[This journal entry is from February 7th, 2005. As always, Jay’s current thoughts about this entry are in the post script – Dawn]
I’ve always been one to argue that we must judge, that a mind without judgement creates a life without standards. It’s true, too, and a good point. If you don’t see clarity of thought as being preferable to being drunk every night at the corner bar, why choose the clarity? If you can’t see that being in a relationship with a loving and thoughtful person is more enjoyable than being with someone who is mean and selfish and abusive, why would you choose to not get knocked around on a regular basis? If you cannot judge earning money doing what you were born to do as being “better” than working a menial job that you hate, why choose at all?
When we are told not to judge, we are in a sense being told not to think for ourselves. Don’t judge your neighbor? What if said neighbor is holding a shotgun to your head? Do you judge him then? Do you not find yourself wishing you had judged him earlier, when the first warning signs of his psychopathic nature would have enabled you to call the police instead of waiting until the day when you got to discover whether or not your skull is bulletproof? Don’t judge your love? What if she’s a bitch, taking advantage of your nonjudgemental nature? What if he’s abusive, and beats the shit out of you while you bleed and struggle not to judge? Are you struggling?
The mind should not be asked to not judge. If you have no capacity to judge, walking down the middle of the freeway makes as much sense to your “nonjudgemental” mind as strolling down the sidewalk. Be sure to continue to not judge as that truck mows you down (why move if there’s no reason to judge the situation?) and cripples or kills you.
We are supposed to judge. We are not supposed to be frozen by or caught up in our judgements. He beats you up? Take off. Simple as that. Don’t examine why he does it, feel sorry for his upbringing, think you can change him. Judge his actions as unacceptable, leave, and never think of it again. Or, if you’re a grown woman who needs physical discipline from another, judge whether he hits you just enough or too much and go or stay based on that judgement.
There’s a truck hurtling toward you? Move out of its way. Don’t stand there weighing the pros and cons of a good truck-bashing. Your mind has more important things to do. You just saw a lady that’s fatter than any human being you ever laid eyes on? So what? You’re the one whose clarity of thought is so unimportant to you that all it takes is some fat lady to take your mind off your own life. When you need to judge, judge; then act accordingly. It won’t take but a moment. When you don’t need to judge, don’t judge. You’ve go better things to do with your precious energy.
I like this entry, but I think it is more focused on what needs to be judged than on what doesn’t. The point in any scripture telling us not to judge, I think, is to steer us away from the constant useless critical chatter that the unhappy mind often engages in. When I wrote this, I was reading a lot of Eastern philosophy, and was bothered by the notion that we are not able to judge at all in a fully Awakened state.
There is a point where judgements feel more like preferences. As a simple example, the mind incapable of judgement sees a chair and has only one thing to say about it: “That’s a chair.” The preferential mind has more to say: “I like this chair more than that chair. I am going to sit there.” What does the judgemental mind say? “When I was little I had a favorite chair. It broke. Now no other chair will ever measure up, even if it’s more durable and pleasing to the eye and infinitely more comfortable. You show me a chair, I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it. I might even attack the character and the personality of whoever built the chair. I might be the first person to ever make a chair feel bad, I have so much to say on the subject.” It doesn’t end there, of course; it only ends when we make it a point to end it. Let’s make it a point now.
The more judgemental the mind, the more it needs to assert its point of view as being the truth. There is a world of difference between seeing something as “good or bad” or “right or wrong” and seeing everything as “right or wrong for me”. It’s difficult enough to figure out what the “right” thing for us happens to be. It quickly stops being about right and wrong and starts to be what is best for the individual, and even then the most clever of us pick our way carefully and often identify missteps only in retrospect. The version of judgement I think it is best to steer away from is in judging paths other than our own when they intersect.
This is the part of this concept that I think I understand more clearly now. I knew then that it was important to shut that voice off, or re-task it to something constructive. I now realize that how that voice is silenced is as important as silencing it. It used to be, I would get all clear and quiet inside and then go out into the world and wonder why everything and everyone seemed to be such a mess.
My perspective now shows me countless little magnets within me, all with a positive or negative or neutral charge. All the stuff I like about my life is attracted there by the many magnets I have deliberately charged to attract my preferences, as well as the magnets charged by my social conditioning or upbringing or past lives that were already set to attract what I personally consider the good stuff for me. All the stuff I don’t like about my life is attracted by the negatively charged magnets doing what they have been programmed to do. And what have they been programmed to do? Why do I find negativity, or at least some perception of it, to be a part of the process of personal evolution? Those magnets represent the real work to me, both in the re-programming of their polarity and in seeing them as opportunities to become more rather than inner enemies holding me back.
It is easy to see others’ behavior as unacceptable and worthy of criticism rather than acceptance, especially if we take their actions as a personal affront rather than a glitchy program. This Universe, however, is a highly advanced bio-feedback system that is responding to our expectations. There is no random crossing of paths in this perfect energetic matrix, and the parts of ourselves that want evolution can be the parts we don’t want to own. An extreme example of a perceived shortcoming in someone else is often one part of you showing another part of you to the conscious part of you. The gift this interaction has is the product of the choice we make, and the choice we make is the product of our beliefs in action, and our beliefs are the blueprint the subconscious mind uses to shape our outer experience. The extremity of the example is sometimes necessary so we can initially disassociate from the behavior, but the next healthy step is compassion rather than judgement. Once we can see why another does some extreme thing we would never do and have compassion instead of criticism, we can feel compassion for our own shortcomings when we realize we have been looking into a mirror the entire time. Then a tension within releases, a magnet’s polarity flips, and outer circumstances that became more and more fixed in the world of resistance are suddenly flowing away like fluid in the realm of compassion. Once the magnet is flipped, the work is done. When nothing but light is being projected, nothing but love can be reflected.
[Did you like this post? Leave a comment and let Jay know! And don’t forget to follow @JayNorry on Twitter – his daily “twee’s” are often tied in to the blog post for the week! Thanks for reading! – Dawn]