I’m not a religious person. I’m not even spiritual by probably most people’s definition of that condition. I am an atheist. But, I often find myself in awe of things made by nature, by human hands, by animal hearts (and brains and intentions). I find that I’m in awe to a point of speechless reverence. Like standing in a centuries old cathedral, like the deeply Catholic pilgrim standing before a crucifix, I’m in the presence of the sacred. I am humbled, transfixed, baffled, and made new in the light of all that is greater than I.
I know. I don’t sound like an atheist. Just, trust me.
Secondary to the awe of creation is the awe of humility, of seeing humility in other humans. We humans can be such a proud, egotistical, self righteous, controlling bunch. Compared to the sheer numbers of seconds in our lives, we hardly ever give over to something greater. We seldom bow, pay homage, kneel in genuine respect and love (not just going through the motions), to that which makes us small. I think we need that. Not the bowing and scrapping that is brought to bare upon the powerless by the powerful. We need the kind of humility that possess all attention, in any given moment, and makes our knees give way. We need to see, more often I think, that we are kings of nothing. We are children, standing just inside the door of greatness, beauty, connections, expanses, being and loving. We are present, but we know nothing yet. Only a brave few rise in knowledge by staying constant in their belief that they are at the very bottom; only make progress when they acknowledge being at the beginning. Only those who wish to see without taking, without owning, without possession of any kind, will have sight.
To me, humility is everything.