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What is humility?

K: The state of humility is essential for all inquiry. It is an `altogether’ feeling, without a centre from which the mind can say, “I am humble”. A person who is positively or negatively determined to be free of any particular problem, is not in a state of humility. There is humility only when the mind wishes to see the problem clearly, whatever that exploration may reveal. Such a mind is inquiring. It wishes to know all the implications of the problem both the pleasant and the unpleasant; it wishes to see things as they are, without the urge to transform, to subjugate, or to sublimate what it sees; and only such a mind is in a state of humility.

To comprehend the nature, or to know the feeling of humility, one must understand this willful determination to be free of, to resolve one’s problems. That is what most of us want, is it not? We want to resolve our problems, to escape from the everyday misery, conflict, strife, from the pettiness, the ugliness, the brutality and fleeting joy of our daily existence; so we are always groping after something. That is why we follow leaders, join various organized religions, go from one guru to another, hoping to find some means by which to transcend our anxiety, our fear, our lack of love.

If you observe how your mind thinks in terms of transcending, going beyond, or resolving its problem, in that observation no effort is involved. But where there is effort - the effort to change, to transform yourself - there I is no humility, there is essentially vanity. You have the idea that you have changed, that you have gained, that you have gone beyond, all of which gives you a sense of being important; therefore you never feel the real nature of humility.

What matters is to look at the problem, simply to look at it and be familiar with all its implications. If you study the problem, however painful, ugly it may be, if you look at it, move in it, live with it and - I really mean this - embrace it, take it to your heart, then you will find that you are in a state of humility; and then the problem is quite different from what it was.

All problems are intensely complicated, there can never be an answer of yes' or no’. To go deeply into a problem, one must have this extraordinary quality of humility; and if you are listening, really listening, you are already in that state. - Bombay Dec.1959

**Is humility a requirement to listening?
Is humility the absence of self-centeredness?
Do we believe that humility equates to weakness? Is that true?
Are humility, openness, and love, one and the same?

In other words, a person who is more interested in seeing the problem than in eradicating it, is humble.

I got pulled up in another discussion for actually looking at what K said. But you have to see your questions are either an intellectual exercise, or you have the intention to get less informed people to think about K’s word. To think about K’s words, I look at what he said.

**No, it’s not about ‘thinking’ about “K’s words,” or “informed” people. The questions are about observing what is, what the words ‘point to’. The words are just a means to point. In fact, it ‘appears’ to be the “informed” that have the greater difficulty simply observing, without the “knowing.”

**I would say that ‘reflects humility’, rather than saying that’s what the ‘person is’. As whatever we say about a person, isn’t the person, it’s an image.

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Is humility a reflection or the thing itself?

At which time it isn’t a problem, but a process to be observed and understood. If it’s a problem, there’s pressure to solve it, and under pressure there’s no observation.

To look, and to actually see, is not the result of words, ideas, motives, it is understanding the very nature of looking free from thought. Or understanding the distraction of thought. This under-standing is humility.

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**I’m curious Peter, do you think anyone in this group doesn’t already ‘know’ this? Where does this response come from? Does it come out of this “looking” you spoke of, or out of memory?

The question is not interested in humility.

Hello Howard and all. Well, these are interesting questions. An absence of self-centredness would seem to be linked with humility, wouldn’t it? I mean, if one is self-centred then humility isn’t there, is it?

Humility could well be interpreted as weakness. There is an awful lot we don’t know but perhaps we have to always appear to know. Maybe we get locked into a pattern of giving an opinion, being challenged, defending our position and challenging the other’s position and so on. An approach where there is joint exploration and discovery perhaps doesn’t come very natural to us.

Hello Sean - Humility was the suggested topic in a recent zoom dialogue, and that is exactly what was being revealed in the inquiry. Where self-centeredness is, humility isn’t.

**This is also what was noticed. In general, it does seem to be interpreted as weakness. But humility, care, or love doesn’t require weakness or an inability to respond intelligently.
I think you described it well, regarding getting locked in patterns of thinking we know things we haven’t really observed for ourselves. That’s one of the many things that I love about dialogue, the opportunity for everyone to learn together. That was the eye-opener on the first page of my first Krishnamurti book, Freedom From the Known. It changed my life from that point on.

K: For centuries we have been spoon-fed by our teachers, by our authorities, by our books, our saints. We say, ‘Tell me all about it - what lies beyond the hills and the mountains and the earth?’ and we are satisfied with their descriptions, which means that we live on words and our life is shallow and empty. We are secondhand people. - Freedom From the Known

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I think the only way we can know that a response is intelligent is by its immediate effect, because its eventual effect could be so delayed that no one would remember it. We’re not intelligent enough to know when we’re responding intelligently.

Why put it that way? You mean you’re not intelligent enough to know when you’re responding intelligently. That would be the more intelligent way to put it. Right? :grinning:

You’re taking it literally and personally. I was being facetious, and it’s not about you or me - it’s about the mind. No one can know of every delayed response there has been to his/her intelligent responses. And even if one could, would accumulating that kind of information be intelligent?

Well that’s what the little smiley faces are for: :wink:

They make me frown…

I understand. It’s an acquired taste. :stuck_out_tongue:

Hi Howard.

So, when there is ‘self-centeredness’ - there is comparison between your’self’ and my’self’ and so there is no humility?

**That certainly appears to be a big part of it. I would suggest that where there’s psychological division there’s no humility.

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