BE A MASTER OR SLAVE - CHOOSE WISELY
Attraction- Path of slave
Be a master or slave, Attraction follows attention as we move towards the object of our now stimulated desire. The new dress, the new car, the new person begin to pull us as gravity pulls a falling stone to earth. In the movement of attraction we begin to consume and take pleasure in the form, the color, the fragrance and design of the object (or even the concept if you are a philosopher). And if we choose to linger too long and return too often we will be unconsciously choosing attachment.
Do you respect yourself when you become dependent on some object? Or do you respect others when you become their object?
A master is vigilant at every moment. A master is attractive but not attracting. A master is attracted but never subsumed by the object of his or her attraction. A master never identifies with anyone or any thing except their own self. This choice allows them the next luxury.
Detachment- Path of Master
Next time you are in an art gallery watch people watching the paintings. Seldom do you see anyone with their nose inches from the canvas. Detachment simply means standing back and observing. Big picture consciousness is then possible and meaning is better discerned and more likely to be complete. This skill is not taught by our parents or teachers so our journey becomes a series of nose scraping experiences as we get too close to the canvas of life. Masters never get too close to anyone or any situation but they never turn their back and walk away. Masters never consume the emotions and moods of others but never deny their validity. Masters never invite themselves to help but never deny assistance when invited.
Detachment allows perspective, meaning, understanding and action to flow in one seamless movement. Why? Because it creates inner space and feeds accurate and more complete information to a master’s most important ability.
Attachment- Path of slave
Attachment is not a commonly used word in ‘sophisticated’ societies. In relationship to our property it is called possession. In relationship to ideas it is called copyright. In relationship with another person it is called love. But attachment can never be love. Attachment means resistance to letting go and where there is resistance there is fear. When we choose attachment we choose fear and where there is fear there cannot be love. Attachment is therefore an unhealthy choice at any level. If this choice is repeated too often dependency becomes a reality and addiction is the destination.
Addiction- Path of slave
Who would choose to be an addict? Few would argue for it, but many, if not most, choose it a hundred times a day. Addiction is not only a needle in the arm. Addiction is indulging, consuming and returning to the same source of pleasure with habitual regularity. The source could be your fridge, your TV, your CDs, your work, your dog, your home, your partner. Our lives are a tapestry of addictions and contradictions. We ‘tut tut’ the drug, the cigarette and the alcohol addicts while partaking in our own from of socially acceptable daily hits! And where there is addiction, even to a memory, there cannot be freedom, because choices are not consciously made. And where freedom disappears, slavery enters—and with it the inevitable.
Discrimination- Path of Master
Can you tell the difference between a genuine Rolex and an imitation? Between mineral water and tap water? Between someone telling a lie and someone telling the truth? In matters of truth, masters of the art of discrimination have a strong connection to their own conscience. That’s the space inside that knows what is right and wrong, what is true and what is false. This is our source of innate wisdom from where the voice of intuition will speak. Hearing this voice is impossible when the mind and intellect are clouded with the noise of desire and dependency. Knowing the value of self sensitivity, masters cultivate this quiet inner voice and learn to trust its guidance when faced with the challenge of making decisions.
Atonement- Path of slave
How often have you seen a child and a toy being separated? The tearing, the wrenching, the parting are accompanied by screams and tears. Pain is the price that must be paid for taking a stroll down the path of attention, attraction, attachment and addiction. This is atonement, and it is as predictable as the sunrise. For big grown up people the toys take a different form and the pain, if not expressed, is suppressed or repressed, finding other ways out in a rainbow of dysfunctional behaviors. Or else it just eats away at our insides. Why do we choose this path, this pain, and call it pleasure? Why do we delight in our own demise? Smiling as we cry. Celebrating as we fry. Laughing as we die.
Was it because we surrendered our freedom a long time ago, and signed up for slavery in the name of civilization, sophistication and progress, and called it all the good life? Sweet illusions. Cursed by the darkness of ignorance and those demons of desire have we all turned into frogs?
Determination- Path of Master
With the energy-sucking hindrances of dependency and addiction now off the menu, power is available to ‘make things happen’. Powerful, important and focused decisions attract their own obstacles and tests. Determination means– terminate or never stop. To have no end to forward movement. Faced with the obstacles of others’ resistance or disapproval, faced with the outer tests of unexpected circumstance and the inner tests of their own not yet fully healed weaknesses, masters can continue to determine their own chosen destiny. Nothing and nobody can stop them. Force is never used to overcome. Instead, patient conversation and intelligent persuasion are the surgical tools of determination.
And so the path is chosen, consciously, wisely and freely. And true freedom is tasted. To a master freedom is not a noun, it is a verb. Choice is not a task, it is a process. And mastery is not an option, it is an absolute necessity.
Attention- Path of slave
Where attention goes energy flows. There are now a thousand and one people competing for our attention and the flow of our cash. We find it easy, however, not to take responsibility for where our attention goes. Instead we blame the myriad glamours, distractions, slogans and images which surround us. And yet we often contradict the belief that we have no control over where our energy flows by choosing which channel on the TV we will watch. And we turn towards what is most attractive.
Decision- Path of Master
With hundreds of small, medium and large decisions in every day, where each decision is like a fork in the road ahead, where there is no turning back because time only knows how to go forward, where each decision will affect the lives of others—how important is a decision? If governed by attraction and attachment, the voice of your wisdom is quietly strangled. Life then becomes a series of wrong turns and unfortunate accidents. Purpose will be absent, meaning impossible. Destiny will be in the hands of mere chance and pain will be your companion.
Masters understand that each decision is created by the inner artist. It is a painting, a sculpture, a symphony drawn and moulded on the canvas of a quiet mind which allows experience, wisdom, care and purpose to be united and shaped by the highest intentions. This process is beyond time. If rushed by an external clock it will be coloured by fear. And fear is the darkest cloud. A fear-driven decision is no decision; it is either panic or compulsion. But if the decision is fear-free the master has available an energy which knows no price.
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