Positive and Negative Judgment

Judgement, The Second Key of Knowledge

Positive and Negative Judgment

2021 Gathering, Part Ten

JJ: Okay, next we’re going to discuss is the second key, and if you read the book you’ll know that the keyword for this is judgment. And we’re going to read what caused the Buddha to come up with this second key? Who’s a good reader? Start at the top and read the whole thing. This tells a synopsis of how the Buddha achieved enlightenment.

Rebecca reading from The Lost Key of the Buddha:

As Siddhartha Gautama, who became the Buddha, sat under the Bodhi tree near starvation, seeking enlightenment, he heard some singing; the words he heard are said to be something like this:

If you tune the strings of a harp too tight, the sound will not be right. If the strings are too slack as they play, a beautiful sound will not be made. Neither too tight nor too limp shall be the strings, If the player is to be worthy of kings. The tension must be tuned by the ear to fill the soul of all who hear.

When he heard these words, a light turned on in his mind. He realized that the first part of his life, where he dwelt in luxury, was likened unto a string too loose. The second part of his life, where he sought nirvana through starvation and austerity, was as a string too tight. He now saw a Middle Way that was just right.

Unfortunately, that vision was lost and replaced in history by a watered-down idea that was already common knowledge and turns on no light. In this age it is assumed that the Middle Way is moderation. This assumption is not correct. In this volume, the true Middle Way is again revealed. The Middle Way will turn on the light, and the principle of enlightenment will again have meaning.

JJ: So the Buddha was raised in great luxury. And then he left that luxury in search of why there is suffering in the world, and he starved himself to near death. He was under the Bodhi tree eating just two grains of rice a day, so it is said, and starving to death. And these people came by singing a song that the strings must be tuned just right – not too tight, not too loose to be able to play the right melodies.

That turned on a light in the Buddha’s head about the middle way. But many people in the Buddhist religion teach that the middle way is like we have this extreme and that extreme, and the middle way is right in the middle, or some teaching to that effect. That’s not where the middle way is.

We’re going to explore the second key. We took quite a bit of time on the first one. And we’ll have to make an abridgment on all of them to get through them here. But we’ll see what we can do. We’ll make sure we get to number twelve by Sunday night for sure.

The second one. What is the key word to the second one?

Various members: Judgment.

JJ: Judgment. Well isn’t that a bad thing, to judge, to judge people?

Adam: No.

Asaph: It can be bad if you’re not putting yourself in their shoes.

JJ: Yeah, right. It can be bad. But you know the problem with the general public as a whole is they’re very black and white. They like things in black and white. Right or wrong. Good or bad.

So when some people say that judgment is bad, they think well, all judgment is bad then. That judgment is really a bad thing. And that’s what a lot of people have in their minds. They get that from the scripture that Jesus gave. Can anyone quote us approximately what Jesus gave in the scripture?

Audience: “Judge not, lest you be judged.”

JJ: “Judge not, lest you be judged.” What else?

Phil: “With what judgment you judge, you shall be judged.”

JJ: Right. Phil’s got it right. “With what judgment you judge, you shall be judged.”

Now is that saying all judgment is evil, or is that saying what happens when you do judge? What is the answer to that question? What did you say?

Asaph: He said, “judge righteously.”

JJ: Right. So in other words, He’s not saying that judgment is evil. They picked out two words. “Judge not.” It starts out “Judge not.”

And so, a lot of people take just those two words out of context, and they think, “well, judgment is bad. We shouldn’t judge anything.” And it’s a negative thing to judge people, or judge anything, just because of those two words. They don’t read the rest of the words. The rest of the words are the key. “Judge not, lest ye be judged. For with that judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged.”

So what’s Jesus saying there? Who wants to tell me?

Susan: Be wise.

Adam: Karma.

JJ: Karma. Yeah, He’s talking about karma. How’s he explaining how karma works out?

Ed: Balance.

JJ: Yes, balance.

RuLeena: If you want other people to be compassionate towards you, you need to be compassionate towards them.

JJ:  Yeah. Any other comments? What’s He really saying about judgment? Joshua?

Joshua:  To judge righteously.

JJ: Right. To judge righteously why?

Joshua: Because you would want to be judged righteously, ultimately.

JJ: Right. In other words, He’s saying, “with what judgment ye judge, ye will be judged.” In other words, He’s not saying, do not judge. He’s saying be careful how you judge. Because if you judge other people un-righteously, you will be judged un-righteously. If you judge other people correctly and righteously, you will be judged equivalently.

In other words, He’s giving the message of karma. He’s saying cause and effect is the rule here. If you create a cause, you will have a similar effect produced. So if you judge somebody as evil, but they’re not evil, then the time will come when people judge you to be evil, when you’re not evil.

If you judge people to be good, when they are truly good, then you will be judged good when you are truly good. So He’s telling you that when you judge other people, you are going to be judged as you judge. Does that not make sense? That’s makes a lot more sense than just the black and white “judge not.” So then people say we shouldn’t judge anything.

During a typical day we make all kinds of judgments. For instance, as soon as you get out of bed, or the alarm goes off, you have to make a judgment whether you’re going to sleep another five minutes or get up right then. And then after you do get up, you take a shower. You have to make a judgment as to how hot the water is, and how long you’re going to stay in the shower. Then you comb your hair, and you make a judgment about how your hair is going to look. Then when you drive to work, you have to make judgments about how you’re going to steer the car, and what speed you’re going to go.

We make all kinds of judgments during the day. So when people tell you to judge not, it’s got to be the stupidest understanding in the history of humanity – that you can’t judge anything. Because we make hundreds of judgments every day. You sit down to dinner, you make a judgment about which foods you’re going to eat, how much food you’re going to eat, how much liquid you’re going to drink, and which liquids you’re going to drink.

You make all kinds of judgments. Judgments about talking to your spouse at dinner, or your partner, or whoever you eat dinner with. About what you’re going to say. Judgments about, “will what I say, hurt their feelings. Well, maybe I better not say this. It might hurt their feelings so I will approach this subject very delicately.

So you make judgments about conversations with your spouse, your friends. You make judgments about everything. So what is this idea about “judge not?” What does it mean? What should we actually judge not? Because there are hundreds of things every day in our lives that require a judgment. And we can’t “judge not” or we can’t live.

So what is it that we’re supposed to “judge not?” Let’s get some feedback on this. What should we not judge?

Susan: The worth of other souls.

JJ: That’s a good criterion. We don’t judge things that determine the worth of other souls. Joshua?

Joshua: Things that we don’t have adequate information to make judgment on.

JJ: Okay. Joshua says things that we don’t have adequate information to make judgments on. That’s good.

Anything else?

Adam: Intentions of others.


Right. Judgments about the intentions of others. We may not understand what others are thinking. And if we judge their thoughts, when we don’t really know their thoughts, that’s not a good thing to do. If we’re not sure what somebody is thinking, we should ask them.

Okay anything else?

Curtis: Choices that other people make. You might make a choice and I might judge it. But I don’t know why you made that choice.

JJ: Okay, when people make choices . . . judging their choices, we don’t know what their thinking at that time.

Anything else?

Michael: I think there’s a difference between judgments that are based on an emotional level, and those based on a mental level.

JJ: Yeah. There are judgments on different levels. There are emotional and mental and spiritual.

Anything else?

Rebecca: I was thinking that when they said ‘judgment’ like that, they were saying more don’t ‘condemn.’  You know, dumping negative energy on someone, is how I thought that was translated in the Greek.

JJ: I think Rebecca hit on a core thing that there are positive and negative judgments. There are positive judgments where you just assess the situation, and you make a judgment to the best of your ability with sincerity. Like, when you’re driving a car, you make the best judgments as to everything you can do to avoid an accident on the way to work, or whatever. Okay, those are positive types of judgments.

But let’s say your kid doesn’t perform the way you want, and let’s say you tell the kid, “You’re never going to amount to anything.” What kind of judgment is that?

Shawn: Very negative.

JJ: That’s very, very negative, especially with a young child. So, this is what Jesus was warning us about. He was warning us to not make judgments incorrectly and to be careful about our judgments. Because if we make a negative judgment like we were just talking about, then when you are reborn, and you’re a little kid, you’ll have a dad who will tell you that you won’t amount to anything. And you will be emotionally handicapped for the rest of your life.

In other words, beware of how you judge. You have to be careful. He didn’t say, “don’t judge” anything. But be careful how you judge, because, however you judge, it will come back, and you will be judged in a similar way.

Rebecca: So pass forward what you want to get back.

JJ: Right. So if you have a child and you judge him positively . . . let’s say he’s not performing well in a certain area. Instead of saying, “you’re never going to amount to anything,” let’s say you judge him this way: “Well, you did this, but you know there are people who are champions who started out worse than you. And they performed well, and they excelled. And you can do the same thing.”

Now if you present that type of judgment to the kid, do you think that would produce any negative karma for yourself?

No. You’d wind up in your next life having a parent that encourages you to succeed, even though you’re bungling everything and not doing very good, you have a parent that cheers you on. And because of the faith of the parent, you ultimately succeed.

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