Humility is just as much the opposite of self-abasement as it is of self-exaltation. To be humble is not to make comparisons. Secure in its reality, the self is neither better nor worse, bigger nor smaller, than anything else in the universe. It is ? is nothing, yet at the same time one with everything. It is in this sense that humility is absolute self-effacement.
There was no mistaking her sincerity--it breathed in every tone of her voice. Both Marilla and Mrs. Lynde recognized its unmistakable ring. But the former understood in dismay that Anne was actually enjoying her valley of humiliation--was reveling in the thoroughness of her abasement. Where was the wholesome punishment upon which she, Marilla, had plumed herself? Anne had turned it into a species of positive pleasure.
I have grown weary of literature: silence alone comforts me. If I continue to write, it’s because I have nothing more to accomplish in this world except to wait for death. Searching for the word in darkness. Any little success invades me and puts me in full view of everyone. I long to wallow in the mud. I can scarcely control my need for self-abasement, my craving for licentiousness and debauchery. Sin tempts me, forbidden pleasures lure me. I want to be both pig and hen, then kill them and drink their blood.
Yet we slink about like whipped curs:;... our self-abasement principally takes the form of subservience to the United States:;... we are under no necessity to participate in the American nightmare of a Soviet monster barely held at bay in all quarters of the globe by an inconceivable nuclear armament and by political intervention everywhere from Poland to Cambodia. It is the Americans who need us in order to act out their crazy scenario... We simply do not need to go chasing up and down after the vagaries of the next ignoramus to become President of the United States.
There are times when I, without willing it, mount to the height of contemplation; with my will I am drawn down from it because of the limitations of human nature and find safety in abasement. I know many things that are unknown to most men, yet I am more ignorant than all others. I rejoice because Christ, 'whom I have believed' (II Tim. 1:12), has bestowed on me an eternal and unshakable kingdom, yet I constantly weep as one who is unworthy of that which is above, and I cease not.
Independence is the recognition of the fact that yours is the responsibility of judgment and nothing can help you escape it-that no substitute can do your thinking, as no pinch-hitter can live your life-that the vilest form of self-abasement and self-destruction is the subordination of your mind to the mind of another, the acceptance of an authority over your brain, the acceptance of his assertions as facts, his say-so as truth, his edicts as middle-man between your consciousness and your existence.