Mindfulness of Judgement & Tolerance
Judgement only ever leads to more judgment. Whether it's externally, by one person judging another, or internally by a person judging themselves. A person who is being judged by another, will inevitably either judge back in return, or internalise the judgement, thereby judging themselves. A process that leads once more to them judging others.
If the judgement is internal and starts from within of ourselves, the process is the same. We treat some part of ourselves as 'other' and then judge it, only to have the entire episode repeat itself endlessly.
We often find ourselves caught in a delusion. The delusion that we can directly fight fire with fire. That hatred can somehow banish hatred. That tolerance can only be achieved through selective intolerance.
But we can only too readily experience for ourselves, the truth behind this flawed philosophy, hatred only breeds more hatred. Ask yourself if there was really ever a time when someone else's judgement of you actually led to your well-being and existential happiness. Not your productivity, not your work-ethic, not your sense of duty and obligation, but your well-being. I hazard to think it's likely if even possible. Perhaps there was a time when someone's hard but helpful truth managed to penetrate the mass of judgement it was couched within and led you to make change for the better, but I would argue that it was not because of the judgement at all, but in spite of it. To be disagreeable is not necessarily to be judgemental. To even find something unpleasant or pleasant is not to be judgmental. Judgement comes from the value-based compulsions, biases and narratives that often form from these initial sensory flavours.
I may find someone's odour unpleasant without judging them or the odour itself as "bad". I can find a sensation pleasing, without leading to the judgement that it is therefore "good". I may find pleasure in the taste of sweet chilli flavoured crisps, but I am wary of making the assumption that it is therefore objectively "good".
This isn't even to say that judgement itself is "bad". For we can only be too quick to decide that indeed judgement is the enemy now, which as we've seen will only lead to more judgement of ourselves and others.
What we can say though is that judgement is one aspect of human experience. But it neither needn’t be a dominant aspect of our minds, nor mean what we usually think it means i.e. that whatever it is we are habitually judging needs to be eliminated or identified with.
To make our way out of the labyrinth of judgement we need to open up to the common humanity in all of us. We need to learn to let go back into our capacity for diversity of experience. We need to recognise the judgement for what it is and allow it to exist in a wider context of tolerance, acceptance and inclusivity.
The only antidotes are compassion, empathy, tolerance and acceptance. These perspectives do not exclude whatever they are compassionate, empathetic, tolerant or accepting towards, they embrace them. In other words, as has been said before, the only way to truly love is to love unconditionally. Therefore we must learn to develop unconditional love and presence with our own experiences, thoughts and emotions so that we may extend that same capacity to those we currently see as 'other' and 'bad'.
If we continue to habitually judge ourselves and others with no attempt to understand, how can we expect anything but more hatred and suffering in our lives? The path may be simple, but not easy. Nonetheless we must start with where we are and what's already here. We must begin by learning to love and calm the judging mind.