Is Humility Hard?

This question is very open. I suspect that genuine humility is scarce, what do you think?

One may assume that one has some humility, but one never knows until tested. There are many things which we cannot bring ourselves to either admit or do, because we lack sufficient humility. And humility may be in our minds, only for the little people. “I don’t have to do that”. It is a strange thing this humility.

There is a lot of arrogance and know-it-all in our modern times. Each of us has that very important opinion that must be heard and taken account of, even when that opinion is not a considered one. Because of the internet there are now hundreds of millions of soap-boxes. This is mine. Many fancy themselves arbiters of knowledge and wisdom, they may even make a living therefrom.

A part of humility must be knowing when and where your knowledge stops.

A part of humility is being responsible for your own actions and thoughts.

To understand humility, one has to look at its opposite “pole” self-importance, this is less scarce so there is plenty of it to see. It is probably easier to work at eradication of self-importance than it is to try to cultivate humility. One has to weed the flower bed, so to speak. And in focusing on this reduction of self-importance humility quite naturally starts to grow. Given space it just evolves. But whilst we are full of self-righteous indignation, pompous self-importance and vanity, there is no space.

Many would choke on this notion of humility. You can see public relations humility, say when a corrupt official pretends, goes on gardening leave, for strategic purposes. All the while they are spitting nails quietly. It is a humbling experience through which they do not gain humility, only resentment.

When we are brought face to face with our own ego, we do not like it overmuch. And even when we think we have it done, we are wrong. There are many false summits. Our vanity and arrogance can quickly flair up again.

Having cued this up:

Do I have humility?

Is it hard?

Is there any point in cultivating this humility thing?

Justification-world – The Dying of the Light

When you hear a justification does it make your spirit soar?

Maybe it does, and it is only me who is weird. We are surrounded by justifications, entombed and our hearts pierced by the countless stakes of them. It appears all so reasonable. We have to justify pretty much everything we do in conversation, in job applications and even to the parrot in its cage. The endless stream of justifications, it turns the world grey and anodyne, bereft of colour. And by our justifications we do some pretty bad shit, it is OK though, because it is thoroughly justified.

To what part of us do justifications speak? Is it our hearts? Is it our pseudo-rational mind? Is it our linguistic core processor?

It is by justification that we silence and assuage the remnants of our conscience and muffle whatever residue of spirit lies mortally wounded within us. And we think we are so very clever in acting like this. Somewhere there is a mountain of babies, piled Everest high. And these are the babies we threw out with the bathwater, because of our insistence on justifications.

We do not see that there is a Dying of the Light. And in any case should we do, we can easily justify it away. And before long all we will be left with are our lovely justifications. We shall knit patchwork blankets out of them and lie beneath them in the hope that they will keep us warm, when the light is no more.

Whilst we shiver, in justification-world we shall feel thoroughly justified, if a little indignant.

From The Five Groups of Souls

our premises and conclusions can be stated in the following propositions:

1. Every human being, in or out of incarnation, is a “fragment of divinity,” and an outpost of the divine consciousness, functioning in time and space for purposes of expression.

2. All these souls, selves, or human beings are found, as we have seen, on one or other of the seven emanations of spiritual energy, issuing forth from God at the beginning of an era of creative activity. They return to their emanating Source when that particular cycle is brought to a close.

3. In the interim between emanation and reabsorption, these souls pass through various experiences until such time as they can “shine forth in all their exactitude of truth.”

4. They are called, as has been stated, in A Treatise on Cosmic Fire (See page 855.)

Lotuses of revelation.
Lotuses with perfume.
Radiant lotuses.
Lotuses wherein the flower is on the point of opening.
Lotuses of closed and sealed condition.
The colorless lotuses.
Lotuses in bud.

5. These souls, cycling through various forms of life in the long evolutionary process arrive eventually at full, self-conscious existence. By this we mean that they are self-determined, self-conditioned, and self-aware. They are also conscious of and responsive to their environment.

6. Once this conscious awareness is achieved, then progress becomes more rapid. It should be borne in mind that many human beings are not thus aware. The groupings which arise out of this awareness (limiting our ideas entirely to those within the radius of the human family) can be expressed as follows:

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  • The souls who are primarily emotional. The mind nature is not functioning strongly, and only rarely does it swing into activity, and the physical body is slipping steadily into the realm of the unconscious. In every race and nation there are millions of such souls in existence. They may be regarded as the modern Atlanteans.
  • Those souls who can now be classed as intelligent human beings, capable of mental application, if trained, and showing that they can think when need arises. They are still, nevertheless, predominantly emotional. They constitute the bulk of modern humanity at this time. They are the average citizens of our modern world, – good, well-intentioned, capable of intense emotional activity, with the feeling nature almost over-developed, and oscillating between the life of the senses and that of the mind. They swing between the poles of experience. Their lives are spent in an astral turmoil, but they have steadily increasing interludes wherein the mind can momentarily make itself felt, and thus at need effect important decisions. These are the nice good people, who are, nevertheless, largely controlled by the mass consciousness, because they are relatively unthinking. They can be regimented and standardized with facility by orthodox religion and government, and are the “sheep” of the human family.
  • The souls who think, and who are minds. These are steadily increasing in number and gaining in power as our educational processes and our scientific discoveries bring results, and expand human awareness. They constitute the cream of the human family, and are the people who are achieving success in some department of human life. They are writers, artists, thinkers in various fields of human knowledge and aspiration, politicians, religious leaders, scientists, skilled workers and artisans, and all those who, though in the front rank, yet take ideas and propositions and work with them for the ultimate benefit of the human family. They are the world aspirants, and those who are beginning to get the ideal of service into their consciousness.
  • Those souls whose sense of awareness on the physical plane is now of such an order that they can pass on to the Probationary Path. They are the mystics, conscious of duality, torn between the pairs of opposites, but who are yet unable to rest until they are polarized in the soul. These are the sensitive, struggling people, who long for release from failure and from existence in the world today. Their mind natures are alive and active but they cannot yet control them as they should and the higher illumination remains as yet a joyous hope and final possibility.
  • Souls whose intelligence and love nature is becoming so awakened and integrated that they can begin to tread the Path of Discipleship. They are the practical mystics, or the occultists, of modern times.
  • The souls who are initiate into the mysteries of the kingdom of God. These are souls who are not only conscious of their vehicles of expression, the integrated personality, and conscious also of themselves as souls, but they know, past all controversy, that there is no such thing as “my soul and your soul,” but simply “the Soul”. They know this not only as a mental proposition, and as a sensed reality, but also as a fact in their own consciousness.
  • The souls who have achieved release from all the limitations of the form nature and who dwell eternally in the consciousness of the One Soul, withdrawn from identification with any aspiration of the form life, no matter how highly developed. They can and do use the form at will for the purposes of the general good. These are the Masters of Life, the perfected adepts.

Higher than this we need not go, except by inference. A detailed analysis is not, however, in order, owing to the limitations of men’s minds. The above is only a wide generalization, and the various groupings shade into each other in a bewildering way. The varieties of intermediate types are myriad, but this analysis will serve as a skeleton structure upon which to build.

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Esoteric Psychology II – Chapter I – The Egoic Ray – The Five Groups of Souls
Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul

Romantic Love or Compassionate Companionship?

Now that the marketing opportunity called Valentine’s Day has passed, it might be timely to get into this. Social conditioning makes Valentine’s Day a devoir which must be observed for fear of blame and reprisal. It is tied up with the notion of romance. There is a clue in the name, romance. It isn’t real it is romantic. In the supermarkets you see men scurrying around to buy flowers, chocolates, a card and maybe a meal deal which they might microwave later.

If one is not attached, can one love?

Yes, but not in a soggy gooey co-dependent way. Relational negotiation fades. One shares time and companionship with another being and that can be full of compassion, which is a kind of, an expression of love. It is not so conditional. If love is measured by the obligatory purchase of flowers, it isn’t love. It is a social ritual. Romance can mature into love, into compassion. And like a good wine, it can get deeper in flavour and aroma with age.

Much romance is more gonadic than loving. There are millions looking for love or something they imagine love to be. Others are looking for a few shags. With anything idealised and romanticised, disappointment is an inevitability. Too much saccharin or sweetener ruins the coffee. Illusion cannot bring depth of experience.

To cross the turbulent sea of emotions, one needs to move from passionately, truly, madly, deeply into an at first unbearable lightness of being. And in that lightness is to be found a freedom in which a genuine compassion swells often like a tear. A fully open heart needs no tenderizing, it is already an exquisite thing, bereft of demands.

Love is not to enslave another being, to have them at beck and call. It is much lighter than that, it offers support and companionship, and it shares.

Having cued this up:

What is love?

What does it look like and how is it expressed?

Happiness or Equanimity?

“I just want to be happy”, is not an uncommon sentiment either for ourselves or our offspring. It is perhaps a little trite, wistful and ill defined. What is this thing, this state of mind, happiness? Have you found it? Where did you find it? Is it long lasting?

If you think about it eternal happiness or bliss, might get a little boring after a while. There would be no contrast, no dynamic range to life. Sitting all blissed out, what would you do? Maybe a balanced equanimity would be “better”, more achievable and ultimately more satisfying. The desire for happiness is in itself causal of suffering. When the desire is not met, suffering follows. When it is met and found to be transitory, the balloon deflates. Surely a sense of balance is the wiser, the magnet needs both a north and a south pole, to be complete.

Whilst the storms of emotion rage there can be no equanimity, only turbulence.

In order to get equanimity, one has to pierce the illusion of social conditioning, of ambition and of attachment. Anything we are attached to has in it the potential of suffering. For should it be threatened or taken from us, we suffer the severing of this elastic band of attachment. The umbilical is cut. In this, the concept of ownership is at the heart of being attached. If we own, we are attached. If we rent, by the grace of the universe, we take less for granted. As a consequence, we value more whilst not being attached, with a rental mind. Because life is transitory we experience it more deeply.

To achieve equanimity, one has to remove prejudice and seek to increase objectivity. There is no thing with only one side. One must be able to see and appreciate both (or more) sides. Balance cannot be fixed, it must perforce be fluid. Anything fixed can be unbalanced, that which flows can adjust and regain balance. For unless we are perfected we will lose our centre. The trick is, I guess, to regain it without flailing around at all and sundry, to damp the oscillations.

There is a problem in reducing attachment and it stems not only from oneself. Others want you to be attached. So not only will you have to deal with your own attachments but those of others. Some seek this attachment in you so that they can manipulate and leverage you through these attachments.

This relates back to Exit Strategies. If you are no longer attached, there is no desire to reincarnate, thereby you have freed yourself from the wheel of rebirth. In this sense you have achieved a sense of equanimity about life and death. They are but two sides of the same earthly coin.

But first you must cross the stormy seas of emotion.

I’ll pose this question:

Which has more wisdom to it, the search or quest for happiness or the relaxed aim of equanimity which is an ongoing process?     

Exit Strategies 2

Earlier on I spoke a little about mundane exit strategies, but there is one exit we all must make, and most are unprepared for this. The exit I speak of is the shuffling off of the mortal coil. And whilst it might seem morbid, it is best to be prepared. Strangely that preparation enhances the quality of life. I’ll hazard a guess that most are more than a little afraid of dying. Thus, they approach death in an unwilling, fearful and resentful manner. They do not like it when people they care for pop their clogs and it is often seen as a tragedy. Everyday people die, by the time I have finished writing this quite a few. It is such a natural thing. Yet we fear it. It is however, reality.

I personally am not afraid. This could be bravado to be tested as the time approaches. This statement is based upon what I have experienced in meditation, I could have misinterpreted but I doubt it.

One of the fears associated with death is unfinished business, another is that you will not be remembered, some like the idea of a legacy and of course there is that uncertainty as to what happens and where you might end up. Many fear the gradual loss of faculties along the way. How we each of us approach our death will vary. Many will pretend that is isn’t going to happen, that is until the evidence starts to mount by which time it may well be too late to alter anything in a meaningful way.

Having cued this up there is but one question:

What is your exit strategy?