George Leonard, fully George Burr Leonard

George
Leonard, fully George Burr Leonard
1923
2010

American Writer, Editor, and Educator who wrote extensively about education and human potential, President Emeritus of the Esalen Institute, President of the Association for Humanistic Psychology, President of ITP International, Editor of Look Magazine

Author Quotes

At the heart of it, mastery is practice. Mastery is staying on the path.

Competition is the spice of sports; but if you make spice the whole meal you'll be sick.

Goals and contingencies are important. But they exist in the future and the past, beyond the pale of the sensory realm. -- Practice (the path of mastery) exists only in the present. You can see it, hear it, smell it, feel it. -- To love the plateau is to love the eternal now, to enjoy the inevitable spurts of progress and the fruits of accomplishment, then serenely to accept the new plateau that waits just beyond them. To love the plateau is to love what is most essential and enduring in your life.

How can I describe the kind of person who is on a path to mastery? First, I don't think it should be so dead serious. I think you should understand the joy of it, the fun of it. Being willing to see just how far you can go is the self-surpassing quality that we human beings are stuck with. Evolution is a whole long story of mastery. It's being real. It's being human. It's being who we are.

In terms of the game theory, we might say the universe is so constituted as to maximize play. The best games are not those in which all goes smoothly and steadily toward a certain conclusion, but those in which the outcome is always in doubt. Similarly, the geometry of life is designed to keep us at the point of maximum tension between certainty and uncertainty, order and chaos. Every important call is a close one. We survive and evolve by the skin of our teeth. We really wouldn't want it any other way.

Now here is a key: you want to make it real and present in the realm of your consciousness. You don't say “I'm going to do such and such” - it already has happened. Now, is consciousness real? It exists and it is very powerful. The idea is to have this mesh between your consciousness - your visualization - and the so-called material world.

There is a human striving for self-transcendence. It's part of what makes us human. With all of our flaws we want to go a little bit further than we've gone before and maybe even further than anyone else has gone before.

What if you're practicing wrong? Then you get very good at doing something wrong. If we don't get good instruction, then we don't notice when it's a little out of round. Surrender yourself to your teacher. That's doesn't mean you turn over your life to the teacher - you don't want a guru. You have to keep the autonomy within yourself. You are finally the ultimate authority on your own practice.

Any significant long-term change requires long-term practice, whether that change has to do with learning to play the violin or learning to be a more open, loving person.

The best practice entices us with its endless possibilities. It's like a journey in which as we advance one mile toward the destination, it recedes two miles toward the horizon. We're not discouraged by this, but in fact exhilarated, because a practice having infinite possibilities opens us to a life of constant learning. Every attainment serves as a platform for new and unceasing explorations in consciousness.

What was once impossible now summons us to dismantle the walls between ourselves and our sisters and brothers, to dissolve the distinctions between flesh and spirit, to transcend the present limits of time and matter, to find, at last, not wealth or power but the ecstasy (so long forgotten) of commonplace, unconditional being. For the atom's soul is nothing but energy. Spirit blazes in the dullest of clay. The life of every woman or man-the heart of it-is pure and holy joy.

In terms of the game theory, we might say the universe is so constituted as to maximize play. The best games are not those in which all goes smoothly and steadily toward a certain conclusion, but those in which the outcome is always in doubt.

We believe that all men somehow possess a divine potentiality... We reject the tired dualism that seeks God and human potentialities in denying the joy of the senses.

The ultimate creative capacity of the brain may be, for all practical purposes, infinite.

Conservation is a state of harmony between man and land.

Author Picture
First Name
George
Last Name
Leonard, fully George Burr Leonard
Birth Date
1923
Death Date
2010
Bio

American Writer, Editor, and Educator who wrote extensively about education and human potential, President Emeritus of the Esalen Institute, President of the Association for Humanistic Psychology, President of ITP International, Editor of Look Magazine