Observing vs. Judging

Sometimes a student will say something like this: “I work with this guy Joe and I don’t want to be judgmental, but Joe comes to work late every day and our supervisor does nothing about it.”

It is not a judgment to say that Joe comes to work late every day and your supervisor does nothing about it if in fact Joe comes to work late every day and your supervisor does nothing about it. You are simply observing a fact.
It can also be a fact that Jane lies, that Tony is selfish, that Marie gossips, that Bob has never been on time for anything in his life, that 90% of the time Alice is going to cancel on you, etc. Observing facts is not judging. Judging is when you decide these behaviors are “bad” and hold a grievance against those who have these behaviors rather than simply acknowledging these behaviors and making a determination of how much you want to be around them.

Ego is inherently insecure and frightened and so it is selfish and inconsistent and chaotic. Once you accept this fact you will find that you can accept the behavior of others without going through the bother of judging against them and holding a grievance. You will simply observe the behavior and let it go because ego is not going to change. And nothing ego does can change God and so it has no real effects. Ego doesn’t affect you; your judgments of ego affect you.

It is difficult to give up judging and step back and simply observe the world when you still want something from it. If you didn’t still want something from the world you wouldn’t have expectations of it and therefore need to judge it. Judging might be painful, but it may be the price you are willing to pay to hold on to ego. When you judge, you make it about you, you make it personal (ego). Joe’s coming late everyday and getting away with it, for example, is no longer simply a fact but “evidence” that your workplace is unfair to you. Now you are in lack, and grievances and self-pity follow. As long as you want to change the ego or the world instead of your mind you will find it necessary to judge. But if you accept that ego is unbalanced and the world is chaotic and unfair and that none of this matters because you are One with God then you will simply observe the world and let it go (forgive).


flinthills36 said…
Are you sure? Of course, I was taught to follow Thumper's advice in "Bambi": "If you can't say somethin' nice, don't say nothin' at all." So I feel guilty even thinking descriptively. Do we move beyond any kind of disparaging thoughts toward others? I certainly hope that will be a part of seeing Christ in everyone, as then I will have left my own feelings of short-comings behind.

I'm glad I found your site and blog. Thank you.
Anonymous said…
Thanks, im stuggling w reporting what I've noticed (and how to state this) without sounding as if I've been judging what has happened, although I'm beginning to see the difference now. It's not about the way I wanted things done as much as just letting go and noticing what had taken place in reference?
ACIM Mentor said…
When you observe there is no judgment of "wrong" or "bad" so there is no emotional charge. You may not like how something happened but you accept that it has happened and it is not "right" or "wrong". It's just the way it is. A personal preference is just that. It is not a moral judgment.

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