Correct self evaluation: simple and modest, does not try to push itself forward.
We must learn that whatever our efforts, whatever our struggles, whatever even our victories, compared with the path still to be traversed what we have already travelled is nothing.
“To be modest”
This is to take oneself at one’s true worth.
Generally people pass from an excessive appreciation of their personal value to an equally excessive discouragement. One day they say, “I am wonderful”, and the next day, “Oh! I am good for nothing, I can do nothing.” That is like a pendulum, isn’t it? There is nothing more difficult than knowing exactly what one is; one must neither overrate oneself nor depreciate oneself, but understand one’s limits and know how to advance towards the ideal set before oneself. There are people who see in a big way and immediately imagine they can do everything. There are petty officers, for example, who imagine themselves capable of winning all the battles of the world, and small people who think they surpass everybody in the world. On the other hand, I have known some people who had abilities but who spent their time thinking, “I am good for nothing.” Generally the two extremes are found in the same person. But to find someone who knows exactly where he stands and exactly where he can go, is very rare. We have avoided speaking of vanity because we expect that you won’t be filled with vanity as soon as you score a success.
Humility is that state of consciousness in which, whatever the realisation, you know the infinite is still in front of you. The rare quality of selfless admiration about which I have spoken to you is but another aspect of true humility; for it is sheer arrogance that refuses to admire and is complacent about its own petty achievements, forgetting the infinite which is always ahead of it. However, you need to be humble not only when you have nothing substantial or divine in you but even when you are on the path of transformation. Paradoxical though it may sound, the Divine who is absolutely perfect is at the same time absolutely humble—humble as nothing else can ever be. He is not occupied in admiring Himself: though He is the All, He ever seeks to find Himself in what is not-Himself—that is why He has created in His own being what seems to be a colossal not-Himself, this phenomenal world. He has passed into a form in which He has to discover endlessly in time the infinite contents of that which He possesses entirely in the eternal consciousness.
What is the right and the wrong way of being humble?
It is very simple, when people are told “be humble”, they think immediately of “being humble before other men” and that humility is wrong. True humility is humility before the Divine, that
is, a precise, exact, living sense that one is nothing, one can do nothing, understand nothing without the Divine, that even if one is exceptionally intelligent and capable, this is nothing in
comparison with the divine Consciousness, and this sense one must always keep, because then one always has the true attitude of receptivity—a humble receptivity that does not put personal pretensions in opposition to the Divine.
There must be a very great humility and a very great will to change one’s Karma.
The first condition is a healthy humility which makes you realise that unless you are sustained, nourished, helped, enlightened, guided by the Divine, you are nothing at all. There now. When you have felt that, not only understood it with your mind, but felt it down to your very body, then you will begin to be wise, but not before.
It applies to all judgments of the critical mind and to all scientific methods when they would judge any but purely material phenomena.
The conclusion is always the same: the only true attitude is one of humility, of silent respect before what one does not know, and of inner aspiration to come out of one’s ignorance. One of the things which would make humanity progress most would be for it to respect what it does not know, to acknowledge willingly that it does not know and is therefore unable to judge.
The greater beings are always the most simple and modest.
Modesty is satisfied with its own charm and does not draw attention to itself.
True humility consists in knowing that the Supreme Consciousness, the Supreme Will alone exists and that the I is not.
To be humble means for the mind, the vital and the body never to forget that without the Divine they know nothing, are nothing and can do nothing; without the Divine they are nothing but ignorance, chaos and impotence. The Divine alone is Truth, Life, Power, Love, Felicity.
Humility and sincerity are the best safeguards. Without them each step is a danger; with them the victory is certain.
To discover one’s weaknesses and imperfections is already a great progress. The first step towards progress is a sincere humility.