Friday, June 26, 2009

a note on humility

A note on humility

davinci-Virgin of the Rocks face detail.jpg

            Humility is the love of serving, whose opposite is recalcitrance, or the love of independence. Both sides must be participated in at the right time and the right way. No virtue is whole, and God is not one, but the Mother is many. All things fit in at the right place. As pride is the opposite of guilt, and pride stronger than guilt, the greatest humility will be a shine of pride.

            The love of serving is not the love of obeying, for the one who commands, be he God himself, is less than whole, because he commands. Serve those whom you love, and serve their needs and not their wants.

            Humiliation is to be forced to obey, but this would not humble a man, as a humiliated man is never humble.

            In serving your spouse, do your acts of love quietly, not to be noticed, and among friends and coworkers, do the most work in secret, to never be known, so that it will never be known and rewarded, so that only you are impressed and happy with yourself. This alone will serve you forever. To impress others or God is to cheapen the deed and thwart the good—it will turn to grit and confound the system: oil runs silent.

            Give in such a way that your beloved improves, and not in such a way that she feels she owes you something. For debt ruins a person. You must do the most work and let others feel the pride of having done it. That is the joke. Your mind must be wider than they are, and do more than they do, and they must never know it, nor anybody but your private mind. To say is to lose.

            To expect gratitude from another is to be disappointed. To request or demand gratitude is to cut your wrist and smear it on your beloved. Avoid all that. Expect no gratitude from anybody. Even if it would do her good to feel gratitude, this sort of plant must not be planted, requested, or desired, but must spring spontaneous.

            Be always ready to deconstruct praise, for the praise you receive is a laurel of lead, a trap and trick you must evade. Be praised by no man or woman, never, but always outsmart it. He who refuses praise wishes to be praised twice. Don’t do that. Be shrewder. Brag, be silly, boast, so long as it makes people think less of you and not praise you.

            You must learn to be self-sufficient and with Buddha let go of expectations from others. Shine like the sun, who loves without expectations.

            The love you receive returns no reward, and you must seek no reward, but this: after you love the world silently, that same love when returned back on yourself will be deeper and more profound love


What are the principles of subtlety in serving?

First, the gift of service must rarely be presented as such, but, if an explanation is called for, show how it was due. A good rationalizer shines here: "I am doing for you what I owe you," cleverly and simply justify this in an honest way. What did he recently do for you?

            Second, the will to serve must be a natural expression of a dignified heart. Deconstruct any complaints or exasperations.

            Third, if you serve to be seen by men, you have no reward, but if you are unseen, even by God, you will glow to your own love.

            Fourth, you need to kindly help others. Thus, service is sufficient. Accusations of ingratitude are the fruit of a self doubter––fearful and not loving, for while we need to be valued, this should lead us to be more valuable, and not, rather, to claim others are themselves too worthless to value us.

            Fifth, an excuse for service must not be accusing: "Well you wouldn't have done it if I didn't do it for you," nor self deprecating: "Oh, its really nothing at all." Such talk saps the goodness of service. Humility is dignified, after all.



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