Judgments on the Individual
The Course makes this interesting statement on Judgment:
Judgment always involves rejection. It never emphasizes only the positive aspects of what is judged, whether in you or in others. T-3.VI.2
Now we often make positive judgments as well as negative. For instance, you may judge Tom Cruise to be a good actor or a friend to be intelligent. Such judgments do not involve rejection.
I think the quote is telling us of the type of judgment to avoid and that is those which see the negative in others.
Negative judgments fall into two categories.
First are those which do not specify any individual but are made about people as a whole.
The Course itself does this quite often. For instance, it says: “you do not understand what anything means.” T-15.V.1
The “you” here is not any specific individual but applies to generic readers of the Course. Because this message is addressed to all, then individuals do not feel attacked.
On the other hand, if you are talking to an individual and state this to him, he is likely to feel attacked and see that you are putting yourself in a superior position and him in the inferior.
I think that it is therefore quite important that students differentiate between generic judgments, which are quite harmless, and individual ones which are seen as attacks.
Here is an example:
Generic: “Many ACIM students do not understand some of the important teachings.”
Most students would agree with this and not take offense.
Specific: “Well, Jim, you are out of your depth in understanding this teaching.”
This is specific to Jim and he may not feel he is out of his depth at all and take offense.
Here is another example:
Generic: “The ego exerts tremendous control and students struggle to follow the Holy Spirit instead.”
Again, most students would have no problem hearing this for it seems to be true statement.
Specific: “Well, Jim, what you believe on this can only come from the ego.
Here again, applying the negative judgment to an individual can be infuriating, making him feel attacked.
In our posting to discussion groups there is no way to completely avoid judgments, but we can avoid specific judgments to individuals that make them feel attacked. Instead, we can focus on statements that are made for all readers to evaluate. These are usually harmless and sometimes actually helpful.
If someone tells me he has found some meaning from the Course that most have missed, then I would like to know what it is, but if he tells me that my ego prevents me from understanding what he understands then my reaction would be somewhat different.
The problem is that many who make these individualized attack judgments do not see themselves as judging at all, but merely stating facts. Perhaps it would be a great benefit to the whole if they were made aware of their effect on other students.
Many students seem to cling to ACIM as fundamentalists do the Bible in that if it isn’t spelled out clearly in the Course then it either isn’t true or should be ignored.
In truth there are many things which are true and affects us in this world that are not clearly taught in the Course. Cause and effect in this world is one of them.
The reason is that the Course sees this world as only an effect with no causes involved. Now from an eternal perspective that the Course deals with this is true, but from the aspect of consciousness in the worlds of time and space it is not. Within the structure of this world there is indeed cause and effect. If I pinch you (cause) it will hurt (effect).
The ultimate cause and effect in our universe of form is reincarnation, yet of this the Course says: “Reincarnation cannot, then, be true in any real sense.”
Yet despite saying this, reincarnation is acknowledged by the Course and the scribe Helen Schucman had some past lives revealed to her that affected her present one.
So, is the person who assaults innocent children responsible for his crime?
From the viewpoint of eternity nothing is happening here (as students often quote) but the Course says it took millions of years to arrive at the separation we have now and it may take even longer to end it. Millions of years involving many lives is no drop in the bucket, and we definitely want to make the time spent here as productive and enjoyable as possible. After all who wants to suffer for even one lifetime?
Concerning responsibility, the Course says:
“You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not for what you think. The truth is that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice.” T-2.VI.2
“you are responsible for what you believe.” T-6.in.1
If we are responsible for what we think and believe we are obviously responsible for what we do as a result.
Concerning doing harm to little children Jesus in the Bible said this:
“Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and be cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.” Luke 17:1-2
The person who does great harm to others is in a negative state of mind that cannot be corrected with some simple declarations, but the correction will take many lifetimes of learning. After death the person will go through his life review with a higher state of consciousness and become his own judge. Here he will see that to learn his lesions he must reincarnate into numerous difficult circumstances before he can have the consciousness to free himself from the illusion.
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