Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Do Not Judge, Or You Too Will Be Judged

I really like what Douglas has to say about judgment in his post called “Thinking a Little More About Judgment” at Mystery of Ascension and I am going to quote some of it here.

Some people struggle with the idea of observing without judgment.  Some people have difficulty with the execution of such an idea, as they have cultivated a habit of judging and are somewhat attached to it, somewhat invested in it.  Some people reject the very premise of such an idea, suggesting judgment is a necessity for survival.  But those same people usually affirm the teaching of Jesus, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (Matthew 7:1, New International Version).

To judge someone is to declare consent to be judged according to the same standard by which I have judged someone.  Some people have not considered that consequence to be the case.
One gentleman I spoke with conjectured that, other things being equal, we tend to judge the people who we consider to be least like us.

After some pondering, I consider the command “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” to be a particular instance of the command “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:31, New International Version).  The command “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” could also be considered as a special case of “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31, New International Version).

Could it be that this command “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” is a trickier command to keep than it looks?  Could it be that we really do love our neighbor as ourselves, but we have a certain degree of self-hatred, for we know we’ve fallen short?  Could it be we would like to judge others, so we don’t seem so bad by comparison?”

When I read this I understood Cleo better, and Timothy for that matter, since I felt that the way they were behaving and their attitude toward Ivan and I this time around fell precisely into what Douglas conjectures about judgment.

I cannot say that I do not fall into the same trap, that I do not practice judgment of others, but I do tend to operate from the premise of “do to others what you would have them do to you” and usually try to look for and appreciate the good in other people and shy away from criticism. I am aware of the biting, caustic, corroding nature of judgment; it is destructive rather than expansive and serves no value.
When I realized that Cleo was judging me from a position of her own inferiority complex, I left her alone. I no longer sought out her company, did not come to her with my problems, realized the futility of confiding in her as a higher soul, a wise woman to guide me, and felt only regret that what I had considered to be a beautiful and nourishing relationship had proven so detrimental to my spiritual growth. I could only hope that she would come to her own realizations herself.

It was my daughter Ursula who helped me to see all of this. She came to the village to join us at the peak of the fiasco and with her quiet wisdom put everything in its place. By this juncture it had become clear that the red tape around our dealings with the local administration over renting the plot of land was going to take longer to unravel than we had the time to spend. The auction to ensure that no one else wanted to contend for the same land plot, the final hurdle to be cleared in the bureaucratic marathon, did not take place in July and was not going to take place in August either. A couple of telephone conversations with the person responsible for these issues revealed that the auction may possibly take place in October, or perhaps in November.

There were storms in the village and the electricity went out. The power was still out when we packed up our things and left a few days later. There was no point in staying on any longer.

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