A Course in Miracles says “Judgment is the process on which perception but not knowledge rests.” Being subject to change, manipulation, and error, all perception is false. This isn’t an evaluation on perception as good or bad but a recognition of its nature relative to Truth, for which unlike like perception, Truth is unalterable and unchanging. The recognition of perception’s limits sets the premise for greater understanding and spiritual awakening.
Judgment is based in perception. Therefore all judgment is false. Judgment means to form an opinion (attitudes), estimate (approximation) or notion (imperfect or vague conception or idea of something). Judgments are not factual. The effects of not understanding or living with this awareness will always lead to some sense of suffering.
Left unquestioned, judgment serves to create an experience of separation. There must be a subject object split, that which is being judged is separate from which judges. The perceiver and what is perceived are two (duality.) Judgment’s function is to manifest an experience of division and an experience of me and you.
“For the mind that judges perceives itself as separate from the mind being judged, believing that by punishing another, it will escape punishment.” – A Course in Miracles
The unquestioned belief, beneath all judgment, is “I am separate.” And with every judgment that is projected onto the world, there is an assumption about the separate self we perceive ourselves to be. This is what’s meant in the Bible quote “Judge not the reality of others you will be unable to avoid judging your own.” For example:
- If you judge against someone who’s fat, there’s a good chance that you’re judgmental about or take pride in what you eat and what you weigh.
- If you judge against someone who is sloppy, there’s a good chance that you invest in your appearance and organization.
- If you judge against someone who’s dishonest, you likely to carry guilt about your own transgressions (conscious or unconscious.)
Judgments on the world don’t define the world, they serve to define the person who’s judging the world. Judgments are conclusions of the mind, based on circumstances and personal ideals, relative to the idea of our self concept. The thought system of judgment appeals to the desire to be separate and define US as who and what we want to believe we are (not as we are in Reality).
A Course in Miracles Lesson 311 “Judgment was made to be a weapon used against the truth. It separates what it is being used against, and sets it off as if it were a thing apart.”
Whenever we judge, we assume something about OUR identity. These assumptions lie beneath conscious awareness. This becomes obvious, however, when we take an honest look at how we measure ourselves up against the world and others. If I judge someone as smart, it’s an evaluation relative to my sense of intelligence and MY beliefs (and beliefs are what define the person I believe myself to be.) If I judge someone as “rich,” it will be judged relative to my social and financial class. For example, in comparison to a Westerner, someone in a 3rd world county may have a different opinion on what constitutes wealth. A Westerner making poverty level income may not see him or herself as rich, but from the eyes of someone from Liberia (who lives on less than $1 a day), the Westerner is abundant. The judgment reflects self identification.
It’s impossible to judge something and not make an ASSumption about ourself. But the “self” we assume is not who and what we are. Judging comes at the cost of recognizing our true Self.
Having been condition to judge constantly, the way out is inner inquiry and radical honesty. ACIM and mind training provides the curriculum to bring us to the awareness of all the places where we are judging. These judgments are blocks to the awareness of Love’s presence. As the blocks are removed we reintegrate into the wholeness of Life. Spiritual Awakening is waking up to our Identity as ONE, whole, Holy Spirit. Experiential understanding of this IS the miracle.
By placing “light” on where our mind tends to judge, we can judge honestly about perception’s shortcomings. This is not to say that judgement thoughts are bad and that we need to control them, however, when recognized for what they are and the purpose they serve, we can decide whether or not we want to pay the cost for believing in them.
We don’t have to take judgments seriously, as if they were truth. In letting them go, their ability to sustain the separate self experience begins to dissolve. In other words, with willingness to see differently, we can hand over our judgments, when they arise, to the Holy Spirit. In doing this our mind is gently unravelled from egoic conditioning. This undoing is a central teaching in A Course in Miracles.
The practice of mind watching brings the focus of attention to the unchanging awareness (Holy Spirit) that precedes all thinking and unconscious declarations of separate self. In this manner we redirect the mind and awaken to the presence of here and now that was otherwise over looked because of our investment in opinions and hypothetical thinking. A mind without judgment is a mind that is free to BE. The door becomes open for deep acceptance of now and release from all that burdens the mind with confusion and suffering.