Judging Others

There is that chinese story about his son and going to war and a horse...that's good, that's bad?? gotta find it...

I think many folks across time have come close...not always able to hold the moment...often slipping between dualism and oneness. My preacher is known for his blank stare. He is not big on the bedside counseling stuff. When you bring your problems to him, he often doesn't see or hear your problems, he sits with this look and focuses on knowing that all is in G-d's hands and that he sees you and your situation as healthy, whole and solved to the best for all concerned.

Quite disconcerting when one doesn't take sides...but also quite the experience.

Is this the one, Wil?

The story begins when an old man of the frontier loses his horse (that's what the proverb recalls). The horse fled into a dangerous area, so it was impossible to bring it back.

However, thought to himself: "Who says this may not be a blessing one day?"

Several months later, the horse came back along with a group of fine horses. The man was congratulated by relatives and friends, but he thought: "Who says this won't turn out to be a misfortune?"

The old man's son loved the new horses so much, he often took a ride on them. Since the horses well not well tamed, he fell off one of them one day, and became crippled. The old man thought: "Who says this may not be a blessing in disguise?".

Some time later, the area were the old man lived was invaded. Most young people living in the frontier regions had to join the army to fight the invaders. About nine out of every ten of the draftees were killed in the battle. As a cripple, the old man's son did not have to fight, so that he survived the border war.

"Therefore, a blessing may turn out to be a misfortune and the contrary also be true".

I'll get back to your post in a few, InLove...I'm pressed at the moment.
:) Hey James--

I tend to think that everyone has these struggles from time to time. However, in saying so, what I offer here is necessarily on one level, subjective. But within that subjective, I continually pursue the objective. If I am constantly aware of it, then perhaps it is where I live most of the time.

When I am as objective as possible, in the present moment, moment by moment, then it is easier for me to see the purpose of some troubling thing that has come into that moment--for example, the judgemental-sounding words of another individual. It helps me to seek the purpose of that "other". Why is he/she/the situation here, in this moment? Why these words? Why the pointing finger?

Sometimes I find that it has nothing whatsoever to do with my own perception. Sometimes, it is something the other person needs to work out for his or her "self". It's just that they don't know it yet. But in observing this, or even engaging in the situation, almost inevitably I learn something about "my self". It may not be what the other person has in mind for me. But it helps me see and participate in the purpose that I am apparently here for, whether I know it at the time or not!

LOL--I am reading this back to myself as I type it. I'd say I sound a bit confusing, or like I am talking in circles. Haha--I like those circles sometimes, because they bring "me" inside and outside "self" on a regular basis. (And wil, I am working on the spheres, lol--or maybe I am there already? You don't have to answer that, this is simply rhetorical musing on my part.)

In a less abstract way, I guess what I'm trying to say is that we all play a part in the lives of each other. We may not always know what our part is. That is why questioning our own view before we judge someone else's is helpful.

We don't always have to like what we find in ourselves or another person. The microscope is only one part of seeing. There is also the telescope. Don't beat yourself up (or let anyone else do it for you) before you investigate the different angles. ;)

I hope this post doesn't sound like too much jibberish.


P.S. flow--interesting angle...I like it! And wil--just read your post, too--yeah, thinking something like what you've said. I'm not surprised at all. :)

It's hard to be objective when everything we recieve is subjective. Lord knows I try, but it certainly isn't an easy thing to do...most of the time. There are times when I do view myself and others with an open, understanding mind, then there are times that I am so focused on self, that I become blinded by my ego. Yes, it's a circle and I know it's for the best. Otherwise, we would have everything figured out, and we would'nt question at all. All for growth, right? :p

Thank you for your word, and encouragement, InLove.

Cage, wil, InLove, Paladin, and all,

This thread has been very meaningful to me, and has some lessons which hit very close to home ... even squarely so! ;) :eek:

So I've been following it with more than a passing interest. The story you brought up, wil (thanks for posting it, Cage!), is one of my favorites. Its message seems very much in line what you've said about perspective, InLove, and the importance of remembering to remove ourselves from the lens. This reminds me of some advice from a Teacher:

In speaking of spiritual growth, he reminds us that our very best efforts (prayers, thoughts, meditations), plus those of our friends, families, spiritual or faith communities, are like the nourishment which the young flower receives. We are often so eager to experience its bloom (the fragrance, the wonder, the beauty), that we cannot resist reaching out and yanking the little thing up by its very roots ... I dunno, maybe even five times a day! :p

For all the hard work of the sunshine, the water, and the nutrients of the soil itself (metaphorically, of course), the poor flower really hasn't got a chance if we over-inspect its progress. And isn't this precisely what we're guilty of doing to, or "for" each other? Even when the best of our intentions is to maybe offer some assistance, and you know, add a little water if we feel (think) the soil is dry? ;)

Judging others is not altogether unlike judging self. We may have positive motivations, but in both cases we can overboard, and it can be harmful. The alternative, as we are all aware, tends to be either self-righteousness (if we never check our own methods and motives) ... or apparent apathy, an unecessary aloofness (should we seem uninterested in the spiritual lives and well-being of people around us). So how do we find, and maintain, the happy medium? :)

One possibility might be to contemplate other ways to look at `judgment.' If we are really only responsible, personally speaking, for proper self-assessment, then I think it becomes easier to worry less about "where everyone else stands, and why, and how they got there, and where they're going, and how fast, and what bumps they're having along the way ... and so on." lol :p

We will no doubt still make mistakes, and I know that one of mine has usually been to forget to water this most precious Flower ... (and I must ask myself, what does this say about me, if Christ is the Aquarian Water-Bearer in my own personal cosmogony?)

... maybe the sun also shines too brightly, for certain reasons, and my poor parched flower is dying of heat exposure! The balance is something attainable only by allowing the flower to take root, and by learning to trust that even though I cannot see these roots with the naked eye (or even feel them as "deeply" as I might sometimes want to), nevertheless they are there. :eek: :)

Imho, this is something we have perhaps all gone through, from time to time, and if nothing else, it can help with a realization that - before our own lives are somewhat well in balance, our best efforts to help another person (or people) will very likely fail, or fall short. This is almost like feeling that by standing you can help the person in the rowboat who is also standing, and whom you are worried is about to fall out or capsize. We are so, so tempted to jump up and grab them, even if only for their own sake. Yet in so doing, we risk losing our balance too, and then our desire to help turns around to bite us in the butt (or flower bud, whichever you prefer)! :rolleyes:

Maybe the realization comes that we are the one(s) who have been standing, panicking, and throwing ourselves off balance! In such a case, I think its humbling, even quite embarrassing, to accept that as quietly and gently as possible, the voice within has been saying, "Sit down (!) - for only thus might you hope to get these oars in the water and row this boat through the peril!"

There are many metaphors here; please forgive me for airing certain personal advice so openly. Sometimes this is the only way it makes sense to me, even if I am speaking to an audience of one. It is only because of my belief that that one is (within, and is also) each one of us, that I feel it might be helpful.

We really, truly are, "all in this boat together." This is my heart's belief, also at times, my mind's greatest hope. And knowing how very, very much I have yet to do, the personal realization is dawning that pulling up other people('s Flower) by the roots - is not only impolite, it is quite unwelcome, even especially unhelpful, or harmful.

And this has everything to do with Respect, and Patience - with oneself, with others, and with our worlds religions and spirituality, slow & gradual as we are to more fully embrace them as the wonderful Gift that they are.

There are so many new, engaging, and positive threads here on Interfaith/CR right now ... and a part of me feels that something unique and wonderful is expressing itself - unfolding, embracing, and including us all. This Presence has been here always, and it will only continue to grow. I know I'm exceedingly fortunate to have been a part of it, and I hope that I may continue to be ... "if the Spirit is willing" (to borrow the words of the Apostle). :)

Thank you, every single one, for that ... and God Bless,


Andrew, thank you for you post. There are some deep thoughts in there, but I must admit they are not so easily realized by me. I'll have to print out your post (If you don't mind) and perhaps use it for further reference. Maybe when I feel more open to recieve? Your metaphors are like parables that need proper disection and time to sink in. Please forgive me for not fully understanding your speach at the moment. It will come to me in time; I'm sure of it!

I think I understand what you said about the flower needing nourishment, Andrew. Then again, I may be completely off base, lol. What you posted about the flower is right inline with what Christ says about his word, only in this case a thought is the flower/seed, (at least in my mind) just as your thoughts in your post is a 'flower'/seed. It deserves the proper respect, just as every view presented in this thread, and in nearly every other thread on these boards; nourishment, and time for it/them to take root must be allowed. Otherwise, we are the ones who do the plucking before its time...

Thank you,

InLove..wonderful insight and reasoning. I don't suppose anyone has told you lately that the universe itself appears to be an "inside-outside" thingy. Telescopes and microscopes indeed my macro-micro friend.

IMHO, we, as the human species, were created to be reflective of that set of realities also... or, better yet as the Hebrew Genesis tells us, in their image. As above...so below.

Have you ever met anyaone who holds no view. To me that almost seems like an impossibility


No, I’m not sure that I have. I think that for me the notion is a worthwhile reference point, rather than an aspirational goal. The more views, the stronger the views, the more I cling to them, the more I’m probably going to grate with the world. So I can only try to bear it in mind whenever possible, the Doctrine of the Unprincipled Backslider. Anyway, can you imagine going out for a drink or a meal with such a person? – trying to get them to decide what they want to order – nightmare! :D

everyone judges, and everyone is judged... sometimes this is useful for us- if we meet a junkie on a dark night and he wants us to come down an alleyway and rescue a sick puppy, our judgement tells us that this guy is a junkie, we dont know him, and we shouldn't go down the alley as there probably isnt a sick puppy who needs saving, but a few of his mates wanting to mug us... if we try to deny ourselves, if we say- ah, I shouldn't think like that, I must be more noble, then dont come crying when they take ur bag and ur phone and ur purse... the world is full of creeps... u do not have to feel bad for labelling them as creeps... better they have that label and we all know what they are, then for anyone to be fooled or abused by them...

the flipside is, of course, when it is not useful to judge, say, we are prejudiced against black ppl, and we meet one in the office, and we allow our prejudice to influence this new relationship, then we are being fools...

when I first got into buddhism, I reached a stage where I was trying to be the archetypal buddhist- all religious folks do this, I think, go through a stage where they try really hard to follow the doctrines of their teachers and their faith group, and as far as I can see it isn't natural, it isn't safe, and it isn't realistic. Do it too long, and u'll be too frightened to open ur mouth, or u'll become neurotic or have some kind of breakdown...

none of us are perfect...

jesus came across a woman who was about to be stoned to death, and he said- let him of u who is without sin cast the first stone... a few ppl said- well, I've never slept with another woman's husband, and he said- maybe- but have u ever looked at them longingly, wished they were urs..? and- way hey- the woman didnt end up getting stoned after all, and they all lived happily ever after...

u cannot condemn a person for something u do or have done, urself... and if u havent done whatever it is ur condemning urself, if u have no experience of it, then ur in no real place to judge whether whatever it is ur judging as acceptable or not, and so u shouldn't do it...

in buddhism, it isn't about jugdement, but faulty judgement... if u know a certain brand of footwear, although expensive, is badly made and falls apart after a few weeks, u would be a fool to buy them again... similarly, if u are judging individuals, and u have direct experience of said individuals then where is the erroneous judgement? if ur judgement is accurate, then so, what's the problem?

u see, we try not to judge, but then use terms such as- erroneous backslider... mmm...

concepts like- good, bad, etc, are all truisms, conventional realities, subjective, and flawed... to see things as they are, that's the general idea... not to hold to things which are not true, and neither to hold to the things which are true... its not easy... but hey, it's amusing...
The difference between judging and discerning is placing a value on that which is percieved. Your "Junkie" might be placing you in a bad position, it is best to decline and move away. but if you tell yourself he is evil or worthless because he is a junkie that would be a judgment.

The mirror says, everytime you see a trait in someone you dislike it is because you have that trait in you and you dislike it. That those we bring into our realm are reflections of ourselves (ourcellves).

So when I dislike someone because I haved judged them as *thinks* undesirable scally wag! That I wouldn't wish to mingle with or whatever it is because I am an undesirable scally wag????
So when I dislike someone because I haved judged them as *thinks* undesirable scally wag! That I wouldn't wish to mingle with or whatever it is because I am an undesirable scally wag????
Almost, it is because you have an undesirable scallywag trait in you that you dislike as well.

Many might attest you picked quite the appropriate analogy.

Funny that you post this as I am discussing the mirro on another thread.
Those are my principles!... and if you dont like them...well I have others.

Groucho Marx

I reserve the right to be a hippocrit.

I detest in others what I see in myself.

And...as someone used here for their signature:

Before you criticise a man, first walk a mile in his shoes. Then if he gets angry he will be a mile away, and you'l have his shoes.