“Seeking the Master”
In seeking a master one must not be satisfied by simply making the acquaintance of a teacher and learning by rote the exercises, lectures and rituals of martial art. Such training is but the entrance door through which those in earnest quest must pass.
A martial art axiom states that “real initiation” is not found except at the hands of one who has himself experienced it. And it is equally axiomatic that “when the disciple is ready, the Master will be found waiting.” Yet, such a Master is not easily found and under no circumstances does a true Master ever proclaim himself as such; he must be sought, must be clearly recognized as such and wholeheartedly accepted as one. It is natural to have grave doubts of his status and your own judgment about him before according him that confidence. “Ask, seek, and knock” are the tasks of persistent and concentrated will leading to real initiation.
As stated before, every system of real (not just ceremonial) initiation is divided into three stages. The first is a turning away from the attractions of the outer world. It is a work of detachment and self-purification. Second is the analysis, discipline and control of the inner world of. mind, thoughts, intellect and psychic faculties. It is a purification of the mind. The final stage is the surrender of all sense of personality and selfhood, so that the petty personal will may become merged in the Divine Universal Will and the illusion of separate in-dependent existence give way to conscious realization of unity with the one Life that permeates the uni-verse. It is a complete domination of the lower nature and the development of a higher order of life and faculty.
You might live in close contact with a Master for years without suspecting the fact. Recognition being due to a spiritual rapport, to vibratory harmony and to intuitional certainty; unless your possess these a Master’s physical personality will convey no more to you than any other man’s. But of one thing you may be assured; the Master will know you through and through long before you recognize him, or perhaps before you even realize that you are seeking him. Hence, we can see when the disciple is ready the Master will be found waiting.
If accepted as a disciple one must serve and implicitly obey for a probationary period and the Master assumes a real (not nominal) responsibility toward the disciples training, welfare and spiritual growth. The relationship is of the closest and the responsibility is of the gravest. The initiation the pupil hopes in due course to attain cannot be achieved until this intimate relationship exists. The Master and disciples become spiritually integrated.
A Master rejoices to find a suitable pupil, yet he does not accept him without subjecting him to severe preliminary tests. He discerns the thoughts and desires of the candidate to see if he is yet prepared in his heart. “Seek and ye shall find” is not a vain promise. But where do we find such a Master? He must be sought both without and within oneself. He must be sought in every event of daily life, in the person of everyone you meet. But do not look to meet immediately with some learned or impressive personality capable of giving you all truth in tabloid form in a few hours. Final truth cannot be communicated at all from one person to another orally; it exists already within you and needs only be dug out and liberated.
The true Master does not and cannot instill truth into his disciple but rather elicits truth from him. The pupil must first learn to clear away his own falsities and unrealities, so that what is central in himself may no longer be obscured, but shine out in its own self-conscious.
When the time is ripe and the pupil in a deep sense ready, he may come to meet the Master personally. But a Master; being one evolved in his spirit, is no longer thought to be thought of as a separate independent person, although displaying a separate personality and presence to the world. He is integrated with others; he is part of a group, all the members of which are conscious on the plane of Spirit. And Spirit is universal, not fettered by place, time or space.
In seeking a personal Master; one then seeks the group of which he is a member; remembering that life in the realm of Spirit is a unity not a diversity.
Though a personal Master may elicit the truth within his disciple, it is only the disciple who can realize the Master within his own heart. Failure to find oneself Master of himself will be due only to having failed to seek from the heart. The Master we seek is within.
Copyright 1996, Roger D. Hagood