And so, knowing this, what does the Master do when they find themselves on a plateau? Why, they build a château
on the plateau, and take up residence there! They say, “Hmmm, something is going on here that I don’t understand,
so I am going to stay here and study the landscape. I will focus my attention so strongly on what I CAN see that I
will begin to see more.”. The master knows the reason for being stuck is because there is something sitting there, at
that level, that needs to be known.
So the Master sits, and studies, and if there is one thing a Master has, it’s patience!
For someone who has not discovered the inner position of mastery, the reaction to being “stuck on a plateau”
is quite different. For such a person, there ARE obstructions from the inside to the outside, and the outside to the
inside, and the obstructions arise quickly-- anger, resentment, and feelings of inadequacy (inner obstructions)
appear and intensify in reaction to negative events (outside obstructions).
If these feelings were examined, if these feelings were seen as judgements about reality rather than “facts” about reality, the road to mastery would begin to become visible. If these feelings were examined, we would find that it is not really the natural frustration of not getting what we want that is the biggest problem, but rather, it is the fact that we are, underneath that, allowing ourselves to feel inferior and inadequate. THAT is the real culprit.
Like children watching their parents divorce, we conclude immediately “there must be something wrong with
me, that is why this bad thing is happening”. In both these cases, this conclusion may appear to be justified, given
our level of understanding, but it is not the truth. The Master may feel these feelings too, but unlike the novice, the
Master neither runs from these feelings, or merely accepts them as valid. Rather, they simply become part of the
scenery to be surveyed.
The novice feels such emotional pain from these feelings that they are helpless to do anything but try to avoid
them. The novice shuts his eyes, and covers his feelings. In fact, the novice wishes to leave the plateau more out of
a desire to avoid feelings of inferiority than by the desire to really enjoy a higher level of ability.
Unlike the novice, the master does not identity with these feelings; they may arise, but the Master does not give
these feelings the power to define who he or she is, or can become.
Just because I feel like I am inferior, or unable, is no reason to assume I actually am; that would be a very dangerous belief to adopt on such dubious evidence. And so, the Master sets aside these feelings, and sits, and studies.
The Master becomes so involved in the process of communing with the conditions of the plateau that the desire to
leave it becomes secondary to the interest and adventure of learning all of what is there.
Because of this, the depth of understanding of the Master increases, and the rising to a new level of ability appears
All of what you see in The Principles is the result of my time spent, sometimes many years, on my own plateaus.
Or, it is from the study of the plateaus upon which my students have found themselves. I have never seen a plateau
from which I or my students could not eventually rise.
Because the Master does not allow frustration and despair to obstruct the flow from the inside to the outside, he
or she is led to relate in the best and most appropriate way to the level of awareness called “the plateau”. And so, no
obstructions from the outside to the inside occur. The so called “plateau” becomes the teacher, and instructs the
Master/Student in the wisdom that is necessary to rise higher.
And so it goes, and so it goes.