A Taoist’s Measure of Man is to Release Judgment.
The only true measure of life is not to measure it at all, but rather to simply live it fully.
Humans have a little problem, people seem to insist on measuring grace. So humans invented a little thing called judgment. Judgment is a social invention: societies use systems of judgment to maintain “order” and a balance between its membership.
Judgment is all about measuring what is right and what is wrong.
Judgment always contains the seeds of its own issues. No human judgment system can be perfect. When perfect, it would absolutely mean no free could exist. When perfect, there would be no questions, no grey areas, no wrong actions, merely only always right actions. Being human by default, exploring the nature of being a story… means making mistakes and being able to fumble around a bit. Seemingly a perfect judgment system is for ants, bees, termites and robots. Let’s hope, we never witness humanity becoming too trapped by its own judgment systems and yes modern humanity is at risk of being trapped by codified judgment systems.
To be judgmental is to live life to a very defined set of rules with effectively limited (or no free will) choices. To live in this manner means to limit one’s own potential and to live in a manner that actually reduces one’s graceful possible actions. Very few people like to be “judged” since to be judged is often to be measured by an outside set of rules. People only willingly accept judgment from others if we believe they support the same values we base our life upon.
Ask yourself how many people would you truly accept to judge your own life?
I suspect the answer is not many and more interestingly you probably would also accept judgment from those people that would be considered “non-judgmental” to get the least biased result! How ironic is that?
Release the Need for Absolute Answers
Not every question should have an answer.
The simple truth is that people hold judgements in order to pre-answer how they should react to life. Many of these judgements were formed thousands of years ago by people in different situations and needs. Judgement is tricky sticky beast, it will linger for countless generations in the form of prejudice.
In Awakening Dragon Taoism we teach . We hold each person’s story as theirs to explore. We do not try to force another person to some ideal we hold for ourselves.
Yet, if you hold the need to have answers before you even talk to another person. This will create conflict in the form of prejudice.
So a very simple teaching is this: Not every question should have an answer.
For an example of this in action lets look at Taoism’s view on homosexuality.
Releasing Judgment… A Life Lesson in Real Time
Releasing Judgment isn’t easy. We measure ourselves all the time. Most especially to time.
You see time represents relationship and relationship is just filled with all sorts of measurements. So it doesn’t take much before a person is judging everything as you compare time and relationships.
A little example:
I will not finish this chapter to my publisher’s schedule. I am just going to go out and play with my daughter instead. I will complete the writing at my own pace instead. Maybe tomorrow, maybe never…
How many readers coming here, expecting a full chapter will be disappointed to only see a partial entry? How many will judge me based on what I just said, will try to measure why this chapter will be incomplete, not ready now to read?
Calendars and schedules are such amazing traps. Useful and powerful tools yes, but in defining your day precisely to a schedule how far away are then the judgments that come in the wake of your schedules that don’t meet expectations or precision of flow?
So how often do you judge your day by the calendar’s events and then the following entanglements that fall out of failed meetings or events?
Taoism teaches to …
< — chapter incomplete… submission of chapter interrupted —>
Release the need for outside answers, release the need to measure everything. Simply let go and live again, one moment to the next.
Releasing Judgment… Discovering the Power of Personal Opinion.
What is the issue about judgment?
Judgment allows no true change.
Without change we lose our spark of individuality and uniqueness in the world.
The trouble with judgment as a way to measure oneself, it limits how much change can enter one’s life. Worse once a person begins to judge their life, it forces them to push their own judgments outward, to judge other people’s lives in order to maintain the balance of their judgment system. To force everyone to have all the same answers to life.
Once a person makes a judgment, they very rarely take it back, and then often only under great pressure and conflict…
Judgmental individuals very rarely have inner peace, since judgment produces a busy schedule trying to force placation of the outside world to personal measurements. The process of forcing one’s own truths and judgments onto others is the attempt to maintain personal balance. This keeps the judgmental person very busy. Many judgmental individuals may not even notice they are lacking inner peace until they slow down. Because of this they rarely do slow down, and work heavily in order to ignore many problems of one’s life.
So how does one actually live without judgment? This isn’t as simple as it sounds. We live in a relationship to the world, we compare our natures and judgment is a powerful way to hold benchmarks to work against.
One truth is: Opinions are not judgment, that it is OK to have opinions.
Opinions can change, opinions are your personal feelings on an issue or situation, that you allow to freely change as you discover more information. When opinions are not allowed to shift over time, they slowly harden, a person shifts into becoming opinionated and this is the edge when they begin to hold to their opinions as if they were truth. Then slowly that opinionated outlook calcifies into judgment. Once opinions have mutated into judgments, it’s very hard for a person to change their views and actions. In western culture, the trend is to push opinions into becoming judgments and that is the terrible mistake most people make.
In a judgmental culture, opinionated people are view upon as the trouble makers.
Personal opinions are also the seeds for revolution.
Judgments are measurements that we don’t allow to easily change. Opinions however, are small snapshots of time, of looking at the world but snapshots that are allowed to freely change as we discover new information, as we expand our awareness.
So if you want to learn how to live without judgment, learn to also appreciate and respect opinions, yours and others. To use opinions to test and explore the world with but never to measure the world either.
Discovering stories of our life
Our life is a grand story.
Judgment pre-supposes it’s possible to have an absolute truth to base life upon facts that are measurable to social settings and interactions.
In practical day to day living, however, this is not the case. Truth is never what we hold it to be. Truth, is merely a fable that more than one person will vouch for as being part of their life.
To hold onto a truth require us to maintain the boundaries of what is false. The two (truth & falseness) define each other. The big mistake is to think that most truths can be absolute. The only truth which is absolute is that the undefined can never be fully defined. All other truths are partial truths, statements mixed with perceptions, assumptions from the models of the world and our stories.
People often use memories to define truth, but all memories are merely stories also: perceptions of what was, held as a fact but doomed to fade and shift over time.
A Memory is never a fact!
A memory is always perception and story
No matter how closely it might resemble fact.
No matter how true it may be,
and oh boy do we hold to memories as truth…
Part of releasing judgment
is learning to release one’s own memories,
to hold memories as stories over fact.
The second we hold onto a truth as a final measurement of our life, we begin to erode away. As all truth begins to fade over time , so a person will slowly fade away, once they base a life upon that truth.
It’s better to understand everything held within life, is technically really a story. In every story there are elements of truth and elements of falseness. Bits of color to make the story more fun to be around.
The most important aspect of truth .. or a story… are not the facts per say, but rather what we take from the story to improve of our life. The tangible goal is improving our life to be more colorful, to help us find potential and enabling our actions to flow with style. Once we understand this, truth releases fully to the realm of human stories that help us navigate life with greater grace. To only hold truth as merely a fact, creates all sorts of confusion, upon discovering 99% of the facts of life were based upon… stories themselves.
Truth contains fact to fantasy, tidbits to tales, a mash of events and day dreams all. In other words the common denominator of truth are not the facts, but rather our stories on how we present those facts.
How do you know what parts of a truth are true and what parts are not?
It’s best to hold truth lightly, hold facts fleetingly so it’s possible to shift as you discover more in life. If you hold to a fact with an iron grip, your life will rust away and you will be left in the dust.
Part of releasing judgment is to discover how to embrace the stories of your life, allowing for many stories to co-exist with each other in harmony. To try to only hold a single story in the end is no different than living to judgment.
Even facts are not absolute truth. Facts are stories based on models, rather than personal tales or memories. The weakness of Fact, comes from the idea they are static. This forces the models under the facts to become static and then later the facts fall to disproof or disuse over time, Stories evolve over time to become ever changing pictures of who we enjoy being. Stories are allowed to change to last. Facts are either forgotten or become erroneous with newer information. The truth is even facts evolve over time, our inner models needing to shift, as a story over time to survive.
Science and facts always have their place, but now understand that even science is 1 part story to 1 part fact.
Don’t measure life to our stories, rather use the stories like stepping stones to move with our life as it evolves.
The danger of measuring man
A fundamental problem of a judgmental consumer society is this:
To judge a person is to measure them.
That act of measurement literally in a consumer setting
turns another person into a commodity by your judgment.
Once a person has been measured AND the society assigns economic values to a person and their life actions. That reduces what a person does down to only economic choices in their life. This removes personal development or other measurement choices. Consumer profit based judgment in the end removes kindness as a life measurement and without kindness a person loses their own essence.
In this we discover how humanity has
trivialized its own existence
down to economic terms.
In a “for profit based society”, it means to always cut costs to maximize profits. In the end it’s our own humanity that gets cut out of the picture early in the process.
The current capitalistic economic system will burn out the planet for this one single reason.
Because once we stop caring for ourselves, we stop caring for the place we live within also.
You can argue this point till becoming blue in the face, but…
Right now we are witnessing the destruction of our very planet…
All only because we judge ourselves, and this society only judges itself to profits…
Arguing does nothing to solve this problem. Releasing both Judgement and a cash profit attitude will shift the situation back towards kindness and balance.
This can change. Bolivia is taking the first step with its Mother Earth Bill. We need to begin expanding this to become the benchmark around the world.
Judgment in Language
Judgment is a hard process to release, in part because it’s built into the very language we use.
Right / Wrong
Better / Worse
Positive / Negative
Many of the very words we use actually have judgment within them or implied within them. This can make it hard to communicate in a non judgmental way. Even when making a statement with no implied judgment in it, the words themselves could be taken often times in a judgmental manner by the listener.
When working with a person and issues exist in the situation, it’s important to approach the conversation with acceptance towards the other person and mitigate the use of judgmental language. Don’t be afraid to change words when they elicit a judgmental response.
Additionally, many of the expected behaviors we have also can contain implied judgment within them.
A great example is asking for forgiveness or giving forgiveness. Forgiveness implies something wrong was done. It’s better to accept a person over forgiving them. Likewise to say you are sorry, implies you have done something wrong. It’s perfectly acceptable to apologize once, but never over apologize or over use the word: sorry. To do so simply implies you are guilty and then others will treat you with judgment as a result.
And it comes back around to this…
Take a moment to deeply consider this, because it is part of the lesson:
I could create pages and pages more of material on judgement, human history is full of examples to learn upon. However, I have to leave many questions unanswered on purpose: in order to help free you from judgement.
How will you finish this? It isn’t for me to complete this lesson of your life.
It’s time to release judgement and a time to live life based on what is at hand in your life now.