We judge all the time - what’s the problem with that? (and what you can do about it)Dec 17, 2019
(By Eldad Ben-Moshe ✨ Reading Time: 9 minutes)
❤ Hey there Better Lifers!
My 7 months old baby is sick for the first time in his life 😥
The poor guy has a cold, but he is not used to it at all.
For the first time in his life, he’s experiencing a congested nose,
difficulty to breath, throwing up, etc.
As it happens, my wife’s sister is a pediatrician and long story short,
she says the throwing up is probably a result of the mucus.
To prevent that, we put a tube at the edge of his nostrils (from the
outside) and suck the mucus from his nose.
It's standard protocol really - but not for him. Nor for us.
He suffers so much when we do this, that I officially call it ‘the torture device.’
And seeing him suffer so much makes us suffer at least as much, if not more.
Really, the whole scene is heartbreaking.
As if that’s not enough,
all of that is topped with a tricky ego that
is reading the situation through fearful lenses.
This translates into thoughts such as ‘will my baby hate me now for what I’m
doing to him? Please don't hate me.’
‘will this cause him trauma?’
‘this loving song I’m singing to him to soothe him and send him love - will that now
be connected in his mind to the traumatic experience of the torture device?’
‘Will he stop trusting me because of this?’
Now, of course, in my rational mind, I know better than that.
I know Matan (that’s our angel’s name) will not hate me forever for this.
He doesn't even hate me for 5 seconds, if at all.
After we’re done, he hugs me, loves me, rests on my body as I hold him in
my loving arms - and I’m in heaven.
But the ego will try anything.
And sometimes it gets a hold on our mind - even if only a small hold.
Every bit of belief that we give the ego’s fear stories will join all the other bits,
all the other fear stories we already believe. They all accumulate.
But so do all the times we give Love a hold on our mind.
So it comes down to what voice, what story, what teacher are you
going to believe - love or fear?
If A Course in Miracles teaches us anything, it’s to be vigilant as to
who we choose as our teacher.
The options are the ego vs. the holy spirit/Jesus - or in other words,
fear vs. love (the course uses Christian terms, but metaphorically.
It is not religious and neither am I).
ACIM (abbreviation for A Course in Miracles) teaches that whenever we
choose our ego’s fearful teachings, as we do ever so often,
we can always choose again, choose differently, choose love.
As parents we do have (at least) one big advantage over our baby:
We know what’s happening.
From Matan’s perspective, he’s experiencing us forcefully
doing an extremely uncomfortable thing to him.
We need to hold his head and hands as he’s trying to resist.
We then use the tube (aka ‘the torture device’),
and even though it’s not going inside his nostrils, the sucking
of his mucus is extremely uncomfortable to him.
And he doesn't know why these 2 people that love and protect
and nourish him so much all the time are doing this to him.
But we know.
And we know it for his own good.
We know that if we don’t do that, his nostrils will be blocked,
it will be very hard for him to breath, and he might throw up again -
an experience that was very traumatic for him, even more than ‘the torture device’
What’s that got to do with you?
“The choice to judge rather than to know was the cause of the loss of peace.
Judgment is the process on which perception, but not cognition, rests. We have discussed this before in terms of the selectivity of perception, pointing out that evaluation is its obvious prerequisite.”
All this made me remember how I many times resent a situation.
How I hate that something’s happening, and I judge it as bad or terrible.
How I ask why is this happening, praying for help or for things to change.
How I regret something I’ve done,
or hate a person that has done or said something to me.
But what if there’s something, or someone -
call it life, love, god, the divine, the big spirit, our true self, etc -
that knows and sees the big picture?
What if love knows that the thing I resent, that thing that gives
me great pain, is actually good for me in the long run?
Just like we as parents know that Matan’s suffering from the torture device
prevents much greater suffering, and therefore it’s actually a blessing.
“The path is wiser than the one who walks upon it”
- Eldad Ben-Moshe
(as far as I know… It didn’t appear on any google search either 🤷♂️)
But I'm certainly not advising to let everyone do things to you and say
'maybe it's good for me in the long run'.
Or to make a spiritual bypass and say a traumatic experience is good and
you shouldn’t take care of the trauma, etc.
This is not what I’m saying.
What I’m saying, what the Course in Miracles is saying, is that
we don’t know, and instead we judge - pretending to know.
And it is that judgment that is causing the loss of our peace.
Learning that your judgment is causing the loss of your peace,
you can choose to look at it and see if that’s true in your life.
Seeing that it is indeed true in your life, you can choose to let go of
your judgment - simply because it makes you suffer, and because
releasing it makes you happy. No other reason is required.
‘But Eldad, why would my happiness would be enough of a
reason for letting go of my judgment? Isn't that self-centered?’
Great question! I’m so happy you ‘asked’ ;-)
Whether you like it or not, we all strive for happiness
and run away from suffering.
That’s just how we’re wired.
Sometimes you’ll believe suffering will have an advantage for you,
and you’ll go for it.
But then again, the motivation for doing that stays ‘it will make my
life better if I do it. It will be beneficial for me’.
Even if you do something for other people’s pleasure, you do it knowing
- or hoping - that doing so will benefit you too.
Be it receiving something in return, or simply experiencing the joy of giving,
the motivation stays ‘experiencing happiness’.
Judging is no different. We judge so that we could avoid pain
(for example - ‘this person is dangerous’; ‘that deal is too risky’)
or gain pleasure (‘this person is fun!’; ‘that’s a great deal’), or both.
So if the motivation is ‘having a better life’ or ‘gaining happiness’,
you might as well release your judgment if it brings you suffering.
For example, if judging takes your peace away, as the above quote
from A Course in Miracles suggests.
Another important thing to notice is that
our judgment is many times (or all the time) lacking,
based on partial knowledge, and wrong.
“No one can judge on partial evidence. That is not judgment.
It is merely an opinion based on ignorance and doubt.
Its seeming certainty is but a cloak for the uncertainty it would conceal.
It needs irrational defense because it is irrational.
And its defense seems strong, convincing, and without a
doubt because of all the doubting underneath.”
To judge correctly we need perfect knowledge of all past, present, and future,
and all the ways this event will affect everything and everyone.
Do you have that knowledge?
Of course not.
Can a judge be certain of his judgment if he knows he has but a tiny
shred of all the evidence that he needs?
Acknowledge that we don't ever have what we need to make
a 100% correct judgment, and you’ll see how much it makes
sense to release your judgment.
It will also make it easier to do it.
Not easy, but easier, especially with practice.
Practical actionable steps - From information to transformation.
“You have often been urged to refrain from judging,
not because it is a right to be withheld from you.
You cannot judge.
You merely can believe the ego’s judgments, all of which are false.”
“It is necessary for the teacher of God to realize,
not that he should not judge, but that he cannot.
In giving up judgment, he is merely giving up what he did not have.
He gives up an illusion; or better, he has an illusion of giving up.
He has actually merely become more honest.”
Let’s be honest: we’re judging everything, all the time.
You’re judging yourself, others, life, god, etc.
No wonder we have no real, lasting peace - in ourselves and in the world.
As we’ve just seen, the problem isn’t that judging is ‘bad’,
but rather that our judgment is based on partial evidence,
and therefore it's not a wise or correct judgment.
“It is merely an opinion based on ignorance and doubt”,
as the above ACIM quote suggests.
Even worse, “The choice to judge rather than to know is
the cause of the loss of peace”, as we’ve seen above.
So what can we do when judgment gets a hold of the way we see things,
causing the loss of peace in our lives?
Here are some practical tips:
1. Remember that we don't know.
As A Course in Miracles suggests in one of my very favorite quotes
that help me tremendously in times of emotional pain,
“I do not know what anything is for.” (ACIM, workbook, lesson 25).
To further dive into this idea, check out tip # 8 in my post
Why strive? How do we know what we can't change & when to stop trying?
2. Remember that “The choice to judge rather than to know is the cause of the loss of peace” (ACIM, Text-3:1 (HLC))
When you remember the price you pay for judging,
you have the motivation for releasing your judgment.
Again, it’s not that judging is ‘wrong’, ‘you shouldn’t judge’ or
‘you’ll be punished for this sin and go to hell’
(a concept A Course in Miracles does not support at all, and neither do I).
It’s simply because judging results in losing your peace of mind.
Simple, gentle and loving. That is the way of A Course in Miracles.
3. Question, or doubt, your judgment.
Remember that to judge correctly we need perfect knowledge
of all past, present, and future, and all the ways this event will
affect everything and everyone.
So always check -
’is what my mind is telling me about the situation really true?’
4. See things differently.
Understanding that your judgment is possible, or even likely, to be mistaken,
ask help to see things differently.
Or, if asking anyone - alive or in spirit - causes you any discomfort or distress,
just decide to see things differently.
5. Stay open-minded about the situation.
When you acknowledge that you don’t know,
and you stay open-minded, you can learn new things.
When you learn new things and put them to practice,
you can transform and evolve, and have the happier,
better, more awakened life you wish for and deserve
As our motto in Better Life Awareness Center goes:
Learn -> Practice -> Experience -> Transform™.
A great source for practices that actually work is A Course in Miracles' workbook,
which has 365 lessons, each with an exercise.
You can access the free online version of it here:
6. If you do believe in a higher power such as love, life, god etc., don’t lose your trust and faith.
It would be easy for Matan to lose trust and faith in us,
his loving parents, as he doesn’t know that the pain we’re inflicting on him is
saving him from the greater, worst pain.
He simply can’t see the bigger picture, and he could have judged
us wrongly by the tiny bit that he knows.
Similarly, we can’t see the bigger picture either (even if we think we do).
To judge correctly we need perfect knowledge of all past, present, and
future, and all the ways this event will affect everything and everyone.
We simply can't know all that.
So don’t let your judgment lead to a lack of faith and trust.
The spiritual point of view:
Going back to tip #3 above -
“Question, or doubt, your judgment… - is what my mind is
telling me about the situation really true?”,
the main practice A Course in Miracles offers is called Forgiveness.
But like many terms ACIM uses, A Course in Miracles gives the
word ‘forgiveness’ a very different meaning than we’re used to.
“Forgiveness recognizes what you thought your brother
did to you has not occurred….
An unforgiving thought is one which makes a
judgment that it will not raise to doubt...
The mind is closed, and will not be released…
so that distortions are more veiled and more obscure;
less easily accessible to doubt, and further kept from reason….
An unforgiving thought does many things.
In frantic action it pursues its goal, twisting and
overturning what it sees as interfering with its chosen path.
Distortion is its purpose,
and the means by which it would accomplish it as well.
It sets about its furious attempts to smash reality,
without concern for anything that would appear to pose
a contradiction to its point of view.
Forgiveness, on the other hand, is still, and quietly does nothing.
It offends no aspect of reality, nor seeks to twist it to appearances it likes.
It merely looks, and waits, and judges not.
He who would not forgive must judge,
for he must justify his failure to forgive.
But he who would forgive himself must learn to
welcome truth exactly as it is.”
(To read more about forgiveness according to
A Course in Miracles' approach:
What’s so spiritual about that?
Not much, until you understand that the Course in Miracles aims
to all thoughts, but especially to the thought and belief that:
- You have separated from God.
- You have sinned by doing that.
- Since you’ve separated from God, you’re a body and a personality.
- And god is coming after you to punish you for your sin.
To make sure we’re clear:
A Course in Miracles says all this did NOT happen.
Instead, it teaches that:
- You have never separated from God and his love.
- You never made any sin (at most, you made mistake.
Mistakes can be corrected, but no punishment is justified or needed).
- You are not your physical self (your body) nor your
psychological self (your personality).
- And god is certainly not wanting to punish you.
God is beyond words and cannot be described.
But since as humans we’re using words to describe and define things,
Love is the best word we can use to describe God according to A Course in Miracles.
And God’s only judgment of you is that you are sinless.
Your sinlessness and the lack of guilt are central themes
in A Course in Miracles.
"It is the only judgment there is, and it is only one:
“God’s Son is guiltless, and sin does not exist.”
(Note that ‘the son of God’ in A Course in Miracles is all of us, not just Jesus.
ACIM uses Christian symbols, but they are only symbols,
and it does give them a different meaning - spiritual rather than religious.
In fact, surprisingly it is one of the most non-religious spiritual texts I know).
Final note: You can do this!
Choose the thing(s) that inspire you the most.
Don’t over-do it, keep it simple and joyful.
Take one baby step at a time.
- Baby steps.
Done is better than perfect.
To your better life,
with tons of 💖
Founder, Teacher, and Coach
Better Life Awareness Center