Gary Scherling writes :
> We all have to learn how -to achieve Personal Mastery-, and I'll
> pose this question, how do you
> learn how? Where do you go? Who do you seek out?
> The people who have already acheived it.
> And where do you find these people?
> If they truly have achieved Personal Mastery, you'll find them in
> 'Who's Who?" , and they will be wealthy.
I'm sorry, but this, frankly, is naive nonsense of a peculiarly American
type. It is also dangerous. Most of the great religions have been
concerned with 'Personal Mastery' for over a thousand years, and I cannot
think of one that associates worldly wealth and fame with it. The
Christian model of Personal Mastery, Jesus of Nazareth, seems to have
eschewed money, was tortured to death, and made no appearance in any
contemporary records apart from those of his followers -with the exception
of a dismissive reference or two in Josephus-
There are probably more references to wealth, money and poverty in the
Christian Greek Scriptures than there are to 'salvation', where almost
exclusively "Mammon" is seen as a serious obstacle to true spiritual
development, or a sign of fatal spiritual compromise.
The idea that God favours the spiritually successful with material wealth
is a rather obscure variation of some Calvinist theology which just
happens to have provided a theological undergirding for the exploitation
of North America by Protestant European settlers. I have no doubt that it
*was* their experience that their spiritual values and self-discipline
brought them great wealth, but to extrapolate from that particular <and
very unique> historical context to make such a generalisation is just
The reason it is dangerous is because it sets material wealth up as an
indicator of "success" in Personal Mastery. The "Personal Mastery", in
this case, means nothing more than personal mastery of the market
capitalist system. But anyone who is interested in 'system thinking'
about the world economy can see only too clearly the way market capitalism
horribly distorts the lives of people and nations, and stands to destroy
The personal mastery *I* seek is that which enables us to overcome the
dangerous inadequacies of this System, not one that enables me to profit
Revd Dick Wolff Mission Enabler to the Wessex Province of the United Reformed Church Tel : +44 1865 511798 Fax : +44 1865 310769 e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
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