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The master, the journeyman, and the novice

The novice

When Jaime started it seemed so far to go. Even watching the journeyman, Jaime wondered how long it would be or how much he would have to do before she could be that good. "Oh, my god, my life will be perfect if I can ever do what they can do."

The journeyman

But one day Jaime began to notice that others were treating him like a journeyman. And sure enough, she noticed that his knowledge and skills were as good as the journeymen around her. But, as he observed the master, she still thought, "Oh, my god, I'll only be good enough if I can ever be like him."

The master

But one day Jaime realized she was a master. But it was not like he thought it would be. She had thought that a certain level of accomplishment and skill and self-confidence would mean that he had become a master. Yes, it was nice, it as gratifying to have those accomplishments, skills, and self-confidence. But she now realized that the essence of being a master was to know that there was always more to do, always another refinement, always the possibility of another breakthrough, always the chance of another breakdown, always a fundamental knowing of how much he still did not know and still could not do.


She now knew, "Oh, my god, I will never arrive like I thought I would. I was always good enough even when I was a novice."

Looking back, it dawned on him that all those novices who now looked up to her could not know that they were already masters too, the only difference really being that they did not yet realize that they were already there, that they were already good enough, that they had already arrived, and there was no place to get to.

“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin: real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, or a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.”

-Alfred D. Souza

“Life is a Game. In order to have a game something has to be more important than something else. If what already is, is more important than what isn't, the game is over. So, life is a game in which what isn't is more important than what is. Let the good times roll.”

-Werner Erhard

"There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the infinite passion of life."

-Federico Fellini

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