Most ‘spiritual’ people do not understand this basic concept, and as a result are either arrogant or self defacing, as ‘worshipped gurus’ or fringe ‘alternative (little) people’.
They do not realize that the duality is not between pride and humility.
Pride is in fact the prerequisite of humility.
The opposing duality is between pride and arrogance.
And between humility and self depreciation.
By contrast, pride and humility is a continuum, as are self depreciation and arrogance.
Jesus, the Buddha and other leaders of spiritual, religious and other traditions which set out to en-lighten, emphasise the importance of humility.
But humility is not a state that most of us are ready to attain, and in conscientiously trying to ‘do the right thing’ we become self depreciating, self destructive, and consequently of no benefit to our world.
In order to reach humility, we need to start at the beginning of its continuum, at pride.
Consider for a moment courage.
It does not take courage to fight battles, to transcend conflict, or to approach an apparently desirable person of the complementary gender, unless we experience (the presence of) fear doing it in the first place. Fear is the beginning of the continuum which leads to courage. A war veteran may be totally fearless in a war zone, but paralyzed with fear at the opportunity of approaching a woman to whom he feels attracted. For a suave playboy, approaching a woman may involve no fear at all, while a conflict situation far less dangerous than a war would be terrifying. In order for courage to exist, we must have fear. Fear is a most natural and healthy way after all to responding to a situation where you risk being ‘shot down’ one way or another, and courage, not denial, leads to taking charge of the situation.
If you, dear readers would like me to clarify and expand on this in a dedicated article, please let me know.
Self depreciation and arrogance are both ends of the continuum of the way we deal with the feeling of (fearful) detachment, separation and denial of our connectedness with everyone and everything else. In this instance we do not confront the fear of ‘being in the world’ (courageously) but deny it. We put the world ‘out there’ and ourselves ‘here in our own self created bubble’. As ‘separate entities’ from the world ‘out there’ we (or rather our ego which creates the separation) feel/s a need to defend our ‘separateness.’ It will do this either by ‘acting aggressively superior’, or by curling up into our protective little shells and hoping that we are not noticed (self depreciation)
In order to be proud, and consequently humble, we need some courage.
Courage to acknowledge ourselves in the world and accept our own virtues, gifts and abilities and the positive impact they have on our lives, BE (come) them, and finally ACT on them, with the resulting benefits on the lives and world of those around us. To shine in it and not “hide our light under a bushel”, to quote a well known phrase in the Judaic writings. To shine our light form the hilltop, on any and everyone within range to receive it, unconditionally. To strut our stuff, Proudly.
However, as we have courageously faced the fear of being ‘in this world’, an integral part of it, and then transcending it by confronting it and acting on where “our light” takes us, we realize that we and our gifts are only a gift from, and part of a greater whole. Just like the cells and organs of the body are all indispensable to its functioning and hosting your expression of life or soul, so we are all cells of the Body of Life and need to acknowledge ourselves proudly as such.
Pride thus becomes a joy of one’s own grandeur within, because of and in gratitude and gratefulness (learn to differentiate between them here) of the Grand Scheme of things, the Whole. (not as opposed, in comparison, in competition or in any other way separate of it or any other person or being), and by extension an unconditional love, acceptance and acknowledgment of the world through which (and through no other way) it can be expressed.
Had it not been for the hens, why should the rooster be proud?
Had it not been for the hens, the rooster would not even exist.
It is this recognition of ‘debt’ to the world, an acknowledgment of the reciprocation, of cooperative belongingness that cannot bring anything else but a true sense of humility to the proud person.
I am proud. Why? Not because of my post graduate studies in psychology or education. I am proud because, despite the many years of educational channeling (education in Latin means to force into a pipe, as does pedagogy in Greek) I have found within me, through my rather challenging life, the gifts I have for mentoring and facilitating healing in others, through workshops, teleseminars, articles, workshops ebooks, counseling (face to face & through internet video calls) all over the world) and psychosomatic bodywork. The most challenging part, which took the most courage, was to Act on it, as the results in terms of healing are so astounding that I was initially terrified. (another future article you need to read to liberate your potential) I refuse to allow anybody to refer to what I do as ‘alternative’. Alternative to what? Therapy is a process of healing a person, so that they release physical and psychological dis-ease. By contrast, the focus on sickness and trying to suppress the messages given us by dis-ease is to me an alternative, a poor and dangerous one at that.
But I am also humble. In gratitude and gratefulness (see Why Gratitude for the difference between these terms) for the Love and life sacrifice of my parents, who have given me everything of themselves. For the sacred privilege of being a father to Chloe. And how Life conspires to reflect back to me just what I need. For the trust, for the opportunity to touch people and thus the world so deeply. To be given the opportunity by Life for being a vehicle to so much healing. And to be able to see reason for everyone, yes, everyone I touch, whether figuratively or physically to be proud, no more, no less in their own right, in their own Light.
Look at your own life. Make an inventory as to where you stand in terms of pride (self appreciation), humility, arrogance and self depreciation. If you feel in need of assistance with this list let me know and I will provide an assessment tool in a future post.
Apollo Pampallis is a Life Mentor and can be contacted on Apollo@discoveringthenow.com. He is establishing new web pages in an exciting new alliance. For ongoing information, upcoming webinars, consultations, ebooks and other news please contact him on the above email
The articles published in the Evolution Ezine are excerpts from future books. If you are interested in obtaining one of the first copies once available – for you and/or those you care about – be sure to send him an email and let him know.