Sunday, October 27, 9929


As you are probably aware, negative judgments, whether about yourself or others, feel unpleasant. Even when the ego criticizes others as a way of making itself feel superior, an inner contraction results. The discomfort might be interpreted as anger, depression, resentment, fear, or hostility.

Positive judgments can also cause contraction. For example, if you feel good about your appearance or possessions or accomplishments, then your good feeling is dependent on them. The implication is that without them, you would not feel good about yourself. This can cause an inner contraction, perhaps not as unpleasant as the one that results from negative judgments, but there is still a contraction.

Why is this so? Because judgment is always about the false self. The true self cannot be judged because it has no attributes that the mind can make into objects and then judge. The inner contraction that results from judging comes from the knowledge that a false thing is being judged and that the true self is being ignored.

All judgments are ultimately absurd, because they are a failed attempt to judge what cannot be judged.

You might ask, “Does this mean that we should just accept anything that anyone does, even atrocities?” Some acts are certainly unpleasant, and they should not be approved of the way we approve of pleasant acts. But let us not confuse the deed with the doer. We can acknowledge and try to prevent heinous acts, but if we judge the people who commit them, we poison ourselves with anger and resentment.

If the idea of not judging anyone seems absurd, that is your ego talking. The ego loves to judge, to use an unpleasant act as an excuse to diminish the actor, to define others in a very limited manner. For example, if a politician proposes a policy that the ego disagrees with, it will judge him as a “jerk” or an “idiot” based on that one act, completely ignoring everything else about him, such as his previous record, his devotion as a father, etc. This sort of blind, knee-jerk reaction is characteristic of the small, childish, weak, fearful self that is the ego.