Letter to The Editor



By Karin Leonard

Dear Editors:

Thank you for your amazing magazine!  I am so impressed by the quality and depth of your articles, and very grateful for what you contribute to today’s spiritual conversation.

I would like to offer a few thoughts on your “The Self-masters” issue.  To start with, I happen to be a woman who does use the term “mastery”, more specifically “Personal Mastery” (I have authored a monthly column by that name since 1993).  And although I concur that this term has been misused, “mastery” does not need to imply controlling anyone, including oneself.  Mastery can be seen as a process of continually improving in all areas of life, by honoring the totality of who we are, body, mind and spirit.  Moreover, mastery implies that because you value your innate gifts, you set up structures and support in your life, in order to fully and reliably express them.  Mastery, then, is not an act of controlling and punishing yourself, but is motivated by self-love.  In the end, it doesn’t work to suppress aspects of the self, anyway.  What holds up over time, is to integrate the various and often conflicting parts of personality.  The goal of mastery as I define it, is to get all of you on the same team, working together, instead of internal struggle.  All parts need to be honored and understood, not squelched and conquered.

Mastery doesn’t block unfolding from within, but can catalyze and sustain it.  For some exceptional folks it may be fine to just flow with the spontaneous expression of the self, yet for the rest of us, both are necessary, inspiration and structure.  Inspiration alone risks loosing momentum, and structure without spirit crumbles in the dust.  While enlightenment can not be made to happen from the level of ego, the process can be supported by creating the right conditions.

“Self-mastery”, then, can serve as the container for spiritual essence, when it works together with the greater self.  In so doing, mastery becomes the journey of tapping your full potential as a human being – through being the leader of your life, and by co-creating with the spirit that runs through you.  Fortunately, we now live in an age of synthesis and integration, when masculine and feminine, process and structure, spiritual and secular can finally meet with the best of all worlds. 


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