Humility

Humility: See all men and women according to the Holy Ghost that is within them; always remember that the outer picture is still being worked on.
The last lesson to learn is an ancient one: be willing to be humble. For it was refined in pitiless fire and shaped by a holy communion.

The proud heart of man must be humbled before the Overself will reveal itself to him.

When we come to know more fully and more really what we are, we have to bow, humbled, in heartfelt adoration of the Mind of the World.

The humility needed must be immensely deeper than what ordinarily passes for it. He must begin with the axiom that the ego is ceaselessly deceiving him, misleading him, ruling him. He must be prepared to find its sway just as powerful amid his spiritual interests as his worldly ones. He must realize that he has been going from illusion to illusion even when he seemed to progress. 

Humility, sensitivity, and emotional refinement are essential qualities which must be developed. Even more necessary is the daily practice of humble worship, devotion, and prayer. 

To be humble is to be willing to admit the galling fact that one's own shortcomings of character or intelligence (and not other people's) were mostly responsible for most of one's troubles.

The higher he climbs, the humbler he becomes. Only he will not make an exhibition of his humility to the world, for it is not needed there and might even harm him and others. He will be humble deep down in his heart where it is needed, in that sacred place where he faces the Overself.
 
He has to kneel before his higher self and confess how weak, how ignorant, and how foolish a being he is. And then he has to pray for grace, to ask like a beggar for a little strength light and peace. Such daily recurring prayer is only a beginning of what he has to do but it is a necessary part of that beginning.


Forgiveness

By forgiving those who have harmed us, we put ourselves in the position of earning forgiveness for the harm we ourselves have done.

The moral purification involved in casting out all hatred and granting complete forgiveness opens a door to the Overself's light. 

With this larger outlook comes a larger acceptance of the past, of bygone deeds and thoughts, however one may regret actions or feel guilty or embarrassed about emotions. For if there is to be a forgiveness of others, there must also be forgiveness of one's self. And if one has outgrown one's past self, it should be as if one were looking upon another being, a stranger being.  

His goodness, forgiveness, and comprehension should go out to those who seem to have misjudged him. What they feel about him seems to them to be the truth about him. It is the best they know--why blame them if appearances deceive them? If he continues to send them such kind thoughts, he actually lifts himself out of his own ego, he vanquishes his own egoism. 

If anyone is to carry out Christ's bidding of reconciliation with enemies and forgiveness of those who have harmed him, he can do so only by giving up the ego.

To the degree you keep ego out of your reaction to an enemy, to that degree you will be protected from him. His antagonism must be met not only with calmness, indifference, but also with a positive forgiveness and active love. These alone are fitting to a high present stage of understanding. Be sure that if you do so, good will ultimately emerge from it. Even if this good were only the unfoldment of latent power to master negative emotion which you show by such an attitude, it would be enough reward. But it will be more.

It may be asked why the counsel to practice nonviolence was ever given at all by saints and prophets. Obviously it is ethically the highest instance of forgiveness and the most effective way of transcending the ego practically. 
 
Although the student must forgive those who mistreat him, he need not think that forgiveness implies he has to associate with such people thereafter. Whenever the thought of them, or their abuse, comes into his mind he must exert his willpower to drive it out, and immediately direct his thoughts toward God, or toward any inspired individual in whom he has faith.
 
The forgiveness of sin is no myth, but it can become a fact only after the sinner has done penance and sought purification.


Faith

The balance needed by faith is understanding; by peacefulness, energy; by intuition, reason; by feeling, intellect; by aspiration, humility; and by zeal, discretion.
      
The seeker will possess an irrefragable faith in the power of truth, holding that even if it were crushed and obliterated today time will cause it to rise again tomorrow and give it a fresh voice.

Faith in another person is undoubtedly helpful to beginners, provided the faith is justified. But it is a stage necessarily inferior to the attitude of faith in one's own soul. To turn inwards rather than outwards, to overcome the tendency towards externality, is to ascend to a higher stage.

Whatever who directs anyone's awakening of spiritual faith is that person's teacher.”
It is an error to believe that the awakening of faith is “all we has to do. On the contrary, it is only a beginning. One does not get something for nothing. 


For more information on the life and work of Paul Brunton, including his Notebooks, from which these excerpts were taken, go to:  www.paulbrunton.org.

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