Nurture humility, key to realising the ultimate
As we grow anxious, we also become defensive, losing humility which is the basic tenet of spiritualism. As ego shoots up, the capability to absorb declines. New ideas, thoughts and alternatives become strange as seeking ceases. The other name of spiritualism is ‘seeking’ – the enormous thirst to know. Knowing is possible only when there is space to collect.
To become defensive is a natural tendency of the mind. Even when we are wrong, we want others to say that we are right. But we need to emancipate from this narrow confinement. By casting our idea as a small mole in the backdrop of a huge canvas of the universe, we can realise its limitedness and develop respect for alternatives. Even when the opponent is offensive, the benefit of the doubt principle can work effectively. Through practice, humility becomes a part of existence; even after thousands of provocations, one does not get agitated.
The path of devotion, as Sri Ramakrishna says, is easiest and convenient, and its essence is humility. Even when someone demolishes our ideas and beliefs, we are not supposed to retort. The best approach is to leave the place instead of entering any altercation. Even polite interjections may not work many times; why to waste energy, then? Being generous in forgiving is the best practice.
However, it does not mean that you continue to mingle with someone who tries to harm you. Maintaining a safe distance in every respect is the most desirable approach.
Silence creates the opportunity to communicate with oneself. We acquire depth through such communications and it is this depth that enriches humility; through humility we mature and get closer to our own existence.
We have to be extra careful that whatever we do or say does not take us too far from our pursuits. If it does, then returning to the original seeking may get longer as adjustments will be time consuming.
The path of devotion which recommends complete surrender with humility tries to encompass every action as a part of spiritual pursuits. In this process, the doer does not allow the ego to dominate. And at the same time, full attention is paid to attain perfection, because the action we do in the material world is considered as service to the universal spirit. At the mental plane, we can offer ourselves in the form of a lamp, a flower, and water-drops to the super consciousness. We can dedicate the work that we do in the material world in the same vein. This process helps attain higher levels in the path of spiritualism but without being conscious of any sense of achievement. We realise the transitoriness of everything including our body, and at the same time, take the opportunity of our existence and make its best use.