Why is it good and necessary to be judgmental – 10 May 11

Self-confidence

In a recent comment to one of my diary posts, a person told me I was being judgmental in many of my diary posts. Maybe this was supposed to make me feel as though I had done something wrong and maybe that person wanted me to change my way of writing. I however do not feel at all that there is anything bad if I write in my blog about what I believe is right or wrong. Another question: when you say that I am judgmental, are you not judging me in turn?

I know that in the ‘esoteric scene’ and among many spiritual people, it is seen as a virtue not to judge anybody or anything. People would feel insulted if someone said them they were judgmental. Let me explain you why I believe that we should judge and that it is good if we judge.

The very first point is that you are human and have been born with the ability to make a difference between right and wrong. You are not an animal, only directed by your instincts. You can use your senses, see, hear, feel and then decide for yourself. Is it right or is it wrong? Should you do it or not? You have the possibility to think about it and to listen to your feelings. So why not use it? If God, or whatever power created this earth and humans on this earth, gave you this possibility to think about right or wrong, why should you not use it?

Another point is that there would be no development if nobody ever judged. You would always accept everything as it is. You could never see that something is bad and could be improved. People could also never change. If you see that someone is corrupt, if someone cheats, if someone simply does something very wrong, and nobody judged about it, they would never stop doing wrong. We need to judge.

Additionally if you made it your habit not to judge anything and anybody, I think you would get psychological problems as you would not be able to make independent decisions on your own and would never know which way to go. You actually judge always in your daily life. You cannot even avoid it. When you go into a supermarket, you judge which product you want to buy. When you hear that a woman was raped in the night in town, you will judge and say it is wrong. If a child is abused, you think it is wrong. It could have been your own daughter or son, so of course you judge about this.
In the consequence it is necessary to write about it, too. It is necessary to spread the message so that other people can also think about the topic concerned. I don’t say that they need to agree with me but it is good if they get the impulse to think about something that is not going well or give their support to something that is really great.

Another question is why people are reading my blog or any blog at all. It is interesting to read the writer’s opinion on different topics. When is such an opinion interesting? Surely not, if the person just looks around, tries not to think about what is going on in the surrounding and tells that everything is okay, not good and not bad. If I only wrote such diary entries, I would soon be the only one to read them. It is simply boring and has no conclusion which makes it only a waste of time – both reading and writing in this way. People want to know who you are and where you are standing. If you say it clearly, they can think about it themselves, reflect on some new point of view which was brought to their attention and then either agree with you or not.

Judging in this way does not mean condemning everybody’s little actions in your every day’s life. It also does not mean denying and refusing anything that is new or different. You should never judge before having seen or experienced something.

Real judgment, which I am talking about here, is when you go deeper, analyze, make an experience and in consideration of all those factors present a conclusion. There are some things where it is easy, such as saying that murdering someone or stealing an old lady’s purse is wrong. There are other things where you need to consider more and make your conclusion more with feeling. In any way however, you have a right and often also the duty to have an opinion.

Finally I want to add that the sentence ‘You should not judge’ is often used by masters and gurus to keep their disciples and followers from questioning what they are doing. You should not judge the master’s action. It is obvious what they want: nobody should look behind the curtains and maybe uncover some not-so-nice secrets. Sometimes it just shows that they are no holy God-men as they want their followers to believe. And so they tell them not to judge and best, not to think. The guru is always right and what he does is always good. Just don’t think about it.

This is why I say that judging is good and necessary. Use your general knowledge, your mind, your intelligence and also your feelings. You can ask experts, research on the internet and find out more if needed. Get an opinion and don’t be afraid of others criticizing it. Maybe this fear prevents people from judging, too. Have self-confidence and say what you think is right and what is wrong in your eyes.

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  1. Armin

    Very good said Swamiji.I totaly agree with it.
    Not to judge would mean ignoring the world around.

    Love

    Armin

  2. Ashvini

    Hello Swami ji, Great article once again. I look at Vivekananda when confronted by “Do not ask” mentality. He challenged everything. I really do not understand why people keep quite even in their heart they know something is wrong.

    As for judging, I have met people who say everyone is right. Of course everyone is right then why have any debate at all. If someone is lazy, he is right in his own way. If someone spreads hatred, he is right in his own way too. There is no need for intellectual debate then. We should convert ourselves to animals and start catching prey.
    Thanks for your post

  3. Swami Balendu

    Thank you dear Ashvini for approving and your Love. Surely this kind of support gives me more inspiration and courage to speak clear about what we feel is right or wrong in my heart. Please do it often. Thank you for your Love and friendship

  4. Ashok Walia

    I really appreciate you writing this. You could have written that I am the one who was suggesting that you were being judgmental and I would not take offence to that! Why am I saying you are being judgmental is cause you are trying to judge and say this is wrong or that is the way it should be or that is not the way it should be. You are questioning an individual 19s spirituality and their tryst with God. You or I we cannot and should never judge that. If someone does something right or wrong they will bear the results. Let God do his job. He does not need us to do his job. As you are judging an individual 19s motives it sure seems that you have taken the onus of the judge and the jury upon yourself. People who profess to have reached spiritual heights or want to teach others will never look for the perceived wrong in another human being. They will still search for that eternal goodness that lies within everyone and let God judge what is right or wrong. What one sees, hears or feels is always not indicative of what the truth is. It is what you perceive that is the key and that is why people who are realized and sorted out will never ever point out fingers to anyone else as perception can be false. I am not a realized soul and therefore I am judgmental and actually you are the same and that is why you are judgmental too. Why I read your blog is because I try to pick up some of the good stuff you write and I filter out all the negative criticism. Everyone has something good to share. And I am a learning student who questions with intent to learn. I am not a questioning student who just wants to question to prove his point. With love and light.

  5. Swami Balendu

    Thank you for your comment. This is your perception, thinking that I judge the action of an individual. I actually don’t do this, I always write about the system and about the mass. Even if I did criticize an individual, what is wrong is wrong and I will say it as it is. The action of an individual can be wrong, for example the actions of a terrorist. In my opinion you should be honest, clear and direct with your feelings and that includes expressing them. I don’t agree with your point of view.Anyway, if you like something in my diary, take that, I will be happy if it helps you in any way.

  6. Deniz

    Judgement in this context just means moral discernment and moral discrimination. Hopefully every person exercises moral discernment in their everyday life, or else they’re just not exercising one of the God or nature given faculties that make the human species unique. The notion that we should not judge is a cliche circulating in the new age world now, and is based in Jesus’ statement “Judge not, let ye be judged.” But in my view this just means that if one makes moral judgements about others, one should be willing to subject oneself to the same standards of judgement. Jesus would never mean that we should give up our capacities for moral discernment! All the greatest philosophy and scriptures are full of moral discernments! The new age notion that people should surrender their faculties of moral discernment is a “slave ideology” that plays into the hands of power elites who wish to maintain bad moral status quos. If people never judge or make discernments, that helps the people in power because it means their boats will never be rocked or challenged and their bad moral status quos will be maintained. The notion that we should surrender moral discernment is the laziest possible moral approach to life, and shows a willingness to let one’s higher faculties of mind turn to unthinking mush. The most morally developed people in my view fully exercise their best human capacities for moral discernment constantly in their everyday life. Moral discernment and discrimination is evidence of a highly developed soul.

  7. Swami Balendu

    Dear Deniz,Thank you again for your wonderful comment and for enlightening me about the statement of Jesus. It’s great to read you always. Love

  8. Swami Balendu

    Thank you Armin for your Love and support.

  9. Deniz

    Sorry for my typo mistake. I try to proofread carefully, but sometimes there are mistakes anyway. The passage from Matthew 7:1 is often rendered as “Judge not, lest ye be judjed.” (not “let” ye be judged. Here’s the full passage from the New King James version: 1 Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, Let me remove the speck from your eye; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
    6 Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

  10. Emily

    You make a good point, Swami. It is natural and healthy for the human mind to discern between right and wrong, good and bad. We need that ability in order to live!
    However, I think it is always valuable to watch the mind and ego for the ways in which we judge. It is good to question your own judgments: why do I feel that way? Am I afraid of seeing something in myself? Am I judging out of anger or fear? But often times there are very good reasons for making judgements and there is nothing wrong with that! As long as we allow people the love and acceptance to be who they are, our judgements shouldn’t affect them and their confidence.

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