Judgment and/or Discernment

This entry is part 19 of 98 in the series Principles

Principle 22:  Judgment and/or Discernment

Most religions want to keep things very simple. Identify the good guys and bad guys. Once concretely identified then we can slip back into laziness and cease using any power of discernment. The path becomes very simple. What the good guys say to do, we just do no matter what. Then, on the other hand, we automatically reject all that is taught by the bad guys.

If we judge good and evil merely because some authority proclaims it so, we will be lead astray time and time again. It is only when the seeker releases himself from blind trust and uses the key of judgment that he can choose correctly.

Black and white reasoning and decision-making always leads to detours on the path of spiritual evolution.

Here are some examples:

In the Bible, Satan, the ultimate bad guy, tempts Adam and Eve telling them that if they eat of the fruit they “shall be as gods.” Black and white reasoning says that since Satan said this, it must be wrong, evil and misleading. Even though a short time later God said the man is to “become one of us,” and then Jesus said “ye are gods,” fear causes them to put more weight on the negative than the positive, for if they are wrong they could burn in hell for eternity.

This labeling a person, place or thing as good or evil through association rather than using reason and heart to discern good and evil is perhaps the greatest cause of misery on this planet.

Muslim extremists seek to destroy Christians and Jews because they see them as being rejected by their god and associated with Satan. Christian extremists of the past burned heretics and witches at the stake, not because they were doing evil works, but because, in their minds, they were associated with the devil.

Many scientists and innovators were persecuted by the church, not because their works were evil, but because they were going against the established decrees of God.

Many today reject anything taught by the Masons because they believe Lucifer is behind it.

The same goes for Alice A. Bailey, H. P. Blavatsky, the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith, and others.

Militant environmentalists believe that using the resources of the earth is evil and condemn anyone who cuts down a tree.

The disciple must override this knee jerk rejection because of association, look at any teaching for what it is and judge it as it measures up to true principles filtered through the soul.

If one hears a teaching and it is declared that the devil himself originated it, this will mean nothing to the true seeker. He will disregard whether it is said to come from God, man or Satan and measure it against his heart, his reasoning and the Spirit of God within. Then he will accept or reject not based on the outer, but the inner.

The bottom line is this. Every teacher, every book, every movement, every system, every constitution and every organization has truth and error within it. A black-and-white rejection or acceptance will cause the seeker to find some truth, but he will also digest the error as if it is truth. This will confuse his mind for lifetimes to come.

The seeker must assume the vantage point of the observer, examine the various teachings on their own, and make a judgment.

A person using such judgment will not be concerned over stories he cannot prove one way or another such as:

  1. Teachings that the serpent was really a good guy and Jehovah was really the devil.
  2. Judas was really a hero.
  3. Since George Washington was a Mason he was working for Lucifer.
  4. Colgate has a Satanic symbol on its toothpaste, therefore the Corporation is evil.
  5. Everything Bush does is evil because he was a member of Skull and Bones.

It is amazing how many fall into this trap of guilt by association. The funny thing is that most who are in this trap see themselves as open minded and reasonable.

The disciple must escape from this trap and have the courage to make decisions and accept or reject based on objective reason, even if he must stand alone.

All of us must stand alone a number of times before obtaining liberation. It is only after the disciple does indeed make an independent judgment that he begins to realize how alone he is and how few will stand with him during rough waters.

“To find yourself, think for yourself.”
— Socrates (469 BC – 399 BC), “The Apology”

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Copyright  By J J Dewey

Series NavigationPrinciples of Joy and PeaceThe Two Paths

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