Sunday, April 19, 2015


The Art of Patience
[dedicated to KiWi]

There was a time when students in a discipline had to stand for examination and demonstrate their comprehension of the materials, and competence in performance. This came after years of development.

One did not graduate simply because they felt like it. The Craft spoke through the mentor and recognized the student who had fulfilled the integrations needed for the level. Being "willful" or an "independent navigator"  prematurely was an act of hubris. An act of separation driven by ego-need, rather than achieved growth.

Classically, in the arts for instance, a newbie would enter the studio of a master, someone who had studied and applied the practices for decades. At first, the apprentice heard lectures and outlines sitting in the mentor’s studio, then imitated the works of the teacher, copying and refining, often for  years. The Canon had to be learned, absorbed slowly into the bones. The apprentice was nurtured, pushed, challenged, directed, and examined for evidence of growth and ability to grok the invisible structures of the School. An apprentice’s output was referred to the teacher for helpful critique of the fledgling’s expression, much as a PhD candidate will have a thesis supervisor. They asked to be trained, they welcomed critique.

Finally, when the master, mentor, teacher, or guide, was satisfied that the apprentice could articulate what was heretofore unconscious to him/her, the apprentice’s status was upgraded to Journeyman, and they left the classroom to start their own work.

An apprentice who would not submit to examination, or who was in a hurry to appropriate the hard won status and title of the teacher, shortcutting years of internal work, whose interest seemed to be more in the area of marketing a product, and getting self-attention, who gauged ‘success’ by numbers; such a student washes out of the real School, and cuts themselves off.

In the American Soccer Mom consumer culture, excitement, stimulation, and feel-good praising are valued over persistence and mastery.

For example: parents taking Little Johnny to Martial Art’s practice expect that their money will buy them automatic promotions, so that their little darling doesn’t have his self-esteem suffer. Such a permissive and feel-good approach disrespects the tradition, and eventually, Little Johnny will suffer more if he fails to gain the competence, and his teacher does not protect him from assuming prematurely a state he has not earned.

It is a phenomenon peculiar to people who have some money and make donations: they confuse their ability to buy front row seats with being at the head of the class. And all too often those who run schools let them think they have an elevated status to keep the funds flowing.

[A case in point was that the founder of SNO of Colorado needed funds he could not get from SNO of Nevada, so he groomed some brothers with praise, and these two have gone on harboring the secret belief of their “leadership” and “superiority” over other students. Whereas, this delusional status is a matter of private laughter behind their backs]

To the student dedicated to learning and betterment, they want to be tested and polished, they welcome being examined and flaws brought out, they submit PATIENTLY to the Work, rather than rushing to hang out their “teacher” shingle, open shop, and promote themselves as representatives of the Work. When they find out how CONFIDENT they feel when thoroughly tested, they embrace that methodology, and disdain “teachers” who pass too easily as diluters of the Work.

To the needy emotional student, the teacher may seem “cold” when being asked to demonstrate performance, and they sulk away claiming “abuse.”   When such “breakaway” students have their feet held to the fire, and they find the teacher will not automatically give them the approval they crave, they project their own emotional insecurities onto this mentor who is “obstructing” their happiness, and accuse the mentor of being “hateful and angry!”

{many years ago in the 1970's I was living at the Theosophical Society in Adyar, India, next door to the old man who had raised Krishnamurti. My other neighbor was a young yogi from America whose teacher had studied intimately with some guy  named "Vitvan." ... and thus the contact was made.

It was then one day sitting in our garden wreathed in the visionary fumes from my hookah, that I suddenly began an intense download, which took 2 years to finish writing all of it down. At first it looked like a long story which eventually took the form of a movie script. When I came to Home Farm in 1972, Anita allowed me to spend each morning working on it until it was completed. After 30 years away, I began to realize that my "future" Self had woven a tale of the stages i would pass through. It only became clear looking back.

In brief it was a tale of moving through the South Half and finally emerging into the clearer Light of the vistas of the North Half, a phase only now being completed after coming out of the South Half ersatz Disneyland version of the Inner Home Farm, the incubator at SNO.

And in the final pages, there is a meeting with a favorite character, one Farrington Dabble, who represented the Solar Plexus in all its wonders, the psychic fun shop full of emotion, sturm und drang. At the end, our anti-hero "Julian" must also leave this one behind, despite the pleasures that come from his collection of learned pretty things, possessions, and all the artful stuff money can buy.

For Farrington is a Dabbler, one who collects and puts on an air of sagacity, but in fact, is a wannabe. Now I realized today who also was such a Dabbler, thus further fulfilling the story predicted. There are those who are true Apprentices, Trainees who will stay the course, proud to be examined. But then there are others, who excitedly come to lectures, join your cause and ride along, but in time, it is found out they don't do their homework, drift away, take a few weekend sessions with some shaman, and before you know it, are playing at a status they have not yet achieved. To one who finally understands more of what the Craft means, this is dishonoring the Work. And yet, even this one who was sleeping when I found her, is awakening, and if she must assume a mantle she has not yet earned, may it help her grow, my one time dabbler apprentice}

A post-mortem analysis of SNO and its decline has to traced to the lack of performance standards left behind by Ralph. He confessed that he was too soft-hearted, and even told the tale confessionally of how Korzybski banged his head against the wall, and told him just that.

On one tape he tells of how he intended to bring in a Japanese trained teacher who would run advanced classes in Ralph’s school, for students who had the moxie to submit to discipline and push themselves hard. He was going to get the Arhats he had long desired! The Two-Percent. But this came to naught also. Ralph had surrounded himself with too many groupies and those needing a Pappy. 

In his final days he wished for the reward of a comfortable end; and why not? The man had done heroic sacrifice for decades of devoted service. But even as he promoted the value of community support, in the end, those who could not perform took over, and use the idea of  “community” as Cult control.

For the essence of Vitvan’s Work was to find those who COULD come out of group identity and Individuate. Once the Teacher of the Higher Power has been found within the Heart of the student, they could leave the incubator. The goal was not to stay in the Group, but to leave the nest. 

Of a few who did graduate, it was after years of personal one-on-one work with the mentor.

As he got into General Semantics, he wanted to set forth tough new guidelines, and weed out the “Delphic” emotional touchy-feely types, but this led to internal upsets in the his school. After all, he had for years encouraged these groupies. Then he made up exam lists of questions the “new style” student he hoped for would be able to answer. Very mental.  In the end, this faded also.

And now, in the remnants of his guttering school, there is no one who dares ask any other for competent discussion or understanding of terms used, concepts built up. “With all your getting, get UNDERSTANDING” he said. How few have that. How few have the maturity and appreciation to get that being tested to demonstrate and articulate understanding is what a real teacher does, out of Devotion and Respect for the Inner standards of the True School.


  1. Oh why can't you just be NICE?

  2. Those whose criterion for behavior is being "nice" seem oblivious to its true meaning:

    † ˈnescious, a. Obs. rare.

    [ad. L. nescius ignorant, f. nescīre: see nescient.]


       1633 T. Adams Exp. 2 Peter iii. 5 He begins with the dunces, those‥inscious, nescious, conscious, wilful ignorants.    1683 J. Gadbury in Wharton's Wks. Pref., So regardless and nescious are they of the very Principles that lead to a just Discovery of this‥Knowledge.