“Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble
When you’re perfect in every way
I can’t wait to look in the mirror
Cause I get better looking each day
To know me is to love me
I must be a hell of a man
Oh Lord It’s hard to be humble,
But I’m doing the best that I can.”
-from It’s-hard-to-be-humble-Mac-Davis song
I was going to start this blog post with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi, but as soon as I started writing, this song started ringing out in my head, so I went with these lyrics instead. You should take a minute to watch the YouTube video link above. It’s such a catchy song, very tongue-in-cheek but at the same time contains a serious message if you want to look into it more deeply. Because the difference between maintaining a state of balance in your body-mind and slipping into ego-led delusion is like teetering on a knife-edge, and one on which I teeter (and fall) quite often. As I frequently tell people, “I’m a work in progress!”
One spiritual quality I struggle with is that of humility. It is hard to be humble, as the song says. We are hard-wired to strive for better, to improve ourselves, and when we do make improvements (be they physical, mental, spiritual) we naturally feel gratified. Watch out though, for this is the ego entrapping us in the cycle of action-gratification-more action- and this will inevitably lead to unhappiness. I awoke to the reality of life on earth through ill-health some 9 years ago. I see this awakening as a true blessing, but when I look at others who are still caught on the treadwheel of material desires and delusion, a sense of smugness can sometimes beset me. I start thinking things like, “I’m better than him or her”, or I judge their behaviour because it doesn’t come up to my standards.
Who made me God?
But hold on a minute here. Who made me God? I don’t get to decide how we should all behave and think! I know this to be true, but equally I haven’t fully assimilated it in a practical sense yet. This is a big block I need to deal with before I can progress further. Where did this arrogance come from? I was certainly very driven since childhood, but perhaps it comes from a previous incarnation? In any case, it has to go. This arrogance is the opposite of humility and I know I must do my very best to hand it over to God and at every moment, make the choice of humility instead. Here’s the Gandhi quote:
“It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom.”
God’s spark shines in all of us equally. Paramahansa Yogananda (20thC Swami who brought Kriya yoga to the west) made the analogy of sunlight falling equally on a lump of coal and a diamond, yet only the diamond receives and reflects the light. Have a nice weekend and Shine-on-you-crazy-diamond (Pink Floyd)! Anita.💎