Judgment – August 22 2018

Judgment – August 22 2018

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.
Eckhart Tolle,
Practicing the Power of Now
 
Judgment is one of the functions of the ego 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 that which helps us to make choices, helps us to perceive with precision and acuity. The more discernment we have, the more fine-tuned will be our performance, the more specific our actions. Our taste and sense of style is formed from our discernment, then refined by it. In social terms, discernment can help us to mitigate and improve what might be our knee-jerk responses. For example, if my pattern is that I continually am drawn to the unavailable mate, the disapproving boss or the unfriendly friend, my discernment will be useful in helping me to distinguish a healthier choice. 
 
But then our security is challenged in some way–fear of losing something we have or not getting something we want–and we’re triggered out of identification with our higher Self and into identification with ego and the fight or flight response. When we are in fear, 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, sometimes harshly, choosing which to let in, if any, and which are unsafe. 
 
Living in this modern world we may find ourselves spending much if not all our time in low-grade fight or flight response, or just on the verge of it and ready to be pushed over the edge with the slightest nudge. We can become inured to the feelings of fear and anxiety and take it for granted that this is how life feels. This is how I feel. We may then find ourselves in judgment continually, a steady stream of negativity about those around us (and about ourselves) 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 fear, this seething ball of judgment. And when the fear does come up and the judgment does once again occur in our mind, we can smile at ourselves and let it go, knowing that it is coming up because it is coming out, a stress release that will allow me just a bit more easily to see myself and those around me for what we truly are: children of God–worthy of love, capable of love, deserving of love, rather than of judgment.
 
When I can find my way free of judgment in my life, I can begin to see that which is the same in you as in me. I can begin to recognize those qualities that will allow us to come together, rather than those qualities that insist we must stay apart. I can begin to reflect in my actions and in my day to day life the truth of the world: that there is only one thing–Consciousness–and that I am this one thing, as are you. And as we embody more and more this truth of life, then life will make sure, more and more, that we are supported by this oneness and the bliss that experience entails. 
 
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.
Lotus, Echo Park Lake, Los Angeles
All original material copyright © 2018 Jeff Kober