Humility is more than just a word. Humility is a state of being. Understanding what the word means helps us attain to that state of being, but we have to slip over from the concept to the reality.
The transition from concept to state of being is a process with moving parts – components that exist in a dynamic relationship with each other. To attain to the state of being called humility, we first examine its moving parts individually, which unfortunately renders them motionless. We want our perception of God to be one of aliveness and the joyous interaction of life with life, so remember this conceptual dissection for what it is, and try not to mistake the map for the territory.
The first component in the process of attaining to the state of being called humility is practice. And there are several ways we can practice being humble. The first and easiest way is to approach other people as though they have something to teach you. This may sound easy, but no matter how smart you are or how spiritual you may feel, every person you meet will have a quality that is unique to them. No one else possesses their unique quality in the same way that they do. Your job in this first step of the process of attaining humility is to identify that quality and to let it occupy a space in your awareness.
You have heard the saying that we are each created in the image and likeness of God. From a spiritual point of view, and by “spiritual” I mean Being (with a capital B) in its active phase. We are created in an image that is alive and that exists in a state of interaction with other beings. Think about this. Every descriptor we have for God (in whose image we are created), e.g., love, life, light, implies interaction. Even the Holy Trinity divides God up into moving parts, each of which is necessary to complete the whole. Remove the Father, and the Son and Holy Spirit cease to exist. Remove the Son, and the Father and Holy Spirit cease to exist. Each component only has its existence in relationship with the other two components. Take them out of relationship with each other and the entire structure vanishes. This is why the Holy Trinity is depicted as an equi-lateral triangle. It is meant to symbolize one thing consisting of moving parts, each part being equal in importance to the existence of the whole. We will discuss the Holy Trinity more fully in another lesson.
So, when we look at another person with an eye to his or her unique spiritual quality, we are looking at them as though they were God, as though they were plucked out of this universe and given a universe of their own, and we get to observe the nature and quality of their godhood. What unique personality do they bring to their creation. What would the people of that creation look like if the evolutionary goal they were striving toward had this same unique spiritual quality? How would the nature of life feel in their universe? This is not as farfetched as it might seem. For if we are in fact created in God’s own image, then in an individualized sense we are gods. Our fundamental spiritual function is identical with that of this Great Being in which we live, move, and have our being. God’s image and likeness is not anthropomorphic. It is spiritual.
Exercising your awareness in this way will allow you to examine something in the other person that is very large, spiritually speaking. It is so large that you will find it worthy of your reverence. And in that moment you will be in the state of being called humility; you will be humble. And if you persist in this, you might get a glimpse of yourself and your own unique spiritual quality, which can be extraordinarily interesting and can lead to all kinds of spiritual awakenings.
But be careful not to use this as a way to categorize other people, or to manipulate them in any way. That would only degrade your ability to see the divinity in yourself, which would be tragic and very costly for you in your journey toward God-realization. Be aware also that seeing the deeper spiritual aspect of another person can potentialize your connection with them, and they will feel it. Do it too much and they might begin to mistrust you or misinterpret your feelings in other ways. Keep your observations brief, and ask God to bless each person you look upon in this way.
The next component in the process of attaining to the state of being called humility is forgiveness. In the next lesson, we will discuss forgiveness in terms of energy, which will give you a practical and workable way to love those you hate.