Often one comes across lines of poetry and thought that express self-effacement. Self-effacement is simply the process of making oneself less conspicuous to the world. It is a difficult concept in the West and among people with no spiritual interest. Self-effacement is identified as the opposite of assertiveness and akin to shyness or insecurity. And perhaps the uncultivated soul may be expressing no more than what appears to be a psychological problem or a characteristic of personality. This only means that the person has to start reflecting and meditating on his or her life course.

Self-effacement rightly understood is the virtue of humility fine-tuned to a philosophy of life or a psychology of being. Self-effacement follows a continuum from humility to integrity, from passivity to consciousness, from psychological trait to mindful motive. No wonder it is a chief characteristic of every classic hermit.