Humility is not only valued and encouraged as a necessity for spiritual development, it is necessary that we develop some humility simply to be able to have the least bit of happiness and peace in a world where we are obviously not in control of everything. Even very materially opulent and powerful people have only limited and temporary control at best over the environment, other living beings, even their own minds and bodies.
If we are not humble – if we think the world should revolve around us – then we will be constantly frustrated, disturbed, disappointed, anxious, enraged, and dissatisfied. We cannot experience any real peace or joy if we are constantly at war with reality. In such a state, nothing is good enough for us and so we do not truly value or appreciate what comes to us – even those people and circumstances that could offer us an opportunity for real and lasting happiness. If we are puffed up with false pride, we are blinded to the most joyful aspects of life and even to the loving nature of our own heart.
Oftentimes, we have some fear of humility because we think it will make us unhappy, but actually just the opposite is true. When we are humble, we can easily accept and appreciate what comes to us and see the opportunities and gifts that are present in every situation. When we are humble, our heart becomes happy in the most simplest of kindness because we intuitively understand the essence of what we are being offered.
If we are sincerely interested in having peace and happiness in our lives, then certainly we will want to develop humility. Fortunately, humility is not some artificial quality that we have to try force ourselves to take on or some heavenly virtue we have to try to raise ourselves up to attain. Humility is our natural condition, an integral aspect of our eternal, spiritual nature. This spiritual nature has simply become covered by the misconception that we are the material mind and body that we are temporarily wearing.
According to the ancient yoga scriptures and other bonafide scriptures of the world, we are not the material body or the mind – we are eternal spiritual beings temporarily wearing the material mind and body. The gross physical body can be compared to outer clothes and the mind or subtle energy body can be compared to under clothes. Just as we are not the clothes we are wearing, we are not the material bodies we are wearing either.
When we understand that we are not the material clothes we are wearing, then we can see the futility in seeking happiness through trying to be superior to others. Any superiority of the body and mind – real or imagined – only exists on the material level. Material happiness is superficial, fleeting at best, and does not actually satisfy us because it does not actually touch us – the eternal spiritual being wearing the material mind and body. Because we are spiritual in nature, we can only be completely happy and fulfilled in realizing our true loving nature in connection with our spiritual Source.
In the yoga scriptures, the recommended method for linking up with our spiritual Source is mantra meditation. A true mantra is not something anyone makes up. It is the Absolute Truth in sound vibration. This spiritual sound vibration descends from the spiritual platform to the material world without losing any of its potency. In mantra meditation, a person hears and chants or sings this spiritual sound and thus puts themselves in the direct presence of the Supreme. This has a profound purifying effect on our consciousness.
Through the daily practice of mantra meditation, we are increasingly purified of material misunderstandings and misgivings. As the false ideas of self fall away, we begin to experience ourselves as we truly are – as separate from the material mind and body we are wearing. We increasingly understand the difference between the mental ideas we carry in our mind of who we are and who we actually are. The more we know the difference, the less interested we are in playing the false prestige games of trying to be better than or superior to others – games based upon identification with the material clothes.