I don’t suppose this should interest anyone. Though as you’ll soon see, I crave its being interesting. I have found myself a long way from where I once was, having at one time written a draft entitled “The Reformed Egoist.” This was to be a declaration of my methodological putting to death of pride in me, and my ways of practicing this reformation.
Here is where the darkest of shadows lays over my heart. The proof is everywhere and I see it and despise it. The attempt to practice in the most literal sense, humility, holds in it the great fear of my heart. To presume myself capable of an escape plan from my own bravado is to believe myself so far beyond human pride, to see within myself the potential for so much more than my peers is to believe impossible greatness about myself. C.S. Lewis wrote something to the effect that humility is like trying to see the back of one’s head in a single mirror, the moment you position yourself to be able to see the back of your head you find you are looking at yourself again. Focusing on the self. Find humility in yourself. Soon enough you will be quite pleased to find just how humble you are and a good deal more humble than your peers.
I was tonight brought to bear the realization of my fear. The fruits of my labours were graded and found to be average. Unremarkable. How long have I left unchecked the view of myself as one who sees, one who stands in this world but has an arm’s length disinterest in the vulgar, or common things, and thinks only of the high and lofty? A man outside of time, viewing it all at his fingertips, a man who truly understands. My great fear is that I get to the end of my life and find that I was un-extraordinary.
Lewis again writes that when you meet a humble man he is very unlikely to be the sort of man who is always talking about how low a person he is and how ordinary he is, but he will more likely be a person that you meet who seems to have a quiet joy as he speaks to you, and is genuinely interested in what you have to say. I wonder how often I have ignored the things that others say, meandering through time and space, delving into depths of philosophy in which I have no business being. And I miss it. I miss the crucial, most beautiful things that have been said because I think I could say them better. Like I know anything about beauty.
I cursed my false heart in prayer today that it would be made new, in the way that the Christ cursed the false fig tree that, though in bloom, bore no fruit.
Real transformation is not exercise, it is surgery. It is not evolutionary progress, it is a cosmic leap. It cannot be the same heart, because that heart was growing and progressing into absolute cold degradation, and I need one with a different builder, a different set of mechanics that is tuned “not to think of myself as more that I ought to, but to consider myself with sober judgment.”
It is all false, and I cannot use my mind to judge the progress of my heart. It does not have the education or experience to do so with any sort of qualification.