The Hypocrisy of Preaching Non Judgment
As some of you may have seen, I lost white cat – TWICE. But she made it back here safe and sound and is starting to adjust to the new place. As predicted, both cats LOVE their new screened-in back porch.
I can’t wait to start painting and decorating! I may get back to my roots with a few posts that are home and lifestyle related (with a spiritual flair, of course) in the near future. Meanwhile, enjoy my new post on judgment.
Have you ever noticed how hard it is to tell someone not to be critical or judgmental without being, well, critical and judgmental?
There’s a quote by Wayne Dyer that says, “When you judge another, you do not define them. You define yourself.”
Depending on your current beliefs, there’s a couple of ways that you can interpret that quote.
One way is that it’s negative – the fact that you are judging the other person means that you are judgmental and that’s bad. This judgement is coming from ego’s need to be “better” than someone else and as such, you are only defining yourself in the eyes of those who you are observing your judgment.
The other way to interpret it is that it’s just a statement of your own moral values. In that sense, it is defining yourself, as in “This is who I am, this is what I believe,” and it’s a natural result of our purpose here in creating and determining who we are in each moment.
In other words – by judging what we consider to be judgement, are we in turn being judgmental?
This is a difficult thing to figure out because it seems like a circular argument – which comes first? The chicken or the egg? But then it occurred to me – both are true statements. It depends on the motivation for the judgment.
Moral Judgment vs. Personal Judgment
There’s moral judgement – “I disagree with this person’s actions,” – which comes from that whole defining who you are thing. You are judging their actions.
And then there’s personal judgement – “He’s an asshole, she’s a bitch.”
Personal judgement stems from the internal insecurities of the one making the judgement. You are judging their character based on their actions, or rather your perception of their actions, or sometimes for no reason other than the fact that they don’t agree with you or look like you or talk like you.
Both are based in ego, personal judgment resulting from negative beliefs about the self and are the ego’s attempt to compensate for those negative beliefs by asserting dominance over another person.
Moral judgements can come from positive beliefs about the self. “This belief makes me a good person and this is the action that a good person, such as myself, would take in this situation.”
Both moral and personal judgements can also be rooted in preconditioned beliefs such as religious or cultural morality… such as, “Being gay is disgusting and wrong.” because a lot of times people can use those preconditioned beliefs as an ego booster, of sorts.
From that, we can conclude that to judge a person’s actions is a statement of moral values. To judge a person’s character is a negative projection of the self.
The process of moral judgement really is just a statement of one’s own moral values.
The reason is because the idea that one should not judge others is a moral value, and it is an opinion. That’s what we are stating when we say that people shouldn’t be judgmental (because we don’t believe people should be judgmental). So by doing that, we are in essence also just stating our moral value and defining who we are in that moment. “I am not someone who judges other people.”
The irony is that we can state that, without telling someone else that they should also fall in line with your moral values, and that wouldn’t make us judgmental. It would just be a statement of values. It’s when we tell others that they should be like us – that our values are the “correct” values – where the judgment comes in.
So if we truly want to be non judgmental, we can’t tell someone else that they shouldn’t be judgmental, because in the process of doing so, we are in effect being judgmental.
I suppose the answer, then, is to simply accept people for who they are, judgmental asshole or not.
If we want to continue striving to be non judgmental, that is. But perfection is quite a difficult thing to obtain. We may be setting ourselves up for failure.
It might be better to also accept the fact that as long as we’re human, we will also be judgmental. It’s a natural part of comparing ourselves to others and determining who we are.
Maybe instead of attempting to project those judgements out onto others and tell them what they should or shouldn’t be/do, we should just reaffirm to ourselves what our own moral values are.
So instead of telling someone not to be judgmental, just think to yourself, “I don’t agree with this. This is not who I am.” and leave it be. If you find yourself judging the character of the other person or something particularly minor, start questioning yourself and get to the bottom of your own insecurity. Figure out what the negative belief you hold about yourself is and release it.
My first reaction to the reading was WOW. Your words captured a theme woven into my life right now. The reading has emboldened me to take back my power and inspired me to research some books, get back to meditating and provided a focus.Dina