What I’m describing throughout this explanation is a profoundly different perspective from which to view the world; the paradigm of awareness/alignment vs. the paradigm of judgment. I believe that, if adopted the world over, it will eliminate all division between cultures, end all wars driven by ideological differences, end all negativity within social relationships, inspire people to try new ways of thinking and behaving that are progressive toward personal and planetary growth and unity, and inspire respect for each other regardless of differences. It will not eliminate the problems the world faces from being dominated by a corrupt monetary system that stratifies wealth and resources (The Venus Project will do that http://www.thevenusproject.com), but it will definitely heal the damage caused by a lack of respect for our differences. The path of explaining this radical perspective is necessarily long, but this comparison is the fundamental theme of what I’m focused on throughout my writing here. To begin, I’m going to deconstruct the paradigm of judgment. Afterward, I’ll describe the paradigm of awareness/alignment in detail.
Let’s begin by establishing a few basic concepts and defining a few basic terms so that we’re on the same page throughout this discussion:
VALUE: relative worth, merit, or importance note (make specific note of the term RELATIVE)
JUDGMENT: the process of forming an opinion or evaluation by discerning and comparing (make specific note of the term COMPARING)
EVENT: something that happens (note that there is no relative or comparative value associated with this term)
Words spoken by a person, getting a promotion, losing a job, tying your shoe, speaking honestly, breaking a bone, falling in love, catching a football, finalizing a divorce, a second of time passing, a year passing, an earthquake, a tsunami, the sun breaking out of the clouds, the sun setting…all of these examples are EVENTS.
JUDGMENT is the process of attaching relative terms (a.k.a. VALUES) and their associated feelings to the EVENTS that occur in the world. Values in regard to any given event, person, idea or object can only exist when there is an equal and opposing judgment, and there are two major ways that humans do this: moral judgment and quality judgment. For example, the term “good” has absolutely no meaning or significance without the relative term “bad” to put it in perspective and trigger an appropriate emotion. So the terms of good/bad, right/wrong, easy/difficult, should/shouldn’t, positive/negative, fast/slow, can/can’t are all judgments of the events that occur in the world. When applied to a person, as in a “good person”, it’s a judgment of morality. When the term “good” is applied to an event like a party, it’s a way of judging the quality of the experience. Judging the events of falling in love, breaking a bone, an earthquake, the sun setting, etc are not moral judgments…these are all judgments of the relative quality of an experience. So if your choices and experiences are influenced by concepts like morals a.k.a. values, you simply have a complicated way of judging everything you experience in the world.
I’m describing all of this in detail for one specific purpose…to show you that, until you judge an event by attaching values to it, it is nothing more than an event. It inspires no emotion at all until a value and its associated emotion is attached to it. Until then, it has no more significance than a cloud passing over the sun. Even physical pain has no relative value. It is nothing more than electrical signals generated by nerves and sent to the brain to draw your attention to physical damage or misALIGNMENT within the body. Right and wrong, good and bad, easy and difficult, should and shouldn’t…they’re all illusions. That’s why no two people will ever experience an event in the same way, because their mind has its own specific way of projecting and attaching their judgments onto the events of the world.
This is the foundation of “morality” and all of the judgments that come from the millions of different moral codes a.k.a. religions a.k.a. judgment systems that people live by. They have absolutely nothing to do with reality because reality is just a never-ending series of events until we give them a story. This is what is meant when you hear someone say that we all create our own experience of life. The way we experience our reality is based on the values that are attached to every single event we experience in the world, from what we see when we look in the mirror to the feeling of walking down the street to receiving the energy of someone cursing or screaming at us to the conversations we have with others…it’s all being filtered through the values that we have attached to everything around us. It’s so automatic that we think we are actually experiencing reality. Most of us have forgotten that someone had to teach us all of the associations we now have when we were a baby. “What’s that you’re touching? That’s your nose. Now touch your nose again. Good boy!” Until we adopted both the descriptive and judgmental associations of the people around us, our behavior was governed by our emotional response to the events in our little world in the form of natural attraction and repulsion.
There is a fundamental distinction between the awareness of attraction and repulsion a.k.a like/dislike in regard to people, objects, and events in the world and the association of judgmental values like good/bad, right/wrong, easy/difficult, positive/negative, can/can’t, should/shouldn’t, etc to the people, objects, and events in the world. When we naturally like something, it CAN be the result of having previously judged it, but that isn’t the case by default. When we are babies, no judgment exists at all. We are simply aware of what we like and dislike. Judgment actually warps our authentic experience of what we like. When a baby likes the taste of a crayon, she doesn’t know it’s “bad” until someone associates the taste of it and the act of putting it in her mouth with values of judgment like good/bad. Before she knows it’s good or bad, she just likes it. When her ears pick up a sound that she dislikes, she doesn’t know what words or terms to use to associate it with. She’s just aware of the uncomfortable feeling in her mind or body when she hears it, so she moves away from it until the feeling goes away. She has to be taught to associate that uncomfortable feeling with the judgments of “wrong” and “bad”.
I can dislike the taste of meat without judging it. Judgment doesn’t come in until I attach emotional or moral values to it like “bad” taste, “nasty” flavor, “wrong” for eating animal flesh, etc. But if judgments ARE applied, I’ll start to perceive others who do eat meat through the judgments I’ve attached to eating meat. “I don’t know how you can eat that. It’s so disgusting.” “It’s so wrong to eat defenseless animals. People who eat meat are so insensitive to the respect that animals deserve.” You get the idea. If there is no initial judgment attached to eating meat, those associative judgments never change your experience of anything associated with it. You’ll experience others who prefer eating meat in the same way you experience people who prefer a four-door car over a two-door. There’s no emotional bias either way.
Judgment in ANY form is either immediately negative or a setup of inevitable negativity down the line. Immediately negative judgment comes in the form of the attachment of “negative” moral or quality judgments to people, things, and events like “bad”, “wrong”, “difficult”, “negative”, “impossible”, “can’t”, “shouldn’t”, “foolish”, “stupid”, “abnormal”, “ugly”, etc. Anytime these terms are applied to an idea or behavior of another person, it instantly creates negativity and dissent between the giver and the receiver. The impact of applying the judgment of “impossible” is readily apparent. If it is accepted by the recipient, it eliminates every single experience in life that they could ever have along the path that was just perceived as not possible.
Inevitable negativity down the line comes in the form of attaching “positive” moral or quality judgments to people, things, and events like “good”, “right”, “positive”, “can”, “should”, “easy”, “smart”, “normal”, “pretty”, etc. A negative experience is inevitable later because, whenever a person doesn’t meet the “standard” of what has been associated with these positive judgments, they immediately judge themselves, other people, and events in their life with the immediate negative judgments that I listed in the previous paragraph. Applying these positive judgments keeps people living in a state of constant anxiety and fear of the consequences of not living up to these positive judgments of themselves and that of the people they want approval and acceptance from. When we ourselves, other people, and the events in our life don’t meet the positive moral or quality judgments that we have attached to them, it puts a dark cloud over every aspect of our experience of those things and attach all of that negativity to our perception of ourselves. “I can’t seem to do anything right.” “I got all of the answers wrong.” “Everything I’m learning just seems so hard.” “They are wrong for not living according to these religious teachings that I know are right.” “I am wrong for not living according to what my religion says is the right way to live.” “Everyone else in the class is smarter than me.” “Only people who think like this, dress like that, or drive this are worthy of my respect.” “I’m not pretty enough to be with him.”
This is how the act of applying “positive” value judgments sets a person up to be crushed by the negativity of falling short of them later on. It’s because a human being associates the shortcomings of their behavior with their perception of themselves. “I can’t seem to do anything right” translates to “I’m stupid, I’m damaged, something must be wrong with me, etc.” “I got the answers all wrong” translates to “I’m a bad student, I’m not smart, I’m not going to do well in life, people who get this many wrong answers aren’t very bright, etc”. “Everything I’m learning just seems so hard” translates to “I’m not very intelligent, this subject or activity or endeavor just isn’t for me, I’m not talented enough to ever be great at this, etc”. “They are wrong for not living according to the religious teachings that I know are right” translates to “they are inferior, they are lost, they are wrong, they are selfish, they are foolish, they are ignorant, they are a plague to the spiritual purity of humanity…the list can go on and on here”. “I am wrong for not living according to what my religion says is the right way to live” translates to “I’m going to hell, I am flawed, there’s something wrong with me, I deserve any negative thing that happens in my life, I deserve to be punished, etc”. “Only people who think like this, dress like that, or drive this are worthy of my respect” is just pure arrogance that clearly divides people all over the world.
This is why I say that judgment, in every instance and every time, is destructive to humanity’s progress towards unity. It is the root of all dissension between two or more human beings. We experience the most positivity and love with another human being who does not place moral or quality judgments on ANYTHING that we do in their presence. “I just feel like I can be myself around you” is the phrase that distinguishes the most precious relationships that we have in our lives, and that is because they are entirely free of judgment (or the closest we have come to it). The degree of judgment that exists between two human beings is what determines the quality of their closeness every single time without exception and regardless of culture or beliefs. By now, I imagine that you are aware of how judgment exists everywhere in the world and literally surrounds everything we experience outside of those rare close relationships with the people we are closest to. We are absolutely drowning in judgment and it is the root of what is dividing the world. If you are wondering what the alternative is, I have a simple, yet profound solution that will at least serve as the foundation of progress towards peace.
I believe that abandoning the use of judgment as a way to govern human behavior and morality will instantly resolve all division between human beings all over the world. It will be the end of all present and future conflicts between all human beings, from the ending of friendships to the ending of wars between cultures, nations, and religions. Conflicts will disappear because the teachings of any government or religion do nothing but attach moral and quality value judgments to everything in the universe, setting any believer up to judge themselves and every other human being in reference to the “positive” and “negative” moral and quality judgments that the ideology entails. This does NOT entail the denial of the existence of God OR promote the acceptance of the existence of it/him. This entails the removal of all of the judgmental stories that HUMANS have formed around the entity of God to govern human behavior…judgmental stories that create division between people, the judgment of ourselves and our fellow human beings, and the judgment of any experience that a human being wants to have in this world.
Choosing a career, vandalizing a wall, changing a career, getting into a relationship, staying in a relationship, owning a house, becoming a parent, murdering someone, accepting a job, getting in shape, stealing from someone, changing your diet, taking care of another person, lying to someone, fixing something, cheating on your romantic partner, paying for something, taking a trip, taking a drug, performing any sexual act, going out to a social event, adopting a lifestyle, hiding the truth, having a conversation, participating in an argument, practicing a religion, playing a game, building a school, donating to a cause, attending a sporting event, listening to someone vent or complain…EVERY SINGLE EXPERIENCE IN LIFE THAT A HUMAN BEING CAN HAVE.
Just screen your choices through these four questions that are founded on the principles of social awareness, honor, integrity, and respect:
1) Is this an experience I want to have? (By far the most important question. If this first answer is no, then you are under no obligation to have it. Anyone who says otherwise is merely judging you. It’s up to you to decide whether you are going to wear that judgment or not. Not wanting to have any given experience has absolutely nothing to do with your personal character. It’s just a matter of what you want to experience in your life.)
2) Is this choice in alignment with my long term goals? (If you make any choice every day for the next five years, it will develop a strong personality trait, habit, or skill. If you don’t want that personality trait or habit down the line, why make that choice today?)
3) Since any experience I have is essentially an experience that everyone else in my direct physical environment is going to share with me, is it an experience that THEY want to have? (This is how errant or deviant behavior is governed. For example, playing loud music, public suicide, speeding on a highway, lying, violence, stealing, etc)
4) Will having this experience have a destructive or lasting effect on on the physical world? (Will this “negatively” affect the way other people experience this physical environment in the future or require others to repair the damage that was done?)
Yes, yes, yes, no. THAT’S IT. No judgment. No right/wrong, good/bad, should/shouldn’t, positive/negative, can/can’t, easy/difficult or any of the judgments that would otherwise keep your choices locked in a small window of possibilities that are governed by the judgmental values of you or others. Just the alignment of every choice, behavior, or experience with the four basic principles of social awareness, honor, integrity, and respect. (maintaining awareness that everything you do affects those around you, honoring the trust that others have in you either by keeping your word or by openly withdrawing a previous promise/commitment, honoring choices that others make within their lives, the integrity of being honest with oneself and others, respecting the choices, lifestyles, and experiences that others enjoy, and respecting the reality that other people, animals, and plants may not want to share the experiences that you want to have)
People who like loud music, make sure that the people around you want to listen to that music as well…they probably don’t want to experience that music at that moment in time. Gentlemen, make sure that interacting with you is an experience that a woman wants to have…she is not obligated to date you or become intimate with you. Ladies, make sure that the experience of parenthood is something that the potential father wants to have before you decide to bring a child into the world…he is not obligated to have that experience just because you have judged the act of not keeping it. Spouses, make sure that the lifestyle that you are personally striving for is an experience that your partner wants to have…they may not want to experience it. Managers, make sure that what your team experiences throughout each workday is an experience that they would choose to have even if they had other options at the same pay…that work environment is not something they have to endure. “Saviors” of the world…make sure that the “help” you are imposing on others is a change that they want to experience…they may enjoy the “low” quality of their life experience just fine.
If you approach every choice and potential experience in life from this perspective, you are able to enjoy your life with the freedom of knowing that you are showing respect for the life experience of others and that there is nothing wrong with you liking what you like, doing what you want to do, having the friends that you want to have, or avoiding ANY experience that you don’t want to have.
If you would like to break the habit of judging what you experience in your life, it is very easy to identify when you are experiencing your own judgments or the fear of enduring the judgment of others…you will experience a feeling of anxiety. ANYTIME you experience anxiety, it is due to the experience of being judged, the fear of being subjected to negative judgment in the future, or the fear of an experience you are about to have not living up to the “positive” expectations you have already judged it from. Examine every single time that you experience anxiety and see if what I’m saying here is untrue. And when you do experience that anxiety and become aware that you are judging the potential future or the quality of your present experience, review the questions above, ensure that the answers are “Yes, Yes, Yes, No” and say out loud, “There is no judgment here.” After saying this, looking around you. How many people around you are looking at you, ready to pass judgments on your behavior? Probably none. The person who is always quickest to judge your choices and behavior is YOU. Release judgment from the experiences in your life and you will be shocked at how much more you enjoy every aspect of your world.
Be warned…everyone in your life is accustomed to you living according to the judgments that you have subjected yourself to for years. They won’t be comfortable with the dramatic change. Other people will try to project their judgments and expectations onto your behavior, who you should be, and how you should live, but you don’t have to wear them. You are not responsible for the way that they choose to judge the people, things, and events that they encounter in their life or how they feel about you not wanting to have the experiences they want you to participate in. Your only responsibility is to be honorable, honest, respectful of the choices of lifestyle of others, respectful of the physical environments that we all share, and to enjoy every moment of the experience of being human. Surround yourself with people who have released judgment as well. They’ll be the best friends you have ever had.
Live your own life. Choose your own path. Liberate your mind from judgment and discover what life is like once you have set your spirit free.