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The least pleasant parts of humility

September 25, 2012

This is not going to be a humble post, but that’s OK, because I’m not really doing a good job of being a humble person.

This is going to be a post about grieving, and a peculiar kind of grieving at that.

As I’ve talked about in the past, sometimes my dad tells me stuff. (You might peruse all the posts I’ve written about the stuff my dad has talked to me about in the past — that’s under the “Dad Talk” category.) For the past few years, the message has been about being gracious and treating people well. It’s generally cryptic enough (at least to me; everyone else loves it) that I either have no idea what he’s saying, or I can at least understand what he’s saying, but not understand how to do it. Like, the advice: “be gracious.” Well…easier said than done.

Anyway, that’s why I’m interested in blogs like Into the Hills. Spiritual transformation? Sign me up, maybe.

Unfortunately, their blog kinda falls into the same category as the stuff my dad says.

I was listening to the Mormon Matters podcast episode on grace earlier today, and the same thing happened. Like, near the end, they start talking about how someone might actually have that experience of grace, and I’m like, “What is this; I don’t even?”

Anyway, where is the grieving?

I need more context.

Anyway, so much of my father’s advice has been to watch what I say. Especially what I say online. And I mean, I am aware of the risks of social media — the internet it public and permanent. And so he says,

“Sometimes, it is best not to let anyone know what you think.”

…well, if you’re a blogger (or otherwise involved with social media), then perhaps you should see the same issue with this statement that I see.

Sometimes, you want to let people know what you think.

I think I understand the message…you can never know when others’ knowing what you think can be used against you…whereas your silence generally cannot be used against you. As a policy then, your silence is your armor and your weapon. (Discretion is the better part of valor, no?)

Nevertheless…

I dunno. Sometimes, I want to explain my position. I want to be understood, and so I get into discussions. If I disagree with something, I want to make my opinion known. Perhaps because I think we can come to some sort of understanding. Perhaps just because I want to get my opinion out there.

But still, my father says:

“We do not always have to set the record straight or to correct or to show other’s weaknesses in public.”

And so I have been coming to an awareness that I’m going to be confronted with loss one way or another…the loss of my more public and publicizing me. After all, my father has also said:

There will come a time when you will not find it necessary to blog.

I’m not at that point. I’m at the point where voicing my opinion is really important to me.

But I guess conceptually, I am starting to think that the point is that humility is the point at which I won’t take so much stock in “my opinion” that I “have” to have it out there. Grace is coming to the point where no matter what people say, how much I disagree, or whatever, I’ll be secure enough with myself that I won’t have to “make my case” or whatever.

Now, this seems unpleasant. Whenever I refrain from posting something, I want to cry out about how I resisted posting! I want to mourn about the post that never was. But then I realize that to cry out would be to defeat the purpose.

That is the least pleasant part about humility…You can never talk about it because that defeats the purpose. You have to do it silently and imperceptibly.

If you have a problem, you can’t really talk about that problem. But then you can’t talk about how you have restrained yourself from talking about the problem. You can’t walk around with a scowl or with clenched teeth. You have to appear as if there is nothing the matter.

I am not not not not not there. If I were there, I would never have published this post.

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From → Dad Talk

19 Comments
  1. ‘But then I realize that to cry out would be to defeat the purpose.’ I think this is a psychological paradox that drives to a metaphysical blind alley. If the Spirit of Love, who is a person and intelligence with free will, your need of blogging will be replaced by the Grace of God, but be aware that the Grace of God is inner Peace, it is not an emotional flow. Besides, take care, there is a wrong concept of Love when it is defined as ‘to give without expecting anything in return’. This concept is very dangerous and it is used for cheating.

    Love is the Spirit of Jesus and it is as a Ying-Yang meaning Charity-Justice. Love means hope to receive the Fruits of Love in return. The Word of God is Love and God always expects its fruits in return. He loves you and if in return you do not love Him as He loves then you will be reproved and perhaps rejected. In short, beg for the Spirit of Jesus so that you will be granted and after that love, post and fear not.

  2. Ruth,

    seems like a non sequitur.

  3. Hi! I am Spanish and I am never sure to write English correctly. May you specify what in my comment begins the non sequitur? May it be ‘I think this is a psychological paradox that drives to a metaphysical blind alley’?

  4. While I don’t really get what you’re saying with that sentence, the start of the non sequitur is this sentence: “If the Spirit of Love, who is a person and intelligence with free will, your need of blogging will be replaced by the Grace of God, but be aware that the Grace of God is inner Peace, it is not an emotional flow”

    Firstly, I think there are some words missing…either. There isn’t any connection between the Spirit of Love and your line saying “your need of blogging will be replaced by the Grace of God.”

    Next, you’re offering another whole layer into the mix. So, I’m talking about practical things. Humility, kindness, graciousness, etc., and cultivating these traits.

    Instead, you’re talking about the Spirit of Love, the Grace of God, Charity-Justice, etc.,

  5. You wrote ‘Anyway, so much of my father’s advice has been to watch what I say.’ I think this generates emotions inside yourself, so then I focus the problem on your psychological area. I avoid to include the intellectual processes in the psychological area, so then the intellectual processes are isolated strictly in the logical and algorithmic area. Can you assume this?

    From my point of view or paradigm ‘Humility, kindness, graciousness, etc., …’ are phenomena under both areas, so then these kind of subjects are included in the spiritual area. Moreover, these three areas are intricately connected and not mixed. The second area mentioned is the most accessible to human analitical conscious and the third is the less.

    Excuse me, some words are really missing, I rewrite my idea. If you focus your problem on the Spirit of Love -the third area-, which is a person and intelligence with free will, your analitical conscious will become litle by litle aware of either the solution or solutions. The cuestion must be what is drawing inside yourself that is driving what is happening outside. The Grace of God is like the pen of a writter, if you see the drawing inside yourself you will see the pen and later you, as a seraph, will be able to contemplate God Himself. The key for this contemplation process is something that you will not be able to doubt: an inner Peace mixed with Joy given to you by Jesus Himself.

    Just now Jesus and His Spirit are working in the mystical nature of yourself -your soul- as He says, because He is returning to Earth, after the Lady of all Nations. Furthermore, We, believers, are all connected through the Mystical Body of Christ -His Church Extended-.

  6. You wrote ‘Anyway, so much of my father’s advice has been to watch what I say.’ I think this generates emotions inside yourself, so then I focus the problem on your psychological area.

    I don’t think that’s quite how it works. It’s not like when my father says something, then there is a direct emotional reaction to that.

    The emotional reaction is to other events that occur.

    I avoid to include the intellectual processes in the psychological area, so then the intellectual processes are isolated strictly in the logical and algorithmic area. Can you assume this?

    I don’t know what you are saying, so I don’t think I can assume this.

    From my point of view or paradigm ‘Humility, kindness, graciousness, etc., …’ are phenomena under both areas, so then these kind of subjects are included in the spiritual area. Moreover, these three areas are intricately connected and not mixed. The second area mentioned is the most accessible to human analitical conscious and the third is the less.

    So far, you have mentioned a “psychological area,” a “logical and algorithmic area,” and now you mention a “spiritual area.” What is each?

  7. What do you understand if I say that you can not be aware of the processes occurring in your the biochemical area of your body?.

  8. Ruth,

    While I think that part of what my father is trying to get me to do is to become more self-aware so that I can be more aware of the processes occurring to me biochemically (and the effect that has on my thinking, feelings, etc.,), I can understand that most people are not aware of the processes occurring to them biochemically.

  9. Well, my friend, you cannot be aware of the changes of the acid-base balance (blood pH). That is a process included in the biochemical area -biochemical pool, reality, etc- of your body

  10. Ruth,

    since biochemical processes have effects, and you can be aware of those effects, you most certainly can be aware of the changes in the biochemical processes.

  11. You can never be sure of the changes, you only presume some cause. You cannot be sure if that cause is only physical. The job of the human nature is not to be aware of that processes because it is the job of another beings out there. Your job is to trust in your Creator, the Word of the Father.

  12. On the other hand, if you want results, then you’ll learn to pay attention to processes.

    If you are diabetic, for example, you will learn to become very aware of changes in blood sugar levels. You’ll trust in the science on it.

  13. You can know which is the level of glucose after check it through a technological machine but that does not mean that you can gaze at the molecular process that produced that level. You cannot gaze at it not even with your spiritual nature, mystical nature or soul. I repeat, that is not the job of the human being, we must be humble and trust in the Creator.

  14. Ruth,

    Even more importantly, you can know your level of glucose based on how you feel. Wild swings in blood sugar wreck your mood and energy level.

    I think you’re changing what you were originally saying. You were originally saying you cannot be aware of various biochemical changes (which quite simply is untrue). Now you’re saying that you cannot view molecular processes…which is just a limitation of our eyes, but I mean, that’s why we have tools that enable us to study processes that occur at microscopic levels.

    vs. the “spiritual nature,” “mystical nature,” or “soul” which hasn’t been reliably shown to relate to anything. You say “we must be humble and trust in the Creator,” but the creator hasn’t really been all that available, and hasn’t really even been shown to be all that trustworthy.

  15. You cannot be aware of the biochemical process itself. You can deduce that you may be suffering hypoglycemia only if you realize of symptoms. But you cannot gaze at the changes of the biochemical processes themselves, you only can gaze at the changes in the checking machine. So then you cannot be aware of the biochemical processes, you cannot observe it directly with any human resource like your eyes, smell or introspection.

  16. Ruth,

    your thoughts and emotions are biochemical processes, and you can be aware of your thoughts and emotions. Even more, you don’t even need to gaze at the changes in the checking machine to figure this out, although a checking machines will confirm that yes, your thoughts and emotions are biochemical processes.

    You can be aware when your heart beats faster or slower — that’s being aware of a biochemical process.

    You can be aware when you’re feeling sick — that’s being aware of a biochemical process.

    I could keep going on.

  17. Biochemical Andrew, if you have no soul you are a zombie. Bye.

  18. Are viruses zombies? They appear to just be packets of chemistry. Does that make them zombies?

  19. Viruses have not souls -intelligence and free will-. Human beings have souls and zombies are defined as human beings without souls. Human words are born from the spiritual realm. Don’t play with fire.

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