We often tend to underestimate the power of ideas.
We may convince ourselves that we’ve gone beyond them,
that we dwell in the rarefied atmosphere of pristine awareness,
that we have paid our dues and now enjoy the thought-free state,
that we’ve died to the ego and now ride a wave of impersonal bliss.
Yes, how convincing we can sound, unless we’re confronted
by the slightest challenge to our presumptuous claims
by anyone who’s taken the time and energy to think
for themselves, rather than parrot an idealism
borne of the willingness to believe
in their own propaganda.
As it is, all we are ever really attempting
to protect and defend is some personal self-image
which we’re reluctant to examine in the clear light of day,
because to do so might reveal that we are not as enlightened
as we’ve imagined ourselves to be, despite our pretenses otherwise.
Perhaps the greatest kindness we can bestow on ourselves
is to climb on down from our lofty throne and simply
allow the mirror to reflect what we are, exactly
as we honestly are — there’s a gift of grace
in genuine humility.
(picture by Gregory Colbert)