Fridays - Spiritual Healing
Judgements and Discernments
June 23, 2017
Gospel according to spiritism – Chapter 10: 11-13
"Do not judge or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (Matthew, chapter 7: 1,2)
The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the fact of adultery. In the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say? "They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis to accuse him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, only Jesus was left with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman where are they? Has no one condemned you?" "No one sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you." Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin." (John, chapter 8: 3-11)
When Jesus recommended being the first to throw a stone the one who is without sin, he recommended us to be indulgent. That means we shouldn't be harder on others than we are on ourselves. Disapproving someone's behavior should hold two objectives: one, admirable, which is to repress the evil; the other, unacceptable, which is making the person who we are criticizing disbelieved. The authority to call someone's attention should come from the moral authority of the person who is censuring. Genuine authority can only be found on the example of the person's practicing the good.
By Ora Nadrich
"If you judge, investigate." — Seneca
Just like someone cutting you off in traffic can trigger an automatic thought like, “What an idiot!” (or something with more expletives), sometimes we don’t need something rude or aggressive to occur to evoke a thought or reaction in us that can be surprising or throw us off guard.
You can walk into a party, a business meeting, or any social situation, and find yourself having a visceral feeling about someone you’ve never met before, and a negative or judgmental thought about them suddenly pops into your mind. It could be, “This person is dull or boring,” or, “They’re pretentious or a snob” or, “They’re unattractive,” or even, “They’re too attractive.” I could go on and on with the type of thoughts we have about others (and some of them can be really nasty), but I think you get the idea.
We make snap judgments about people without knowing them based on how they look, act, or even how they speak. But how we perceive someone, especially if it’s immediately upon seeing or meeting them for the first time, may be directly linked or connected to our beliefs, which, as we now know, affects our thoughts and our behavior. Based on what those beliefs are, they can influence or distort our perception about someone we barely even know. That’s not to say that someone can’t be off-putting or offensive in their behavior when we meet them, and no matter what our beliefs are, they just rub us the wrong way, and we don’t feel drawn to them, period. If you can subscribe to the Buddha quote “Recognize others as yourself,” then maybe you can be more forgiving or tolerant of others shortcomings or inadequacies, but not everyone chooses to see others as possessing aspects of themselves, as unattractive as that may be.
Sometimes we need to use discernment rather than harsh judgment when it comes to identifying certain characteristics in someone, and if they’re undesirable or distasteful to you, and you don’t happen to agree with Buddha’s sentiments, recognize how you feel and move on. Not everyone has to be each other’s cup of tea. But sometimes you’ve made up your mind about someone a little too quickly, and if they aren’t offensive or off putting as far as you (or others) can see, you might want to look a little further as to why you feel judgmental, and quick to dismiss them.
So what’s the difference between judgment and discernment? Judgment says “You are bad so I don’t love you.” Discernment says “I love you and choose to set boundaries to limit my exposure to you.” Judgment closes the heart. Discernment allows it to stay wide open but protected with clear boundaries.
Our thoughts are largely made up of opinions, values and judgments. How we see ourselves, and others, is entirely based on what we believe, and our beliefs are formed early on in our lives as a result of the experiences we’ve had, positive or negative. How others have influenced us also affects our experiences and how we come to know things, which also helps shape who we are, and can sway our beliefs.
As adults we’re pretty set in our beliefs and accept them as real for us, which I’ve explained become our core beliefs—that is, the main ideas we have about ourselves and others. The good news is that we live in a free country, and nobody can tell us what to believe or what not to, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we are always accepting or tolerant of each other’s beliefs, which can be the reason why we are judgmental of others because of our differences.
But judging others quickly without really knowing them well is important to pay attention to because you might find something out about yourself that can be both revealing and valuable, and help you get to know yourself better. For some people, their reason for being judgmental of someone can simply be for superficial reasons, like how they’re dressed or even wear their hair. But judging someone because of the way they look can be shallow or narrow-minded, and by challenging those thoughts through the “Says Who? Method”, you might find out that you’re a superficial person, and maybe want to consider changing that about your character because, deep down, you’re not proud of that.
Just like asking yourself the “Says Who? Questions” about your negative thoughts to find out why they’re in your mind and if they’re real or not, using the method to investigate your judgmental thoughts will also connect you directly to your beliefs, which are what’s controlling your thoughts. It’s a good opportunity to find out what you’re carrying around in the judgmental beliefs department.
“When you surrender judgment, you will see the divine in everyone, including you. This is love.” (Carolyn Hidalgo)
A time dedicated to our Spiritual and Physical balance and harmony. Everyone is welcome. No previous experience with any spiritual teaching is needed. This meeting is recommended as a “Spiritual Support” to help all of us face our challenges and overcome them with balance and wisdom.
We hope to see you soon at
Spiritist Society Towards the Light.