INNER MASTERY IS A PROCESS THAT DEVELOPS FROM THE OUTSIDE TOWARDS THE INSIDE.
The master key to inner evolution lies in interaction with others.
Everything we will hold on the inside comes from the “outside”. In fact everything that’s internal was once external. And the one thing we have that’s closest and at hand in the human experience is the other. When the cause of our suffering and slavery have been others, we need someone else to come and rescue us in order to heal the deceit and be able to make peace with the outside. The other is a means to get to the source of the outside. Beyond the other is God, existence, creation or the source of life. If the problem started on the outside, then the solution must come from the outside as well. The master is the one “outside of me” that brings news that my perception of the outside is going to change. To bring such news, wisdom is needed.
Every inner or outer master represents an illusory figure predisposed to relate to the inner or outer disciple (another illusory figure). For them (both) to have a transformational interaction, they need to make peace with each other. And that is why these characters are created. To represent this healing. That’s why I’m affirming that healing is a real artwork.
Acting in some way and being noticed, giving and receiving, talking and listening, asking and answering are all polarities of the same process: TO DELIVER AND ACCEPT. It is the dialogue of life itself and the soul of those of us who realise the opportunity we have to merge with everything. Paying and collecting, lending and giving back, losing and recovering, forgetting and remembering are actions that represent the same essence of the experience that us humans have to go through. To be born and to die or arriving and leaving are also symbols of the same cycle, they are key points in the register of our conscience. Depending on how we perceive it we will be predisposed to having one life or another. In Osho’s gravestone, a master that had many disciples and lived a full life, it reads: “Never Born, Never Died, Only Visited this Planet Earth.” He was aware of this cycle.
This visit is full of the same things, beginnings and endings, therefore is also full of transience. The relationship of the master and the disciple is a passing phase, it serves what it serves, but then comes the time to say goodbye. If it were permanent it would be sickening and cause a blockage. Every master-disciple relationship becomes pathological when it exceeds the necessary time. When you have been with a master long enough, there will always come a time when he will ask you to kill him, because that is the only way you can follow your own path.
Considering what we are discussing in this series of articles, by eliminating the outer master you are canceling the possibility of being a disciple, follower and dependent. You are ending a relationship as well that’s serving you greatly to recover trust in others. If you eliminate the inner master you are canceling the possibility of believing in yourself, and therefore the chance to recover trust in yourself. The self-deception of you being a master and a disciple at the same time also ends. Therefore the relationship with your own spiritualized ego, with you being a needy character, finishes. That was a healing relationship as well, but a low level one because of its neurotic nature. In both cases the possibility of relating with others is left aside, and that’s the problem. If you are left without that possibility of contacting with others (real or fictitious) you isolate and exclude yourself, you cancel yourself, you take shelter in your mind and you became even more separated from the outside and others before beginning the healing process. You are left alone and lost. It would have been better to stay with your teacher or to hold the belief that you are your master, because if you had done so, you would have continued with your neurotic relations. That is way better than developing a hermit-like and socially resentful character, full of hate and hard feelings towards the others. There are all sorts of psychopaths and psychopathies.
NEEDING A TEACHER IS NEEDING A FATHER TO ACCEPT US AND DISCIPLINE US.
The conclusion drawn of what it means and what is produced from surrendering and receiving comes from the relationship with our parents. That’s where most of the ideas about oneself and others, as well as the model of establishing relationships comes from. And these are notions that we maintain for life. What they gave us, what we didn’t receive, what we haven’t given them or what they didn’t receive from us. This delivery and acceptance scheme is defined at a young age. Shortages, demands, complaints, resentments and feelings of injustice come from this scheme. When we are sick of suffering because of what these relationships cause us, we can go out and look for a master to substitute our father or we may fall in love with Pachamama as a substitute for our mother. So, Gaia becomes the mother who loves me and provides for me, and Great Spirit becomes the father that respects and guides me. God and the virgin play the same part. In these external relationships we are trying to heal our internal wound with our parents, but there are a lot of people who become stuck in a neurotic relationship with the elements of nature or with religious figures. This is because they don’t realize yet that this is just a step towards healing.
Deep down and without wanting it, we humans have created a method of reconciliation with the outside that allows us to heal the resentment, anger and hatred we feel for not being loved and respected. For not having been accepted and guided with wisdom. The dilemma now is, if we keep playing that game as a master or as a disciple. But ti really doesn’t matter which role you play as long as you are conscious that this is a temporary game you are playing to fix perceptions and regain trust.
If you are looking for a master or you have one, you may become a passive follower, not responsible for yourself and relying on your parents forever. If you are looking for or you have found your inner master, you may become the monument of self-deception because that master is your ego dressed-up as spirituality. Therefore, a lot of very intelligent and skilled people end up realising these two options (tragic to a greater or lesser extent) and opt for a third one: not looking for any inner or external master and becoming an autocratic being that doesn’t fit into that game. The bad news I have for these people is that they might become the authentic living dead and remain in the limbo of disconnection with others. Because transformation can only be accomplished by relating to others. Interdependence and unconditionality are the foundations of this mastery that develops in relationships. What inner mastery makes you take into account is what sort of attitude you will have towards the ones those who surround you, accompany you, look at you, reject you, criticise or disappoint you. THEY can provoke all kind of emotions and feelings inside you, they can turn you into a demon or a soft kitten. Why is it then that these different reactions may occur while relating with others?
Psychosocial experiences have verified that we change the way we act in front of others so as not to be rejected, to feel normal, to belong and be accepted. We ADAPT so that we don’t get into conflict. In the case of inner mastery through interaction with others, the exact opposite occurs, given that when the person becomes an individual (something that cannot be divided) they don’t feel the need to adapt for anyone. They rather tend to be themselves without separating from others and while respecting their individuality. Nothing further than wanting to be normal; the fear of rejection is not what is in charge; the guilt of accepting ourselves transforms into inoffensive arrogance; wellbeing is guaranteed; life works providing us with everything. The feeling of happiness and joy possesses us. This is when consciousness becomes our mother. The transformation is happening, and nobody can stop it. This is when you start to transcend.
Mastery is not a programme to become a master of myself or others (the same thing) but rather to stop aspiring to become one. Mastery is a renouncement, a process in which I can realize I am already the master, I always was. It’s just that I had forgotten.
When in the 80s Osho asked his disciples to remove the picture of him they had upon their chests, there was great disappointment. Many disciples went into a crisis for not being able to rely on their master at all times, even in the bathroom. Without wanting to, the master had created dependent beings. That even if they had healed the relationship with their parents or the wounds inflicted by them, they weren’t able to walk by themselves yet, so many of them crumbled.
But it also happens, that if you don’t have a master, you may end up believing that you can do it on your own. So you’ll go for a walk when you still can’t keep balance, or you aren’t strong enough, and you’ll fall. Both options can be more or less negative or difficult in your evolution. But is there any option that can help us not to fall?
If falling can be caused by the need for dependence or by the need for independence, the only certain thing is that you will fall. Therefore, we will have to go deeper in the hidden details of what moves and holds submissive-dominant human relationships. If we dare to go in, we may reach the place where the crack through which we may grasp the mystery of the solution without falling is without having to suffer or to lose time. Even though many people have opened their heart to this mystery by cracking their head open on one of their falls. Like me.
We’ll leave the rest for the fourth part of the series.
Alberto José Varela