The term "humility" is derived from the Greek word "humilis", which is translated not only as humble but also alternatively as "low", or "from the earth", and "humus", humid. Because the concept of humility addresses intrinsic self-worth, it is emphasized in the realm of religious practice and ethics where the motion is often made more precise and extensive. Humility as a religious or spiritual virtue is different from the act of humiliation or shaming though the former may follow as a consequence of the latter.[dubious ]
In Buddhism, humility is equivalent to a concern of how to be liberated from the sufferings of life and the vexations of the human mind. The ultimate aim is to achieve a state of enlightenment through meditation and other spiritual practices. Humility can also result from achieving the liberation of Nirvana. When one experiences the ultimate Emptiness and non-self, one is free from suffering, vexations, and all illusions of self-deception. Humility, compassion, and wisdom characterize this state of enlightenment.
Chan (Zen) Master Li Yuansong states that enlightenment can come only after humility - the wisdom of realizing one's own ignorance, insignificance, and lowliness, without which one cannot see the truth.Template:Fact
To get in touch with your true self, whether you call that God, Brahman, etc., one has to kill the ego. The Sanskrit word AHAMKARA literally translates into The-sound-of-I, or quite simply the sense of the self or ego. When this sound is stilled, you are in touch with your true being.
This article incorporates text from the public-domain Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913. Catholic texts view humility as annexed to the cardinal virtue of temperance. It is viewed as a potential part of temperance because temperance includes all those virtues that refrain or express the inordinate movements of our desires or appetites.
Humility is defined as, "A quality by which a person considering his own defects has a humble opinion of himself and willingly submits himself to God and to others for God's sake." St. Bernard defines it as, "A virtue by which a man knowing himself as he truly is, abases himself. Jesus Christ is the ultimate definition of Humility."
St. Thomas Aquinas, a 13th century philosopher and theologian in the Scholastic tradition, defines humility similarly as "the virtue of humility" that "consists in keeping oneself within one's own bounds, not reaching out to things above one, but submitting to one's superior" (Summa Contra Gent., bk. IV, ch. lv, tr. Joseph Rickaby).
Humility is said to be the foundation of the spiritual edifice and inferior only to faith. However, humility is considered the first virtue inasmuch as it removes the obstacles to faith. It removes pride and makes a man subject to and a fit recipient of grace; according to the words of St. James, "God resisteth the proud, and giveth his grace to the humble" (James 4:6).
"True humility" is distinctly different from "false humility" " which consists of deprecating one's own sanctity, gifts, talents, and accomplishments for the sake of receiving praise or adulation from other, as personified by Uriah Heep. In this context legitimate humility comprises the following behaviors and attitudes
As illustrated in the person of Moses, who leads the nation of Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt and to the “Promised Land”, humility is a sign of Godly strength and purpose, not weakness. Of this great leader, the Bible states, “(For Moses was a man exceeding meek above all men that dwelt upon earth)" (Numbers 12:3, Douay-Rheims Bible).
The vices opposed to humility are: (A) pride (by reason or defect). (B) a too great obsequiousness or abjection of oneself; this would be considered an excess of humility,and could easily be derogatory to a man's office or holy character; or it might serve only to pamper pride in others, by unworthy flattery, which would occasion their sins of tyranny, arbitrariness, and arrogance. The virtue of humility may not be practiced in any external way which would occasion vices in others.
Also in 1 Peter 2:23, concerning Jesus Christ's behavior in general and submission to unjust torture and execution in particular: "Who, when he was reviled, did not revile: when he suffered, he threatened not: but delivered himself to him that judged him justly." (1 Peter 2:23 Douay-Rheims Bible)
In the Qur'an, Arabic words conveying the meaning of "humility" are used. Among these are "tawadu' " and "khoshou' ":
"Before thee We sent messengers to many nations, and We afflicted the nations with suffering and adversity, that they call Allah in humility. When the suffering reached them from Us, why then did they not call Allah in humility? On the contrary, their hearts became hardened, and Satan made their sinful acts seem alluring to them." (Al-Anaam 6:42-43)
"Successful indeed are the believers, those who humble themselves in their prayers." (Al-Muminoon 23:1-2). "Has not the time arrived for the believers that their hearts in all humility should engage in the remembrance of Allah and of the Truth which has been revealed to them."(Al-Hadid 57:16)
Humility is a deep aspect of Sikhism preached as Nimrata. According to Sikhism All have to bow in humility before God. The fruit of humility is intuitive peace and pleasure. With Humility they continue to meditate on the Lord, the Treasure of excellence. The God-conscious being is steeped in humility. One whose heart is mercifully blessed with abiding humility. Sikhism deal Humility as begging bowl before the god. Guru Nanak, First Guru Of Sikhism said,
Make contentment your ear-rings, humility your begging bowl, and meditation the ashes you apply to your body.(Page 4,Guru Granth Sahib)
Listening and believing with love and humility in your mind (Page 6,Guru Granth Sahib).
In the realm of humility, the Word is Beauty.(Page 8,Guru Granth Sahib).
Modesty, humility and intuitive understanding are my mother-in-law and father-in-law (Page 152,Guru Granth Sahib).
Kant is among the first philosophers to view conception of humility as "that meta-attitude which constitutes the moral agent's proper perspective on himself as a dependent and corrupt but capable and dignified rational agent".Template:Fact Kant's notion of humility is that humility is a virtue, and indeed a central virtue.Template:Fact
Some other schools of thought, such as Ayn Rand's Objectivism, have seen self-abasement as antithetical to morality.
Nietzsche wrote of humility (not to speak of patience, wisdom, and any other virtue lauded widely by the masses) as a weakness, a false virtue which concealed the frailties and hidden crookedness in its holder.
His idealized ubermensch would be more apt to roam around unfettered by pretensions of humility, proud of his stature and power, but not reveling idly in it, and certainly not displaying hubris.
Religious humility is sometimes interpreted as false modesty, especially by critics of religion. When viewed as false modesty it can be construed as a lifetime of mental conditioning whereby the individual takes personal claims of humility to mean that he or she is somehow "special and better than others".. Humility has also been criticized in the movies, the most famous being Blofeld (played by Charles Gray) who declares in the James Bond film Diamonds are Forever that `humility is the worst form of conceit', which was originally coined by François de La Rochefoucauld.
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Related to humus (“‘earth’”).