Q: …What does it mean to rouse a master’s interest? Isn’t the (Western) pupil who chooses his master? M.
A: It is very important to ask oneself what a master is. The search starts from the meanings of the word, which derives from Latin magister or magis; it means the man who excels in wisdom or ability in an art, profession or job. The person who reaches excellence uses it for his teachings. Therefore teaching and teacher are mirror like concepts.
Building an identity
We have all had masters and the people who don’t want to stop growing need better and better masters. Small and great masters of life help us to decide about ourselves and to choose thoughts to build a stronger and more defined identity.
We become what we think; we grow only by adding layers of knowledge to our (physical) conscience, like onion’s skins. The more teachings we receive, the more we will be able to build complex and refined identities. This rule applies from the start of our intellectual growth to the top of our best expectations. The only person who can do without it is the man who has reached absolute knowledge, because he has become teaching himself. But talking about absolute knowledge is pure abstraction; it is better to address more common conditions.
In a social and cultural environment, the man who has reached the top of his masterhood is a master. When he wants to widen the spectrum of his knowledge, though, he should find another master or however you want to call it.
An identity is made of a stratification of choices, knowledge and experiences that make an association of ideas. This is what we are, not a name but an association of ideas. For this reason man is what he thinks and he becomes what he learns.
If we follow the postulate that ‘we become what we learn’, we can see the importance of the teaching factor and to find who gives it. Considered that the identity of an initiate is of the highest level, everything is reduced to the ‘formula’ that: to have a limited number of instructors and masters reduces the chance to widen our vision; a limited growth follows. On the contrary, the man who has many masters (on different subjects, of course) can aim at an exponential growth that can reach spiritual affinity.
Before dealing with initiatory teachings, though, we must talk about something more ‘normal’.
In the animal kingdom the first master is the mother, who instructs her young to live and survive. Afterwards the adults of any species teach the first principles of social hierarchy; crowds of domineering males and females, then followers, subjected and aliens.
The animal system has been the first social model for the human being. We can still see its effects today in the admiration for strength, which is not represented by muscles any more (although a sound body still attracts) but money and social power.
Mother and father are the natural masters for man’s offspring; later on there are also the members of the close family (relatives and friends) and the extended family (the others). Everybody remembers the good and bad things he has been taught; as psycho-therapists know, they leave deep marks in a child’s conscience.
The first aids of collective harmonization are school and religion. Social masters are supported by approximate teachings; they give the first principles of social ethics, even through sport. Who doesn’t have a special teacher to remember? Perhaps the one who taught us to love science, art or literature. Without them we would be ‘closed windows’ to knowledge and therefore without an identity and self-esteem. Natural and social masters help forming the first layers of physical identity.
Masters of the intellect
There is a lot to say about them. They are the masters of life in a wider sense. They are thinkers, scientists and artists full of humanistic knowledge, whose classicism exalts man’s spirit; they resist to the commercialization of themselves and the culture they represent. It is hard work to be accepted by one of them; not because they are hostile but since they are very sensitive people, they measure the quality of the men they will share ideas, sensations and feelings with, in order to avoid useless uneasiness. Therefore they choose the interlocutor; the first reason for their reserve is not to be hurt by the coarseness or the intemperance of interlocutors with a shallow heart.
It is a fact that the thinner the subjects the bigger the mystifications. Because of greediness, the most inconsiderate people would like to reach the top of the tree without climbing the trunk. In a mysteriosophic environment as well as in a spiritual* one, mystifications are offered to lazybones and fools to slow their progress. This is the relevant fact.
*Mysteriosophic and mystic (see article) correspond to two languages of the mind. At the top of the two journeys the initiates reach the same light and the two paths join in the same ‘Fire’ made of Love and Power.
The masters of the left hand
Illusions and mystifications are strategies carried out by the people who plan the slowing down or the derailment of weak and stupid men. They stir their pride and hinder their journey until they are turned into easy preys. This opens the subject of the path of the left hand, the so-called black masters. Smart people won’t need more than this to understand the trap ready for those who want to be masters of themselves. Drowning in pride is never a clever thing to do.
by Athos A. Altomonte