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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Mastery of Most Anything

According to Eric Fromm, in order to master any area from love to art to medicine requires 3 behaviors: self-discipline, concentration and patience. And, he says, modern life is geared to the exact opposite. Below is the gist of what he said, interpreted by me,

1) Self-Discipline - Life in the modern world is very routinized, and as a reaction against this we see laziness, entertainment done for us and to us, and rebellion against routine and self-discipline. Anything done sporadically, when convenient, when we're in the mood, can only rise to the level of an amusing hobby, but not to mastery of it.

2) Concentration - This is even more rare in our culture, Fromm says. We are distracted, doing multiple things at a time and can rarely sit still without doing several things such as watching television, eating, drinking, reading the paper, talking on the phone, etc. We see people who are unable or uncomfortable with just being with themselves, being still.

3) Patience - If we want quick results, we will not arrive at mastery. The Industrial Revolution has led to the opposite. Machines do things many times quicker, more economically, and better, and then are improved to do so even more effectively. Modern man [woman] tends to think he loses time if he does not do things quickly, but then does not know what to do with the time except kill it.

Eric Fromm says: "Eventually, a condition of learning any art is a supreme concern with the mastery of the art. If the art is not something of supreme importance, the apprentice will never learn it. He will remain, at best, a good dilettante, but will never become a master. This condition is as necessary for the art of loving as for any other art."

It seems to me, mastering love underlies all else in life and is the common assignment of each human being who gets to come to earth. It is the central message of the spiritual greats, of the great scriptures, of all those whom we admire,

Let's spend the time, self-discipline, concentration and patience needed to become glowing beings of love. Let's see how much of the shadow side we can eliminate from our beings. Let the Light of the Christ shine through us and therefore encourage others to let go of the shadow. Love leads us to be the highest possible version of ourselves. We are called to LOVE (which includes respect, care, knowledge, and responsibility). For more, read "The Art of Loving" by Eric Fromm.

May Love go viral.

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