A few times lately I’ve had the spontaneous experience of true humility and I’ve been asked to write about it. This is difficult because it is hard to characterize what true humility feels like. The nearest I can come is to say I realize this split-mind’s proper relationship to Truth and gratitude for it.
True humility only arises for me in the awareness of Truth. I do not try to be humble. If I did, that could only be the ego (personal thought system), and the ego is not at all involved in true humility. As the opposite of Truth it cannot be aware of Truth so it is incapable of true humility. It does, however, distort the idea of humility, and it is easier to write about what true humility is not to understand what it is.
The ego uses everything to glorify the self and the ego. Its version of humility is false humility: “Look how humble I am! Doesn’t this make me great?” If the ego feels good about humility, I know I’m not feeling true humility!
True humility is also not humiliation. It is different from the experience of the ego in that the mistaken sense of the importance of the ego, the self, and the individual experience, is gone. So it is easy to see why the ego would characterize this as “humiliation”. However, I have no sense of shame or degradation in true humility. If I feel humiliated I’m not experiencing true humility.
True humility is not a feeling of littleness, either. My bloated sense of self-importance is gone so I can see why the ego would interpret it this way. I do feel smaller, but not small. It is as if I had swollen ankles for a long time and when the swelling was gone I interpreted my ankles as “skinny” when in fact they were just back to normal. I experience true humility as the correct view of my mind as part of Truth, rather than as autonomous and whole unto itself. But this is not as a diminishment.
A key aspect of true humility is gratitude. Gratitude arises spontaneously when I am aware of Truth. Identifying with a self I feel like I’m all-important and that’s an incorrect view and I know something is “off”. Gratitude arises in relation to true humility because I am happy to see my mind’s actual position in relation to Truth. It is a relief to stop trying to be what I am not.
I suspect true humility only arises in contrast to the experience of self-importance. It is a transitional experience as self-identification falls away from this split-mind and it learns its actual position. When self-id has fallen away completely from this mind it will no longer be split. Only the Awareness of Truth will be left. Then there will be nothing with which to contrast It and humility will no longer arise.
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