Good health depends on a good mind. Not-good health follows from a not-good mind. Since the human experience is a mixed bag, there are places where our minds are good, and there are places where our minds are not good. Simple. Foundation-level. First principles, sometimes we need to go back to them.
Someone once said something to the effect of good trees bear good fruit, and bad trees bear bad fruit, good trees do not bear bad fruit and good fruit does not grow on bad trees.
To the extent a process is solid, the result will be correspondingly solid. To the extent a process is faulty, the result will be faulty in the same measure.
Admitting our faults is a prerequisite to self-refinement. How could it be otherwise? How can change occur absent of awareness?
A foolish mind mistakes the partial for the total. “I’m good, therefore I’m not bad. My living room is in order, therefore my entire house is in order.”
An intelligent mind does not mistake the partial for the total. “I’m good, yeah, but there’s a wretched side to me, too. My living room is in order, but yeah I got some storage baskets that are a hot mess, too.”
Consider the teaching: Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
Things to Think On/Questions for Reflection Sessions
In order to be not-judgy, we must come to terms with where we are judgy.
Judging can be broadly divided into two types: constructive and destructive. One is characterized by impatience, ignorance, “i”-centeredness, and/or perhaps an intent-to-harm; the other is not. One type is helpful; the other type is detrimental. One type has a harmonious tone; the other has a disharmonious tone.
If knowing oneself were easy, we would not suffer. The fact that we suffer means that knowing oneself is not easy. But it is possible to deepen self-awareness daily, incrementally.
About whom and/or what do you think in a destructive, derogatory, judgmental way, right here and now? About whom and/or what have you thought in a destructive, derogatory, judgmental way, whether in minor, middling, or major degree?
Having trouble with the above questions? Just think about how you feel about the other political party. Think about someone who annoyed you, irritated you, pissed you off recently. There you have a good starting point.
Where there is destructive, derogatory judging, there is also anger, agitation, fear, and the like. Where there is anger, agitation, fear, and the like, there is also a signaling in the neuro-endocrine-immune complex that favors inflammation, pain, and suffering. The body mirrors the mind-heart.
Where are you, right here and now, afflicted with inflammation, pain, sickness, and suffering in the body? There you have evidence, perhaps, of destructive, derogatory judging in the mind-heart, whether conscious or unconscious. Recall that each of us has an unconscious that awaits being made conscious.
It is possible to move money, divesting from a losing position and investing in a winning position. Likewise, it is possible for us to divest from a worldview that favors suffering and invest in a nobler alternative, a worldview that favors durable happiness. But it requires a committed decision, and a willingness to relinquish what’s cherished. Again, and again, and again…
Once we have discerned a habit as harmful to self, other, and Life, reminding ourselves of the harm of continuing in it and the benefit of not continuing in it, this can help us to change, to abandon it, to purify attachment to it.
Once we have discerned a habit as beneficial to self, other, and Life, reminding ourselves of the harm of not continuing in it and the benefit of continuing in it, this can help us to keep in it, maintain it, cultivate it.
The mind being prone to undiscerningly running on auto-pilot, who among us is immune from falling into old ways despite new intentions? Fall nine times, stand up ten; we humans are nothing if not learning.
“All suffering comes from ignorance, from lack of wanting to face the truth.” Do you really want to face the truth of how destructively judgmental you are at some levels of being?
Sometimes a position of apparent advantage, security, and strength comes really from a place of weakness, insecurity, and actual disadvantage. Surface is surface, and depth is depth. Sometimes they are the same, and sometimes they are different. One must be willing to explore.
Rome did not fall in a day; deeply entrenched habits are not eradicated with superficial work.