Pride and Humility

Back on the Aura Reading post, my joke about stubbornness lead to an off-line question. In sharing the response here, it evolved into something new.

I wouldn’t describe stubbornness as necessarily associated with pride. It can be a kind of stand firm or a resistance thing. It depends on what you’re being stubborn about. Stubbornness can push you through barriers sometimes, both in work and spiritually. But it can also make the surrender necessary for shifting stages a little more challenging. And it can indeed be an effect of pride. In the same way, it doesn’t necessarily mean an issue with humility but it certainly might.

Pride, like all emotions, is not a problem in itself. The problem is when it is identified with and held on to. The pride of your child’s accomplishment is natural. And then it naturally resolves and ends. But if we invest in it and try to keep it, we’re making it a part of who we are. Then it becomes a problem because it does end. So we end up holding onto a memory of an emotion instead, which never satisfies.

If there is a deep enough experience of our spiritual reality, it is by nature humbling. There is the simple awe at the size and grandeur of reality, the astonishing variety of life beyond imagination, and the love and intelligence underlying all experience. This can be stirred even with a taste of natures beauty or a good piece of music.

But there can sometimes be the hazard of the spiritualized ego. Big experiences that inflate one’s knowledge but have not yet let the air out of the ego. It becomes a problem, just like above.

There is also the many who hear the descriptions and try to make a mood of being humble, which does nothing except perhaps culture delusion. The ego can grasp that and say “look how humble I am” or “look at how charitable I am.” Clearly not actually humble.

Again, it is the deep experience that brings the humbling, not a mood of it.

I was quite impressed recently when Andrew Cohen formally apologized and took a time out for introspection. He’s been an example of someone who needed some humble pie.

As he observes, a person with an ego remains after awakening. But what is the emphasis? Are we expanding the person with our new knowledge? Or settling deeper into what is here and allowing the knowledge to flow out?

When we think we know something, there is someone there who knows. When we know Nothing, there is no one there to know it. Only that is worthwhile knowing.” — lucialorn

It is one of the more important parts of a maturing awakening. But there is no one size fit’s all formulae. The issue isn’t about knowledge but rather our relationship with it. Those on a more heart-based path will more naturally let go of what is known. Those on more of an intellectual path will be more challenged here. They will need to learn how to be with it rather than be ruled by it.

It’s an astonishing journey but we all have many old habits. Some of them have served us well but some, not so much. Choosing a new emphasis is an ongoing process as the awareness settles deeper and deeper into wholeness and we come to our common roots.
Davidya

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One Response to Pride and Humility

  1. Davidya says:

    Based on some feedback, I wanted to clarify my comment about Cohen. I was impressed because this person has been teaching all these years and has never accepted his role in the crap that arose around him. Full presence does not create division like that. Purification, sure – but separation is an ego effect, not a presence effect.

    As comments on his post suggest, the “apology” was not very genuine, focusing almost entirely on himself. It’s pretty clear where he has work to do but I doubt he recognizes it clearly himself.

    I was impressed because he is at least recognizing he has a role in it and has work to do. It remains to be seen if it really lands or not.

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