Let us ponder over this: if it is he who has created all things great and small, then no one is big, no one is small, because all are his creations. You make a small idol, you make a big idol, but you are the sculptor of both. When there is but one maker, what issue can there be which is big or small? Our trouble throughout life is that we think in terms of great and small. No matter how hard we try, we cannot become great enough to satisfy our ego.
As soon as you begin to see the hand of the formless within yourself, you immediately become great. The maker is one. He who makes the lowliest flower also creates the majestic pine tree that seems to touch the skies! If the hand behind both is one and the same, who is great and who is small? The victory is his, the defeat is his. We are just pawns in the chess game.
You must have heard many a devotee saying: “All that is good in me is Yours; all that is bad is mine.” On the surface the devotee attributes all his virtues to God while holding himself responsible for all his shortcomings. This apparent humility is not genuine. Because if all the goodness is his, how can all the badness be yours? Genuine egolessness would give way completely at the feet of the Lord, keeping nothing for itself – not even the bad. It is the ego in the garb of humility that holds back this little support for itself. However much you may insist, how can success be his and failure yours; goodness be his and evil yours? This talk is hollow; it holds no substance. Either both are his or both are yours.
There is a difference between true humility and false humility. False humility says: “I am only dust at your feet.” When a person says that to you, look into his eyes and you will see that he expects you to say: “Oh, no! How can you say that? It is I who am dust at your feet.” If however you accept his statement and say, “Yes, you are quite right. That is exactly what I think,” then you have earned an enemy for life. He will never forgive you.
All praise is his, all blame his. We have no part in it. We are but the bamboo flute; let him play on it as he will. It is still arrogance that says: “If there is any fault it is mine,” because then the ego is still preserved. The I is such a disease: guard even a speck of it and the whole is saved. Either you let go of it completely or it remains completely, hidden safely within you.
Nanak says: all forms have arisen out of the divine order. It cannot be expressed in words. All that is most significant in life cannot be put into words. Divine order is the most significant. There is nothing beyond it. Words are adequate only for the purpose they ordinarily serve, to carry on our day-to-day life. But there is no way of expressing the extraordinary in words. There are many reasons for this.