From my Book, If I Knew Then What I Know Now:
As I lay on my back, hands clasped behind my head, while my eyes focused on the ceiling above, I thought, How could it be possible for me (or anyone) to perform at a higher level than that at which I had been performing? If I can reach an even “higher level,” would that not mean that “everyone” was capable? But would anyone even want to do what I am doing to perform at “peak proficiency”? I questioned myself.
I knew “they” would love to perform as I have been performing. But would they believe that they could do what I am doing (other than in their wildest dreams)? Could they recognize what it is they would have to do besides? “Many (all) would be called, but only few (if any) would be able to choose,” to paraphrase a thought stimulated by a biblical reference.
I wondered momentarily what was, or what would be, happening in the fields of martial arts and boxing as Bruce and Cassius make known the effects of higher standards in their respective realms of innovation. I guess time would tell!
I pondered my baseball future in this ultra-conservative arena of “slow-changing” sports-minded mentality. It would seem almost impossible for America’s pastime to quickly adapt to the metaphysical principles ascertained by Abraham and J. F. P., as well as their progenitors of sequentially enhanced thought. The ultimate promotion of highest skill-level development seems too distant in the future. Only Einstein (and I) might “imagine” an era when the speed of human thought might equal or surpass that of E=MC2 and provide a viable formula for baseball batting success unparalleled to anything in previous sports history.
While thoughts were swirling within my mind’s generating mechanism, inducing a constant stream of stimulating vibrational impulses, I felt an unusual sense of “ease.” My body gave the impression of weightlessness, as it seemed to carry itself beyond all present circumstances into an esoteric realm of infinite possibilities.
The first thought to stimulate inquiry was the recollection of a brief statement by the “second woman”—of A Course in Miracles—in my initial dream sequence: “You cannot reach heaven alone.” It seemed subtly intriguing at the time, but whose expanded meaning never registered until now. As in baseball, that heavenly state of championship quality cannot be reached in the aspiration of/for just one player. He must perceive that all his teammates are “there” with him. In heaven’s parlance, “he must see as God sees!” He can’t be in heaven without seeing his teammates there with him!
The momentum from that idea fostered a recollection of another intriguing essay of J. F. P. titled “Optimal Success Cannot Be Attained Independently.” Excerpts read as follows:
Barry Bonds was the greatest hitter in Baseball history. He had beaten Hank Aaron’s Home Run record, and was the only player in (out of) the Game who had the potential to be a perennial .400-hitter. He had been named Baseball’s Most Valuable Player 7 times, and had been a contender for “Sportsman of the year” and “person of the year” honors, at least on one occasion. Yet the ultimate quality of his successful career was diminished by the fact that his teams had never won the highest of honors, “World Series Championship.”
Why should that fact take anything away from the quality of his individual success? It doesn’t, but in exploring both the philosophical and spiritual contributors to highest expectation and achievement, it cannot be denied that had his team won the World Series, it would have been his “Crowning Achievement.”
History has shown that kings and power-mongers have been only minimally successful in the “long-run” because their constituencies didn’t seem to share a compatible sense of prestige and greatness. A leader is always appreciated as one who shines above the rest, with certain magnanimous qualities. But the atmosphere of godliness wears thin when his human vulnerability displays such unsavory characteristics as “hubris” and other forms of incivility. Lack of collective commitment, to serve only personal aggrandizement, usually renders the highest universal achievement unaffordable. A complete success would have to entail the fruition of the whole.
One who would be a true leader of a team is he whose exemplary physical and mental composition complies with the exact nature of “team spirit.” He would have to be the embodiment of those qualities that would inspire others to appreciate the intrinsic need for compatibility and cooperation to achieve a collective goal.
Barry Bonds definitively embodied those personal attributes (as did Alexander the Great) to inspire his teammates to their collectively highest glory! And he also appeared to have certain characteristics that would have inspired others to emulate his greatness. But, for him to have realized his ultimate-goal of capturing the World Series Crown, he would have had to thoroughly understand that each member of his team was as integral a part of that fabric of unity as he was. The tension of the finely knitted team-fabric must not exceed the delicate bounds of generously enthusiastic applause and constructive criticism, within a framework of genuinely compassionate camaraderie.
I absolutely concurred with everything the “author” implied about teamwork and team spirit. I would guess that the writer of A Course in Miracles would also agree. I believed that I had naturally embodied those sentiments in my own thoughts about my teammates and their progressive climbs toward ultimate proficiency. My own constant inspiration was to do my best, and I had hoped that theirs would be the same.
Coming Soon: Part 3!