Posted by Mariana Scaravilli on Aug 2, 2017


We assume, all of us, that we lead a mostly balanced life. Sometimes this condition is referred to as normal-abnormal. Our aim is to become normal-normal, to realise the potential that accompanied our birth of becoming a fully-human being. At that point, something else may become available.

For many of us, the conditions of our professional lives are stressful and profoundly unbalanced. How to use these conditions to support our aim of becoming normal-normal? How to use our professional life in the development of our personal discipline? May we use unpromising conditions to sharpen our game?

The rule that applies here is: We are not asked to take on anything more than we can honourably bear.

Some of the people on this course are involved in counseling, and often the people they deal with are disturbed. Much of the disturbance is related to substance abuse. In Guitar Craft, we begin where we are. Prior usage is not a handicap to participation on the course; current use is not acceptable. But to be exposed for long periods to the energies that inhabit the personal presence of disturbed people, can be harmful. Counselors learn to protect themselves, but nevertheless there must be a Right Degree of exposure to abnormal-abnormal.

Some people and places are negative, perhaps harmful, and sometimes intentionally malicious. The intensities of negativity might be referred to as:


In acquiring a discipline, the question is: will exposure to this negativity support me in refining my practice? May I turn this negativity to my advantage?

Taking on evil, as part of one’s work, is only possible for spiritual masters or geniuses (whatever we may understand by that). Mischief and malice, jealousy and resentment, greed and envy, have been part of my professional life since 1969, when increasing professional success and public attention brought with it the full force of The Basement. And, sometimes, the heavens have opened and angels descended.

What is necessary for us to find Right Proportion: a harmony between our outer and inner lives, a balance between responsibilities to self, family and community. This requires of us experience, and the application of intelligence. Clarity and definition are key.

Unless we test our limits, to discover how far we are able to make psychological, emotional and physical efforts, and over what period of time, we don’t have sufficient experience to make a judgment. In which case, we often return to situations that are damaging. Guitar Craft courses are one example of a supportive environment for this kind of testing.

Ongoing Effort:            normal + 10%
Exceptional Effort:        normal + 30-50%
Emergencies:               whatever it takes.

We discover for what periods of time we are able to make ongoing and exceptional efforts. The degree to which this is possible for us is sometimes referred to as being.

One frequent error is to work too hard, or to make misapplied efforts. There are different reasons for this, mostly related to our early upbringing, environment and education. The effects, in extremis, act to unseat our lives, relationships with other people, and our personal health.

A second frequent error is to work too little, or to make no effort. This is sometimes referred to as laziness. In this case, how life treats us will tend to give us disappointment.

What is 100% effort for one person may, externally, measure less than the 100% of another person. But, both are 100% in respect of the potential available to them.

Monday, 26th. January 2004
Villa Mercedes / Padres Claretianos,
Calle San Pascual Nº 3, esquina travesía San Pascual,
28 460 Los Molinos,
Madrid, España.


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