“When you meet a man, you judge him by his clothes; when you leave, you judge him by his heart.” Ancient Russian Proverb
We are all inclined to judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their acts. Harold Nicholson
Do not judge your neighbor until you walk two moons in his moccasins. Our first teacher is our own heart. Judge not by the eye but by the heart. Cheyenne Nation
Judgment - what a harsh word that is.
Oops that is a judgment isn’t it?
Judgment rears its head almost everywhere in our lives. But is it of any benefit to us? Or should we strive to transcend it? If so how? It seems that it is and always will be a part of our lives until we can eliminate the egoistic indulgences that characterize our societies, political systems and yes even our individual existences. Some of these misgivings that arise in the human experience are inwardly directed emotions such as greed, envy, pride, lust and the like.
You may recognize these as the Seven Deadly Sins mentioned often in different religions and cultures. They were quoted because they were commonplace; even though they were recognized by wise gurus and enlightened masters as plagues upon our being, spiritual or carnal. I am not looking to become preachy. But I would like to take a realistic look at what judgment brings to our lives and why and, most important of all, explore what we can do to move beyond it.'
Judgment is based on the ego
Judgment and its associated emotions are based deeply in the ego and usually stem from a place of personal lack. This lack can be financial as in not being in the position to afford what others have. The lack may be of not having that special love in our lives. There are so many things that we can feel we are lacking and no matter our position in life there is always more available that we can want and desire. Basically this can be anything that fits in the category of what we want more of or what we don’t have. No matter how rich, how successful and how loved we are we have a tendency to see what we don’t have, as opposed to what we do have. We look at those that have what we feel we lack and judge them as bad or even good, good still being a judgment, for possessing what we desire.
To me these negative emotions come from looking in a mirror and actually judging ourselves for not having achieved these objects of desire and then turning the anger outwards. Turning the anger, so cleverly disguised, in the direction of another person or society, culture, race, religion whatever we may think the cause of our misfortune to be. “Why can’t I do, make, have such or such?” becomes “Why can they do, make or have such or such?”
Judgment of others can relate to a sense of lack
One of the things that I have come to appreciate is the judgment of those that are rich. What do we think of when we think of someone that is very well off, who has more financial gain than we do? What words do we use to describe this person? What emotions stimulate us and our comments? We hear words such as greed, filthy rich, crooked, miser and so on. What harsh judgments these can be and all because we lack for whatever reason that may be. Let us consider this for a moment. If our conscious and subconscious minds feel this way about someone of wealth how on earth could “we let ourselves become a person like this.” How can we ever become rich if that is what we believe being rich to be?
Is it time to let it go? Is it time to let everyone outside of ourselves and their actions be just that, their actions, their deeds? I will go one step further. Is it not time to stop judging ourselves? I am not saying to stop holding ourselves accountable for living a life that adds to the common well being of all. One of my personal favorite present day teachers is Eckhart Tolle, who observes how we label everything in our lives. Needing to judge everything! He said that once you have to name something or judge it, it loses its intrinsic beauty. He also teaches about becoming present. Be in the here and now of life. When you see a tree just admire the beauty in the tree without needing to name or define it.
Love is the answer
The same holds true for everyone and everything in our lives. We do not have to name it or judge them. Just allow it to be what it is and move on from there. So here is the simplest solution to judgment - Love. Yes, Love. When you are feeling the emotion of Love you are completely in the present. You are void of any other emotions. Try it. Turn your notice fully to your partner, a friend, a college, your puppy (that’s too easy) anything that you feel strongly about. Notice how everything else seems to be insignificant, distance or even non-existent. Now try this with something or someone that you judge negatively. Yes just love that person. Really love that person in your heart. Your judgment will dissipate. As the Beatles said so eloquently years ago “All you need is love.”
This takes some training and desire on your part. Mediation can also help bring you to a place of being present which will allow you to feel that wonderful emotion of love for yourself and all around you. You don’t have to become a “flower child” just wear a different robe, one of seeking first to understand as in the Cheyenne quote above. “Our first teacher is our own heart. Judge not by the eye but by the heart.” When you turn to your heart negative judgment leaves your being and the true nature of your soul comes forth. The magic that really happens is that when you turn to your heart the truth of your own nature also becomes evident. The love you feel for another will be a reflection of the love you feel for yourself and when you love yourself all is well with the world.
Dr. Lesley Phillips is a speaker, author, workshop leader, spiritual and meditation teacher based in Vancouver BC, Canada. Her book “The Midas Tree,” a spiritual adventure story for children of all ages is available on Amazon as a paperback or e-book. She can be reached at:-