Strange as it may seem to many people, a sense of humor is quite indispensable to a successful pursuit of a spiritual life. No individual can be truly spiritual who, at times, is not able to laugh at himself, and to smile at the theatrical gestures and claims of others. TAKING ONESELF TOO SERIOUSLY is one of the most common and insidious dangers a person meets on the spiritual Path. A sense of proportion, and the realization of how small a role one may play in the cosmic ritual of world-existence, needs to be cultivated, if one’s idealistic and ‘so-well-intentioned’ service to a social and spiritual community is not to backfire and throw most of its warmth upon an ego becoming increasingly full of its own importance.
Today we readily tend to glorify out of all proportion anything related to the zodiacal sign Aquarius – including the so eagerly expected Aquarian Age itself. This may be unfortunate, at least from a spiritual point of view, for it can lead to what Carl Jung called ‘self-inflation’ and to extravagant hopes concerning what the ‘New Age’ may bring, especially during its first centuries. It is one thing to deliberately and perhaps emotionally dedicate oneself to ‘world service’, and another to glamorize one’s ability to carry on such a dedication in everyday pursuits without faltering. The one anti-dote against self-inflation is a sense of humor.
One should work and strive as if that only mattered; but while doing it one ought to keep a mirror handy to often look sideways at how funny a face the mirror reflects – sideways, not full face, for if you look at yourself full face you will naturally take an unduly serene or over-dramatic pose. The greatest danger in being surrounded by eager and devoted disciples is that looking into their eyes, the teacher sees himself glorified. Disciples too should learn compassionately to smile at their teacher’s claims or postures, so that he may be helped not to take himself too seriously.