Master Pupil

It is of the utmost importance for one to understand the relationship between master and pupil. Unless one does, one can never be free to discover the riches that lie beyond the scope of the mind. For the mind that makes this discovery, there is joy. Most of the relationships between master and pupil are relationships of power. Power always centralizes. Power always corrupts.

The one who knows has power over the one who does not know simply because the one who does not know desires to have what the one who has knows. The pupil who does not know learns from the master through his obedience, self-sacrifice, recognition and acceptance of his master’s authority.

When one learns from a famous master, one also gives oneself importance. One says that he is a member of such and such an organisation led by so and so. The master says he has thousands of pupils in his organisation in every part of the world. Therefore, through recognition, the master and pupil gain status.

The pressures of life have become too great. One is now lonely, fearful and confused. One wants to be free from this state of conflict and to be comforted. The master is one who is supposed to have experienced the state of no conflict and therefore he is an authority on it. So one attaches oneself to the master and accepts his authority in the belief that he can lead one out of his state of confusion to the state of Satori

One doesn't realise to be led and to be guided is to become a slave. If one is a slave, how can one ever know freedom? One must first be free to experience enlightenment. But the master, who knows, is already a slave to his own knowledge and experience. The experience is of knowledge from the past. One does not try to solve one’s own problems because one is just plain lazy. It is easier to have someone take over and tell one what to do.

Life is movement from moment to moment. Finding is from moment to moment. Freedom lies in movement of moment to moment discovery. Enlightenment can be only in a state of freedom. Therefore, how can the master guide or lead us to that which is forever constantly in movement?

It is nonsense to deceive oneself by thinking that one can really seek enlightenment by joining an organisation or practicing a method. One will find enlightenment is not the factor that keeps one loyal to the master and his organisation. It is the comfort and security that it can give to one’s life that does.

The master and his organisation cannot lead one out of his state of conflict; it is understanding that makes it possible for one to see the truth. Truth liberates.

The master asserts that he knows, that through his technique and his methods one can experience enlightenment, that one can be led stage by stage and level by level, graduating from the bottom to the top. So the whole system of different levels of position and authority and of prestige and status is created. How can all these divisions between master and pupil lead to communion? Without communion how can there be enlightenment?

In teaching a method, the master only further conditions one’s mind. How can a conditioned mind be free? All methods are developed on a pattern. The pattern creates the system. The system may give its results and rewards, but life is not a result or reward, it just is.

The followers as well as the master are products of the system they created. If the system leads them to enlightenment, then the system, not enlightenment, would be the dominating factor. If the system is the dominating factor, there can be no freedom. Freedom must be in the beginning or liberation cannot be, freedom is beyond all systems.

Enlightenment will come not through method or invitation. It will come with subtlety and softly when the self is not, when thought is not, when the mind is not. In that state one will know what it is to be free, to discover and to know love. Love of your fellow human beings and to enjoy the richness of everything around us, which has been created by universal powers, far beyond life itself.

The master and his organisation cannot lead one out of his state of conflict; it is understanding that makes it possible for one to see the truth. Truth liberates.

©Copyright Tokushima Budo Council International2008