The ego believes that through negativity it can manipulate reality and get what it wants. It believes that through it, it can attract a desirable condition or dissolve an undesirable one.
If “you” — the mind — did not believe that unhappiness works, why would you create it? The fact is, of course, that negativity does not work. Instead of attracting a desirable condition, it stops it from arising. Instead of dissolving an undesirable one, it keeps it in place. It’s only “useful” function is that it strengthens the ego, and that is why the ego loves it.
Practicing the Power of Now
Judgment is one of the ego functions that can get out of hand.
When we are in balance and more identified with our higher Self than with our animal nature, we have discernment, rather than judgment. Discernment is what helps us make choices, helps us to perceive with precision and acuity. The more discernment we have, the more fine-tuned our performance will be, the more specific our actions. Our taste and sense of style is formed from our discernment, then refined by it. If my pattern is that I’m continually drawn to an unavailable mate, discernment can help me make a healthier choice.
But when our security is challenged in some way–fear of losing something we have or not getting something we want–and we’re triggered into identification with the ego and the fight, flight or freeZe response, the fine-tuned instrument of discernment becomes the bludgeon of judgment. On a psychological level we are circling the wagons to make ourselves safe, and we begin to judge those around us, choosing which to let in, if any, and which are unsafe.
In our modern world we may find ourselves spending much if not all our time in low-grade survival response, or just on the verge of it. We can become inured to the feelings of fear and anxiety and take it for granted that this is how life feels. And we may then find ourselves in constant judgment, a steady stream of negativity running through our mind. It can make us behave like someone we don’t want to be. It can have us rationalizing all sorts of behavior that is not at all what we would want to find ourselves doing.
In this area of life, meditation is an amazing tool. We sit, twice each day, in our simplest form of awareness, bathing in the cool waters of transcendence, coming out refreshed and rejuvenated and with the opportunity to see ourselves once again as something other than this fearful and seething ball of judgment. And when fear does come up and judgment flashes in our mind, we can let it go, knowing that it is coming up because it is coming out, a stress that is being released; and with it gone, I will be able to see myself and others as what we truly are: children of God, worthy of love and deserving of love, rather than of judgment.
To be free of judgment is to be able to see what is the same in you and me; to recognize those qualities that allow us to come together, rather than those that push us apart. From this my actions can be supportive of the truth that consciousness is one thing, and that you and I are this one thing. Oneness leads to bliss. Bliss keeps me out of judgment.
Today I will make the effort to see myself as at-one-with those around me, and separate from the judgment that may be running through my mind.
Two Bison, Crow Reservation, Montana