Almost everything is an opinion
There are many ways to transcend judgement, but you only need one. What works for you might not work for someone else. For this reason I will talk about what judgement is and how it operates in real life situations. Becoming familiar with the mechanisms and truisms of judgement is enough to get you rolling. Once you have the fundamentals it is just a matter of practicing what you learn and doing your best to make it work for you however you can.
“Judge not, that you may not be judged. For with the same judgement that you judge, you will be judged, and with the same measure with which you measure, it will be measured to you.”
-Matthew VII – Lamsa Bible
This is the most powerful statement about judgement that anyone could make. As you judge others you judge yourself. The more you judge others the more you judge yourself and the harder you judge the harder you are judged. You cannot seperate yourself from your judgement of anybody. How is this so? Why is it that when I pass judgement on another I am judging myself?
The more you hate the more you hate
I used say I hate this and I hate that. I used to hate many things. I would say “I hate politicians” and if anyone asked why I would have a story to justify my hate. I would say things like “they Lie” “they cheat” “they’re only in it for themselves” “they’re crooks” “they can’t be trusted”. How was it that by judging a politician who I knew nothing about and who I had never even met that I was judging myself by the same measure?
You are your past, present, and future
Am I so honest that I have never lied? Of course not. I have lied to my parents, I have lied to friends, I have lied to family, and most of all I have lied to myself. Have you ever seen the child whose face is covered in chocolate yet the child says they didn’t touch the chocolate? I have lied. Everybody has lied.
Have I ever cheated? I wish I could say I haven’t, but I have. I have cheated on people, I have broken the rules, I have deceived others. I have taken unfair advantages in life. I have copied my homework and allowed others to copy from me. I have cheated. Everybody has cheated.
Have I ever only been in it for myself? Actually, I am the most selfless person I know… Oh wait, no, sorry I must be dreaming, of course I have been in it only for myself. I have been so selfish at times that I was appalled and ashamed of myself afterwards. For most of my life I cared only about me and mine and what will I get out of this. I have been very selfish. Everybody has been selfish.
Have I ever been a crook? Surely not. But I did take some chocolate bars when I was a kid, that doesn’t count right? Or that time when I was about ten years old and I stole cigarettes, then smoked one and vomited, that’s not really being a crook is it? Actually yes it is. Have I ever left work early and got paid for being their all day? That definitely happened. The bottom line is that I have been a crook. Everybody has been a crook.
Have I ever broken anyones trust? I have probably broken peoples trust without even knowing it. After all, how would I know what others expect of me? Of course If I ever cheated or stole then I broke trust didn’t I? Another fail. I have broken peoples trust. Everybody has broken somebody’s trust.
Now let’s think again about the politicians who I used to hate because of the things they did. It is clearly obvious that any behaviour I have condemned in them I have been guilty of myself at least once in my life. The temptation here is for me to justify that their transgression is greater than mine. I lied to one person, they lied to the whole country, right? In actuality the size of the transgression is irrelevant when it comes to saving yourself from perpetual self condemnation.
When I condemn somebody else for their behaviour it implies that their behaviour is unforgivable. If they were forgivable I would forgive them for the behaviour and the judgement or condemnation would dissipate.
“Only those who give over all desire to reject can know that their own rejection is impossible.”
-A Course in Miracles
When I judge anybody’s behaviour as wrong I reject that same behaviour in my past, present, and future self. I become unforgivable to the same degree with which I am unwilling to forgive them. If the one thing I hate in the world more than anything else is a liar, then it really doesn’t matter if I become the most honest person in the world from this day forward, the truth is i hate liars and I have lied in the past, therefore I must hate myself.
You say what if I forgive myself? Good point. If you forgive yourself for lying but you are not willing to forgive another for the same crime what are you saying about yourself?
Everything is permanently recored in consciousness. Nothing is forgotten. Every thought, every deed, every imagination, is forever imprinted on the landscape of consciousness. You are your past, present, and future, all at the same time, evidenced by your ability to leap forward or backward with the mind. Phenomena cannot be unseen, or unheard, or unthought, or unfelt.
Everything is permanently recorded in consciousness
When you judge something you finalise it in your mind. You say “Thats how I see it”. That’s how it is for you and that’s ok. In reality though, and if you are being radically honest, the way you see it is not always the way it is. It takes humility to admit this.
Have you ever been wrong about anything in your life? Of course you have. We have all been wrong many times over. You had an opinion about something that turned out to be incorrect. We have all been mistaken before in how we see things and it’s ok to make mistakes. We must accept that others make mistakes too and learn to be more understanding when the mistakes of others impact our life in some way.
I do not see things as they are, I see them how I see them.
The big judgement that people struggle with is the judgement about the right and wrong behaviour of others. Sometimes we find it hard to understand why people behave in certain ways. Are they completely out of their minds? Can they not see that they are causing harm, suffering, mayhem??
The truth is that every person is only doing what they think is right. It has been known for centuries that people only choose what they deem to be good. Nobody just decides to be evil unless they are completely psychopathic, and this is actually quite rare. The majority of people are not like this. The problem is one of ignorance. They are not aware of what they are doing. The suicide bomber believes that blowing up a bunch of people will get him into heaven. He believes this is the best thing he can do! That is his belief. Was he born with such a belief? Of course not. It is conditioning. It is programming.
We are all being programmed what to believe about the world and everything in it. It is the programming of the environment in which a person is raised that leads to their values and beliefs. All judgement is programming. It is programmed belief about how things are, what’s right and what’s wrong, what’s good and what’s bad. It is all learned and it can all be released.
You say “what about people who know that what they are doing is wrong”? I say “good question.” It has been said that we only judge others in areas where we are vulnerable to shame.The truth is that even though people do things that they know are not good for either themselves or others or both, at some level they see a benefit to them. They believe that by doing the wrong thing they will improve their life in some way. It comes out of a place of suffering. It comes out of fear, which is a survival mechanism. Their thinking is not right thinking. They are at the mercy of their fear. In the end people cannot be anything other than what they are. There is a quote from the course in miracles that sums this up nicely “Remember that those who attack are poor. Their poverty asks for gifts, not further impoverishment.”
The following summary statements are good to remember if you would like to become less judgemental.
As you judge others you judge yourself.
What you reject in others you reject in yourself.
What happens through you, happens to you.
As you see the world you will see yourself.
Everybody is doing what they believe is the right thing to do.
Right and wrong are not absolutes.
People cannot be other than what they are.