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Are You In Seventh Heaven Yet?

Mike Mather

Humble Pi

Pi (22/7) is a magical number. Humble is a magical quality.


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The concept of humility is significant within the context of alcoholism recovery. It plays a crucial role in the recovery process.

Humility has a role in

  • overcoming character flaws
  • seeking a higher power, and
  • attaining inner peace.

It is not only desirable, but essential, for we who are struggling with addiction.

Without a certain level of humility, it becomes challenging for alcoholics to maintain sobriety. Therefore, developing a greater sense of humility is crucial for long-term happiness and the ability to lead a purposeful and fulfilling life.

Character Flaws

Humility is often misunderstood and even disliked in society. The pursuit of material achievements and self-centred desires typically overshadow the value of humility. Alcoholics, in particular, have a deep-rooted need for humility, as their pursuit of security, prestige, and happiness with alcohol has proven to be futile.

Monks gathered in Buddhist Temple

Photo by Iván Tejero on Unsplash

Consider the attributes of Humility, Arrogance, and Ignorance. What about Pride? Is Ego too big a concept to include in this analysis? Often, we think of someone who displays a lack of humility as arrogant. Usually, it is through ignorance that we believe ourselves to be superior or ‘better-than’.

When I think that my opinion is correct, I show intellectual pride; obviously superior to others. (In my humble opinion)

The importance of humility in relation to character-building and spiritual growth cannot be overestimated. Humility should be prioritised over the fulfilment of material desires, as it forms the foundation for personal development and a meaningful existence.

Higher Power

What of the connection between humility and a higher power? In Buddhism, it is customary to bow and prostrate. These two gestures are to instil humility and to show respect.

This is not a thing that is promoted in the West. For survival in the Capitalist Jungle, bravado, and superiority are revered. The Ego wants us to rise above, but to be ‘right-sized’ requires us to be humble.

Raymond Lam says, “It is important to distinguish humility from dissatisfaction. A humble disciple knows she is not perfect, but remains at peace with her (possibly many) faults. A dissatisfied disciple is not at peace with her weaknesses at all (even if they are few)”.*

As long as individuals prioritise self-reliance and hold onto the belief that they can control their own lives, they are unable to fully embrace a higher power. True humility involves a willingness to seek and follow the will of a higher power, which contributes to a deeper spiritual connection and overall well-being.

Man kneeling before alter in church

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Inner Peace

Gaining a new perspective and embracing humility can be a painful process, often marked by repeated humiliations. However, it is through these experiences that individuals begin to understand the true value of humility and its ability to liberate them from the grip of addiction.

The path to Inner Peace is inward and does not include thinking ourselves to be ‘better-than’. We are neither God, nor superior to any human.

Furthermore, when we seek to help others rather than acquire wealth, prestige, and fame, we are more likely to be on the road to inner freedom and happiness.

Humility is needed to overcome character flaws, seek a higher power, and find peace of mind. By embracing humility, individuals in recovery can experience personal growth, spiritual transformation, and ultimately, liberation from addiction.


About the Author Mike Mather

Mike was born in 1963 which technically makes him one of the youngest of the Baby Boomers. An Australian with Indigenous and European heritage, he has been an avid and required student of Buddhism and alcoholism since 2008.

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