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The path to enlightenment, step 4

September 20, 2006

Today i’ve received a nice lesson about humility. Without going into detail of what exactly happened, it was the type of situation, where you think you have everything under control and enjoy yourself being the man, and all of a sudden something happens that blatantly shows you how wrong you are, that you’ve got lost in your own illusions once again and the reality sneaks up on you to bring you back to earth. I felt embarrassed by my vanity at that moment, but at the same time it was very comforting to be relieved from it for a while.

This was not the first time i felt this way, and each time it happens i say to myself that i’ll give my best to hold on to this humble state, and each time a couple of days later it’s gone again. Like so many things, it happens in waves. Once i’ve realized what it is that i want, i concentrate on it, examine myself every now and then, try to imagine that state i’m aiming for and bring it back. It works for a day or two, and then slowly slips away, and i can’t figure out, why? Is it because our senses only work in a relative way and need reference to compare the current state to, and once the memory of this state i’m trying to stay in has faded, i’m stuck somewhere in the middle and don’t remember anymore, how far it really goes? Or am i distracted by other things and forget how important i considered being humble?

But whenever i’m lucky enough to catch this feeling for a couple of days, i realize that it’s probably the most valuable thing. Ever. It keeps you from erroneous self-satisfaction, from looking down upon other people showing a weakness, who might teach you a lot otherwise, from relying too much on something you don’t question, but that still can be wrong. It also reminds me of how the world was a place full of wonders and surprises when a was a child, and how dull and predictable it seem now. Of course there is much more to discover in the childhood than it is a couple of decades later, but still there are days when simple things bring me joy if i manage to subdue that “Been there, done that”-attitude and stop feeling omniscient, immortal and infallible. And on top of this, humility feels pleasant, physically. Something inside, that was tense for a very long time and have been causing a general feeling of discomfort, relaxes, sinks and expands. And so far, relaxation has always been an indication of having done the right thing. 🙂


From → Human nature

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