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The Second Exhortation, Concerning Humility

The Humility that is blameless,
To this I exhort men;
I point them to the sublime pathway of Humility.
Without Humility who shall see Truth?
Without Meekness who shall comprehend the All-One?
Without Lowliness who shall find the Great Reality?
Love dwelleth with Humility,
Wisdom also abideth there;
And peace remaineth with the lowly heart.
Put away thy Pride,
Think no more of thy superiority,
And purge thy mind of all its vanity;
Then shall the Truth dignify thee.
Truth fleeth from pride;
Wisdom departeth from egotism;
And holiness and vanity cannot dwell together.
Out of Humility cometh Light,
But darkness dwells with vanity and pride.
Of what art thou proud? O man! of thy beauty?
Corruption awaits it.
Of thy garments?
The moth and the dust shall destroy them.
Of thy possessions?
Tomorrow another shall possess them.
Of thy talents?
Their luster shall be dimmed.
Of thy fame?
It shall disappear as a mist Of thy learning?
Even now it is surpassed.
Of thy! works?
They shall vanish away forever.
What, then, remaineth, if these things are as naught?
Wisdom remaineth, and Truth and Love;
And Joy and Peace and Enlightenment are established.
But these cannot be known to the proud.
Neither can the vain man understand them,
And their glory is not revealed, to him that is subject to self.
What can darkness reveal?
And he who walketh in darkness, what shall he see?
The proud are blinded by darkness;
The vain stumble and lose their way;
And grief and desolation are the end of self.
The enlightenment of Humility is more than learning;
The power of Meekness is more than the strength of many conquerors,
And he who makes lowly his mind establishes himself upon a rock.
How shall the proud stand?
They fall of their own weakness.
How shall the vain endure?
They are as reeds without support.
How shall the self-seeking flourish?
They are as barren seed blown about and finding no soil.
Put on the Garment of Humility, and thou shalt not fall;
Make gentle thy heart, and thou shalt endure as the mountain;
Put away self, and thy works shall flourish is seed upon good soil.
The arrogant regard themselves as kings, But they are less than serfs;
The meek regard themselves as serfs,
But they are more than kings,
How easily are the proud injured,
Every day they suffer pain;
How often arc the vain wounded.
Weeping and sorrow are their portion;
How readily do the selfish suffer deprivation,
Every day they grieve over that they have lost.
There is no pain in Humility,
Meekness destroyeth sorrow,
And the pure in heart can suffer no loss.
What can a man retain?
What endureth?
And where dwelleth immortality?
The things of the world pass away, and none can hold them;
The body perishes, and is no more seen;
And the opinions of men are as smoke in a high wind.
Holiness can be retained,
Truth endureth,
And immortality dwelleth in the sinless heart.
I sought the world, but peace was not there;
I courted learning, but Truth was not revealed
I sojourned with philosophy, but my heart was sore with vanity
And I cried, "where is peace to be found?
And where is the hiding place of Truth?"
In Humility I found peace,
In the practice of righteousness Truth was. revealed;
And in self-obliteration I reached the end of pain and vanity.
Bend low, Ye pilgrims;
Prostrate Yourselves, Ye weary and disconsolate;
Give up that ye love, ye stricken and afflicted;
For he that bendeth himself shall be straightened,
He that prostrateth himself shall be lifted up,
And whosoever relinquishes self shall see the end of his afflictions.
Narrow and Low is the Portal of Humility,
But he that stoopeth, and entereth therein, shall stand for ever.


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James Allen

James Allen was a little-known philosophical writer and poet. He is best recognized for his book, As a Man Thinketh. Allen wrote about complex subjects such as faith, destiny, love, patience, and religion but had the unique ability of explaining these subjects clearly and in a way that is easy to understand. He often wrote about cause and effect, sowing and reaping, as well as overcoming sadness, sorrow, and grief. For more information on the life of James Allen, click here.

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