The Illusory Lens of Judgment
If judgment could be defined using a metaphor of a pair of spectacles, the frame would be the conscious mind and the lens would be the unconscious mind.
We are constantly judging other people and ourselves almost every moment. Some of it might be intentional, but most of it is unconscious.
For instance, we judge others based on physical appearance, intellectual capacity, social skills, expression and lifestyle.
But, have you ever wondered why do we judge experiences, people and interactions? It is due to our patterned beliefs engrained deep in the mind as a result of conditioning and moral impositions.
But, anything patterned can became an enslavement if experienced or executed without awareness.
Judgment is not necessarily a bad thing. We need it as a foundation of observation and discernment, but we often find ourselves judging others and finding faults.
This is a slippery slope as it is an unconscious manifestation of the ego which operates on the principle of comparison and separation — to feel better about ourselves. It is also a way of projecting what we have repressed within.
The moment we judge someone and label them in ways of wrong, bad, ugly, fat, negative… we create a split within the layers of the mind and this separation makes us feel righteous and noble — eventually stroking the ego.
But, the external world is essentially a mirror of what lies within.
“The world is a mirror, forever reflecting what you are doing, within yourself.” - Neville Goddard
A person who is angry at the state of the world has a lot of suppressed anger. A person who envies other people for their success has underlying insecurities. A person who resents people indulging in worldly pleasure has unexpressed desires and cravings. A person who is critical about other people has an inner perfectionist which is unhappy.
The intention of this message is not to ask ourselves to be high priests and accept everything blindly with unconditional compassion. No, we must definitely discern, use intuition and a higher awareness as guiding light — but we must also work on accepting the suppressed, unexpressed and rejected parts of ourselves.
Spiritual growth happens when we integrate the light and the darkness within, the divine and the animal, the good and evil, the sacred and wild — because humans have a lower nature and a higher self.
So, let us embrace fears, acknowledge limitations, honour insecurities, appreciate desires…as these help mould us into complete and whole beings.
Food for Thought
The next time you find yourself judging someone else in an unhealthy manner, ask yourself… What does this quality / tendency / belief / behaviour reflect about me at a deeper level? And, if you have a fear of being judged by others — remind yourself that most people are doing it as a means of self-protection due to unconscious thinking.
May we all live with conscious awareness and loving intention. The ‘union’ of Yoga is not possible without this essence. Om Tat Sat