The tendency to remain unknown and insignificant which we see in certain people: is that wrong? It all depends. If you have opted for the spiritual life and are getting closer to the love and light of the Lord every day, and you remain tolerant, gentle and humble with others and refuse to use your superiority as a stick to beat them with then, of course, it is wonderful. But if your modesty is simply due to a lack of ambition and a listless outlook on life, then there is nothing wonderful about it. Your attitude benefits neither yourself nor anyone else. Both tendencies, therefore, can be either good or bad and both must be guided by wisdom and love.
Left to itself, without discipline and guidance, the ambition to achieve greatness can be harmful, if not to others, at least to the person concerned. History contains many examples of men and women who were so determined to surpass their fellow-men by their science or their conception of life that, little by little, they became isolated and estranged from others and suffered a great deal from their solitude. They had the glory they coveted, of course, their name was on everyone’s lips, but they were still alone, for they had forgotten that they were living on earth and that it was important to keep in touch with other human beings.
The truth is that one has to know how to fluctuate between the two extremes and be very big at some moments and very small at others. Let me give you an example. When a Magus or even a priest, is about to perform a special ceremony he puts on ceremonial robes. But once the ceremony is over he dresses in ordinary clothes like everybody else. During the ceremony he manifests the power and glory of the spirit, and afterwards he reverts to his natural attitude of simplicity.
And in fact, even if a Master does not put on ceremonial robes, he sometimes seems so immense and of such sublime grandeur to his disciples, that they are too dazzled and bemused even to recognize him. Then, if they meet him again a few hours later, they find that he is exactly as they have always known him, simple and accessible, as though nothing had happened.
This proves that the Master is both wise and full of love. Full of love, because he does not want to distance himself from his fellow men for too long, and wise because a human being, even the greatest Initiate, cannot stay at such a sublime level; it would require too great a tension, the cost in psychic energy would be too high and his nervous system would be unable to cope with the strain.
Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
Izvor Book 221, True Alchemy or the Quest for Perfection
Chapter 10, Vainglory or Divine Glory