Thursday, February 28, 2013

Judging Self and Others is the Same Thing

Christ says, "Judge not that ye be not judged."  People interpret this differently.  Perhaps (I'm not sure since I'm not one) traditional Christians think that it means that God is keeping track of our judgments against others and will judge us for them, now or when we die.  New Age people might say that this is just a universal law -- that the accounts are exact and if you judge others, the universe will put people in your life who will judge you.

My experience is something different than both of these.  First, there really is no "inside" and "outside."  That's a fiction the ego creates.  So, it must be, then, that inner and outer judgment don't differ.  Judgment is just judgment.  We judge ourselves to the exact extent that we judge others.

Sometimes people are uncomfortable with their judgments against others because they believe that such judgments get in the way of compassion and understanding.  That is true enough.  But I've found that the place where judgment does the most damage is when it's directed toward myself.  If I start there and really feel into the way I have betrayed my own life by judging myself, I can sometimes find the compassion for myself that is the way out of judgment.  When I find that compassion, I find that, miraculously, the judgments I had against others have disappeared.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Perfection and Judgment

A passage in an article I was reading this morning caught my attention:

"I was to learn how to see the world as perfect and lacking for nothing, even for all that it might not seem to be so.  In order to do this, I needed to apply the Brillo pad of nonjudgment to all my accustomed habits and perceptions.  I needed to act, to work, to think, and to observe, and I needed to do so without ever asking things to be other than just as they were.  If I did this long enough -- and perhaps even if I did it for just a short while -- the world, or my perception of it, would eventually change." 1

 Hmm.  I believe this is a version of "fake it till you make it."  And I wonder how many people have found this actually works.  The fact is, I don't see how it can work because there's an inherent contradiction here.  After all, it is the self who is making all of this effort, is it not?  And it is also the self that does all the judging.  It is only when we fall out of the self and into the larger reality that we discover perfection and non-judgment.  And the poor "I" who tries so hard just can't get there through effort.  But something in us wants this so badly.  Maybe that is where the attention should go:  what is it that desires this perfection? 

1 Ptolemy Tompkins, "What Kind of Errand?" reprinted in Best Spiritual Writing 2002, originally published in  Parabola.