Appendix A
Discussion of Mastery *

Mastery speaks of the ability to reach a specific goal—to have control—to win. The biological advantage of achieving mastery is an integral part of the survival and procreation of the most adaptive or stronger organism.

Mastery involves stressful behavior patterns. Phylogenetically it is related to self-preservation as seen when the more dominant animal takes first opportunity to satisfy hunger, as well as to species preservation as part of the pattern of sexual forwardness against competitors for the mate and hesitance of the sexual partner. Within this forwardness is doubt of success, which mingles with the sexual hunger. This doubt produces tension and anxiety which subsequently become intimately enmeshed with sensuousness. Mastery, like curiosity, serves both the self and species preservation.

It is reasonable to assume that in the drive toward mastery, in the competition for food and for mating, that, as with the phenomenon of curiosity, a feeling of pleasure slowly evolved to join whatever behavior would lead to the achievement of mastery. This pleasure would in turn encourage the formation of behavior to be masterful.

See chapter 1, p. 29.


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