The Thing About Judgement

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37

While sitting on a commuter train observing different people, I caught myself judging a stranger because of how they appeared.  Here’s the thing about judgement.  It’s a slippery slope.  When you make a judgement about what somebody does or the way they appear, you have invested your energy in the person or situation.  When your emotions surface to support your opinions, you automatically create an attachment to the person you are judging.  This is a common habit, but it’s a mis-use of precious energy.

The idea of karma has roots in ancient Eastern philosophy.  Karma refers to the energy created as a result of your intentions, emotions and actions.  Karmic debt means that something negative happened in the past that must be addressed in the present or the future.

In physics, Einstein’s equation states that E=MC2 or energy is matter.  Put another way, thoughts are things.  When observations turn into judgements, your attachments can contribute to your karma.  When your thoughts of judgement become fuelled by emotion, the whole thing gets bigger and can add up to karmic debt.  Even if someone is a total stranger to you, if you are judging them, this is an attachment so you may as well be holding their hand.

Here are some quick ways to detach and shift your thoughts away from judgement:

  • Imagine a mirror coming between you and the other person then take a good look at your own reflection.  Keep the mirror there until the feeling or opinion subsides.  You can also use your imginary mirror to protect yourself from negativity by shining it outwardly at someone else.
  • Look for something positive in the person or situation.
  • Detach emotionally by shifting your attention to something completely different, for example, your cell phone, the view from the window, or notice how great your shoes look.
  • Smile, laugh at yourself, and forgive yourself.  Also, forgive the other person.
  • Send light, love and gratitude to all because adversity is our greatest teacher.
Dedicating attention, time and energy to positive things that really matter immediately changes the world for the better.  Practice makes perfect.  I’m still learning and practicing.  With increased awareness, there’s hope for all of us!
Elizabeth Rose, Diamond Lantern