- Oneness & Humility
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In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher. -Dalai Lama
14 you will:
Understand the difference between
intellectual belief and spiritual realisation
There are some serious traps for every
seeker that present, as you might imagine, the most wonderful of
opportunities. One of the most serious traps is one's loss of humility.
Humility is the solid
foundation of all the virtues. - Confucius
The human ego is a wonderful tool, but can also
leave us in a wonderful mess. It is very common for those studying
spiritual philosophy to feel that their intellectual understanding is a
spiritual truth, but
this is a particularly dangerous trap!
Everything understood must
also be realised.
The greatest truths are the
simplest, and so are the greatest men.- J.C. Hare
This 'realisation' is difficult to explain. Perhaps you have 'felt' a
revelation in meditation, or you have said "Aah that's why that is so" or perhaps
what the last three months have been about" - this is approaching realisation
of a particular understanding. It is a concrete wisdom founded upon direct
experience that is lived and breathed from that moment.
the difference between knowledge and wisdom is that knowledge is constructed
intellectually in the mind, whilst wisdom comes from experiences of the
heart. ('aah' moments!) Sometimes extremely wise people have very little
For example, for
many the question of God's existence is a belief that perhaps has been
constructed through reading spiritual scriptures or hearing from others,
whilst there are those that have 'realised' that God exists through direct
experience, perhaps whilst close to death or in war. They might have trouble
explaining this experience, but it has left them with the infallible
'realisation' that God exists. This 'realisation' compels the seeker to
live this revelation, it is impossible for him/her to try and deny this
concrete revelation, and inevitably the seeker's life is forever changed by it.
These are the building blocks of our spiritual evolution, not our
understandings (which are ego based), but our realisations (the revelations
of the soul).
For the most part, I do the
thing which my own nature prompts me to do. It is embarrassing to earn so
much respect and love for it.--Albert Einstein
This is where humility fits.
Our egoic knowledge or intellectual understanding is miles away from
defining our spiritual evolution. Humility makes us realise that our real
nature is not within the confines of the ego, but the infinity of the
Supreme. This simple notion has magnificent implications. It is to say that each of us has
an existence within each other. That each person is a part of the next. That
one's suffering is my suffering and one's joy is mine also. That if one
mother on the planet suffers from not being able to feed her child, then I
am also suffering with the part of me that is the mother and also the child.
This 'oneness' is the basis of real humility. It makes us know that
each of us have our own crosses to bear, each of us have our own journey and
are trying to understand it the best we can. And though we may not
understand why someone acts the way they do, we must also feel at the
deepest level that it is also us that is acting that way.
honour themselves will be humbled, but people who are humble themselves will
be honoured.--Luke 14:11
It is often that the seeker separates himself from the next person saying
that because he/she is not spiritual, or does not understand 'spiritual wisdom'
then I need to keep aloof and distance myself from them. This is the mistake
of pride. Whenever we separate our reality from the next person, we are
making a huge mistake. We feel that it is not my problem that John has anger
or Betty is depressed, that theirs and their reality is separate from mine so
what can I do? The truly humble person identifies with the suffering person
and feels their existence and their journey within themself, seeing their
problems and journey as a part of his/her own. He/she will then act
according to his/her inner intuition to with real empathy and oneness offer
love in any of its manifestations. (e.g. Praise, gratitude, oneness)
measure of real spirituality is one's humility.
This oneness-identification is the harbinger of really living a
spiritual life. So if ever you feel yourself separating from another, and
getting angry or even looking at another with disdain, then realise that it is
your own self that you are being angry with or your own self that is being
scorned. In this way your humility will keep you participating in the world
and not trying to escape from it. This great journey of life, we are all in
together, in this perfect heaven we call the earth.
I long to accomplish a great
and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as
though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the
mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of
each honest worker. - Helen Keller
Sometimes spirituality needs to be totally practical to really be
understood. I would like to invite you for a day or two to practise this
little exercise and observe the lessons it will present to you and the
humility it will evoke. It is an exercise in humility.
Once the game is over, the king
and the pawn go back in the same box. — Italian proverb
For this exercise you need to place a much larger vision of yourself than
perhaps you normally do. You are now not just one person with 2 arms and 2
legs and 1 ego, but your existence is within every person that you see and
everyone that you interact with. You are a huge being with millions of arms
In your dealings with all people for this day, try specifically not to talk
about yourself. In particular, try very hard not to use words that limit you
to your two arms and legs. If possible, don't speak of yourself at all, just
make a point of listening. Listen to each person that you meet and feel that
what they are saying is actually a part of you speaking.
Where there is humility and
patience, there is neither anger nor vexation.--Saint Francis of Assisi
Listening is a fantastic art that compels at the highest level, the listener
to empathy. It also is a wonderful opportunity for you to use praise and
gratitude, your empowering language, and other tools you have been working
with to increase the potential of the person you are listening to, or to be
more correct, the part of you that is in them. You will find that this
'listening' will be a powerful method of actually listening to and
empowering your self.
Blessed are the
meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
— Bible (Matthew 5:5)
When you feel inclined
to speak of yourself, don't! Just consciously try again to feel that you are
allowing another part of you to speak. You can take this even one step
further. Though there will be many actions that you will perform this day
try not to identify them as your own, feel that they are really the actions
of the entire being with the millions of arms and legs and you are just
observing, and of course, when you see others actions feel them as your own.
You might like to practise feeling this oneness with perhaps a great action
of a colleague or even a world-class sports person or musician, feeling that
their action was actually your own.
have seen farther than other men it is by standing on the shoulders of
giants.— Isaac Newton,
17th-century English mathematician and physicist