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Defining Humbleness

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:17 pm
by Sabina
As a continuation of the topic "[url=]Without Action[/url]", arose the question what exactly humbleness means. Humbleness as a virtue.

As a starting point again the dictionary entry, although I must say, I find some of these definitions quite disappointing... so I made the color of those a tad lighter.

1. not proud or arrogant; modest: to be humble although successful.
[color=#666666]2. having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience, etc.: In the presence of so many world-famous writers I felt very humble.
3. low in rank, importance, status, quality, etc.; lowly: of humble origin; a humble home.[/color]
4. courteously respectful: In my humble opinion you are wrong.
5. low in height, level, etc.; small in size: a humble member of the galaxy.

Definition 4 doesn't really help define the word "humble", it only offers another example for usage of the word, basically.
Definition 5 is meaningless, in my opinion. I again see it as only alternative word usage.

So what remains is definition 1: [color=#5f0000]not proud or arrogant[/color];

How closely are the two related: not proud and not arrogant?
And, in a spiritual sense, what does it mean to be truly humble in your opinion?


Re: Defining Humbleness

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:46 pm
by Metatron
Well, in my humble opinion... haha... It's a bit hard to define what is real and what is fake humbleness. For example, I find it hard not to be proud of a success, I just don't like to show it and I am even embarassed when people praise me, wishing for them to stop, while at the same time, I love every second of it. I don't know how others are, weather a person really can be humble or just pretend to be.

And at the same time I ask; does it even matter which one is true? Pretence is neccessary in certain life situations. Sometimes our ego would like us to act in a way and we act in another, lying to mom about the crap dinner she made being the simplest of examples.

I find it hard to find the answer to weather pretended humbleness is worse than real humbleness.

Did I even get the meaning of the word right? :D It's supposed to be the opposite of the deadly sin Pride, right?

Re: Defining Humbleness

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:01 pm
by Kris
Sometimes we are even proud of how humble we are..... =0/


Re: Defining Humbleness

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:13 pm
by Sabina
Nice touch, Kris. :)


Never mind any of the deadly sins, I don't mean in that sense.
When you meet a truly humble person, you see that they have a certain beauty to them.
It might not be often that we come across someone like that, but their existence shows us, or at least me, something.
I believe that you are also humble in a way, at least in my opinion. It doesn't mean that you are humble in each and every situation, and for me it doesn't mean that you don't take pride of something you have done. That kind of pride can also be called happiness.
In that sense it boils down to the wording of it all... that's why I said to disregard the deadly sins for now. I think their predefined existence and the specific wording might confuse more than help.

As for pretended humbleness, of course it is worse! A pretended anything is not good, in my opinion.
What is the purpose of "pretended humbleness"? To appear humble and therefore be liked for that which you are not? Or what else can be the reason, the purpose?

I would like to stay on the subject of humbleness though, and not move on to pretense in general (which we can talk about as well, but just not to mix things up).

If the kind of pride that one takes in a certain accomplishment can be called happiness instead, as I claimed above, then that is not the kind of pride which is bad. Therefore, if pride is bad, then this kind of pride is just not pride at all. It is happiness, joy, etc.

Then what is pride? Pride as a negative force...
And what is real humbleness? As happiness and joy do not oppose humbleness...


Beauty of Humbleness

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:30 pm
by mirjana
Awareness is a part of humbleness. It is not the meaning of the word as an adjective that describes the best the spiritual connotation of the word. It is a noble trace of character that shows person who is so much aware of self as it is, that there is no need to pretend to be something else, to impress or to seduce with anything that is fake in relation to the true nature of the person. A humble person can be recognized by the purity or authencity, which has also an innocence of the soul which is so aware of being part of the whole that doesn´t have any need to put anything or anyone under self.
Not having any need to put anybody and anything under self, there is no need to be else that who one is, one is well as such , happy as such and with no need to show it to anyone other way than radiating this inner beauty.
Idiot by Dostoevsky is such a character in literature. Buddha was such a soul, Issus was such a soul, Mohammad was, Gandhi was...
Such souls do not have need to show what they did and how, it shows for itself.
We are all able to be that. As with everything else it is the choice thow to act and who to be and step that direction...


Interpretations of Humbleness

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:54 am
by Sabina
[quote="mirjana"]Such souls do not have need to show what they did and how, it shows for itself.

I would like to address the above sentence specifically...
The problem is that many things are in the interpretation. For example, for anyone who thinks that they need to write down their thoughts, compose them into a book, or any other format, someone could claim that the writer is showing off.
Anybody who comes with words of wisdom, or suggests ways of life, one could again claim this person to be arrogant, and not humble.

Just by these two categories alone (writing and talking), all the personalities you mentioned could be excluded with the explanation that since they wrote about their thoughts, since they presumed their thoughts to matter, and since they talked about what they saw as the truth, they were therefore not humble.... right?

So, I don't think it is about showing what you do. We all show what we do, we sometimes also explain how we do it, and that can be a sign of helpfulness, of love, of sharing yourself.


Re: Defining Humbleness

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:55 am
by mirjana
It is a language problem, this time. =0(
What I meant is not to show off with that what they do.
There are great authors and thinkers who did great things but were humble in their life and work, not making clowns of them. Then the work gets the history from itself.


Re: Defining Humbleness

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:03 am
by Sabina
I didn't mean to point out that you made a language mistake nor anything of that nature, I'm sorry if it came across that way. I have heard humbleness spoken of in a similar way, and I think it is such and similar statements that obscure its meaning ( that's why we are defining it here :)

You wrote that they were humble in their life and work, but we still don't know what exactly it means to be humble.

The ego is a very popular spiritual topic as well, isn't it?
And humbleness is connected with the ego, except I believe that both are often misinterpreted.

=0X (for now)

Re: Defining Humbleness

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:23 pm
by mirjana
Hi Sabina,

As you questioned only one sentence from my post what humbleness means to me, and I gave the answer to this specific question as well in the second one, I have anything else to add to that what I have already explained in my first answer what humbleness means to me.
I am also curious what other member have to say about this topic.


Re: Defining Humbleness

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:47 am
by Alvino
When humans discuss HUMBLENESS = my saying that all opinions are LIES
and all opinions are TRUTHS applies.
on the one hand it could be true that IF YOU ARE HUMBLE you are being
a SLAVE to society = a slave to the negative connotation or meaning of
HUMBLE - you are being forced NOT to speak of some Great Achievement
you have accomplished.
example THE American pilot who saved over 100 lifes by landing in the
river = if you apply HUMBLE to him === he is showing a lack of this VIRTUE humbleness by goint
by going all l over the states receiving PRAISES and giving speeches about
his awesome achievement on tv shows, at festivals, etc.

but he is allowed to do this PRAISE receiving, etc

my point is accepting praise and discussing the great achievement
one DID is ok == UNTIL one crosses the line
and becomes OVERLY self promoting to the point of being Arrogant.
now the question is Who in the world decided that NOT being
humble is being a BAD HUMAN being or maybe even
becoming a Disgusting human being??\