We just completed S.E.L.F (System for Embodied Living and Freedom)‘s first spring offering, Week without Judgment (WWJ). Though a week without judgment is in the end as impossible as a week without thinking, the challenge was the exploration and the experience was rich!
In psychosynthesis we become familiar early on with the judging, haranguing, voice of the inner critic or judge subpersonality. Bringing awareness to this critical judging part of us was the first step in my WWJ challenge because familiarity with this part’s tendencies, triggers, ‘voice’, and perspective is an important step in relinquishing its control over our thoughts, feelings, and behavior.
In the four step path I presented over the week, the first step is: awareness, consciousness of our lack of presence as Eckhart Tolle teaches. When we are caught up or identified with thinking and judging, we cannot be present to now. If we seek to become more fully present in our day to day lives, we must learn to bring the light of awareness to the thinking, judging critical voice within us; as we do this we realize this judge/critic is driven by fear.
Judgment is quite simply fear. In the aim of keeping my article short, I will not discuss the ego or small self’s, use of judgment in its defense against fear. Suffice it to say its tactics are imaginative, crafty and downright nasty and attacking. As A Course in Miracles explains in its mind training program with extensive text and 365 lessons workbook, “Judgment and love are opposites. From one come all the sorrows of the world. But from the other comes the peace of God Himself.” (ACIM workbook lesson 352).
A personal in-depth exploration of life can be triggered by this statement, and as part of our practice we arrive at the second step of my four step path, disidentification. Assagioli taught whatever we identify with has power over us; whatever we dis-identify from, allows us reclaim personal power and make a new choice. Simply put this asks us to understand that with awareness and ‘will’, we are no longer at the mercy of our judging, critical mind, directed against others or ourselves. This is easier said than done, and experiencing this difficulty was one of my objectives in launching the WWJ challenge. To look at our incessant, harsh and critical judging and attack of situations, people and ourselves without judging ourselves for doing it, requires constant hourly, moment to moment awareness, will, and compassion. These first two steps in the 4 point path are a life-time practice, and no easy accomplishment!
In the process of bringing light to our use and purpose around judgment, we learn to use feelings as barometer or compass for keeping us on the path. When we feel angry, righteous, jealous or hateful we know we have lost the light and our ability to be present. In the chapter on The Illusions of the Ego, the Course asks us to “watch your mind carefully for any beliefs that hinder (the ability) to shine your ego away, releasing the strength of God into everything you think and do. Judge how well you have done this by your own feelings, because this is the one right use of judgment”. The entire aim of the Course is to remind us we have a mind and a choice to listen to the Voice for God or Spirit, or the loud selfish demands of ego. This echoes Assagioli’s teachings in psychosynthesis to learn to develop will to the degree we can focus attention at a loftier level and be guided by Higher Self, Spirit, or Source.
Our realization and desire brings us to step 3 in the 4 step path: empowered choice. Only when we realize there is indeed a Higher Self or Source of wisdom and love to guide us, and that we have free will and the ability to choose the voice for fear or the voice for love to guide our decisions and choices in life, can we arrive at empowered, conscious choice. Without consciousness we are blindly driven by ego beliefs in scarcity, injustice, guilt, fear, and attack, based on an erroneous use of judgment.
Well….it was an eye opening week! If you couldn’t join us, there’s no time like the present. Start your own exploration of judgment this spring. Get to know and befriend Mara, as the Buddhist’s call this critical, judging mind construct. And, join us in taking a step further and deeper in my upcoming month-long Freedom and Forgiveness exploration, starting June 29th. This exploration picks up at my fourth point. If we want to feel free in life and light to soar the loftier realms of experiences of joy, love, fulfillment and true happiness, we must free ourselves from judgment and the unfinished business of our past. That is all about release and forgiveness, and if you feel you’ve done forgiveness work, this exploration will explore forgiveness with a new take, not a traditional teaching. Join us June 29th for a liberating month to find out what I mean.
Visit http://www.abigaildesoto.com/current-offeringsjump-in/ to register, or for more info. on the month-long Forgiveness and Freedom workshop.