Maintain one good friend who revels in telling you that you're full of hooey. When you get to the top of the heap, nothing you hear is true (or, at least the whole truth). Keeping things in perspective is very, very difficult. The difficulty is directly proportional to the size of the heap you're sitting atop.
The best defense is one good, no-bullshit buddy. It can be a spouse. It can be a college roommate you talk to three times a year. But somewhere, somehow, you've got to keep in touch with reality. A person who can laugh at you -- and making you laugh at yourself. When Roman senators addressed the masses, they'd have an underling stand behind them whose sole job it was to lean over and repeat: "Remember you're mortal."
Quite simply, no matter how hard you try, no matter how "open" you are, you'll end up surrounded by "yes people." It's hard not to believe people who are repeating your own ideas. Resist the temptation.
One of the startling prospects that Rumi and Shams bring to the world of mystical awareness, which turns out to be ordinary consciousness as well, is the suggestion that we "fall in love in such a way that it frees us from any connecting." what that means is that we become friendship. "When living itself becomes the Friend, lovers disappear." That is, a human being can become a field of love (compassion, generosity, playfulness), rather than being identified with any particular synapse of lover and beloved. The love-ache widens to a plain of longing at the core of everything: the absence-presence center of awareness. Rumi went in search of the missing Shams. The story is that he was on a street in Damascus when the realization came that he *was* their Friendship. No separation, no union, just he was that at the silent core. I'd have to say that's the *baraka* (a blessing, the particular grace of taking in presence), the mystery of the ecstatic life.
Source: The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems