaces are durations, not moments. High School was a duration, not a moment.
Even Eric Clapton once said, “I do not play the notes, I play the spaces in between the notes.” I like that.
So life is about the spaces, not about the notes – unless of course you are singing.
Thus, the confusion of one system that designated the bodies of man by the four points, and the other system that designated them by the three spaces, is resolved.
I repeat, man has three bodies, not four.
I hope that answers your question, and stops you from looking for a fourth body.
Student: It does, Russell; that is so clear. And to think, all this time, I only needed to hold up four fingers to see the truth. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Student: I have another question. Before class, we were talking about having a wish. Mine was to lose weight. Then, I remembered what you told us a few weeks ago, about turning “I wish” into an “I have to.” So, my question to you is, in order to arrive at the “I have to,” whereafter I will have no choice but to do it, because I have to do it. You said that we first needed to make one thing our God. I understand that intellectually, but can you give me some pointers on how to do that?
Russell: Yes, certainly.
Man must subjugate his will.
If that is what you are seeking, we can certainly find models that will do that for you. That is, if it is what you want.
Student: Yes, it is. That is precisely what I want.
The dilemma is … you have no will, just good intentions. Therefore, since you have no will, you must formulate a big enough reason that will engender that will, or get help from outside. That is, you need someone or something to provide that force for you, because it is all about having a big enough reason.
I suspect that is why you came to Texas to get the Double or Nothing Exercise, instead of getting it over the phone. Because you knew that by getting it in person, you would be better qualified to go back to your group and share it with them. Thus, you put the importance of being able to properly share it with them, ahead of you just getting the exercise for yourself.
So, the question now becomes, what is a big enough reason for you to want to lose weight, since it only concerns you?
For me, the big enough reason was finding the truth. When something became unequivocally, undeniably true, it gave me force like no other.
Like in the movie the Karate Kid:
Daniel wants to learn karate, so Mr. Miyagi agrees to teach him. But the teaching begins with sanding the floor, washing the cars, waxing the cars, painting the fence, and painting the house, and when Daniel gets tired of doing what he perceives to be meaningless tasks, he starts walking away. Mr. Miyagi stops him, questioning him about his expressed wish to learn karate. Daniel responds by saying he is not interested in doing Mr. Miyagi’s chores, he wants to learn karate. To which Mr. Miyagi says, “Show me, sand the floor.” Daniel just stands there, so Mr. Miyagi says with force, “SAND THE FLOOR!” At that forceful command, Daniel starts to get on his knees so that he can sand the floor, but Mr. Miyagi stops him, and has him make the motions of sanding the floor while standing up. Daniel makes some weak gestures, and Mr. Miyagi says, “Na, na, na … SAND THE FLOOR,” and then he guides Daniel’s hands towards making the proper movements. Then, Mr. Miyagi yells a karate yell and attempts to hit Daniel. Daniel instinctively makes the sand the floor movement, and blocks Mr. Miyagi’s punch. Mr. Miyagi then says, “Show me, Wax On,” and again tries to hit Daniel, but Daniel’s wax on movement deflects the punch. Finally, Mr. Miyagi yells again, sending a flurry of kicks and punches in Daniel’s direction, to which Daniel instinctively blocks them with movements of paint the fence, wax on, wax off, paint the house, and sand the floor. Then, Mr. Miyagi bows at Daniel, saying, “See you in the morning, 6 AM.”
Next, you see Daniel walking away, making karate movements of sand the floor, wax on, wax off, and paint the fence, with a look of having discovered truth on his face.
Finding the truth does the same for me.
Understanding the laws, that is, figuring out how things work, made me want to do them; it was so cool, I could see myself rapidly becoming that which I discovered.
But for something like losing weight, I do not know what it is going to take. What big enough reason will you be willing to subjugate your will to?
Student: Well, I have committed to go jogging on Wednesday and Friday, and religiously have. But I forget to do the other things that I should be doing, for instance, I have a Genie gymnasium, which I know I should be using, but have observed myself dodging using it. So I need help in making what I know I should do, into what “I have to do.”
Russell: Okay, as I said, all you need to do is find a big enough reason to make you do what you should do. So now, conjure-up a big enough reason?
Okay, I will help you. I will come up with a big enough reason for you, are you ready?
Your girlfriend says to you, no more sex until you lose 20 pounds.
Student: Well, I would find another girl.
Russell: Okay that’s fine, that reason does not work.
How about this one, I am not going to come to Puerto Vallarta, or have anything to do with you until you lose 20 pounds.
Students laugh again.
Student: That is a very good reason. For that, I would do it!
Russell: So you see, sticks have two ends. Now the question is, do we have to go all the way to one end, to get you to lose 20 pounds?
Student: No, certainly not.
Russell: How about this one then? Is there an I in you that really wants to possess reason and impartiality?
Student: Yes, I would say there is.
Russell: Good. Then I will guarantee you this. The moment you master your weight, is the moment you will possess that which you seek.
Student: That is what my higher voice told me last year, and I achieved that beautifully. At one point I had lost 10 pounds, but I gained it back.
Russell: Probably because you did not repeat your aim, nor maintain a dialogue with your higher voice, and as such, forgot its importance.
Student: Yes, of course, you are right. I acted on the aim, but I did not reinforce it. That shall never happen again, I promise … otherwise you will threaten to never come back to Puerto Vallarta again.
Students again laugh.
Another Student says: Remember when I told you that I saw pictures of me, where I looked pretty chunky, and was in denial that I was fat?
Russell: Yes ma’am, I do.
Student: Well, it took a friend of mine telling me face to face, “You are fat.” Fortunately, she was on a diet, as was another student. So, I went on a diet too, which put me in competition with them, and as such, I stayed on the diet because I wanted to get skinnier, faster than they did. And it worked. I lost nearly 30 pounds!
Russell: That is fantastic!
Placing yourself in competition with them, gave you a big enough reason.
Okay, what about the other things you wish to accomplish, which do not engender competition? How do you come up with a big enough reason for them?
I will tell you.
There are two ways.
Either you paint enough scenarios until you stumble upon the one that says, “He won’t come back to Puerto Vallarta unless you lose 20 pounds,” or repeat what you want to accomplish, over and over and over again, until you believe it, and then, when you do, it will become an “I have to.”
Sad but true, that is how they make suicide bombers. Suicide bombers are just ordinary folks who have been brain washed into believing that if they strap on a bomb and blow others up, they will not only be ridding the Universe of evil people, but as a reward, they will be taken up to be with their God. Their leaders simply keep repeating and repeating and repeating the idea that they should do that, over and over and over, until they believe it.
So, you should do the same thing … not to blow others up, but to achieve your aim.
Student: I think what happens to me is that somewhere along the line, I get weak, and compromises come in. However, it sounds to me like you are saying, if I have a big enough reason, I will not get compromised.
Russell: That is correct.
Another Student: That seems to be my leaking factor too.
Russell: It is the same for us all.
It is a natural law. Before awakening higher centers, we live in lower centers. And as such, we like the things they like, and get very good at gratifying them, after all, they are all we have. But, once we awaken higher centers, the force shifts from liking the things they like, to not liking the things they like.
This truth can be seen in Gurdjieff’s first Aphorism, “Like what it does not like,” where “it” refers to the lower centers.
Student: Are you saying that we are on the right track because we have awoken our Higher Emotional Center?
Russell: Yes, that is exactly what I am saying.
Because before awakening your Higher Emotional Center there was no struggle, no Purgatory. Thus, it was easy for you to gratify your lower centers. But now that your Steward is in your carriage, it is not so easy. He sees what you are, and constantly reminds you that you should not be that way. Then, after you awaken the Higher Mental Center, and gain reason and impartiality, it again becomes easy, not – in gratifying the lower centers, but – in fulfilling the aim and purpose of the higher centers.
Student: Alright, I believe we have a lot of material to ponder, and a lot of work to do. So, thank you Russell; we love you.
Do you have any other advice?
Russell: I believe the answer to that is in your hands.
What do you want, and why?
Remember, if you ask a big enough question, you will get a big enough answer.
For me, the answer was, “It is your right.” When I heard that, I wanted it desperately. It was like, you are a rose bush, shouldn’t you be making roses; that is your right. You are a spider, shouldn’t you be building a web; that is what you do.
We as human beings are supposed to do something too, right?
If we can figure out what that is, it will generate in us the force we need to accomplish it.
Okay, thanks for being here, see you all next week.
That ends this question-and-answer session.
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