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Self Mastery
by Serge Kahili King

Back when Aloha International was first being formed, we listed one of our goals as being "To provide the means for individuals to attain self-mastery." This sounds very well and good, but it means nothing until we have defined what we mean by "self-mastery."

There are connotations to the word "mastery" that may lead some people to the wrong conclusions. If this word is taken in its sense of controlling or ruling, or exercising power over someone or something, then it is easy to imagine a kind of relationship with ourselves in which we use our will to browbeat our "self" into submission, put a leash on our emotions, and forcibly repress all our bad habits and tendencies. Such a course will unerringly lead to catastrophe. Mastery of this kind is nothing more than an ego trip based on a false premise. The false premise, of course, is that a person or thing can be beneficially controlled through the use of direct or implied force. Such an approach always generates fear and anger and the least amount of compliance possible. It amazes me that in spite of massive evidence showing that this is the most inefficient and ineffective way to get anyone to do anything, yet governments keep on doing it to to their people, and people keep on doing it to themselves.

Those who suppress and repress with force do so because of their own fears. When the people running a government do it this results in a neurotic society, and when an individual does it personally it results in a neurotic individual. Sooner or later, that which is held in check through force of will is going to explode in destructive fury. Self-mastery of this type is closer akin to slow suicide.

When Aloha International speaks of self-mastery, we are using mastery in its sense of having the ability to apply expert skill and knowledge. With respect to the self, this means having the knowledge and skill to properly direct the tremendous energies and talents of the self. It must of necessity include an understanding of yourself as a functioning entity in relation to the rest of the universe. This is self-mastery of the highest type: Knowing what you are, who you are, why you are, and where you are going; and also knowing how to get there.

The last sentence above defines the individual goal. The goal of Aloha International, then, is to provide road maps, guidebooks, compasses, walking sticks, and hiking skills to individual men and women trodding their individual paths of life.

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