The Seven Stages of Mastery
The late Los Angeles-based spiritual teacher, George Falcon, used to talk about what he called The Seven Stages of Mastery.
The first stage is the Dysfunctional Stage. The motto of the dysfunctional person is “He, she or it did it to me” and he guarantees us that people at this stage are going to experience lack. It is called Dysfunctional because people in this stage, like everyone else, are trying to live happy, healthy and comfortable lives but their actions and thoughts keep reinforcing a life that has none of those things, or their presence is fleeting rather than permanent.
The next stage is called Recovery. In this stage, you take responsibility for everything that happens to you and thereby begin break the dysfunctional patterns in your life. At this stage, you may not know why you are responsible but you nevertheless, almost as an antidote to the Dysfunctional behaviors, take 100% responsibility. Yes, even if someone rear ends you while driving.
The third is the Healthy Stage. The outstanding characteristic of the healthy pattern is that the individual is working on an assumption that they are the power and that they are in touch with all the power. It is about partnership or working as a team with the universe. So they can make choices out of reason and data but they can also make choices out of intuition, inspiration, or (a la Kant), a priori knowledge. The key is not to forget that we are the junior partner and sometimes the senior partner will veto what we think is best.
The fourth stage is Mastery. It is displayed by your ability to start something, keep it going, and stop it, all exactly as you determine. Or you display mastery by being able to do something that is an exaggerated level to what a normal person can do (through weight, distance, or time, for example). Mastery is over whatever moves. What moves? Your brain and your body; your breathing, thinking, feeling, movement, actions.
Once you are a master, the next stage is Illumination, then Enlightenment, then Liberation. Since most of us are in the Dysfuncational stage he doesn’t spend much time on these other stages but I mention them for completeness.