(Feb. 1954) Modesty is weakness, but humility is strength. A world of difference, therefore, exists between the two. The moment you say, “I say in all humility,” the very expression is the expression of the ego in you. Even if in your mind you feel that you are humble, this feeling is egoistic.
The difficulty does not end even if with true honesty you try to express true humility. An obstacle, such as the thought as to what others may think of your expression of humility, is bound to come. In modesty, you are constantly pestered with thoughts about your correct behavior to such an extent that an inferiority complex is self-created in you, and that is not strength but weakness.
No sooner humility is given an expression, it is no longer humility. It is humbug to give deliberate expression to humility. The life of humility is to be lived spontaneously, and it should not give rise to any thoughts either about humility or about modesty. For example, suppose you undertake to clean a latrine but when you actually begin to do so, you cannot help smelling the stink, whereas a sweeper who cleans them all his life will remain unaffected by the stench. Similarly, the person who parades humility is like the one who smells the stink when cleaning a latrine, whereas the person who lives the life of humility is like the sweeper who is not only immune to the stink but who also remains absolutely unmindful about what others think about him and his job, because he actually lives the life of a sweeper.
To have to try to be humble is also humbug. You must be so natural that your very life becomes humility personified, which is then all strength, free from any weaknesses. Only God and the Perfect Masters can live such a life. They are the only ones who are really humble. So, whatever you may be, express it unmindful of public opinion or the reaction of others.
Be natural. If you are dishonest, do not try to hide yourself behind the curtain of honesty. That, however, does not mean that you should be dishonest. What I want to say is that you must be most natural rather than the least hypocritical.
Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 12, p.4322.