by: Leatrice Evanne Asher
One definition of judgment is the ability to make considered decisions. Another meaning of judgment is criticism or condemnation of someone or something. The ability to discriminate the best course of action to take in a given situation, such as when to safely cross a street or even deciding which car to purchase, is distinctly different from finding fault with ourselves or others or having an aversion to things. The latter is our usual way of perambulating through life—judging all that is not to our liking. Whatever we judge we cannot fully know. Whenever we reject a person or thing we are undermining our ability to perceive its essence; therefore, we cannot know the Truth of it.
When we operate from a premise of good or bad, likes and dislikes we may not think that we are being judgmental or fault-finding, but anything that we hate, even just dislike or wish different (a sunny day instead of rain) we are distancing ourselves from the knowing of Reality; that is, Ultimate Reality, not this earthly version. We are also distancing ourselves from love because judgment and Love cannot coexist.
We have different associations with the word love—love for a child, a parent, a friend, love of our country, love for things of nature. Because love tends to have a different and particular significance when applied to that which occurs between two people who are smitten with one another it’s important to look deeper. We call these relationships “being in love”. But the language speaks for itself. When we’re in something the potential exists to be out of it as well. And isn’t this often the case, that we are perpetually in and out of relationships? Love is a creative force, not something we give and retrieve at will. Love is constant. Its motive is itself. It’s not motivated by ownership, mere attraction, or desire. If we give our attention to someone while wanting something back in return, and if that something isn’t forthcoming, we no longer want to be with that person but seek someone who will give us what we want, or be what we want them to be. It’s no wonder that most expressions of love are also anchored to judgment. And no wonder as well that so many “in love” relationships don’t last.
Agape is a word of Greek origin. It speaks to greater love, not one based on preference. Agape is being love. Declarations of love—for something or someone—are rarely an expression of this higher form of love. This is especially true in romantic alliances. How many divorces and other relationships that terminate have one or both parties then declaring that they no longer love the other? Likely, a good many. True, we may not be able to continue a relationship (with a mate, family member, friend) for justifiable reasons, but to say we no longer love someone means that we never loved them to begin with. We didn’t love their Being. Agape is larger than our preferences and judgments, and it is unconditional. The turmoil present in many relationships arises from this core tendency to judge. These then become need-based relationships, usually what our senses desire—the persona or outer packaging of a person. If what is before us doesn’t align with those desires we often look for someone else to fulfill them. But as any relationship will likely be based on personal longing, any affair of the heart will likely be subject to those whims.
Relationships are also Karmic, those who have been part of our life story throughout many incarnations. It will be helpful to look upon relationships as providing the lessons that we need to learn, the challenges to overcome in this earthly schoolhouse. When this larger world view aligns with our reasoning mind the tendency to judge will diminish because we will be perceiving Eternal Truths, those which are in accord with Reality. Sometimes we use the word love as a way of conforming to high-minded ideals because we want to be seen as good, loving, or spiritual. If we haven’t yet becomelove, this is not spirituality; it’s avarice. Better if we can open to observing how our judgments keep us in an unloving state.
Sometimes we are love; most of the time we are not. Love is not possible with preconditions that must first be met. If we do find someone or something that is aligned with those conditions we then declare love for that person or thing. If there isn’t an alignment, not only do we not profess love but may express disdain as well for what we may regard as not good enough for us. In this way, we amass a truckload of what we consider to be “unacceptables.” Recognizing that our thoughts and actions have consequences can lead to approaching a solution without negating or denigrating another’s essence. We don’t have to ignore traits in our chosen mate (or others) that bother us as that would be an untruth. But even in difficult times, it can serve us to acknowledge the karmic necessity of being positioned in relationship to another even if at that moment in time we don’t fully understand the particular lesson that seeks our attention. But if we continue to take our troubles to this larger viewing field we will experience the easing of them as we awaken to the truths of our existence.
Of course, we have preferences: we like the color blue, wish we could live near the ocean, prefer dogs to cats . . . and so on. You may ask, so what’s the problem? The problem is not with preferences as such but negativity and rejection toward anything that is not of our choosing. And really, who are we to judge, to declare someone or something better than another someone or something? Each time we dislike, devalue, reject: days that are too hot, too cold, too rainy; body parts that we hate, all the people who disturb us because they are not the way we want them to be, we distance ourselves further from what is actually before us. It’s due to these very preferences and judgments that we are never okay with what is. This keeps us moored in an alternate universe, not the actual, true state of things that are of the NOW.
Regarding the natural world, there is nothing that is not a perfect, authentic representation of itself because there is nothing that is not a part of Consciousness. Thinking in terms of good and bad is the single greatest hindrance to seeing clearly; ultimately, to Conscious Awakening. As we are dismissing the parts of our earthly experience that we don’t like we are shoring up untruths about ourselves and the everyday world we inhabit. This propensity to judge almost everything can be brought into our awareness by directly experiencing ourselves opinionating in-the-moment. If not then, at least in retrospect. We opinionate from preconceived notions about how the world is supposed to be, not from the Truth—that we are being provided exactly what we need to awaken to what we are, but don’t yet know.
Reality is that which is. It’s not this ephemeral version of reality that is created through the thinking and desiring of the inhabitants of Earth. Reality is Absolute Consciousness. This is not quantifiable. It is not of degrees nor attributes. It’s humans who assign attributes, and thus the judgment of almost everything perceived; a sunset is beautiful, a garbage can is not; we love flowers but hate weeds. These examples are just a mere part of all our aversions. The problem is that what we dislike we brace against. In this contracted state we can’t come into a knowing of what is before us; therefore, we are not perceiving Truth. This should be of concern to us! If we are not sighting/in-sighting from Truth we are not in a loving place. This may be difficult to accept, that we may not always be as loving a person as we think we are. If we can open to experiencing unloving tendencies, and do so without recoiling from or judging them, we then have the opportunity to change course. We can’t alter what is not yet known. We can make those unknown tendencies known.
There are no “good” or “bad” places to be situated. There is the moment that is before us. If you are fully present wherever you are that is as straight up as you can get. That presence is what situates us in the reality of the Now. We unsettle ourselves by separating from what we don’t like and don’t want to face. This penchant for fault-finding drives almost all human actions and leads to the contraction of our being and the ensuing pain and turmoil that result from that closed-off state. When only certain things, certain people are acceptable to us, deserving of our attention, we reside heavily in rejection – of all that we encounter that is not to our liking. The tragedy is not just our mistaken notions about love but all the opportunities missed to partake in the wonderment of exactly what is before us. And, yes, that perfect essence resides in a garbage can no less than a field of flowers in bloom.
We can come to realize this propensity to compare and adjudicate by observing it in process. But first, we must decide if we are open to new information reaching us, even if that information is difficult to witness. It may be frightening to behold unflattering aspects of ourselves, but the only way to fine-tune our awareness is to stay-put through that fear as a pathway to self-knowledge. Once we Know; that is, we see clearly how judgment has disconnected us from a more expansive, loving state, we may then experience a Metemoia. This is a word of Greek origin. It means “a radical change of heart”. Within our very own operating system, that is ours to manage, lie many opportunities to awaken to the moment, to intuit beyond our usual arena of perception, and thus to reside in a more loving state of Being.