S3/E39: Toast of the Idiots
Toast of the Idiots
In today’s podcast, we will share with you the most critical factors in awakening, Gurdjieff’s “Toast of the Idiots,” as described by J. G. Bennett in his book, Making A New World, Russell’s explanation of those Idiots, a student’s description of her life and subsequent appreciation for awakening, and Russell’s teachings concerning the Three Bodies Diagram. 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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Cards Diagram – no color cut – with idiots labeled
Upper Story – no color cut – with idiots labeled
Click to view Podcast transcript
Welcome to a series of talks about objective consciousness, an objective universe, and an objective way to awaken, expanding upon the works of George I. Gurdjieff and Russell A. Smith.
In this podcast, we will share with you the most critical factors in awakening, Gurdjieff’s “Toast of the Idiots,” as described by J. G. Bennett in his book, Making A New World, Russell’s explanation of those Idiots, a student’s description of her life and subsequent appreciation for awakening, and Russell’s teachings concerning the Three Bodies Diagram.
Russell: In last week’s podcast titled, “How did you do it,” I explained the factors that allowed me to discover an objective way of awakening others.
I would like to expand on that idea, just a tad, before beginning today’s podcast.
At the end of last week’s podcast, I revealed the following secret: “To awaken Higher Centers, you simply need to unify lower centers,” which can be done by either strapping a bungee cord around your ankles, and then jumping off a bridge, which will unify you for about 8 seconds, or by studying The Blueprint of Consciousness, and then doing The Objective Exercise, which will unify you for a lifetime.
In order for The Objective Exercise to work as intended. It is important that you learn and understand the foundational material in The Blueprint of Consciousness, so that when you make the leap, you are leaping from higher ground.
Without understanding the foundational material, you might as well have stood on the ground, eighty-feet below the bridge, jumped up, and tried to land on the bridge, which is not possible.
Thus by purchasing The Blueprint of Consciousness, and studying it thoroughly, you will have a good grasp of the material on which The Objective Exercise rests, so that you will be standing on high enough ground, in order to land on the bridge.
Okay, that being said, let us now continue with Gurdjieff’s “Toast of the Idiots.”
Gurdjieff: “There are twenty-one gradations of reason from that of the ordinary man to that of Our Endlessness, that is, God. No one can reach the Absolute Reason of God, and only the sons of God like Jesus Christ can have the two gradations of reason that are nineteenth and twentieth. Therefore the aim of every being who aspires to perfection must be to reach the eighteenth gradation. You must understand that the people you know do not have any reason at all. They live in their dreams and have no connection with reality. Whoever has any contact with reality is called an Idiot. The word idiot has two meanings: the true meaning that was given to it by the ancient sages was to be oneself. A man who is himself looks and behaves like a madman to those who live in the world of illusions: so when they call a man an idiot they mean that he does not share their illusions.
“Everyone who decides to work on himself is an idiot in both meanings. The wise know that he is seeking for reality. The foolish think he has taken leave of his senses. We here are supposed to be seeking for reality, so we should all be idiots: but no one can make you an idiot. You must choose it for yourself. That is why everyone who visits us here and wishes to remain in contact with us, is allowed to choose his own idiotism. Then all the rest of us will wish from our hearts that he will truly become that idiot. For this alcohol was used by the ancient sages; not to get drunk, but to strengthen the power to wish.”
Bennett: “Gurdjieff had a fixed ritual in proposing the toast of the idiots. The Director started with ordinary idiots, going on to the super idiot, then the arch idiot. The fourth, the hopeless idiot, was again and again chosen by Gurdjieff for an explanation of what he meant by dying an honorable death. The false hopeless idiot is satisfied with himself and does not see that he is a ‘candidate for perishing like a dog!’ The true hopeless idiot sees his own complete nothingness and does not realize that this death of self is the guarantee of his resurrection. From this stage he becomes a compassionate idiot, whose reason has opened to enter into the sufferings of others. The sixth is the squirming idiot who is not yet ready for help. There are then three ‘geometric’ idiots – square, round and zigzag – who represent stages in the establishment of true reason, at first only momentarily, then comes the discovery of one’s own identity and third the desperate struggle to break free. Gurdjieff said of him that he ‘has five Friday’s in the week’ – an example of a meaningless saying that communicates better than much good sense.
“At the Saturday evening meals, the toasts seldom went beyond the zigzag idiot, unless he wished to associate someone present with the characteristics of one of the next series. These are the enlightened, the doubting and swaggering idiots. Beyond these again are idiots whose characteristics are deep in their essential nature. At each stage there is a death and resurrection before a new gradation of reason is attained.
“Gurdjieff gave a most significant twist to the Science of Idiotism when he explained that no one could go beyond the enlightened idiot unless he had first ‘consciously descended’ to the first gradation of the ordinary idiot. His explanations made it clear that he was referring to the same secret as Jesus when he said: “Except ye become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter the kingdom of heaven.” Having heard scores of times Gurdjieff’s explanations of the idiot toasts, I can only marvel at the insights into human nature that he was able to express in such simple terms. His talks about the tragic situation of the enlightened idiot whom ‘even God could not help’ invariably sent a shudder of horror down my spine. Nothing has done so much to convince me that we must totally shed any pretension to be ‘special people’ if we hope to attain true freedom.”
Following Gurdjieff’s “Toast,” and Bennett’s description, I will now share with you Russell’s impromptu response, which was given to a room full of students on August 2, 1998, after one of them asked him to explain the idiots. The 21 gradations of reason are featured in Russell’s diagram, [Cards—no color cut-idiots], which can be found at thedogteachings.com within this podcast episode.
Russell: There are twenty-one gradations of reason from that of the ordinary man to that of our Endlessness. Twenty-one definable gradations, which we start to acquire the moment we are born … and continue to acquire as we grow and mature. Twenty-one different gradations of reason, which are shown on the diagram as the 21 intervals between the 22 vibrations in the 3 middle rows of our Three-Story Factory.
We are born as Ordinary idiots – standing between the Ace of Diamonds and the Jack of Diamonds. And as such, we have the lowest form of reason, just enough reason to help us survive. We cry when we are hungry, cry when we are soiled, and become silent when we are swaddled.
After which, we become Super idiots, between the Jack of Diamonds and the Queen of Diamonds. There, we are less mechanical. We are still in our Instinctive Center, but our drawn attention is starting to rise. And as such, we become aware of certain sensory impulses, like the spinning mobile that is hanging above our crib, or the face of our mother.
We do not receive much from Gurdjieff about the Ordinary, Super, and Arch idiots, but based on where they are, we can comprehend that their reason is connected with us recognizing sights, tastes, sounds, grasps, and smells which occur around us.
As Arch idiots, from the Queen of Diamonds to the King of Diamonds, we are still in the Instinctive Center, but we have more self-control, and thus become more attentive to the outside world.
The next four idiots encompass the acquisition and development of movement, wherein we learn how to grasp, crawl, walk, talk, run, throw, catch, climb, and dance. We acquire many skills in our moving centers; skills which we can easily repeat.
Those four idiots, begin with the Hopeless idiot, from the King of Diamonds to the Jack of Clubs; and continue through the False Hopeless idiot, from the Jack of Clubs to the Queen of Clubs; the Squirming idiot, from the Queen of Clubs to the King of Clubs; and the True Hopeless idiot, from the King of Clubs to the Ace of Clubs.
Each gradation of reason allows us to do more things, some take us into sports, while others lead us into jobs that require us to be “good with our hands,” or to do Gurdjieff movements, or achieve various Yogic postures, etc. And as such, we become someone who fulfills the duties of our position. We do what is asked of us, and say things like, “I work hard for a living, I go to church, I pay my tithe, and I do the things that I am asked to do.”
So, we begin as a Hopeless idiot, “who dies an honorable death,” and then become a False Hopeless idiot, “who is satisfied with himself and does not see that he is a candidate for perishing like a dog,” followed by the Squirming idiot, “who is not yet ready for help,” and finally we become a True Hopeless idiot, who “sees his own complete nothingness but does not realize that the death of self is the guarantee of his resurrection.” Then, after becoming a True Hopeless idiot, we acquire the possibility of entering the second story.
We have been on quite a journey, becoming Ordinary idiots, Super idiots, Arch idiots, Hopeless idiots, False Hopeless idiots, and Squirming idiots. Then we attained the seventh gradation of reason and became a True Hopeless idiot.
Now, the task is to recognize our own complete nothingness … and to realize that the death of self is the guarantee of our resurrection. To do this, we must put ourselves second, enter the Emotional Center, and become Compassionate idiots, between the Ace of Clubs and the Jack of Hearts, “whose reason has opened to enter into the sufferings of others.” Where we develop care and concern, and begin recognizing the struggles, sufferings, and desires of others.
Then, there are three geometric idiots: the Square, the Round, and the Zig-Zag idiots, “who represent stages in the establishment of true reason.” We start “momentarily,” as Square idiots, between the Jack of Hearts and the Queen of Hearts. Being a Square idiot denotes someone who is out of touch.
Next, we become Round idiots, which signify “the discovery of one’s true identity,” between the Queen of Hearts and the King of Hearts. Being a Round idiot means everything that is needed is within our reach.
After which, we become Zig-Zag idiots, between the King of Hearts and the Jack of Spades, wherein we experience “the desperate struggle to break free,” and as such, have five Fridays in a week. ‘Friday’ represents the end of the work week, and the beginning of being able to take time off. Thus, we can go to the lake, fulfill our desires, and achieve the fruits of our labors; but, as Zig-Zag idiots, we have five Fridays in a week, and as such, are always on the edge, always right there, always at the moment of attainment but never attaining.
In order to attain something more, we must break free from the Emotional Center, reach the Jack of Spades, and become Enlightened idiots, between the Jack of Spades and the Queen of Spades.
NOTE: I should mention the fact that the 21 gradations of reason that occur in the middle row of all three stories, also appear in the bottom row of the upper story. Thus, the upper story reflects the entire machine. Which means, escaping the Emotional Center in the middle story, is the same as escaping the Higher Emotional Center in the upper story. Or becoming an Enlightened idiot at the Jack of Spades in the middle story, also applies to the Jack of Spades in the upper story. And since the upper story contains the Higher Emotional Center and the Higher Mental Center, I often go back and forth, trying to correlate what the idiots mean when they appear in the higher centers, as to what they mean when they appear in the lower centers. That correlation is usually amazing.
Unfortunately, Gurdjieff said – that for the Enlightened idiot – “even God could not help,” because the Enlightened idiot only uses the Two of Spades, the automatic part, of the automatic part, of the Intellectual Center.
To go beyond the Jack of Spades, we must consciously descend, become Ordinary idiots, and purge our inexactitudes. That is, we must go back and do the things we did not want to do, go back and tackle the things we avoided, go back and build the things that came before.
The Enlightened idiot comes with a price, it comes with the price of having the lower parts of our machine, that is, the first eleven gradations of reason, all working at their best.
After which, we become Doubting idiots, between the Queen of Spades and the King of Spades.
Why do Doubting idiots follow Enlightened idiots? Well, because after consciously descending, purging our inexactitudes, eating our oysters, overcoming the things we are afraid of, and losing the enamored views that we have always had of ourselves, we no longer recognize who we have become, and as such, begin to doubt who we are!
But fortunately, the Swaggering idiot comes next, from the King of Spades to the Ace of Spades, where we acquire something beyond doubt, something which is firmly known, and understood; and as such, we begin to swagger.
Then, we have the Born idiot, and the Patented idiot, which are followed by two idiots whose names are unknown.
The Born idiot, from the Ace of Spades to the Ace of Diamonds, has to do with reason that comes after awakening. Wherein, after being born of the second waters, after claiming our own existence, after attaining our Steward, and after acquiring Conscience, we are capable of seeing the world as it is. That is, without colored lenses.
The Patented idiot, from the Ace of Diamonds to the Ace of Clubs, is attained when we show others how to become Born idiots. That is, when we are able to show someone else how to achieve what we have achieved. Then the way becomes patented, because it is proven.
Next, as I said, there are two gradations of reason for which we have no names. But, based on where they are located, I bet you will be able to easily deduce their properties.
That brings us to the 18th gradation, to the Joker.
The Joker is followed by the 19th, 20th, and 21st gradations of reason, wherein something crystallizes and is able to withstand the shock of death.
Such gradations are beyond the boundaries of ordinary man, and as such, are only available to God, and to the Sons of God.
Question: Can we become a Son of God, or do we have to be born of a virgin?
Perhaps that is the secret. After discovering that it is possible to create something higher in ourselves, we simply give birth to that something! Which means, we have a virgin birth.
Student: Thank you Russell, I can now visualize the idiots, wherever they may be.
Russell: You are most welcome.
Next, I will share with you the exposé of a student, who described her life before she awoke, and then expressed her appreciation after awakening.
Student: I was sexually taken advantage of when I was a teen, and as such, I became pregnant; and, because of my religious upbringing, I was forced to marry the father of the child, who was very abusive and mean.
It did not take me long to decide that I did not want religion if it meant I had to stay in those circumstances, and so, I shunned the church, got rid of the guy (after much upheaval), and ventured out on my own, with no child support.
I also had a challenging upbringing, due to my parents’ instability, so I had no real-life guidance either.
Needless to say, it was difficult to survive, and I made many mistakes.
My own dreams, if I even had any, were squashed from the very beginning.
After my child was old enough to stay at home by himself, I tried going to school and getting an education, which I thought would yield better results and create better income; but that didn’t go far, because, as a single parent, there were many obstacles.
Later, I did manage to go to college and obtain an Associate Degree, which did help in the end, but my child was already on his own by then, so it didn’t provide much for him while he was growing up.
Also, when I was very young, I questioned the ways of the church, some of which seemed contradictory or made no sense at all … like how can one religion be better than another? Or how can only one religion make it to heaven?
And then, when my ordeal came about and I was out there on my own with a child … life became even more difficult, sometimes even harsh, which caused me to wonder what the purpose of life really was.
To try to answer that question, and because of my religious upbringing, I first tried religion for a while, and then other various philosophical ways, but none of them hit the mark, nor had any lasting effects; they simply provided short-term hope.
Then, I met Russell Smith, and he handed me the book In Search of the Miraculous by P.D. Ouspensky. I began reading it, and when I did, I could not put it down.
I was spellbound, because it marked all the checkpoints which I believed life should be about; it made so much sense in so many ways.
I started working on myself, and in time, things actually started to change. It was not an overnight thing, but gradually … things changed, and life became understandable.
I read The Fourth Way, and Views from the Real World, all the while working on myself, and then, when Russell took me through his book, Gurdjieff: Cosmic Secrets, life became glorious, doable, and practical. I will never forget the day that he shared with me The Objective Exercise and showed me how to awaken. Since then, my life has never been the same.
Even my child benefitted from my new place, as I was able to give him pointers from a conscious place, which made his life even more positive.
All those years of turmoil became the foundation of my push, and the golden path of my search, which eventually steered me to awakening.
Since awakening, I have had some ups and downs, and I still have some questions, but as I keep working on myself, doing the basics, and doing the exercises, things have continued to improve, and as such, I can now say that my life has been glorious.
I shudder to think what would have happened if I had not found this Work.
And again, it was not an overnight fix, but the journey brought me to a most peaceful place, with levels of understanding that I didn’t even know existed.
It’s a funny thing, when I changed, things in life changed. It was like the Universe bent in my direction. I didn’t become rich or the CEO of any company, or even carry a title of any kind, but my world was so full of life and peace that I don’t think those things would have provided me with anything extra.
So, today, I want to say thank you to Mr. Gurdjieff, and Mr. Ouspensky, for setting me on the right path, and especially to Russell, for providing all life’s answers and showing me the way to attain them, which actually effectuated the grandest changes of all, lasting changes, with the most beautiful results.
I am now living my life to its fullest, with minimal needs, and wants.
Although I might have wished to change a few things, or undo some of the bad choices I made, now, after acquiring something real, I would not change a thing.
So, again, thank you Russell, you have made it possible for me to achieve joys beyond my wildest dreams.
Russell: I am humbled … and, you are most welcome.
Next I will elaborate on something that I mentioned in a previous podcast but never discussed.
A few weeks ago in episode 36, I directed the listeners who wanted to learn more about the development of Higher Bodies, to my Three Bodies Diagram, and to its accompanying text, but today, I thought I would place that text in podcast form, so that everyone can audibly experience it.
I would like to share with you the Three Bodies Diagram. It has profound implications regarding Man’s possibilities and explains many things that could not be explained without it.
The Work tells us, that all things are the result of three forces; as such, I constructed the Three Bodies Diagram. [Which can be found on our website thedogteachings.com within this podcast episode]. The Three Bodies Diagram allows everyone to see how three forces – configured in an 8, 10, and 12 ratio – are required for the octave of the 8 to complete itself.
I shall explain.
Life began on Earth with the introduction of the first octave – the octave of the 8, which we call the Physical Octave, or the Physical Force. It is made of Physical Matter.
The octave of Physical Matter sounds DO, and begins to organize, almost like a crystallization stage. At first, combinations of amino acids link up in a random order, but when DNA is created, this newly forming matter begins to remember its existence. And as such, DNA becomes the first moment of Self-Remembering in the Universe.
Physical Matter has attained RE, has successfully come into existence, and has remembered how it did it. We could say that the attainment of RE is when the octave of life, as we know it, actually began. Afterall, RE is attained as the result of an “Intentionally Actualized Mdnel-In,” the TI-DO interval of the octave of amino acids.
Finally, something has established itself, which for the Physical Octave means that the Physical Matter has become sensitive. Sensations connect the Physical Matter with the physical world around it.
From that stage, Physical Matter acquires, as a result of having sensations, a personality side. A side called movement. Movement is a response to sensations. Thus, the Instinctive Center gives birth to movement, and the note MI of the Physical Octave is attained.
But that is as far as the Physical Octave can go. It has reached its Mechano Coinciding Mdnel-In, and thus, just by the process of Harnel-Miaznel, it cannot evolve further.
At the note MI, the Physical octave needs the octave of the 10, an assisting octave or shock octave, to enter and assist it. But what is that assisting octave?
Let’s suppose that the assisting octave is the octave of the Astral Force, which contains Astral Matter, or Kesdjan Matter.
The Astral Force enters as a DO, where the Physical Octave has stopped at a MI, and helps the Physical Matter go further.
Like the Physical Force, the Astral Force must also go through a process of organization or crystallization, in order for it to come into existence and remember itself at its note RE. At that point, the octave of Astral Matter will have attained its Instinctive Center, and the Astral Force will begin to sense its existence in the physical world.
The attainment of the note RE in the Astral Octave, is congruent with the note FA in the Physical Octave. This means that the sensing of the Astral Force is perceived by the Physical Force as “Emotions”.
The Astral Force then acquires it’s personality side, and as such, gives birth to Astral Movement at the note MI in the Astral Octave.
The note MI in the Astral Octave is aligned with the note SO in the Physical Octave. Thus, Astral Movement is synonymous with Intelligence.
At this point the Astral Octave has reached its Mechano coinciding Mdnel-In, and as such, it cannot evolve further without the help of an additional octave coming from outside.
You guessed it.
The Mental Force or Mental Matter enters at the note SO of the Physical Octave, as the 12. The Mental Force must also go through a process of organization or crystallization, in order to remember itself at its note RE (RE in the Mental Octave, corresponds with FA in the Astral Octave, and LA in the Physical Octave). Afterwards, the Mental Force begins to sense its existence. The Astral Force perceives the “sensations of the Mental Force” as Astral Emotions, and the Physical Force perceives them as Conscience, that is, as Higher Emotions, or the awakening of Steward, or self-consciousness.
The Mental Force can then progress further and acquire its personality side, which for it, is its Moving Center (MI); for the Astral Force, its Intellectual Center (SO); and for the Physical Force, the Higher Mental Center (TI).
If a man does objective work, then all three Forces/Bodies will come into existence, and he will be able to withstand the shock of death. This, of course, requires that an internal Force is generated at the point where the Mental Octave has reached MI, it’s Mechano coinciding Mdnel-In, and the Physical Octave TI, it’s Intentionally Actualized Mdnel-In. After which, if all three bodies are crystallized up to the note TI of the Physical Octave, then the Physical Octave will enter into its Intentionally Actualized Mdnel-In, and the momentum of having all three bodies participating, will carry the Physical Octave past its DO, achieving RE – the instinctive beginning of the Spiritual world beyond.
Now we can see why Man is depicted as a three-story factory. He has three levels of instinct, three levels of perception, three levels of sensation … Physical body sensing, Astral body sensing, and Mental body sensing.
However, we are constrained to experience these three levels of sensation through the Physical body; and as such, we call them Instinct, Emotion, and Conscience. These three levels of sensation give rise to three acquired movements, which are perceived by the Physical body as Movement, Intelligence, and Objective Reason.
Well, that’s it.
I hope you found it as insightful and stimulating as us. If not, you were probably only Physically sensing it. Because, if you were Astral sensing it, you would have felt its importance. And, if you were Mental sensing it, you would have understood it.
That ends today’s podcast.
Thank you for listening.
If you have any questions that you would like answered, then please send them to email@example.com, and we will endeavour to answer them and include them in future podcasts.
And, if you would like to know more about the subjects and exercises we have been exploring, including the book and guide that underpins it all, which is also available for PDF download, you can do so, by going to thedogteachings.com.
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There, you will be able to obtain Mr. Smith’s diagrams, models, videos and listen to other talks, as well as learn all the mathematics that supports them, and much, much more.
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Goodbye until next time.
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