Have you ever had the experience where you are all excited by an idea or a thing and then something – a thought or another person’s opinion – puts it down in some way and suddenly you lose the thrill and feel a bit foolish?
In a meditation the other day I got this thought, “Drop the judgement. It’s gonna kill you!” Unsurprisingly after that I’ve been moved to consider Judgement in my life and inner world. And oh boy!
I know I keep coming back to this topic and I suspect I may do so for the rest of my human life – because we are SO steeped in judgement as a way of being.
So there’s this idea which goes like this: Each of us is amazing and wonderful and this is not measured by comparing or judging. None of us is better or more special that anyone else. None of us is less than or less special than anyone else either. There IS no ‘better’ or ‘worse’ – we all just ARE.
This concept boggles my mind. I try to grasp it and my mind does this goggling, jittering thing and slips off it. I mean I get it intellectually but deeper? Boggle, boggle…
It’s not what we are taught, is it? Maybe in words sometimes – in kindergarten – but not in action out in the ‘real’ world and certainly not in the way our capitalist society is constructed. We are taught you have to win, you have to be ahead. If others are ahead of you – in school marks, income, marriage, sport, parenting, weight, beauty, material possessions, talent, fame, success – that means you are not as good as them. We are led to believe there is a limited amount of money and fame to go around. If others have that means you don’t have. We believe there is a limited number of high status positions for which we need to vie and if we don’t get them we are not worth as much. If you are as talented as someone else but they get the high status position that’s bad luck for you. They made it and you didn’t. You are a victim, a loser, it’s a shame. They must have something special that you don’t – or have fooled people into believing that.
What kind of a set-up is this?! For goodness sake. And it’s all a load of rubbish too.
If you think about a system – a country, an organisation, a school, a family – it is obvious that all parts are needed and all need to perform their function to make the system run smoothly. If street sweepers or garbage collectors or shop assistants or tellers go on strike things stop functioning well. There is no such thing as JUST a mom, JUST a housekeeper, JUST a cashier, JUST a homeless man, JUST an assistant or whatever other positions upon which our society tends to cast a disdainful eye. Everyone has a certain function – which we may or may not see from the outside.
Each of us is on our specific journey. There is no ‘better’ or ‘worse’ journey to go on. Some are certainly easier and some more difficult but that means little. You can have a difficult life of fame and wealth and a gentle, relatively easy, love-filled life of poverty. Is one ‘better’ than another? You can be really good at roller-blading and find it boring and give it up or you can be terrible at it but love it and keep doing it. ‘Better’? ‘Worse’?
When we judge, focus on which is ‘better’ it takes away the qualitative living of the thing. It takes away simple experiencing. It takes away LIVING. If I judge something to be good or bad I separate myself from it. I lose the ability to be with it as it is. In other words when I judge, I disconnect. A disconnected life is depressing and numb. If I want to do something and I’m excited about it but then I worry others might think badly about it, my excitement dampens or disappears. I lose my will to live and experience. So I guess it’s true that judgment will kill you.