On Mastery -- to Put a Bee in Some People's Bonnet

I use  the word, mastery, to mean,
  • expectation of success (not contrived or "supposed to", but actual and natural/earned)
  • easy ability to keep attention on something either internally or externally; 
  • easy ability to exercise deliberate intention upon it (or upon self), informed by steady attention; 
  • recognition (memory-based) of what's going on, either inwardly or externally; and 
  • intelligent openness to experience as it emerges (internally or externally), supported by the other three. 

As I mean it, It is the integration of 1st person, 2nd person, and 3d person perspectives -- as the integration of attention, intention, memory and imagination -- a matter of degree, not of some final state that, I agree, doesn't exist.

Not to have an appreciation of degrees of mastery, in my view, leads to indiscriminate acceptance of "poppycock" and, to use another word Tom used, impuissance. Flakiness. Reasons and excuses for failure instead of the intended results. Even masters face challenges and failures; they just succeed far more consistently than beginners or dilettantes.

I think you may be equating mastery with a mental, 3d-person perspective, only -- a status conferred by an external (e.g., academic) authority. I equate it, again in Tom's words, as "being sharp, level-headed, and having ones wits about one". To quote his "Clinical Somatic Education" article <http://somatics.com/hannart.htm>

"An authentic clinical somatic educator is one who so clearly sees what is the case that he can predict with accuracy the overcoming of a specific malady. The clarity and predictive certainty of Hanna Somatic Education are the qualities needed in a clinical modality in order to stand the test of scientific scrutiny and verification."

Pretty unequivocal, isn't it? separates "the sheep from the goats".

You said that, "one is not better than another." The quote, above, suggests that if I am honest, I must acknowledge some people are better, in this work (or something else), than others or better with some maladies than others are -- starting with Tom, at the time he trained us. If it weren't so, would he have written what I have quoted, above? Would he have had the audacity to declare a new discipline in the field of health care and to train us?

It means honestly acknowledging mastery as mastery, adequacy as adequacy, mediocrity as mediocrity and failure as failure (or as a "learning experience", if you like). Otherwise, "certification" is utterly meaningless (as, in some settings, it has become).

The Unknown unknown is both our origin and the nature of all emerging experience, our destination and what we face in every moment as it emerges "unknown" and becomes "known". It isn't word-mind; it's direct experience. Mastery, as I mean it, is the ability to "surf the wave of experience" with our faculties intact and functioning efficiently and effectively -- and to know the difference between that and being "lost at sea".

Thank you for, in effect, calling upon me to say these things, which people in these times need said and need to hear -- whether they like it, or not.


copyright 2017 Lawrence Gold