Meditation for Sunday of Week 25 in the season of Ripening

Being Proficient – Excelling

The third stage of development is not easily defined. The second draws the distinction from the mere capacity to perform at some level, into the capacity to perform with at least passing skill and competence. The fourth stage represents a level of excellence attained by only a few, which we might call being exceptional or transcendent. The middle ground between the second and fourth stages could be called proficiency or excellence. By standard normative definitions, this group represents the top five percent in level of attainment, whereas the second level represents the ninety percent above the bottom and below the top five percent.

This may be an acceptable definition for skills in relation to the material world, such as the ability to solve mathematical problems. However, that is not quite what this model is about. The values in the respective domains at this level of development are involvement, scientific method and initiative. Those are qualities of personal attainment, not qualities of technical skill. I am reluctant to employ standard normative analysis to a model for personal development and spirituality, which are not competitive endeavors. We do not know what might be possible in a society in which children were routinely trained in a model based on universal worth and dignity, and the social norms supported the verbal lessons.  Theoretically, and for all we know, nearly everyone may be capable of becoming a spiritual master. The best definition I can give of the distinction represented by this level is that the individual has attained a high level of accomplishment but not the level of transcendence that is attained by only a few. Perhaps you readers can help me refine this definition.


Technical and Analytical Readings

True Narratives


Film and Stage

Music: Composers, artists, and major works

Nicolò Paganini was among the greatest violinists of any age. His six violin concerti demand a high level of technical proficiency, and also reflect excellence of musical composition.

Other compositions:


Music: songs and other short pieces

  • Steve Howe’s Remedy (2004), Part 16

This Is Our Story

A religion of values and Ethics, driven by love and compassion, informed by science and reason.


First ingredient: Distinctions. What is the core and essence of being human? What is contentment, or kindliness, or Love? What is gentleness, or service, or enthusiasm, or courage? If you follow the links, you see at a glance what these concepts mean.


This site would be incomplete without an analytical framework. After you have digested a few of the examples, feel free to explore the ideas behind the model. I would be remiss if I did not give credit to my inspiration for this work: the Human Faith Project of Calvin Chatlos, M.D. His demonstration of a model for Human Faith began my exploration of this subject matter.


A baby first begins to learn about the world by experiencing it. A room may be warm or cool. The baby learns that distinction. As a toddler, the child may strike her head with a rag doll, and see that it is soft; then strike her head with a wooden block, and see that it is hard. Love is a distinction: she loves me, or she doesn’t love me. This is true of every human value:

justice, humility, wisdom, courage . . . every single one of them.

This site is dedicated to exploring those distinctions. It is based on a model of values that you can read about on the “About” page. However, the best way to learn about what is in here is the same as the baby’s way of learning about the world: open the pages, and see what happens.

ants organic action machines

Octavio Ocampo, Forever Always

Jacek Yerka, House over the Waterfall

Norman Rockwell, Carefree Days Ahead


When you open, you will see a human value identified at the top of the page. The value changes daily. These values are designed to follow the seasons of the year.

You will also see an overview of the value, or subject for the day, and then two columns of materials.

The left-side column presents true narratives, which include biographies, memoirs, histories, documentary films and the like; and also technical and analytical writings.

The right-side columns presents the work of the human imagination: fictional novels and stories, music, visual art, poetry and fictional film.

Each entry is presented to help identify the value. Open some of the links and experience our human story, again. It belongs to us all, and each of us is a part of it.

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