Pride -- or hubris -- is the sin from which all others flow, as it essentially involves an overvaluation of the self (or ego) accompanied by a devaluation of the other. It is as if the pole God → man is displaced to Me → You.
In another sense, pride can have no reality; rather, it is a reaction to its positive counterpart, humility, which is an objective appraisal of the self in Light of the Creator.
One shouldn't think of humility as representing an exaggerated devaluation of the self, for this too can be a disguised form of pride. In a religious context, a race to the bottom can nurture the unconscious belief that one has scrambled to the top. But humility is the way, not the end.
Much of this is addressed in the Sermon on the Mount -- Mount being the operative term, since the sermon is being delivered from the top of the purgatorial mountain we happen to be ascending.
You know, blessed are the poor in spirit. Or, when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray on TV to be seen by men. And When you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as they do in congress, to be honored by the state-run media.
In fact, the Sermon on the Mount can be seen as a set of "impossible" ideals which are to guide our ascent, for nothing less than the impossible can serve as the celestial attractor.
If this ideal were something easily attainable by man, it would only lend itself to the pride it is attempting to vanquish. Thus, as Dante says, Don't dwell on the form of punishment but consider what comes after that.
In other words, Dante urges us to keep our eyes on the divinized, those effigies of true humility. No, they are not down here in purgatory. Rather, we see their forms engraved upon the rock and carved in marble. This is to signify that they are in time but not of time; people come and go, but these celestial clueprints -- or icons -- will endure:
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. Eternity is down here in time -- and more importantly, in flesh.
So Even when we know that everything perishes, we should still construct our temporary shelters with granite. For Values, like the soul, are born in time, but do not belong to it. Therefore, To search for the “truth outside of time” is the way to find the “truth of our time.” Whoever searches for the “truth of his time” finds the clichés of the day (three of Don Colacho's Aphorisms).
Dante passes by three celestial archetypes of humility, first Mary, then David and Trajan. Mary is the one who turned the key that had unlocked the highest love, while David is both less and more than king.
What a marvelously succinct description of the perfect ruler, whose humility makes him less than a king, but whose wisdom and magnanimity make him more than one. This is in contrast to the typical contemporary ruler, who is simultaneously infrahuman and all too human. Such rulers bring only change we can bereave in.
Note that each terrace must be successively smaller as we ascend toward the peak. Therefore, the first terrace is going to be quite commodious; as a matter of fict, it is the commodius vicus of recirculation in the first and last paragraph of Finnegans Wake. It is the meandyouring riverrun past Eve and Adam, from swerve of shore to bend of bay. In the words of Petey, it is the winding binding river of light that empties to the sea and cures us of plurality.
So, Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
But according to Dante, the soul's aberrant love would make the crooked way seem straight. This is a critical point, and one of the reasons why Love cannot be higher than Truth.
For a love that loves the inappropriate object is still love; but "knowledge" of falsehood is no longer Truth. It is obviously the same with virtue; for example, it is possible to "courageously" defend the morally indefensible.
To say "truth" is to say "objective" is to say "disinterested." This is the spirit in which we are to understand humility: not as harsh and excessive judgment on the self, but an accurate and objective insight into it. Get over yourself. You are not the worst person in the world, only one of the worst.
Schuon has many wise statements about pride and humility. For example, "A humble person is not interested in having his virtue recognized, he is interested in surpassing himself; hence in pleasing God more than men."
This is another way of saying that the Raccoon's primary orientation is in the vertical and toward the Absolute. And the ultimate in humility would be represented first by Mary and then by Jesus, both of whom "emptied" themselves in different ways. This unattainable degree of humility is nevertheless our celestial telokenosis.
This emptiness -- or what we call (o) -- is the essence of humility. God's quintessential humility -- or kenosis -- is represented by the Cross. Here again, the true King must be both less and more than a man -- and more through the less (or even least).
Now, one reason why the left is unnecessary is that no one is incapable of appreciating what he doesn't have. In other words, no one needs to be taught how to envy, which is, to a large extent, pride in action.
Note that the left invented the term "social justice" to conceal the envy at its foundation. But "social justice" is just another way of saying "state mercy," to which we are entitled. Which would not be so destructive if it didn't intrinsically involve the administration of injustice to others.
Thus, it is not enough that we respect what he wants to do with his life; he demands, in addition, that we respect what he wants to do with our life (DC).
You don't want to be compelled to fund abortions, even though the Constitution plainly says you must? Oh yes, The leftist screams that freedom is dying when his victims refuse to finance their own murders (DC).
No, it's not a graven image but a marble clueprint. Vive la deference!