Friday, May 18, 2012

Hubris and Humility: Pagan Blog Project

Very early on in my formal esoteric pursuits I was introduced to the phrase, "The Gods hate hubris." The first definition of hubris you will find on is excessive pride or self-confidence; arrogance. This is pretty straight-forward but if you keep reading, you will find this: (in Greek tragedy) an excess of ambition, pride, etc, ultimately causing the transgressor's ruin. That is more telling.

These feelings are very common as people enter the realm of the occult. The first level on the astral is full of the little ego thought forms of self-importance that can influence the perceptions of the aspirant. Some of these are the lifetime creations of the individual ego, other bits of this astral garbage are, full all intents and purposes, external to the aspirant. These delineations are unimportant. What is important is that it is really easy to think you are more than you are when one is starting out.

I believe this occurs as we realize a perception of reality is growing that is different from anything we have experienced before and that we do not believe most others have experienced these perceptions. We are special. The moment one thinks "I am special," or "I can do what others cannot," or "I can progress like others have not," or, more subtly, "I can heal," having little or no experience doing so or no proof of ability, one should read the rest of the hubris definition, "ultimately causing the transgressor's ruin."

The best advice for a new person entering the occult realms is to assume you can do nothing, you are not special, you have no talent but everything you reach for can be achieved through hard work. For no one tells you that the Gods love hard work.

The first definition of humility you'll find on is the quality or condition of being humble;  modest opinion or estimate of one's own importance, rank, etc. This is easily seen as the opposite of hubris. The synonyms given are misleading lowliness, meekness, submissiveness. These things are not humility and just as unworthy of the aspirant as hubris. While aggression is not warranted there is nothing wrong with standing up for yourself. That is not hubris. Failing to do so is demonstrates the ego problem normally called low-self esteem. There is never a reason for that.

One can be humble and still stand up. You do so through honesty and integrity and not backing off when people want to convince you that standing up is hubris. You will find this people in the community for those that warn you the most of hubris normally have much work to do as well. Lon DuQuette once told me that if I can see a problem in a student, I have that problem. This confused me a bit at the time but he was right. That little lesson is an excellent one to carry with you. The people telling you that you have x issue may be right or wrong but in order to see it, they have it too. Maybe they have defeated it. Maybe not. Pay attention. 

No comments: