|Sunwukong by fuckorange|
Like most of you, I am interested in... obsessed, perhaps, by the concept of mastery. There is truly nothing more breathtaking or inspiring than to witness a true master at work. It matters not what their art may be, their utter genius makes a fan even of people who would normally be averse to the form.
One didn't need to be a basketball aficionado to appreciate the greatness of Michael Jordan.
Even people who don't particularly like guitar can recognize that Jimi Hendrix was on another level.
As a lifelong cultivator of the internal martial arts, the echelons and hoary heights to which I tend to aspire are rather mythic. One begins to wonder if it is even possible to truly attain mastery when the bar is so astronomically high.
I have found that while perfection is, either incredibly ordinary, or impossible--depending on how you look at it--it is actually possible to master things. This certainly doesn't mean that you have reached the pinnacle of all possibility... that infinitely escalating and unfolding carrot on a string that keeps us striving for ever higher vistas of thorough domination in our art. Rather, it means that you are comfortable at the highest level of your game... that you can relax while doing things that others wouldn't even attempt.
Technically, you have mastered something when you have people wanting you to teach them to do what you have done. Most heavy arts have some time-honored system of passing down the wisdom from master to master in long lines stretching back into the depths of history. From the current guru, back through the shadowy mists, to the immortal ascended masters...
When a master accepts a student he becomes that person's spiritual father... and thus, his master becomes their spiritual grandfather... and so on. The word Sifu (honorific of Kung Fu masters) literally means spirit father.
The ultimate mastery, of course, is that of self-realization, though most would probably be rather content with simple self-actualization. Mastering oneself completely (by any benchmark) has never been an easy prospect, and in today's society it might actually seem like a ridiculous fantasy.
Believe what you will; I am convinced that it is an achievable prospect... and one which should be all of our goals to achieve.
In the end, the ultimate master is the architect of our reality... that sublime genius who not only paints the clouds at sunset, but created the very possibility of beauty. The artist that designed every possible leaf on every possible tree... all at once, by setting up the equations by which leaves are even formed.
Many of you might prefer to think of your universe as being less conscious... random, or mechanistic even. That is your right. Nonetheless, when we, as humans, do anything artistic... we are trying to imitate something. And when we succeed, we do indeed touch the divine (however you want to entangle infinity).
All I can say is if you are ever blessed enough to be in the presence of a true master, savor that shit.
Seriously. Eat it up and bathe in that glory.
It is not everyday that a master will crouch down low enough, and do something wondrous at a level that you can appreciate it directly. As one who has been so blessed more than his fair share of times, I will leave you with a taste of what I mean: