Naina writes about judging others and ourselves, in The Sentinel on October 9, 2019.
Whether we like it or not, we do judge people, more often than not, in our lives. It is clear that our conditioning and our biased minds always impact our judgment. It then affects how we treat that person. Most of us would rather like to believe that we judge fairly. What is being fair? Fair or unfair, judgment is judgment. How will it be if we delete the very word ‘judgment’ from the dictionary of our minds?
Osho says, “If judgment disappears, you have become innocent. If you don’t divide things into good and bad, ugly and beautiful, acceptable and non-acceptable; if you don’t divide things, if you look at reality without any division, your eyes will come into existence for the first time. This is ‘Chakshusmati Vidya’, the signs of gaining eyes.” 1
Existence is non-judgmental
Existence is non-judgmental. It gives life to the sinner, it gives life to the saint, without any discrimination. It gives love, showers silence over all, without any discrimination. “Any judgment is past-oriented, and existence is always here and now, life is always here and now. All judgments are coming from our past experiences, our education, our religion, our parents, who may not be alive but their judgments are being carried by our minds and they will be given as a heritage to our children. Generation after generation, every disease is being transferred as a heritage. Only a non-judgmental mind has intelligence, because it is spontaneously responding to reality.” [Osho]2
Everybody is so miserable that he wants to find some reason somewhere to explain to himself why he or she is miserable, and the society has given us a good strategy i.e. to judge.
No one is perfect; accepting our shortcomings helps others accept themselves
First, naturally, we judge ourselves in every way. No one is perfect; perfection does not exist, so judgment is very easy. When we find that imperfection in us, we become angry with ourselves and the whole world. This leaves us with only one idea and that is to find imperfection in everybody.
Osho says, “Don’t judge yourself. Accept humbly your imperfection, your failures, your mistakes, your frailties. There is no need to pretend otherwise. Just be yourself: This is how I am, full of fear. I cannot go into the dark night, I cannot go into the thick forest. What is wrong in it? It is just human.
“Once you accept yourself, you will be able to accept others because you will have a clear insight that they are suffering from the same disease. And your accepting of them will help them to accept themselves. We can reverse the whole process: accept yourself. That makes you capable of accepting others. And because somebody accepts them, they learn the beauty of acceptance for the first time, how peaceful it feels and they start accepting others.”3
Do not judge the person, judge the act
Judging the act without judging the person is a totally different thing. For example, if somebody is a thief we can judge that stealing is not good but we do not judge the person, because the person is a vast phenomenon and the act is a small thing. The act is so small a piece and that small piece should not become a judgment about the whole person. A thief may have many beautiful values: he may be truthful, he may be sincere, he may be a very loving person. The moment we start thinking in terms of condemnation, then judgment enters.
If a student is doing something which is not right, it is the teacher’s very duty to put the student on the right path. It is about the teacher’s love, not condemnation; it is his compassion, not judgment. But most often, what happens is just the opposite: people start judging the person rather than the action. Actions have to be corrected.
Osho explains, “Judge actions, and correct them, and don’t correct them according to tradition, convention, according to so-called morality, according to your prejudices. Whenever you are correcting somebody, be very meditative, be very silent; look at the whole thing from all perspectives. Perhaps they are doing the right thing, and your prevention will not be right at all.
“So, when I say, ‘Don’t judge,’ I simply mean that no action gives you the right to condemn the person. If the action is not right, help the person – find out why the action is not right, but there is no question of judgment. Don’t take the person’s dignity, don’t humiliate him, don’t make him feel guilty – that’s what I mean when I say, ‘Don’t judge.’
“But as far as correcting is concerned: unprejudiced, silently, in your awareness, if you see that something is wrong and will destroy that person’s intelligence, will take him on the wrong paths in his life, help him.”4
Role of the Teacher
In the cycle of life, a teacher plays a huge role in the growth process of a child. The job of the teacher is not just to teach subjects. His basic function is to bring the students to a better consciousness, to a higher consciousness. This should be the teacher’s love and compassion, and this should be the only value on which we should judge any action as right or wrong. But never for a single moment, let the person feel that he has been condemned. On the contrary, let him feel that he has been loved; it is out of love that the teacher tried to correct him.
“If a teacher finds that an intelligent student has to unnecessarily wait six more months for an examination, he should recommend that the student be moved right now to a higher class, because he has enough intelligence. Teachers should be the decisive factors. In that situation, nobody fails, nobody passes; people simply move. A few move faster, a few move a little slower; everybody according to his pace. Nobody is condemned as a failure, nobody is praised as first-class, nobody is praised as a gold-medallist. All these things teach people unnecessary ambition, and ambition is poison.” [Osho]4
The first thing is to stop judging ourselves and accept ourselves and our own shortcomings. Once we accept our own weaknesses and frailties, we will be able to accept others because we will have a clear insight that they are suffering from the same disease. Our accepting them will help them to accept themselves.
Accepting our own selves makes us capable of accepting others and because somebody accepts them, they learn the beauty of acceptance for the first time; how peaceful it feels and they start accepting others. If the entire humanity comes to a point where everybody is accepted as he is, almost ninety percent of our misery will simply disappear.
Quotes by Osho from
1 Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi, Ch 2
2 I Celebrate Myself: God Is No Where, Life Is Now Here, Ch 3 Q 1
3 The Transmission of the Lamp, Ch 1, Q 2
4 The Invitation, Ch 25, Q 3