Mad with joy, life and death dance
to the rhythm of this music. The
hills and the sea and the earth
dance. The world of man dances
in laughter and tears.
Why put on the robe of the monk, and
life aloof from the world in lonely pride?
A persistent trap all along the path is pride in one’s spiritual purity. It’s a form of one-upmanship in which you judge others out of a feeling or superiority. This ultimately limits your spiritual awakening. You can see many people who are caught in this trap of virtue – for example, in the self-righteousness of some church goers. In the yoga scene in America there are many groups of people who dress in a certain way, eat in a certain way, are special in some way that gives them an ego-enhancing feeling of purity.
The harmful effect of this trap is not so much to one’s social relationships – though they may become strained from this display of subtle arrogance – but rather the effect on oneself. This feeling of specialness or superiority inflates the ego and feeds it with pride. The best antidote to pride is humility, which leads to compassion. The sooner one develops compassion in this journey, the better. Compassion lets us appreciate that each individual is doing what he or she must do, and that there is no reason to judge another person or oneself. Merely do what you can to further your own awakening.
– Ram Dass