Humility is a state of continual dying to existence. It’s realised when someone truly perceives the futility of trying to understand life or why things happen the way they do. This means being humbled, not in humiliation but through events and circumstances of unrelenting intensity to shatter the arrogance of the person or self. It’s the surrender of everything as a sacred offering to God, the unknowable but all pervading Divine Source within.
The word ‘humility’ derives from the Latin ‘humilis’, meaning lowly or insignificant. The word can be traced further back in time to its original meaning: the soil of the earth. Each of us symbolises the earth as intelligence in matter. Just as the earth is alone in space in a state of humility with the cosmos, so must man and woman dare to stand alone in the world. They must live their truth even if this means being crucified, not by nails on a cross but by the prejudices and attitudes of those still attached to their emotional way of life. Humility is to live without fear of what others might say, and to be willing to be true to life unto death.
Man is humbled in a different way to woman as the spiritual search for completion reaches a particular depth of self-annihilation. He often has to face some aspect of his former self in the mirror of his fellow man. The possibilities are endless. Perhaps he’ll have to surrender a position of worldly authority to someone younger or more qualified than himself. There’ll be many situations which test his power of will to remain true to life while being subjected to arduous and sometimes almost unbearable inner conflict, especially when he has to go against the wishes of loved ones in the search for the truth.
Woman is humbled in her surrender to love, which has its own integrity and often conflicts with all she’s previously valued in the search for her heart’s desire. She often endures periods where she despises herself, which is the remnant of her past emotional pain that has not yet been purified through love. Against her better judgment and inner dismay, she falls in love again in the misguided notion that things will be different next time. And so she repeats the spiral into the personal love of man’s form instead of the noble principle within him. It’s in humility to the impersonal calling of love that woman surrenders her need to ever suffer again.
True spiritual humility differs from the way a religious devotee is subservient to a spiritual practice in detriment to their physical wellbeing. Being humble is neither subservience nor inferiority, which is the result of comparing oneself to another. Humility is to be tolerant beyond the normal limit of understanding. The humble man or woman is he or she who has learnt not to interfere with that which doesn’t concern them, to try to teach another unless they ask or to say everything that is known when it’s not appropriate. This is not a withholding but a subtle discernment of the needs of a situation. There’s a time and place for all things, even in the apparent failures which can appear to serve no purpose whatsoever.
Humility is to be psychically open to enjoy nature and the beauty of people when they are receptive to the simplicity of love. Humility is in the recognition of the right to give, and to be able to receive as a reciprocal of that sacred exchange. And above all, humility is the acceptance of life with all its challenges, which negates the need to dwell on the pain and trauma of the past.