Unnatural versus out of the ordinary—judgment versus comparison.
Please discuss. How does this play out in life?
I’ll start us out. We spend much of our lives evaluating things, people, and situations. This is bigger than that; this tastes sour while that tastes sweet; this is more expensive than that. What started out as a protective mechanism for our species–is this item safe or edible; is that person behaving as possible friend or foe—has become one of our greatest downfalls. Our society has catered to and cultivated our ability to discriminate and we may even think of it as a virtue, as being cultured. Some of the results have been prejudice, keeping up with the Joneses, and consumerism. We mistrust, look down on, or treat others badly on the basis of comparison, and we’re also often dissatisfied with what we have, seeking or lusting after something or someone else instead. Comparison can make us mean and miserable.
Today’s message reminds me that noting differences and variations is useful only if it helps keep me safe—the water is shallower here and deeper there—or allows me to enjoy my life more—I enjoy walking in daylight more than in the dark; I’ll try to walk more during the day. If I veer into judgment—look at him, his behavior is despicable/unnatural/ungodly/wrong—I voluntarily immerse myself in separation consciousness, us versus them. Such a detour won’t make me happy and my unhappiness may lead me to compare further, in attempt to make myself feel better. It can become a vicious cycle. For my own peace of mind and joy, I need to avoid the pattern of judgment and comparison. The Beatles: “Let it be.”
How about you? How do you avoid comparing and judging?