The Last Judgment!




In speaking of "judgment" I want to refer to thoughts of the form "this is good/bad, right/wrong, positive/negative, should/shouldn't, ought/ought not" and etc. You're familiar with them I'm sure, having thought them, spoken them, and heard them spoken to you. Unfortunately, judging thoughts are a major culprit in loss of self esteem, loss of intimacy in relationships, and the experience of depression--even when the judging thoughts do not have you as their subject. They compromise our happiness and erode our society.

So why do we do it? An insight from long ago reveals that we make judgments as a result of having underlying desires. Judging is an attempt to express, and to try to satisfy those desires via thinking or communicating judgmentally. If I say "that's a bad thing you're doing" it is because I don't like it and I want you to stop. Sometimes it even works, and that's what keeps us hooked. However, we rarely stop to consider the severe consequences mentioned above and so continue to suffer them.

There is another way! Express your desires directly instead of framing them in judgments. Instead of "you shouldn't have done that" it might be "I don't like that." Instead of "what negative energy" you could think "this energy is uncomfortable to me." The result will be that you remove the character assassinating barb associated with judgment and still honor what is really going on with you!

In fact, substituting desire for judgment will enhance the closeness people feel with you. Consider two people observing a sunset. One says "that's a great sunset." The other says "I love the way the pinks and yellows sweep across the sky." Which of the two do you feel closer to? The one who's told you what they like, not the one who has only revealed that they are liking something but not exactly what it is.

Ever been around someone who judges a lot? Even if not aimed at you, we get an uncomfortable feeling that sooner or later that gun will be aimed at us. And if not spoken, at least thought. And most of us want to get away from such people if we can, because it doesn't feel good to be judged. Judging pushes people away.

This does not mean to give up discernment, so we still want to be clear in our assessments and recognition of the way things are. And we can do that completely without judging anyone's character (although we will still have likes and dislikes that we might express and act on).

Releasing judgments and honoring desires instead helps you to get closer to the truth. Because in truth there are no "negative" things out there, only things and judgments about those things. They do not come linked. Be free of judgments by recognizing them as conceptualizations of desire, just thoughts, and choose direct acknowledgment of the desires instead. You will see more clearly what is going on--in you and around you. You will be more aware of what your desires really are, and thus more able and encouraged to make things happen the way you want them to. And in other people and your relationships--watch what glories are released!
© 1996
 Mark Shafer  


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