3. Humilité En France avec le Chef

I went to France in search of the next step of the humble pie recipe. My Boss told me that in France I would meet a chef who was an expert humble pie maker. Without any address or map, indeed I stumbled upon the piemeister. He said that he had been expecting me but I didn’t know how that was possible.

The French humble pie chef only tried to show me how to make humble pie; he could not make a pie for me. He explained that you can’t serve humble pie to others, as the chef you must eat it yourself. “Believe me” he said, “no one will think your humble pie is any good anyway. If you try to serve humble pie to a friend, even when you have the best of intentions, you end up growing rather than shrinking. Humble pie is supposed to make you small enough to get through the narrow gate to the land of immortality, so growing is a huge no-no.” Then he went on to explain that one has to develop a taste for the humble pie because it is so bitter like eating dandelion greens with lemon and he said that that it must be made fresh daily.

What a disappointment. I told him all that sounded like a lot of trouble, especially eating it if it was bitter. I probably didn’t have the time for humble pie making anyway. I would try to become an immortal rather than a hypocrite without it. So I thanked him very much and decided to go buy a Napoleon pastry instead.

As I turned to walk away I hit a very hard invisible wall. My head was throbbing. I looked up and around and didn’t see a thing. So then I looked inside myself and sure enough, there was my Boss. “You wanted to make humble pie, now here’s your chance. Learn or I’ll get another writer.”

I then looked in front of me and there was the pie chef smiling. It looked to me like he had just grown horns.

Step Two – The Crust

When oxygen seeps through the cork into a bottle of wine the oxygen ruins the wine. Likewise, when pride seeps through the crust of a humble pie, it is good for nothing, throw it away and try again. The piemeister explained that some humble pie-makers don’t work on the crust enough and end up with false humility. False humility is even worse than pride because it's pride with a lie. Some poor self-deluded hypocrites got that way from eating humble pie with a bad crust.

The crust is awareness of truth. It is like porcelain because of its very tight cellular structure and because it can be made very thin and still be very strong. The awareness-of-truth crust, like a perfect short and light buttery pastry must be pure. If you can imagine how adding ketchup to pie dough would affect it, then you can imagine how even a quarter teaspoon of fraudulence, worse yet, a pinch of lie would spoil the awareness-of-truth crust.

The perfect humble pie, the kind that Jesus ate every day, is enveloped by truth. Without the awareness of truth the pie is indigestible. Imperfect humble pie is no humble pie at all; it’s something else. If you are aware of the truth (that hypocrisy is like invisible carbon monoxide and it kills, that perfection is found in humility, that pride is only for mortals) it’s time for the secret filling.