My name is Russell A Smith. I found the Gurdjieff work in the late 1970s; and therein saw such great truth that I didn't want to do anything thereafter but study myself. From that day forward, I spent every waking moment observing my machine. I read for hours on end; and, tried to remember myself for months and months and months. Then in 1980 my Higher Emotional Center, unexpectedly, out of nowhere, began to function... and I became self-conscious. Shortly, thereafter, my Higher Mental Center awoke, adding its properties of objective reason and impartiality. I must say that both awakenings were truly remarkable. Note: When a man awakens, one of the first things he notices is a double arrow of attention... one attention on what he is doing; and, a second attention observing himself doing it. In addition, his thoughts stop. He observes the world without the constant, random, play-by-play commentators. The place is silent. And, the silence is incredible. In such a state, one begins to experience what is actually going on.
Imagine that you lived your entire life with your eyes closed... and then, one day, you opened your eyes. Would you know that you had opened your eyes? Would you be able to tell the rest of the world, who still had their eyes closed, what it was like? They would only come to believe that you had opened yours, if you held them by the hand and ran them through the obstacles of life and never bumped into anything; or, perhaps, if you were able to show them how to open theirs, then, they would know that you had opened yours. So, it may take some time for you to recognize if someone else has opened their eyes, but you would know, in an instant, if you had opened yours.
So, my awakenings were indeed knowable. However, when they occurred, I had no idea of what they would bring... nor, did I have an agenda.
I was not out to attract students, to become a teacher, or to start a school.
You should know that before I awoke, I was eager to share my beliefs with everyone... to let everybody know what I was doing - what I found, what I learned, and what I liked. I would tell them, "You should read this book, watch this movie, come to my church, or be interested in such and such,"... and, then, if they read that book, watched that movie, attended my church, or became interested in such and such, it would validate my beliefs. And the more people that I could persuade to like what I liked, the more valuable what I liked became.
But, after I awoke, I no longer felt compelled to share with others what I had found. I no longer needed my beliefs to be accepted by others in order for them to be valuable. They were valuable. Being awake was valuable. Being able to stop thoughts was valuable. Having reason, impartiality, and inner silence was valuable. My awake state needed no validation. For the first time in my life I was silent, and no longer needed to convince anyone to do what I was doing.
And, thereafter, when people came into my life and questioned me about higher things (because, I guess, they sensed something higher in me), I resisted talking to them about this work or my inner state, because I did not want to proselytize the work. It was too precious. It needed to be protected, not diluted.
However, some of the folks, with whom I had frequent contact, kept approaching me and asking me questions. Questions about who I was, why I seemed so different, what I studied... and, if I was studying something, could they study it, too?
Eventually, a persistent few drew a response from me... and I gave them The Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution - by Ouspensky, to read. Those, who read it and wanted more, I gave The Fourth Way - also by Ouspensky - a book I have read a hundred times.
After that, if they came back and still wanted more, I began to answer their questions.
So, like it or not, I was forced to become a teacher.
Soon, a group of seekers gathered at my home whenever I was in town, as my employment required extensive travel. Those seekers became serious about their work and the teachings of Gurdjieff. Over the next several years they continued to ask intelligent questions and to make exceptional efforts.
During that time I made many discoveries about the inner-world of man, and about the laws of World-creation and World-maintenance; discoveries that would ultimately lead to an Objective Exercise which allowed the parts of man to unify... and the man, himself, to awaken.
It happened thus. It was 1990. I was in New Orleans training a salesman... and that night, when I went back to my room, I put the following question to my Higher Mental Center, "Why are the folks in Texas, who have been studying with me for years, not awake? They read the books I read. They do the exercises I do. They are honorable folks. They are sincere, hard workers. Why are they not awake... like me?"
The Higher Mental Center answered:
"You awoke subjectively," it said.
"All teachers awake subjectively.
"All schools die when their teachers die.
"No one can pass on to others the subjective way in which they awoke."
The higher then told me the story of a man who was desperately trying to awaken.... Wishing. Praying. Seeking.
The man was walking through the forest. His eyes were on the heavens. His thoughts were on his God. His mind was on his quest.
Unfortunately, he was not watching where he was walking; and, in sandaled feet, his toe struck a root.
He had kicked the root with such force the pain was excruciating. As a result, he grabbed his toe and started hopping around on one foot.
At that moment... that event (coupled with his search, his quest, his wish, and his prayer) caused his machine to align... and the man himself to awaken. It was glorious. He became enlightened.
After that event, everyone who came in contact with him recognized his being and quizzed him as to who he was and what he was studying. Eventually, he told them of his quest, his wish, his prayer, and how he had kicked the root and awoke.
Soon a school formed around the man (a school, based on his quest, his wish, and his prayer) with hundreds of students all walking through the forest trying to kick a root... just like he had done, in hopes that they, too, would awaken.
But... no one ever did.
And, when the man died, his school died.
I repeat, “You can not pass on a subjective way!”
The higher revealed to me that all enlightened men had failed to show others how to awake, because they were unable to pass on the subjective way in which they, themselves, had awoke. It also showed me that I could not pass on to those who were studying with me (no matter how sincere they were or how hard they worked) the subjective way in which I had awoke.
No enlightened man has ever been able to show anyone else how to become enlightened.
There are no Gurdjieff 2.0's. There were no mini Jesus'.
This truth, that all ways are subjective ways, was terrifying... and caused great concern to arise in me. I repeat, "No one, who follows a subjective way, has ever or will ever awaken." Wow! When I realized the truth of that, I do not know why... but I looked back at my higher center and yelled, "Then give me an objective way!"
And... it did.
It said, "You already figured out the structure, i.e., the rules and laws; and, if you teach those rules and laws to others and then give them this exercise, they will awaken."
It then gave me a very simple exercise... and I realized, at that moment, it was infallible. I knew that I would be able to show others how to open their eyes. I knew that folks, who learned the rules and laws and then did the exercise, would awaken. I knew that my school would not die when I died. I knew that I had been given an objective way.
I arrived back in Dallas on March 31st, 1990... and, on April 1st, I shared this exercise with my students.
When I did, they opened their eyes and awoke.... Needless to say, they were ecstatic (from that day forward, they began referring to the exercise as, "The April Fools Exercise," which is what it is still called today).
After that event, it became collectively understood that the awakened state, which they were experiencing, was truly remarkable, and prompted several of them to make the following demands of me, "We want you to be available full time... so, quit your job and stay home; we will support you."
They further suggested that I should write a book and share my discoveries... saying, "There must be others like us out there who also wish to awake. So, let's buy some land and have a place - a school - where people, who are seeking an objective way, can come and awaken."
So we did... and I wrote the book, Gurdjieff: Cosmic Secrets. It is self-published by THEDOG, my school, which is located just outside of Sanger, Texas - 45 miles north of Dallas.
After Gurdjieff: Cosmic Secrets was published, it drew great interest from the Fourth Way community; and, in 1996 an international conference was held in Bognor Regis, England to discuss my discoveries.
In 1997 a second conference was convened; and, at that conference, I informed the assembled audience that there was an objective way to awaken their Higher Emotional Center. It required "ten days" studying Gurdjieff: Cosmic Secrets - one on one - with me.
I explained that I would show everyone, who found their way to Texas, how to awake. That is, I would pick them up at the airport, house them, feed them, and show them how to unify their lower centers, open their eyes, and awaken; and... that there was no charge, no fee, for showing them how to awake. I could not put a price tag on consciousness.
Thus, immediately, after the second conference, people from all over the world began to book a ten-day journey to Sanger.
Not surprisingly, most folks who came here and completed the journey wanted to financially contribute to the school. Some, even wanted to move here... but all wished to become students and continue their objective journey. That is, to also awaken their Higher Mental Center and acquire reason and impartiality. Some have went on to become teachers, and now show others how to awaken. With such a diversification of students, I was compelled to create THEDOG Forum, which allows everyone to stay in contact with me... as well as, gives them access to an Archive of my teaching.
So, that is the story of how I awoke, of how I became a teacher, and of how I found an objective way to awaken.
Now, after 30 years, I seldom take new people through the process.
However, I may consider breaking my current "no new people" rule and take someone on the journey - provided they have read and studied many, many times The Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution, The Fourth Way, and my book Gurdjieff: Cosmic Secrets - but that is very rare.
Fortunately, many of the - one on one - sessions, of me personally taking students on the ten-day journey, were recorded, transcribed, and amassed into a teaching guide; and, since I am no longer taking new students on the journey, I decided to make that Teaching Guide available to everyone... so that everyone, who wishes to make the journey, can take the journey.
Of course, I am always available to answer questions about my book, Gurdjieff: Cosmic Secrets, which can be purchased via this website, or at Amazon.
Or, if you would rather have access to the Teaching Guide, i.e., to the transcriptions of me personally taking students on the ten-day journey, that is also available. It includes links to all my exercises and diagrams, as well as, has my book Gurdjieff: Cosmic Secrets merged within it.
To give you a taste of The Teaching Guide and of how I teach, here is a Link to Chapter 1.
Chapter 1 Merged with Teaching Guide
If you like what you read and want additional links, you may purchase the other 6 Chapters (either one at a time or all at once) by sending $15 per chapter ($90 for all 6) via PayPal to thedogUSA@gmail.com or via regular mail to THEDOG, 9968 Freeman Road, Sanger, TX 76266 (Note: If you purchase the chapters by regular mail and would like me to email you the links, please include your email address with your order; otherwise, I will send you the links via regular mail).
Those, who purchase all 6 chapters, will also receive links to the 3-part April Fools Exercise... the exercise that shows people how to unify their lower centers, open their eyes, and awaken.
In addition, several podcasts of my exercises and teachings are also available... with more to follow. They can be found at The Dog Teachings.
Sincerely, I Am,
Russell A Smith