Why am I pushing humility, the capacity?
Humility is one of those words that mainstream says it means something other than it actually means.
Humility simply means: you are willing to not take it personally. You are willing to not have it mean anything about you.
Why is this important?
When anything, and I mean any thing means anything about you, you are hooked. Your ego is hooked. It becomes a survival game… and in survival it is an either you or me game.
So, simply put humility means putting ego on pause.
But if you look, it is still too general… although if you could put ego on pause, most of your relationships would work, most of your work would thrive, and… and, god forbid, you’d be able to learn something new.
In the previous article I am talking about your inability to learn anything new.
You are closed, because not knowing anything means something about you.
If it only meant what it is: there is something you don’t know… you would be OK. But automatically and instantly it means something big, like you are stupid, or useless, or a slacker, or lazy… and a million other things that would mean you don’t deserve to live… you are unlovable, etc.
And then there is the aspect of when you don’t know something: chances are that there is something that you think you know, but it is wrong.
It happened to me. I moved to New York and suddenly there was this “alternate side of street parking rule.”
No sweat, I thought, I’ll just follow the rules.
The sign said: I paraphrase: on odd days, you park on this side, on even days you park on the other side. OK, even days are Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday… odd days are Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
So I kept the rules, and I got five tickets in the first three months.
I complained to a friend, who said that the odd days are the days or the month… I even called City Hall… She was right. And, of course, I was wrong, proven by the parking tickets.
Of course, in less arrogant states (I live in New York) the sign says: “on odd-numbered calendar days”… which makes me right, but also wrong… because I didn’t check what they meant. I assumed one way, they assumed the other way.
So, humility is the opposite of knowing… even if you know. Humility is staying open to a different opinion, to a different interpretation.
Why? Because what you know got you where you are… and also got you stuck there.
And no matter who you are, you are always stuck someplace.
Now, because ego’s job is to make sure you survive, ego will not want you to be open. Being open is a risk of change, and ego is the agent in you that always votes against change. Any change.
Now, it is relatively easy to pretend that you are humble. But humility is a being, and pretending to be humble won’t make you humble.
And it is also easy to pretend that you accept what another says without arguing… but it is mighty hard to pretend that you don’t know everything you think you know.
For example, when I work with people, and it comes to incidents in their childhood, we find out, without exception, that things didn’t happen the way we remember them, and they definitely didn’t mean what we say they meant.
The entire work in the Playground group, that is now discontinued, was that. Looking at what happened and seeing that it didn’t happen, and it didn’t mean what we were sure it meant.
Ultimately your whole identity, your whole life is based upon these memories of facts that never happened.
Bringing humility to that is one of the most frightful things: the ego shrieks loudly… because finding out that you weren’t a victim might be good news for you, but it is not good news for the ego: it needs to retool…
So, maybe, you can see that humility isn’t automatic, isn’t easy, and it needs the capacity to be humble, to be willing to change your mind, the capacity to retool your whole life’s foundation…
Unless the foundation is rebuilt, you can’t build a different life on the top of it.
Do you need courage to battle the ego? Hell yes. Do you need energy to battle the ego? Hell yeah. Do you need to see the big picture to battle the ego? Hell yeah. Do you need to see the consequences of your actions to battle the ego? Yeah. Do you need self-trust to battle the ego? yes, yes and yes.
And this is what I am puzzled by the most: how do you handle these intertwining capacities, that need and support each other?
And how do I handle the fact that while a capacity is waiting for the support of another capacity… in vain, it turns off?
Do I turn a group of capacities on at the same time?
Do I turn the turned off capacity back on?
These are the directions I am seeing..
Of course there is something I don’t see… it is still hidden from my view.