Judgement is Poisonous

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Judgement is pure poison. No other poison present in nature or invented by man is as dangerous, as lethal as judgement because whereas the other poisons harm the body only, judgement harms the soul, it kills the very individuality of a human being. Once the individuality is destroyed, growth is impossible. Then the person turns into a breathing corpse, a soulless creature.
You can find such soulless creatures everywhere. Masses of people are living joyless, loveless lives. Their lives are just a burden that they have been carrying from morning to evening, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year…Once in a while, a trip to a hill station or attending a birthday party creates some momentary pleasure. But it hardly makes a difference. And life turns dry and colorless again.
Surprisingly, one of the chief causes of this lifeless existence is judgement. Ever since childhood, a person is condemned. If he does not fare well in exams, he is judged; if he does not win a competition, he is judged; if he does not perform well in any cultural programme, he is judged; if he gazes at a girl, he is judged; if he does not pay respect to his elders, he is judged; if he does not wish his teachers good morning, he is judged…Judgement! Judgement!! Judgement!!! Thus, the person is drowned in self-hatred. Gradually, he forgets to be natural, to be spontaneous. He puts on masks, false faces. It breeds hypocrisy. People are walking around with the real faces hidden. No wonder, human relationships fail. They fail because lies cannot sustain any relationship.
Hypocrisy seriously damages all prospects of inner growth. One who has begun to overlook his real nature eventually begins to disbelieve if he has any real face at all. The real face seems merely an illusion. Thus, he is cut off from his own roots, estranged from his own being.
This estranged self tries to find fulfillment through imitating others. Because it dislikes itself, it creates self-love by copying others: by copying somebody’s hairstyle, somebody’s dress sense, somebody’s name or voice. In this way, by being somebody else, it tries to console itself. How delighted you feel when somebody compliments you that you look like this actor or that, your voice is as sweet as this singer or that, you play like this player or that! But this feeling delighted is like celebrating your own murder. Whenever somebody compares you with another person, he murders you because in that comparison your individuality is destroyed. Suppose, your friend says that you look like a hot, dashing Hollywood celebrity. What is he doing? He is effacing you, removing you, and in your place he is situating the other. You are reduced, the other is expanded. You are no more, the other is more than he is. This is why, everybody wants to become a celebrity because by being one, he will have followers/admirers. They will copy him and his own self will be multiplied, enlarged. However, this copying leads to pitiable boredom. Suppose everybody imitated one single person, then the whole world would be so utterly hopeless because it would lack variety. How charmless a garden would look if it had flowers of only one type in it! Individuality alone is unique. This uniqueness creates a fragrant diversity in the world.
Thus judgement destroys individuals and breeds imitators.
Further, in the very act of judging others, a person judges himself also. Whenever you judge a person, you prove yourself to be shallow-brained, immature, short-sighted. It simply means you lack a very basic understanding of human nature. If you have ever observed human nature, you must have noticed two things: one, every human being is a mystery; two, life is an evolution. Add to it a third point: an unconscious person is a creature of habit. Because a human being is a mystery, it is impossible to predict him. This impossibility is further strengthened by the very fact that life is evolving every moment. Which kind of people we are going to meet, which kind of circumstances we are going to face cannot be known beforehand. Above all, because of his habitual, unconscious reactions, a person is likely to make mistakes. Hence, how we are going to behave cannot be predicted. Once you realize this truth, you will never expect anybody to behave in one particular way or the other. All shoulds and should haves will drop. And with them, judgment, too, will drop. For example, there is a couple in my neighborhood. Every morning, they squabble over household matters. Obviously, they reach their workplace with pissed off moods. There they must be cross with their colleagues. They must lose temper over nothing. If you were among their colleagues, how would you take it? You would probably call them rude, ill-mannered, and such like. My neighbours, because of their unconscious lifestyle, quarrel over trivia, get frustrated, and take it out on their near ones. They just cannot help being what they are. Realizing it, one can immediately drop judgements about them. Only a conscious person can realize it. And his conscious presence can be immensely helpful to free them from their unconscious habit patterns. Remember, the only way to help an unconscious person is to create a deep conscious presence around him. According to Eckhart Tolle, either this presence will change him or the conscious and unconscious persons will separate like oil and water; the conscious person would not have to suffer endlessly because of the other’s unconscious behavior. Eckhart further says that only an unconscious person can exploit and only an unconscious person can be exploited.
Thus, we see that our “bad judgements” about others can seriously harm them. But what about “good judgements”? Can these also be poisonous? Yes, “good judgements” are also poisonous. Judgement per se is poisonous. In fact, there is nothing like a good judgement. Judgement means labeling something/somebody, determining its/his type, defining its/his essence. When you label somebody, you are implying that you know him inside out, that you understand him through and through. Do you know yourself through and through? Few can say yes honestly. Most of the people are confused about just everything. A girl buys a lipstick. She puts it on. If a couple of friends say that the color does not suit her, she will immediately start doubting her own sense of choice. You buy a car of a particular brand. If first ten people you show it disapprove of it, you will yourself disapprove of it. How little people know about themselves! And they claim to know others absolutely!
Judgement is not only blind, but also it is cruel. It is apathetic, insensitive. It does not take into account the circumstances of a person. It does not see things in totality.
A very important point is to know judgement from observation. Both appear same, but function differently. For example, a person loses temper easily. Through observation, you find out what causes his problem. Moreover, you learn that he does not do it intentionally; he is helpless. In fact, he is a victim of his own ill temper. He would like to get rid of this habit. You can help by accepting him, by your silent presence. Condemnation can make things worse for him. This is observation. What is judgement in this case? To say that because he is short-tempered, he is bad. Such words as good/bad, right/wrong, correct/incorrect are judgemental. Somebody is whimsical, this is an observation. But he is bad, this is a judgement.
Interestingly, to say that a person is very generous, very helpful, very friendly is also a judgement, and thus equally poisonous. Take for example, you ask somebody for a lift and he readily obliges you. Now you are all praise for him. You are singing praises. Then the next day, the same person refuses, and your good opinion immediately changes. Judgement blinds us. In fact, the first time, when you judged you were mistaken because you did not know the person as a whole, you only saw a fragment. And when you criticized, again you missed because again you saw only a fragment of his being. The very seed of bad opinion was sowed in the good opinion.
The one extreme was already present in the other extreme.
Have you ever hated anybody or still do? If yes, just observe, it is highly likely that the object of your hatred was once the object of your love. This is what is called love-hate relationship. The worst haters are those who once claimed to be best lovers. There are so-called lovers who have killed their beloveds. Have thrown acid on their faces. What kind of love is this? Where is this hateful love born? It is born when a person forms an idea of love and fixes it in a frame. Then love is rigid, it loses all its flexibility. Love is an evolution, when fixed in an image it becomes a dead thing. This is what opinion-making does. Am I saying: Do not love anybody? No. I am just saying: Do not set it in a mould.
In fact, all our confusion comes from language. It is the source of all our misconceptions. We receive the usages of words from our surroundings. And wrong usages eventually shape wrong perspectives. It is a linguistic defect. Our language habits are conditioned in a way that we use most words unconsciously. In fact, certain words never fit in with certain other words. Take for example, Osho says that there are no good habits, all habits are essentially bad. How? Let us try to understand. What is a habit? A habit is a mechanical act. It is compulsive. It is something one cannot control. No matter how hard one tries, he fails again and again. A drunkard knows the pain of habit. A smoker knows it. We call drinking and smoking bad habits. But what about helping people? We think it is a good habit. But watch it closely. If it is a habit, the person is always looking for someone to help. He wants some helpless person around, so that he can enjoy helping him. If there were no such person, the helper would be immensely frustrated. He would be restless, fidgety as much as a drunkard when he does not get liquor. If there were no poor, the so-called donors would be unhappy. Ironically, a social reformer deep down wants a vicious society, full of evil, because the worse the society, the more he can enjoy setting it right. All social reformers are unconsciously social deformers. And the habit of social reform is far more harmful than drinking and smoking. India and Pakistan have been shedding blood over Kashmir for 70 years! In 70 years, they could not settle a land dispute. Are they really interested in settling it at all? NO. Because if it were settled, the so-called public leaders would have nothing else to do. Israel and Palestine issue is another case in point. Not only in the social and political spheres do we see the destructive side of habit, but it is equally destructive on the individual level also. Like, a person loves workout. One day, he catches pneumonia and is advised not to do heavy workout. But he is a creature of habit, he simply cannot help it. He will exert himself and is likely to cause himself serious damage. Now, workout is extolled as a good habit. Then how can it cause damage? I would mention another case here: an uncle in my locality loves to sprinkle water on the road every morning so that dust does not fly around. Today morning, I saw him do the same, though it had rained yesterday. The road was already wet, he added more water. The whole place got muddy. All habits are muddysome. A habit is a habit after all. Therefore, the adjective ‘good’ does not fit with the noun ‘habit’. And there is no need to use the adjective ‘bad’ with ‘habit’ because the word ‘habit’ itself connotes something unwanted.
As there are no good habits, so are there no bad experiences. Every experience is good because it teaches something after all. Even pain is a good experience because it warns us to stay away from the source of pain. It makes us wiser, more conscious, more alert. In short, every experience enriches us.
A similar case can be made for the adjectives commonly used with love. These are ‘pure’, ‘true’, and ‘unselfish’. In truth, love is intrinsically pure, true, and unselfish; there is absolutely no need to use these adjectives to qualify ‘love’. Using them equals to saying “hot fire” or “a cool dewdrop”. It’s nonsense, isn’t it? Such nonsense is done because what is understood as love is basically either lust or attachment. Now, neither lust nor attachment can give any pure, deep joy; so, we think this love is not pure and true, the other one is. It is not love at all. There is no question of its being pure or impure.
As love in itself is pure, true, and unselfish, so is judgment in itself blind, cruel, and poisonous.
Further, judgement is highly infectious. It pollutes the very air, and whosoever breathes it is affected. The weak-minded are quite prone to this pollution; the conscious are immune to it. What happens when a weak-minded person comes into the contact of the people who are always judging? He himself feels an urge to judge, for no rhyme or reason. He would comment something without being sure about it, without verifying his own facts and figures. Quite often, judging others becomes a tool of taking out one’s own frustration. Or settling some old score with somebody. This way, the whole atmosphere becomes vicious, sickening. What a wonder! people forget that they are breathing the same air and poisoning their own selves. Jesus says, “Judge not lest ye be judged.” I always used to wonder that even if I did not judge others, they might still judge me. I understood Jesus the moment I realized that whenever I produce poisonous germs by judging others, they affect me as much.
In a deeper way, dropping judgement fills us with love. And one who is loving neither judges nor is judged. Not that people do not judge him, their judgement does not touch him; he is perfectly immune. Love is the greatest immunity against everything is evil.
Altogether, judgement is not merely disrespect born out of ignorance and ill-will; it is a deadly toxin that can crush a person’s being, can abort his inner growth. Be loving and all judgements will be dissolved in its tender warmth. Love is the only antidote to judgement-poison.

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