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July 2015

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She who can master, does. She who cannot, studies forever.


It took some time, but I was able to cultivate my entry for Ka’s 3 day quote challenge. Thanks to the awesomely kind and creative Ka of Fiesta Estrellas for nominating my blog for this project. I am not in the proper head space to nominate other bloggers, but if any of my readers feel inspired, please join in and add your mojo to the party!

This post came together this weekend as I began to review my extremely busy week. The topic of teaching and learning is not a new one for me, but recent face to face discussions, media, and other factors created a ” perfect storm” for me to marinate in.

When contemplating my fervent interest in the work of Matt Kahn, a little birdie landed on my shoulder and squealed ” be careful.” This birdie knows me well and reminded me of an old tendency to put people on pedestals that later became rusty and disintegrated into itty bitty pieces. I have known loved ones who knowingly or unconsciously became involved in cults. In every case, some collateral damage occurred and it was not pretty. The ripples from the fallout continue to reverberate to this day. I feel sad for those who lacked the life experience to be able to properly discern which choices were for their highest good. I witnessed great abuses of power and was unable to do anything to prevent them from happening. I pray that all involved have found forgiveness and peace.

In many traditions, discipleship is part of the initiation process. I cannot speak to this personally as I have never participated in such an arrangement. I have worked with a variety of “teachers” over the years and all of them had some difficulty with ego. This does not seem atypical since most human beings struggle with ego. It can be intoxicating to be worshiped by many on a constant basis.  I do take responsibility for my part in these interactions since I was always a willing party. Fortunately my boundaries were well established and no real harm resulted.

Let’s take a look at the first quote:

When the student is ready, the master appears.

Buddhist Proverb

Originally I interpreted this to mean that in Divine timing all seekers will find the ideal person to play the role of ” master”.  I often looked at particular astrological transits to predict when I may attract a new sage into my orbit. With my Venus in Sagittarius, this was not that difficult to manifest!

Today I see this quote with fresh eyes. What if when the student is ready, she becomes the master?

hmmmm, clever, no?

Why must a student remain a perpetual student? How much learning and practice is necessary? Isn’t mastery part of the game? I have two Master’s Degrees but never felt a master of either discipline. It seemed arrogant to take that title seriously. The truth is that formal education does not a master make. The recipe is not based on a GPA or the pedigree of the University. Mastery is complicated because it does not typically occur in a prescribed manner. It is not static either. It can be lost, regained, or appear to be in flux. It is not subject to the laws of 3D reality.

Now let’s examine the next quote:

He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.

Man and Superman (1903) “Maxims for Revolutionists”

 George Bernard Shaw.

Historically I never liked this notion. I found it to be snarky and cynical. My enjoyment of the teacher archetype at work, in part, is why I found this to be distasteful. ” Hey, if I love to teach and am good at it, this does not apply to me! ” I have so much Mercury Jupiter energy in my natal chart, so I am all about the magic of academia and the perpetual process of studying and disseminating knowledge. My Sun/ Moon phase is the disseminating phase, for goodness sake!

Recently I have begun to view this idea from a new angle. I learn best  by direct experience. I also am a fan of those who teach by example. In psychological circles, this is called modeling. It is all about the behavior. This reminds me of yet another favorite quote, actions speak louder than words! When I consider all the folks I know who call themselves spiritual or awake or enlightened, I often walk away less than impressed. In my life, those who say less are usually more evolved in their deeds than those who anoint themselves as self-realized. Have you arrived at the same conclusion?

Ready for the final quote? :

If your blessings becomes automatic, and if you stop seeking for knowledge, knowing that everything you need to know will find you, then you have found the dissolving of the Student, and the Emergence of the Master.  

Matt Kahn

It could be considered ironic that I end this discussion with a Matt Kahn quote, but I can live with that. It is some of his material that accelerated my inquiry into the dynamic between student and master. As I find myself connecting with more people from different generations and worldviews, this dynamic appears more frequently. Questions often arise such as ” When am I ready to lead?” or ” What exactly are you able to offer another about your journey thus far? ” With my astrology practice it took decades before I stopped calling myself a student and took on the title of astrologer. It took even longer to shed the label of seeker.  I attribute this to my unrealistic( and hopefully former) standards of perfectionism.

The notion that all that one needs to know will find you in an instant is provocative and comforting. Yet it is difficult for me to drop the idea that life is a school and we are here to learn lessons. I have latched onto this philosophy with great passion  and enthusiasm. If Matt Kahn’s quote has merit, perhaps I have learned the lesson that I am not here to be an eternal student. I also am grounded enough to embrace the material Matt Kahn provides without turning him into a guru. Lesson learned.

There is so much more I can say on this subject so perhaps I will continue on in a separate post. Thank you Ka for initially introducing me to Matt many moons ago, before I was able to listen intently, and for gently encouraging me to take on this challenge. It has all come full circle.

As always I welcome reactions and questions in the comments section.

This old Police song can be heard on multiple levels; as a twisted love song, a back story on the eventual breakup of the band, or a struggle between master and disciple. Listen and arrive at your own conclusions. It is a stirring piece any way you slice it!

Police – Wrapped around your finger:

listen now


This may have been a verbose essay, but I had a lot to express. And there is probably more to say in the near future, as I find this topic fascinating. Thank you for accompanying me on this wild ride. Hope 7-11 has been lucky for you.

blessings, litebeing

image credits: my  most recent photos at Longwood Gardens.

19 comments on “She who can master, does. She who cannot, studies forever.

  1. alohaleya says:

    ‘What if when the student is ready, she becomes the master?’ I’ve never thought of it this way, and yes, I like that very much! Great post and I resonated with all of it…I love learning and seeking and expanding myself, but do I rely on the teachers and ‘authority’ figures, when I have the answers within? Maybe…but that’s ok. I’m glad I am open enough to be inspired and learn from others! 😉 But now it’s time to go more in the other direction…within. I can be an inner-and-outer seeker. ❤

    Interesting about Matt Kahn too; I've only watched one or two videos of his, and didn't really connect. I'd like to watch more of his stuff though, as he's obviously touched a lot of people. I'm glad you re-blogged this, I missed it in my summer hiatus! xo Aleya

    Liked by 2 people

    1. litebeing says:

      Hi Aleya,
      So glad you enjoyed this one. I put alot of thought into it and it is a recurring theme for me. So many on the path go on and on about their teachers. While that is fine, what about the inner teacher? Matt is not for everyone but you may want to give him another try to see what’s there for you. Most of the newer ones don’t resonate for me, but I like Lee Harris. I like to use these leaders as catalysts for my own awakening.

      love, Linda


  2. Lovely post Linda… I didn’t see it first time around though… I love it that you are allowing yourself to be ‘the master’. To me Master means ‘an aware and wise person who honours and respects all of him/her self and all of life.’

    I never thought about the first quote meaning the student becoming the master… yes I like this very much… and I would add when the student is ready to step out of the Human game, he/she can be the master he/she truly is. A master unto himself inspiring others by his own joyous life along the way.

    Your quite right about gurus, I’ve seen so many people sacrificing themselves on behalf of others, thinking they are more important than them self… this only gives away our own power. It is always nice to listen to others and be reminded of our own inner knowing, but we do have to remember that every focus away from Self is a distraction and part of the Human game.

    Enjoy your evening, take care, Love Barbara x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. litebeing says:

      Hi Barbara,
      Glad you enjoyed my article. I keep revising my ideas as I grow and develop. I would not say I am always operating as a master, but I strive to be my most authentic self.

      peace, Linda

      Liked by 1 person

  3. litebeing says:

    Reblogged this on litebeing chronicles and commented:

    While doing some blog maintenance, I noticed that I never replied to any of the comments. Since I posted this the day before Dexter’s passing, I can see how I overlooked this post. I am reblogging it because it coincides well with my latest post regarding my reaction to Matt Kahn’s latest video and to promote more views and dialogue to my last post with Dexter at my side. Forgive me for not replying to all the thoughtful comments. I will respond soon.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. I was often told my guides that ALL knowledge was within.. That all we needed we already knew. Maybe there are lots of ‘Facts’ in this world I do not know of Linda.. But maybe its not the ‘Facts’ of A or B, Y or Z that matter in so much as the knowing of ones own heart.

    Another Quote for you Linda
    “There is really only one Zen Master … and that’s yourself.”… 🙂 We are all of us Guru’s in our own field of knowledge.. And even though we all at times Look towards others who seemingly have more answers and knowledge than ourselves as we seek out teachers to aid our progression.. In reality we are all Masters, but have forgotten how to master our thoughts. and another quote for you is

    ” You’re not listening to the Zen master, what he is saying outwardly, but even more importantly…what he is saying inwardly.”………. And when we truly listen within.. to our Hearts, and Know it.. then we have become our own masters.

    Love and Blessings and a truly wonderful enlightening piece this is Linda.. And you know I send you my Love and thoughts your way.
    Love and Blessings
    Sue <3..

    Liked by 3 people

    1. litebeing says:

      Hi Sue,
      I am certain you have learned quite a bit on your journey and while going inward is more effort than listening to others, we are meant to become self-actualized. The potential has always been there. Distractions and emotional debris can make the inner journey elusive. Nature and silence will help me get back to Source.

      love your comments and sweet soul.

      Namaste, Linda

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Its always a pleasure to read your posts Linda.. and we learn from each other xxx ❤

        Liked by 2 people

  5. This song came back around in my world. I want to share it with you:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. litebeing says:

      Hi Ka,
      Thanks for the music. I will try to get to it later, Right now I am working on catching up with comments. Everything seems to move slower now that I am grieving. I am patient with me as I do the best that I can. So pleased that many enjoyed this post. Thank you for inspiring me!

      love, Linda

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Janet C says:

    I hadn’t been familiar with the last quote, but the first two were great to revisit. How lovely, indeed, to realize that the student can become the master. There is a point to stop learning and start practicing; much like playing a musical instrument. I’m trying to get this into the head of my five-year-old, who think she should be good at anything immediately. 😉 George Bernard Shaw’s remark on teaching has also bothered me, considering the abundance of good teachers I’ve learned from and hope to emulate. My father always loved quoting it, which, looking back, was condescending in general and damaging to personally internalize. I’ve been the reluctant teacher, not really embracing the role until it was clear that I love the interaction and do OK as long as I don’t pretend to know or have done something that I haven’t; on the flipside, there is a lot I have experienced or heard firsthand that I can share. One of the things I like to say is that we learn best by doing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. litebeing says:

      Hi Janet,
      Thank you so much for visiting and leaving such a thoughtful comment. I apologize with my reply but I overlooked this post in error. I agree that we do learn so much by doing. For myself, there is no substitute for experience. I love both the learning and teaching process if I enjoy the topic at hand. If not, it can be tedious. But I do appreciate the satisfaction of completing a task and solving a problem. I also know that I do nothing by myself. We are guided and supported all the way,


  7. Dear Linda,
    I have to re-read this. I feel so happy for you. Does that make sense? It’s not a cerebral reply; my brain is moosh for the day. I’m cooked. I, too, have contemplated these quotes. As I am currently a student again, as I have subjected myself to student-hood once again. Oooh, so many Good teachers; and yet I don’t feel quite like a student. I keep trying to be in “beginner’s mind,” and I’m getting beyond the point of making myself feel bad for not entirely embodying “student,” while I continue to be indoctrinated. It’s up to me to choose what to keep. I’m even pursuing a doctorate. How’s that for a mind-bender? What’s a title, but more responsibility? Yet I have to overcome this, this and every fear. This and the fact that “doctor” in TCM terms is even weirder than doctor in any other terms.

    I attend, practice, learn and acquire with the knowledge that I am already found; the rest should be fun, but the tests are still very challenging. My work is cut out for me. Today at CRP/First Aid/Defibrillator certification class… I realized that I remembered doing some of this in 9th grade! How did I remember that?! Do I want to have to do it?! NO. I also realized something else, I already saved someone’s life! I helped to save someone’s life. (you can email for details if you want). No matter what… I’m not in charge. I take each day as it comes, I do my best. No more theoretical for me. It’s all just breathing. Your post is so precious: yours and Michael’s, and Sue’s. It’ll be neat to see what comes from this sharing…
    Love you,

    Liked by 4 people

    1. litebeing says:

      Hi Ka,
      It was wonderful re-reading your comments again. I feel your enthusiasm and I cherish it. So glad you enjoyed me post. For a while I had no idea how to tackle it. But lo and behold my muse arrived!

      I know you will be a great TCM healer because you have a big heart. One cannot get a license for that, it must be cultivated. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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