Thinking and Judgment – September 4 2017

If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation.
Jiddu Krishnamurti
When we know ourselves as our thoughts alone, identified fully with the mind, we find ourselves constantly in judgment–of ourselves, of the world, of the people around us. This is what the mind does: it discerns. It separates. Used properly it is a tremendous tool. It has kept our species alive and thriving. This is food, this is poison. This is danger, this is comfort. This is friend, this is enemy. This is a possible mate, this is not a possible mate. But when we try to live from this function of the mind, we end up judging things as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ that in fact simply ‘are’–neither good nor bad.
I.e. ourselves.
When we look at ourselves from this place of judgment, we nearly always come up lacking. Only rarely do we see ourselves as ‘enough’. And when we aren’t enough, we tend to stand outside ourselves, the bad parent looking on with disapproval. We find ourselves in a positionality, seeing only what is wrong with ourselves, then berating ourselves when we don’t/can’t change immediately.
What we miss out on in this approach to life is the experience of discovery–the discovery of who we are, from a deeper and deeper perspective, and the discovery of what the universe or nature would have us become.
In meditation, we drop out of this thought-centered experience of self. We transcend thought, transcend feelings and sensations, transcend even the experience of the body itself. In the transcendent realm we begin to know the place within that never changes, that always is there, that always has been and always will be connected to the highest truth of what we are. We begin to feel ourselves as at-one-with this transcendent place.
Now, outside of meditation, when we find ourselves stuck in judgment and positionality, this place of the transcendent is the identity we want to call upon. From this place, even if we’re not able fully to let go of the judgment, we at least are able to soften its effect on ourselves, and on those around us. Like the adult of us stepping in between the abusive parent and the frightened child. We may not be able to stop the parent from yelling, but we can see to it that the child never again has to be completely at his mercy.
And this is a start.
Today I will notice when my mind is engaged in judgment–of myself or others–and I will ask myself what am I if I am not these thoughts? What am I that is witness to these thoughts? How might I feel if a being of light were to come to me in this moment and touch my head, and in that touch, relieve me of all this negative self-talk?
Hartwood (aka ‘Adele’s Dream Ranch’), Somewhere in Utah
All original material copyright © 2017 Jeff Kober