What is the difference between a master and a teacher?
Or maybe, what’s the difference between a coach and a teacher?
I think the difference is the same: the master and a coach attempt to alter something in you, so you can experience what you need to experience, so you can do what you want to do.
The next question is what is the difference between knowledge and knowing.
You could also ask: what is the difference between Tree of Knowledge and Tree of Life? And the answer to both questions is the same.
Knowledge is dead, and the more you have of it the less you’ll be able to be in the present moment, the less you’ll be able to experience what is.
Society has taught you that knowledge was power, and society mislead you, probably intentionally. Someone who keeps nothing between themselves and what is is extremely intelligent.
They will hear everything they hear, for the first time, even if it was said hundreds of times before… because just because it was said, it is not necessarily the truth, but more importantly, it would stand in the way of seeing the world with innocence and intelligence.
Knowledge is like a buffer between you and reality3>
Knowledge is like a buffer between you and reality: you don’t feel, you don’t sense, you don’t see, you don’t hear.
Today’s master has one task: to cause that you remove that buffer, so you can return to intelligence.
One area where I have been working with some select students is “what shall I do in life that I can have a great life?”
Great question, and most of us have it. Only a minute percentage of humanity has found work that is self-expression.
But what is self-expression? Self-expression is when you earn a living through doing what you do best and what you enjoy most, successfully.
Then, you don’t know what you should be doing, don’t do what you chose to make money, to have status, to look good, go become an instant this or that.
Because of all the knowledge given to us, we have no idea what we should do… and we have, maybe, a horrible fear that we are not good enough.
The experience of vacuum, of no answer, of no “path” is very unpleasant.
My motto, my practice, is this: when I don’t know what to do, I do nothing. When I don’t know what to say, what is the truth, which way to go… I stay put, with myself, in myself. And in a day, a week, a month, the “path” opens up.
I used to look outside of myself, and jump on the first thing that looked good… I got busy, to avoid the empty space, the vacuum, the no answer, no path, the I don’t know.
I would do what I always do, my daily work, but once that is done, I’d keep myself open to experience.
I have increased my capacity to do nothing, to not react, to not “fix” the unpleasantness of “not filling the void.”
In that presence, in that void, in that “no answer” space is where I have gotten 99% of my insights, 99% of the “truth” I have received.
And in my usual busyness that I used to have, intolerant of no action, I got false starts, dead ends, mistakes, and such.
When you are on a path that is not yours, that is difficult, you can bet you have done one of the major mistakes we all make:
You chose something to do that is not a perfect fit with you: no chance for self-expression. You have to do stuff you don’t like, and you don’t get to do stuff that you do like.
In my case, I was an architect. I had to sit by a drafting board, and without any discussion, without any input from anywhere, dream up a building.
Most architects completely throw out the function… and they fancy themselves as artists, creators.
Most houses designed by famous architects are impossible to live in.
But I wanted to serve.
I hated being an architect. My main strength is bumbling through a task with my words. I am not visual, I feel everything, and then I can express it with words, dance, singing… but not with drawing.
I was miserable.
Then I learned about skills, especially transferable skills, and found out that my strength lies in putting ink on paper and communicating.
At age 41 I made a sharp turn, and decided that publisher is what uses those skills the most, self-publisher: the thoughts needed to be mine. I didn’t know what wanted to be expressed, but surely I wasn’t interested in expressing other people’s thoughts…
In a way I am still a publisher, but I express with my writing and with my speaking as well. Putting ink on paper and communicate. And I love it.
And there is an element I didn’t learn from the skills exercise, my archetype.
My archetype is Pathfinder. A Pathfinder goes ahead, struggles through the underbrush, but when passed through, goes back to the “others” and takes them through.
You’ll find the archetypes in any Tarot card pack: the mother, the joker, the magician… you have an archetype.
And when you find out your favorite skills and your archetype, you can start brainstorming what “doing” will be the most authentic expression of the Self.
Instead of trying to be different than you are to fit in with what you do, start using your strength, even if it is not valued highly in the world.
My older brother tried to become successful in the financial consulting business a number of years ago. He was miserable. He had the knowledge, but he didn’t enjoy the selling himself aspect of the business.
So he went back to corporate, where he could shine: he retired as vice president of the biggest investment bank.
A certain set of skills fits many many vocations, because skills themselves don’t have the flavor of the self, just like you can make many dishes that have garlic, meat, and onions in it… One dish will be flat, the other will be burst of delight.
Most people can’t see the forest for the trees, and even the best book I know, the What Color is Your Parachute, is in service of the job-market… where someone else has the ideas.
I am in the middle of the skill finding workshop, and we are starting to see results.
Eventually I will offer this as a service, because it is so important that your work is a self-expression.
Where instead of trying to become enough, instead of trying to fix yourself, where instead of trying to fix a square peg into a round hole, the work fits you like a glove.
Now, would that be something?