“We must become so alone, so utterly alone, that we withdraw into our innermost self. It is a way of bitter suffering. But then our solitude is overcome, we are no longer alone, for we find that our innermost self is the spirit, that it is God, the indivisible. And suddenly we find ourselves in the midst of the world, yet undisturbed by its multiplicity, for our innermost soul we know ourselves to be one with all being.” ― Hermann Hesse
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Why is non-judgment an important practice? Non-judgemental approach means to make a conscious effort not to be critical of the actions or thoughts of others. The practice of non-judgment is essential to purify and deprogram the mind just like by eating clean, healthy food, and avoiding alcohol and caffeine we can detoxify the physical body. There is a distinction between judgment and discernment. Discernment simply is perceiving the way things are. Judgment is what we add to discernment of how things or people are and how we think they ought to be. So, in judgment, there’s an element of dissatisfaction with the way things are and a desire to have things be the way we want them to be. Left to itself, the brain will automatically judge things as good or bad, right or wrong, fair or unfair, important or unimportant, urgent or non-urgent and so on. This happens so fast that our experiences are automatically colored right when we get to them. Practicing non-judgement is to silence the mind by stopping the constant flow of thoughts analysing and evaluating everything and everyone we meet, ourselves included. When the mind is clear, we can see new possibilities, transcend perceived limits, and live a life of greater ease, joy and love. The key here is to bring awareness to the moments of our lives. Be aware when the brain is automatically judging a situation or a person, and we can pause and get some perspective. In this way we create a sort of “space” between ourselves and the thought so that we’re not so caught up in it. Labeling judgements as judgements can be useful. When we notice ourselves judging we can just say the word “judging” quietly to ourselves. When we name our experience we again create a small gap that gives us a sense of freedom. Was this judgment just something that popped in my mind? Is there another way I can see this? A practice of non-judgment helps us to avoid a lot of the suffering we experience on a daily basis. Some kinds of judgment are both good and necessarily practical. What I have tried to highlight are those kinds of judgment that are founded on either hatred, prejudice, rigid categorization, unsubstantiated generalization, or any act of making a ‘final judgment’ that closes the heart to another living being. It is not easy to reserve judgement and no one is entirely able to do so, but it is something we can strive for and put into practise as diligently as possible.
Everyone has certainly been emotionally hurt in some way. As a consequence self-worth and emotional well-being is altered and even diminished by the harm resulting in an emotionally abused victim. It is important to cease being a victim and become the author of your own valiant tale of strength and compassion. The character of the victim was created to explain what happened. Suffering occurs when these stories are believed to be true. It is important to recognize that these stories are just stories and not the reality. As long as we cling to the belief that these stories are real we stay stuck in it and work overtime to meet the needs of the story. These stories are so powerful and convincing that they get internalized and get lodged within and manifest itself in physical appearance and movement. It is only by letting go of these stories that freedom can be found to explore the mystery of the true self. The best reason to shed the story is because healing can never be found within that story rather it’s only possible to resign to the script and accept the suffering and remain stuck in the past. Even though it could seem justifiable in insisting on being seen as victimized, abused, abandoned, betrayed and so on the trajectory of your life can be changed by letting go of these stories of pain and misery. Craft a new story that will be a valiant tale of strength, healing and beauty. Script a story of being a valiant traveller rather than a betrayed victim. It is good to remember that none of the stories are true – they are scripts you have created. Then why not create scripts that are grand and ennobling. When this happens you will die to who you have convinced yourself to be and become a mystery unto yourself. You will no longer ask the question, “Who am I?” but instead will wonder, “What am I?” You are much larger than your stories.
It’s been only two weeks since I have started blogging. Thus far it has been a very enriching experience. I addition to sharing a few thoughts that have been a great inspiration in my life, I come to know such wonderful people like you and have reaped the benefit of the wisdom and experiences shared by you all. I have learnt that joys, challenges, frustrations, anxieties, illness and pain we experience are universal. That all distinctions are human creations and in reality there are none. I rejoice as I see a light shining in each one of you which is being guarded from being extinguished even through chaotic conditions.
Life – its beauty, fortitude, love and transcendence – is much more than what has been experienced or imagined. The innocence of a child, the experiments of teenagers, the struggles of the young and counsel of the adults, all like the different spectrum of a rainbow, reveal the beauty of life its – passion, possibilities, resilience and transcendence.
Each one of you has emerged as a different person as you participate in the alchemy of life. The baser metal has changed into the higher, iron has changed into gold and with each new post the process of being refined continues. Every one of you has contributed in a unique way to my understanding the mystery of life through poetry and prose, snaps and art, likes and comments. Wisdom that is tempered with experience has its own glory.
I am sure that this collective treasure chest of wisdom and insight will continue to be a source of fortitude and forte in the face of challenges as we tread upon the highway of life. Helping us to move through life, not like business but as poetry, not through the head but through the heart, not as a riddle to be solved but as a mystery to be lived.
I dedicate this post to all my amazing friends on this blog .
There are three miracles of our Brother Jesus not yet recorded in the book: the first that He was a man like you and me; the second that He had a sense of humour; and the third that He knew He was a conqueror though conquered.
Crucified One, you are crucified upon my heart; and the nails that pierce your hands pierce the walls of my heart. And tomorrow when a stranger passes this Golgotha He will know that two bled here. He will deem it the blood of one man.
You may have heard of the Blessed Mountain. It is the highest mountain in our world. Should you reach the summit you would have only one desire, and that to descend and be with those who dwell in the deepest valley. That is why it is called the Blessed Mountain.
Long ago lived a man who was crucified for being too loving and too lovable. And strange to relate I met Him thrice yesterday. The first time He was asking a policeman not to take a prostitute to prison; the second time He was drinking wine with an outcast; and the third time He was having a fist fight with a promoter inside a church.
27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” 28They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” 29“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.” 30Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.
Why do people try to escape from Jesus? The reason is that before him everything is transparent. Before him every person will be reduced to an open book. The false image, so carefully crafted will be shattered. Great courage is needed to come to Jesus. Only a person willing to lose the self will be able to do so. It is a leap to move in the insecurity of the unknown. Tremendous courage is needed to move in an ocean where the other shore is not visible. The irony is that even the few who come to Jesus, out of the multitudes, can avoid Jesus because they can be near Jesus for the wrong reasons and they too miss Him.
A person can be near Jesus and completely miss Him because the search may not be for the truth. The search may be for happiness and not truth. But the reality is that happiness happens only when truth is achieved. It cannot be achieved directly, it happens via truth. Happiness will not happen and truth will be missed for a person who seeks happiness. Ninety nine per cent of the seekers are there in search for happiness. They have suffered; life has been a misery, pain. They are seeking an antidote.
Happiness can never be the goal, it is achieved; as it comes automatically, it comes as a by-product. Take care of the tree and the fruits will come on in their time. There is no need of worrying or even thinking about the fruit. Similarly happiness is never achieved; it happens. Searching for truth in order to be happy is also futile. Because even though the search is for truth the goal is to find happiness. The search may be for truth but the mind is focussed on happiness. Only when the goal of the search is for truth alone, a person is near Jesus. Otherwise physically he/she may be near Jesus but spiritually far off.
Jesus asked his disciples two questions: Who do people say I am? Who do you say I am? Was not Jesus aware who he was? Why does he want to know through his disciples who he is? The answer to this question will reveal why they are near Jesus. The image of the Master is created according to desire. If a person is near Jesus because of illness then Jesus will be a healer. If a person comes to Jesus seeking power, Jesus will be omnipotent. If a person comes to Jesus because he is afraid of death then that image of Jesus will be reflected in that search. A person who looks through desire projects desire.
Jesus asked his disciples this question just to know what they were projecting. The truth is that if anything is projected on Jesus He will be missed. To know Jesus what is needed is the ability to look at Him without projecting desire or else only the desire will be reflected. The disciples answer, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” John the Baptist was a moralist so the projection is that Jesus will be a moral puritan. Elijah represents the one who performed mighty deeds to demonstrate the power of God; here Jesus is projected as the miracle worker. Prophets were the social reformers of the day which could be the image assigned to Jesus. Finally Christ – the Anointed one – a spiritual leader.
There is a moralistic mind, a theological mind a mystical mind…. all part of the mind. The response of Jesus after he heard these answers is most revealing. The various translations for this verse are given below:
- New International Version (©1984) : Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.
- New Living Translation (©2007) : But Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.
- English Standard Version (©2001) : And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him.
- New American Standard Bible (©1995) :And He warned them to tell no one about Him.
- King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.) : And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.
- International Standard Version (©2008) : Jesus sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.
- Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010) : And he admonished them that they should not speak about him to anyone.
- GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995) : He ordered them not to tell anyone about him.
- King James 2000 Bible (©2003) : And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.
- American King James Version : And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.
- American Standard Version : And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.
- Douay-Rheims Bible : And he strictly charged them that they should not tell any man of him.
- Darby Bible Translation : And he charged them straitly, in order that they should tell no man about him.
- English Revised Version : And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.
- Webster’s Bible Translation : And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.
- Weymouth New Testament : And He strictly forbad them to tell this about Him to anyone.
- World English Bible : He commanded them that they should tell no one about him.
- Young’s Literal Translation : And he strictly charged them that they may tell no one about it,
It is evident from these translations that Jesus warns them, strictly charged them, sternly warned them, admonished them, strictly forbade them, and commanded them, not to speak to anyone. He was prohibiting them from teaching others about him. They were ordered to remain silent. They are near him but far away from him. They have all projected their desire on him. The right answer would have been to remain silent before him.
There is a beautiful sentence said by one of the greatest logicians of the world, Wittgenstein, he says, “Nothing should be said about something which cannot be said. If nothing can be said about a thing one should remain silent.” Nothing can be said about God. Even if it is said that God has no for, has anyone gone to the boundaries and seen that there is no form? If no, then how can God be defined as formless? Do not express that which cannot be expressed.
Do not carry a mind to God. If the mind is carried to His presence it will be thinking and chattering and be spinning round and round creating a wall and God cannot penetrate through. Accept life as it is, and be thankful for it as it is, deep gratitude is what makes a religious person, in whom all divisions disappear and a deep silence ascends. The unknown knocks at this door.
“Who do you say I am?”