CHAPTER XV Sixth degree -- Conceit. (The opposite of the seventh degree of humility -- belief and acknowledgment of one's inferiority to others.) He believes what he hears, praises his own action, (1) and pays no attention to the motive. He welcomes a favourable opinion and forgets its purpose. And he who in everything else puts more trust in himself than in other men, attaches more weight to the opinions of others about him than to his own. So not only does he think that he exhibits superior religion on account of his verbal profession or special display of piety, but in his inmost heart he considers himself more holy than any one else. And if he knows that he is praised for anything, he ascribes it, not to the ignorance or the kindliness of the person who commends him, but, with much conceit, to his own deserts. So after eccentricity, conceit has made good its claim to be the sixth degree. After it, audacity shows itself -- and in it the seventh degree consists. 1. It seems that the monk here referred to is the same as the one described in the preceding chapter. In which case demonstrating St. Bernard's object was not merely to furnish a series of character sketches, but to show the ease with which the individual may descend.