Date: Wed, 09 Oct 1996 21:06:50 -0700
As we practice stillness, we will discover judgment. Judgment is what we must overcome.
As we look out at the world thru our eyes... we judge. We judge everything. Is this not true? Whether it is major judgments or not, we judge. We judge the world... society, we judge our friends, relatives... people. We judge the weather, we judge colors, cleanness, we judge ourselves. Think about this... do we not judge life?
These judgments are made by the ego. In fact, these judgments are the ego. How can we live without judgment? There is one way.
The key to countering judgment is, Forgiveness.
When we forgive, we release all judgment. So, when we look out at the world... we should forgive the world, when we look at anyone in the world... we should forgive them... in order to release ourselves from placing judgment. The ego will melt away... when we truly forgive. To live in forgiveness is to live without ego.
The rewards are great for those who will do this... Try it!
Just for the hell of it, let's turn this into an actual technical discussion by defining a few terms and see what we see.
I know these are not exactly dictionary definitions: they are technical descriptions of very real psychological events. So here comes the translation out of technical language and into the actual content.
As we practice stillness, we will discover that we compare people and events to mental fictions of an ideal or standard which states that there are opposites, in order to determine which opposite the person or event is most like. This comparing is what we are obligated or compelled to overcome.
The key to countering this comparing of people and events to fictional opposites is to release people and events from the debts they owe us.
When we release people and events from the debts they owe us, we release all comparing of people and events to illusory opposites. So, when we look out at the world... we are obligated or duty-bound to release the world from the debts it owes us.
We are obligated or duty-bound to release them from the debts they owe us... in order to release ourselves from comparing them to fictional mental standards of opposites.
The ego will melt away... when we truly release them and it from the debts they owe us. To live in a continual state of releasing the debts owed us is to live without ego.
The rewards are great for those who will do this... Try it!
The first question that arises for this one on reading what was actually said is: to wonder who is making these obligations that I am duty-bound to carry out.
Regardless: perhaps I am to see this obligation for self, because a huge reward is offered for giving up the rewards that I am to lose by releasing others from having to paying me back their debts. I will no longer have an ego! Plus some other great rewards that are merely alluded to and not specified -- got to have some bait, I guess, in case the reward of no longer living with an ego is not enticing enough.
No mention is made about the method to be used to release people and things from their debts. Since these debts are simply mental fictions, it should be very easy, shouldn't it? I simply decide that they no longer owe me. However, we humans have a little saying that comes from our experience with attempting this seemingly simple feat: ``Forgiven, but not forgotten.''
Now, why would I want to remember a debt that is no longer owed? When I write a debt off in business, it shows up on the books as a bad debt for at most twelve months. And then it just disappears, folded into many, many other revenues and expenses for that year. It's now forgotten. It has been replaced with the actual profit (or loss) made by the business activities for the year. So it is both forgiven and forgotten. Which may be the only way to actually release someone or something from a debt.
But it turns out that these debts are actually ``encoded'' in false i's. So one i can say that the debt is forgiven, but the i that has encoded it still exists and does not forget -- and does not stop reminding me of the debt. So true forgiveness would not only release the other from a debt that never actually existed (since it was just made by comparing them to a fictional set of opposites -- to their detriment). It would also be to remove the false i or i's that encode the memory of the fictional cause of injury as something that harmed me and required payment to redress the fictional injury -- because they did not act according to the ``good'' in the pair of opposites, but rather by the ``bad'' opposite.
Jim, this is a wonderful example of what (around here) is called ``formatory thinking.'' Words, when technical, are intended to be short-hand sounds or symbols for a sentence or paragraph that actually describes an event that can be experience: simply to make communication simpler (or possible -- that can be seen very clearly by how tortuous it is to do this little exercise).
(As you can see, in this context the symbol ``event'' is being used to include people.)
When formatory, words are no longer symbols or events, they now have ``meanings.'' They are now real things, in and of themselves, referring to some ``reality'' which does not actually exist. Then these ``meanings'' are combined in a rational, logical, way to come up with some new non-existent ``form'' which is then believed to exist somewhere in ``reality:'' predicted by reason. After all, the words are ``realities'' and the manner of reasoning with them is valid: so the conclusions must be just as ``real,'' eh?
But a fictional ``formation'' or conclusion has been arrived at using this method in your statement: that forgiving will ``cause'' one to stop judging and remove the personal viewpoint that create the judging in the first place. (At least that is how I understand your word ``ego'' as used in this context. That's the purpose for expanding from the simple word ego: to check understanding by being correcting by the original speaker or author.)
This conclusion just does not follow. Releasing others from debts does not remove the judging that created the belief in the debt in the first place. While certainly a commendable practice, as one release old debts one is actually building new ones, to be released in the vain hope that one day this process will stop the creation of new debts to be released ...
Part of the instructions I suspect you are getting these ideas from (whether ``consciously'' known or not) does state that you will be forgiven in the same degree to which you forgive. It does not state that forgiving is the means to be used to stop judging in the first place. It is apparently assumed by the author's that the reader will treat the injunction not to judge as a technical description. If one does so, the method of stopping judging is obvious, as it is contained in the description itself. In other words, the question contains its own answer, as is usually the case.
Now, let's go back to the actual instructions from that very famous text book on transformation:
Judge not, and you shall not be judged.
By replacing the short-hand with the actual description, we get:
Do not compare events to mental fictions called ``opposites,'' and you will not be compared to illusory standards of opposites.
Both Matthew and Luke go on to make the point more clearly: ``For with the same standard that you will measure others with, that is the standard that will be used to measure you against.''
This is a translation into modern English of Luke's rendering of these famous words.
This particular discussion is mixed in with another concept, possibly making it confusing to formatory thinking: it is also mentioned that you are given according to the measure of your giving: not in the sense of ``as a judgment by some standard'', but rather as a discussion of the quantity or degree and type of energy that flows throughout the physical world that we inhabit.
That's an easy idea to understand. If I want to allow much to flow through me, then I must allow it to come in and then go out again. The more that I allow to flow out of me, the more that can flow into me.
This is not a moral judgment, it is a description of an obvious fact -- once we forget about our fictions that we call ``moral standards.''
If I wish to understand the idea of ``judge not,'' it is very easy when seen as a technical description. I simply see that all standards are fictions that human beings have created for their comfort in the physical world. And that, really, everything exists in degrees, not in absolute opposites (or two degrees). In other words, the means to end judging is to see the illusion of the standards by which I judge. Then there is nothing to judge by, so judging comes to a screeching halt. As is typical in the work, it does so by applying oneself to the source of the thing, not to the effects or symptoms of the thing: see the illusion of the standards themselves -- not just get rid of the debts created from using those standards.
When I come to this understanding as a personal realization of ``just the way things are'': I see no need to compare anyone or anything to a fiction of opposites. But rather I understand judge in a new way: to determine the degree of some particular thing in an event. It is now more difficult (but not yet impossible) to create the illusion that you have harmed me because you did not live up to some opposite that I believe in. If I can go all the way, and see that my own pleasure and pain are merely more of these illusory opposites which I impose on sensations, I am closer to not creating debts in the first place. Unfortunately, I am probably still not there yet: to go all the way requires a rather incredible change in point of view that few humans see as worth taking.
But, having made many debts, we may find it necessary to consider forgiveness. To remove the conditioned ``I'' that holds that debt for me, I simply see that the harm that I believe that I experienced was not caused by the person or thing that I believe caused it. In other words, there is no need for the debt, because they or it are not to blame (they or it are not the cause). Now the debt is released: payment is no longer expected. And it is forgiven and shortly forgotten, because that ``I'' can no longer delude me (or successfully suggest to me) that someone or something caused me harm.
And, perhaps, one day a wonderful event will come to pass: I will give up my unconscious role of victim. That may not be as great a promise as the end of ego, but it is certainly more to this one's taste.
After all, no trips without a tripper.
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