It’s not uncommon for us to think we’re following Spirit and that inner voice of Truth when, in fact, we are being led around by our spiritual idealism—a system of beliefs, an unwritten list of “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts,” based on the ego’s idea of what it means to be spiritual. So instead of being based fully on Truth, spiritual idealism contains distortions (albeit, sometimes very subtle), limiting beliefs, and false assumptions—all cornerstones of the ego’s operating system—and actually works to undermine Self-awareness and our natural inclination to listen for “that still, small voice within.”

What’s rather ironic is that one of the judgments/beliefs that spiritual idealism includes is that it’s unspiritual to judge. In fact, holding that particular belief has caused many of us to judge judgment as such a “no-no” that we become almost paranoid about even the faintest hint of judgmental-ness. And then, if we do happen to judge someone or something, we make ourselves wrong (judge ourselves!) for doing so, and feel guilty as a result. Of course this just ends up compounding the situation (talk about a vicious cycle!), and often leaves us second-guessing ourselves to the point that we will even disregard or confuse instances of true spiritual discernment with being judgmental.

Obviously we need to be mindful of judging, but to judge judgment as bad or wrong is like trying to fight fire with fire—it only serves to perpetuate the “problem” and keeps us focused on what we don’t want—instead of on our true identity and hearts’ desires (what‘s really important to us!). But what if we “en-lightened up” a little in regard to this particular matter? Maybe just a change in our inner positioning in regard to judging might be all that’s needed to begin viewing ourselves and the tendency to judge with a little more compassion? (“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”—Shakespeare) Maybe then the negative charge associated with judging would start to diminish for us—and, interestingly enough, we would probably be far less likely to judge ourselves and others as a result! Funny how that works!!

Also, it’s helpful to understand that judging is about seeing/perceiving people, places and things through eyes clouded by the ego’s biases, distortions and limiting beliefs, instead of through the eyes of our divinity, so that we’re not really seeing at all. (“We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.”—Anais Nin) That means that instead of directly experiencing something in the moment and relying on our spiritual knowing to guide us, we fall back on past referencing and the ego’s idea of the “spiritually correct” thing to say or do. It’s the whole “through the glass darkly” routine, and to realize that judgment is not “the enemy” (and, of course, neither is the ego!!), but just a fear-based way of perceiving, can make it start to seem far less threatening or evil to us.

Remember the Magic Eye® books that were so popular a number of years ago? You might compare judging to seeing only the repeating patterns on the page, so that the real image “hidden within and beneath” what’s on the surface goes undiscovered and unappreciated (unknown). True spiritual discernment, on the other hand, is the ability to view things in a detached sort of way that allows us to see “through and beyond” all those patterns and surface appearances to the deeper level of what’s really there—it’s inner vision. So naturally we want to outgrow the tendency to judge, but not because it makes us bad or wrong when we do it, but because it causes us to miss out on the truth and beauty of what’s really in front of us!

And if we view the tendency to judge as inherent to the 3rd dimensional experience, we can start to see that coming to terms with it is just another part of our evolutionary journey and process of re-membering (becoming wholly/holy) who and what we truly are. As we learn to tune out the ego and its need to compare, compete and control, and choose to focus on our spiritual identity and creation of our heart’s desires (which is what writing a vision helps you do!!) we will naturally experience more and more ease and grace around the whole matter of judgment. (“Give light and the darkness will disappear of itself.”—Erasmus).

As we start to think of judgment as the misguided, fear-based way of perceiving that it is, then a simple “oops” whenever we happen to judge or blame might be all that’s needed to remind us to go back to seeing things “through the eyes of divinity.” (If you find yourself judging someone or something and sincerely want to “see” things differently, check out The Work, by Byron Katie [www.thework.org] or A Course in Miracles—either will give you a quick and simple process for gaining new insight and perspective into any situation.)

So, before you begin writing the part of your vision that has to do with the elements of Truth, Wisdom and Inter-dimensional Communication, take this opportunity to see if you can uncover any spiritual idealism and judgments about judgment that are “lurking” in your belief system, then list them below. (Tip: Look for beliefs you have that begin with “A spiritual person should always/should never…...” or see if you have very specific ideas about what it means to be spiritual (even if those ideas/beliefs were passed on to you by “very enlightened” people). After all, if we have a preconceived notion of what we should say, do, or think about someone or something, are we really living in the NOW? If we’re busy trying to follow specific inner rules and regulations, whether set up by ourselves or others, can we truly be living “in the moment” and open to Spirit’s direction?

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Quotes from Emerson’s Essays, by R. W. Emerson:

“Let us unlearn our wisdom of the world. Let us lie low in the Lord’s power and learn that truth alone makes rich and great.”

“We lie in the lap of immense intelligence, which makes us organs of its activity and receivers of its truth….”

“Whenever a mind is simple and receives a divine wisdom, then old things pass away,---means, teachers, texts, temples fall….”

“Revelation is the disclosure of the soul.”

(This article is part of an exercise for increasing self-awareness & excerpted from the workbook "Vision Writing: Composing & Creating the Life You Were Meant to Live")

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