Judgment has always been a controversial term. It means to come to a conclusion about a certain topic. For many people, the word judgment has a negative connotation. It means that you are comparing, contrasting, and evaluating people, situations, and etc. If you used your judgment, you realized that there are plenty of synonyms for it.
For example, discrimination, categorization, discernment, belief, conclusion, and evaluation are all words that have similar meaning to judgment. When you judge someone, you are in a sense, drawing conclusions based upon the information you have gathered through your senses.
There are many people who believed that judging others is an immoral way to live life. They believe that judgment is the devil’s trait. We must purge ourselves of this trait if we want to coexist in this diverse world. However, if you realized anything, even those who abhor judgments, are making judgments!
If you think that people should not judge others, then you would refrain from judgments. But if you witness someone insulting another person, wouldn’t your mind jump into action? You would react to the person and label him a loudmouth. Don’t you think this is also a form of judgment? What you want to avoid most, you end up creating the exact same thing!
I find it really silly to avoid judgment. I believe that it is a useful skill to have. Judgment is used as a tool to center yourself. It is a method for you to interact with the world around you. It is an observational skill useful for decision making.
Many people do not see this, but let me show you what I mean.
Passing Versus Expressing Judgments
Making and passing judgments are all a normal part of the thinking process. When you pass a judgment, what happens is that you use your mental faculties to analyze and organize the information around you. You process this information and draw conclusions. These conclusions are nothing more than decisions you make to live your life.
As an example, if you see someone who did something you like or don’t like, you make a judgment within yourself. You learned from him and saw that he is or isn’t someone you can get along with. By observing him and witnessing the cause and effect of his actions, you made a decision. You want to attract more of what you want into your life, and detract what you don’t want from your life. This is the purpose of judgment.
However, most people don’t know how to pass judgment. What they do instead is expressing judgments. We express judgments when we tell a person he is this, this, or this. Remember, not all judgments are bad. If you think someone is very nice and a good person, you are also judging. So there is no such thing as only bad judgments.
But let me ask you this question. Is there a need to express judgment? No, you don’t have to share your judgments with others even if it is a compliment. You can simply keep them to yourself and use them as a tool for self transformation. Not as something to label and critique others.
You see, if you are judgmental, it means that you are skeptical. You question everything around you because you want to make sense of life. There is nothing wrong with it. But if you are only seeking expression through judgments, then you are merely riding your thoughts all the way through without conscious participation. You say things you don’t mean because you are not aware of what you are saying in the first place.
You may believe that if we get rid of all judgments, then life would be peaceful. Let me reassure you if that happened, you would be a vegetable. You can’t make sense of life without having a discriminatory mind.
We live in a world where duality exists. Without death, there is no life. Without up, there is no down. Everything exists because there is a reference point to compare and contrast. A discerning mind is needed; else you don’t know how to live in this world.
People often have issues with discrimination because they believed that when you discriminate, you introduce separation and hate. But discrimination isn’t about separation or hate. It isn’t about dividing the world into opposites such as good and bad, right and wrong, divine and profane. It is about discerning reality from illusions.
The majority of what you think of is not real. Ideas, stories, make-beliefs, fantasies, and memories are not rooted in reality. They have no objective existence. They are not existential. Instead, they are purely psychological, but sometimes you don’t know that. When you express judgments in others, how much of them are rooted in reality? How much of them are thoughts that you have interpreted and made up during the heat of a situation? These are questions worth pondering about.
When we pass judgments, we don’t divide the world into desired categories. We don’t label people or situations. We don’t do any of them because we are aware that those activities are not helpful. And this is a judgment.
The world doesn’t need to know what is on your mind or what you are thinking. The point of judgments is to go pass them.
We find out what works and what doesn’t work. We learn from them and we go beyond.
Identity and Judgment
The whole reason judgment is such an issue is because of our inherent desire to identify with things. When you identify with something, you make it a part of yourself. You can be identified with anything. This includes the color of your skin, your religion, your social status, your wealth, and even your misfortunes.
When you are identified with something, it gives you immense pride to be a part of that thing. Therefore, any judgment on the particular identity is an attack on you.
If you paid any attention to the news, you can see the direct repercussions of identification. When a man of a certain color commits a crime, there are always controversies about prejudice or racism.
I am not saying that there is no prejudice or racism. I am implying that people are interpreting way too much out of any situation. People love to react and reaction is an unconscious action. If you look hard enough, you can find flaws even in perfection. There are misinterpretations everywhere because people are only looking for what they want to find, not what is true.
People are also so up in arms about judgment because there is an attachment to their evaluation. You want life to be a certain way because of your intentions and expectations. Therefore, any deviation or mismatch from them can cause you great pain and suffering.
You may react compulsively and angrily, being unable to accept the reality of the situations.
When we perceive a mismatch in our evaluations, we simply let things go. However, what really happens is that people cling to what they believe. They refuse to accept things as they are. Instead they reassure themselves by validating their own point of views even if reality differs.
Let’s be realistic here. No one in the world cares about what you believe in. No one cares about what you identify with. The only person who cares is you.
Judgment is not about devaluing others and making youself feel superior to them. It is not about boosting your own ego. It is not about expressing your thoughts, beliefs, or conviction.
Judgment is nothing more than realigning yourself. It is about knowing yourself through your interactions with the world.
What I see is that many people are so caught up with who they are and what they are about. This can be race, religion, politics, sex, patriotism, and others. Because of their beliefs, humanity is further split apart. There is no awareness of the all-inclusive nature of existence. There is me and there is you. There is no we.
When you try to pass judgment while being identified with something, all you end up creating is more separation. You enlarge the differences in the world further.
I believe that people need to open their eyes and truly see the world for what it is. The world is not the thoughts in your head. It simply exists right here. Experience it as it truly is. And this is a judgment.