Striving for Mastery
When all is in perfection and there’s no point of arrival, what is the purpose of striving for mastery?
It is (to one who sees clearly) not optional. It is a matter of survival. Observe anyone’s life objectively: Is this really all life is? People fight to survive or to master a skill or to accumulate wealth. Where does it lead? To the grave and seldom to happiness. Humans are in bondage to conditioning — how to think, what to buy, what is success. The road to freedom is through inner accomplishment. This is what we strive for.
A comprehensive study about stress was recently done on baboons because, like people, they do not have to spend all their time on survival. (In their case, they spend only a few hours a day on survival whereas other animals graze all day, so like people, they have leisure time.) It was found that all creatures need a certain amount of stress to stay vital. Most animals are constantly in stress from predators. People (and baboons) are not. So the two groups produce stress by tensions within their tribes or groups. Masters choose not to create pressure in fruitless tensions with others but rather to reach for what lies beyond our perception’s horizon. This is a worthy quest — to turn the unknown into the known through experience. This is the glory of a master’s path.
Where Karma Comes From