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Judgments About Judgment

by Kevin B. Burk, author of The Relationship Handbook: How to Understand and Improve Every Relationship in Your Life.

I’ve noticed that many of us who embrace the power of positive thinking have very strong feelings about judgment. Judgment is bad. Judgment is wrong. Judgment should be avoided at all costs. The irony is that we are in judgment about judgment.

Why is judgment so powerful? Because judgment is one of the most essential ways that we can meet our Safety Needs. Judgments allow us to make the choices that will protect us and keep us safe. Judgment is how we know when it’s safe to cross the street, how we know not to eat green meat or brown vegetables, and that it’s probably not a good idea to invest in ocean-front property in Kansas. Each day, we make thousands of judgments that support our health, safety, happiness, and general well being. Since this is the case, how can we judge judgment to be bad?

Once again, the challenge with judgment comes from the ego. The ego believes that its job is to keep us safe from what it perceives to be a hostile, lonely and dangerous universe. In fact, this is not the ego’s job. The ego’s job is more or less to help us remember where we left our car keys. The universe is hostile, lonely and dangerous to the ego, because the ego can be destroyed. We, on the other hand, are not our egos; we are eternal, multi-dimensional beings who are currently having a human experience. This human experience becomes increasingly challenging when we forget the truth of who we are and believe that we are our egos.

The ego gets very excited about any tool it finds that can help it to keep us safe. Unfortunately, the ego doesn’t always use these tools in skillful ways. When we exercise judgment, we protect ourselves and this helps us to feel legitimately safe. The ego, however, can often take this too far. Instead of exercising judgment, we end up being in judgment.

While exercising judgment keeps us safe, being in judgment makes us feel less safe. When we are in judgment about something, we buy into the illusion that we are separate from that person, thing, experience or quality. In fact, being in judgment about something specifically denies and distances that thing from us. When we are in judgment about something, we push it away from us. The truth, however, is that we are all part of All That Is and there is no separation. The more we experience this truth, the safer we feel. The more we are in judgment and experience the illusion that we are separate, the less safe we feel.

We are often unaware of the fact that we are in judgment. Often, our judgment comes from our point of view. We spend most of our lives buying into the illusions of our day-to-day life that our perceptions are based on the small picture rather than the big one.

Consider, for example, our relationship to beauty. Beauty is eternal. It is one of the fundamental qualities of All That Is. Beauty is, in fact, part of the essential nature of the Universe. But how often do we experience Beauty on its own terms? (This, by the way, is what Keats meant when he wrote “Beauty is truth, truth beauty.” He was experiencing divine beauty.)

Rather than seeing beauty everywhere, most of us experience beauty as a judgment. The filter of our conditioning, perceptions, expectations and self-judgment causes us to evaluate the surface appearance, and prevents us from experiencing the truth that is Beauty.

The bigger the concept, the more powerful our judgment, and the more difficult it is for us to accept that what we experience as truth may merely be a point of view. We are immersed in such immense concepts as “good and evil” and “right and wrong” and yet we can rarely grasp that there is no such thing as absolute good or absolute evil; there is no absolute right or absolute wrong.

Just because a thing is true for us, does not mean it is a Universal Truth. The fundamental nature of the Universe is Good; however, the universe contains all things, and all things include suffering, loss, and pain. These experiences must therefore be Good. Of course, we are rarely able to accept them as Good, especially when we’re in the middle of them. We experience loss, suffering and pain, and we almost automatically step into judgment about these experiences. Unpleasant experiences trigger our egos and make us feel unsafe, and our egos step in and try to protect us by passing judgment on these experiences. Unfortunately, when we pass judgment on these experiences, we increase our sense of separation, and feel less safe.

If we want to experience true safety, true security and true happiness, we must learn how to identify and release our judgments, wherever we find them.

It should come as no surprise to any of my readers that my political and social views are extremely liberal. I believe in a world that works for everyone, and support the greatest amount of freedom and dignity for each and every individual on the planet. Needless to say, I don’t agree with or support anything about the current Presidential administration in the United States.

Right after 9/11, I spent quite a lot of time feeling angry and frightened. Initially, I was frightened of what could happen to my country from the outside. As the dust began to settle, I became frightened of what was happening to my country from the inside. I could not watch the news, and I certainly could not look at or listen to President Bush without getting angry and frustrated, and without experiencing tremendous and powerful judgment.

Just the thought of this administration and what was occurring in the world was enough to raise my blood pressure and drain my personal Safety account. I realized that I needed to take a few steps back and try to see the larger picture.

Most people are aware that something is going on in the world. We live in interesting times. In fact, we are preparing for the largest, most dynamic shift in human consciousness in history. Collectively, our species is waking up and becoming aware of the truth of who we are. In ten years, we will not recognize the world. Technology, science, politics, economics, and spirituality are converging, creating unprecedented change.

As a teacher, a counselor, and a healer, I have always been very sure of my role in facilitating this change. But as I considered the bigger picture, I realized that individuals like President Bush are also playing a vital role in this process. Change, growth, evolution—these all require conflict. It is only through the tension created by the interaction of opposing forces that we learn, that we are challenged, and that we discover our potential. In order for there to be conflict, someone has to play the role of the villain.

When I consider things from this perspective, I find that I am able to release my judgments about people like George Bush, Sadaam Hussein, Adolf Hitler, and the many others who, throughout history have been willing to play the role of the villain, to be the adversary, to help to create conflict and to raise the collective awareness of the planet. It requires tremendous strength, power, and love (yes, love) to be willing to assume these roles and to bear the burden of humanity’s anger, fear, and hatred. We judge these roles as being unpleasant, even evil. But the truth is that these roles are necessary. It has been said that history needs its butchers as well as its shepherds.

By confronting us with the truth of how much pain we can experience by embracing the lies of fear and separation and ego, these individuals also offer us our greatest gift. They reveal to us that we also have an equal capacity to experience love, freedom, abundance and unity. They help to wake us up, to make us aware of our potential, and remind us that it is our responsibility to choose which world we create.

When I began to embrace this perspective, I found that I no longer experienced judgment about President Bush. He no longer made me feel unsafe, and news about the actions of his administration no longer raise my blood pressure. While I, personally, will still dedicate my life to fighting against everything he stands for, and to helping elect representatives who will create positive and lasting change in the world, I do this without judgment. I can honor and respect President Bush for the role that he is playing in the universal shift in consciousness. I can be grateful to him for the role he has played in the evolution of my own consciousness. And I can know that the outcome of the conflict between he and I will be a world that truly works for everyone.

By releasing my judgments, I once again felt safe, and with my Safety needs met, I could direct my energy and attention to the things that matter most to me.

Kevin B. Burk is the author of The Relationship Handbook: How to Understand and Improve Every Relationship in Your Life. Visit for a FREE Report on creating Amazing Relationships.

©2006 Kevin B. Burk, all rights reserved. If you would like to reprint this article in your publication, web page, or eZine (which you may do for free!), click here for details.


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