Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Judge Not

I have always been bothered by Jesus' statement, “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven."

Why did this phrase bother me? First, because it seemed an impossible ideal. Who hasn't been hurt and therefore judged the situation or person that harmed you. Don't we need to respond, to condemn that situation or person, so as to know our way forward? Aren't we also advised to have discernment? To discriminate between right and wrong, good and evil?

The answer seems to be in perspective, the position from which one is looking. On the one hand we are a being, a body, a focal point. Metaphysically, we call this perspective relative. In other words, we are looking at the world as an individual, with needs, desires, goals and dreams.

On the other hand, there is the perspective from the Absolute, from Being itself. From this perspective, the world, the universe, is as it should be. As it was intended. From this perspective, the world is perfect. It could be no other way.

It seems to me, that to understand Jesus' directive, one needs to take the top-down view, not the bottom-up view. Jesus is letting us know that to be aligned with truth, with God, the Absolute, we are required to let go of the bottom-up view, the personal view.

Isn't it the personal view that suffers, that resents, that assigns guilt and feels guilty in return? Isn't it the personal view, the bottom-up view, that judges, that condemns?

Jesus was speaking from the top-down view, from the view of Being, the Absolute. He was speaking from a higher truth. The view from the Absolute, which loves the whole of creation, without judgment. Beyond good and evil.

It is said we are created in the image of God. In essence, we can be nothing other than That.

If we are strong enough, and brave enough to look deeply into our self, we can leave off the judgments of the small self. We can surrender to the Absolute, the Impersonal Self. And in this surrender, we can enjoy the "peace that passeth understanding," where there is no sin, no judgment, no guilt. Free at last. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Who's Freedom

There are some basic assumptions people take on unconsciously. One of them is the idea of free will. This is programmed from early childhood as parents and society continuously remind us to be responsible. Being responsible implies choice. We also know from personal experience that being responsible, making good choices, works. Culture rewards this.

For many years I struggled to overcome what I had been taught. So much of it rejected, not because of some rebellious nature that was opposed to authority, but because so much of what I saw in the culture was dishonest. Not necessarily a super conscious purposeful dishonesty, but a lack of integrity that allowed the dishonesty to flourish.

In early childhood it was a spontaneous intuition that was unshakable. It was an intuition that the truth was covered over to allow for the culture to continue, to endure without confrontation. This intuition forcibly drove me to keep pulling at the veil, to question authority. I did not reject authority, I just saw that authority had to be earned. It had to be established in truth. I looked for and searched for that authority.

The most truthful authorities seemed to point within, teaching that if you wanted to know the truth, you could be guided, but that ultimately it would be found within.
In the West it starts in Genesis where we are informed that we are made in the image of God. In the East it is the Atman, which turns out to be the same as Brahman.

When I looked within, and went deep enough, the personal self was not myself, but as the sages have always pointed out, my true Self was the Self of the Absolute. And what do we know of the Absolute other than its function as Awareness. Our deepest knowing of our self as existence is this pure awareness.

William Samuel had this to say about Awareness in his book, "The Child Within Us Lives."

"Awareness is God's Self perception going on. Therefore, it's God's responsibility. We feel the weight of the world taken from our shoulders. We rejoice with a new joy. We receive the promise of old. 'Come unto me all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.'

The person is not in a position to judge what is going on. William Samuel claimed that the best contemplation we can do is to see the good in everyone. At least look for it. We don't set off to save the world, we just do the next right thing, the good thing that comes before us.

Freedom does not reside in the person, it resides in the Absolute. As we take on That identify, freedom becomes what we are. Free will is to surrender to That.