The Great Certification Name Debate
To my mind, a Guru is more accomplished than than a Master. Most anybody can master their craft
a suitable number of years and hours of practice or devotion. Very few have the wherewithal to become a Guru no
matter how much they try. Think Allah, Christ, Buddha, Gloosecap, Confucius, etc. You are not likely to meet or
work with a Guru, but your great great grandparent/child may.
A [some term I've not identified yet, use Wizard for now] floats somewhere between Master and
Guru, and maybe even above and below both levels of accomplishment. Shakespeare, Leonardo, Miyamoto
Musashi, Darwin, Newton. There are more Wizards than Gurus and it's conceivable that you could know and
They are a very great number of Masters and in all likelihood you will become one if you stay in the
place for enough years (a decade or two). You are pretty much guaranteed the opportunity to work with and
Adept is the most suitable alternative term to the emotionally charged Journeyman and the
meaning Journeyer. In most trades, it takes four to seven years of five days a week, both school and
practical work experience, to become an Adept. Adepts are probably a better souce of practical day to day
learning than masters because they are easy to find and the gap between their understanding and yours is not
Initiate may be a more suitable term than Apprentice and Novice which are even more
emotionally laden with subtext than Journeyman but for entirely different reasons.* An
Initiate intends to become an Adept or a Master eventually.
Observer should be Dilettante. Or perhaps Dilettante should be it's own category, yes, that's
it. A Dilettante is somebody who plays around with the craft but has no (serious) intentions of ever
adept or masterful. An Observer is curious and hangs about just to take in the atmosphere and get a feel for the
* Nobody wants to be inexperienced or ignorant or uninformed. That is unfortunate. It
-precisely- in the areas where we are foolish and ignorant that we have the most potential for growth and power.
electrician friend (a journeyman btw, 3 yrs school, 10 years experience) put it nicely:
"I look for the places where I feel the most stupid and that's where I hang out. It's there that I really learn things."
This friend is becoming quite accomplished in a variety of areas and is a true physical hacker. If it's made out of
metal, wires or wood he can adapt (note the similarity to adept) and form it to fit his needs. If he can't find it, he
builds it. Trucks, cars, houses, tools. They are all putty in a constant state of transformation in his hands.
Anyway, the point is, the whole reason for this diary entry is, being a babe in the woods is not something to be
ashamed of or a state to get rid of as quickly as possible. It is a place to play in and fully explore. 'Be ye as a
child' and all that. The secondary point is, it takes time and hard work to become really skillful at a craft. There is
no shame in not having that skill yet.
Look for where you are stupid and hang around in it.
for the record, a Dilettante.