We must grow towards a place of less judgement. This is the natural and inevitable result of of spiritual maturing… and perhaps one of the reasons why those less mature might think those farther along the journey are morally relative or “losing their faith.” A “slippery slope” they call it. I shake my head at the face-palm madness of the nostalgic-type, religious-type, fundamentalist-type idea that we have to hunker down even farther into our bunker of what is “right and good,” sticking to our guns of right or wrong, in or out, better or worse.
To hold more tightly to our framework is to uphold increased judgement. It is smaller picture and it is retreat into smaller mind and heart. As we welcome all of Life into our Being, our Being is welcomed into Life. The same could be said of our hearts, our minds, our souls, or our spirits. Whatever word you choose, the reality is the same. The eyes with which we look out upon the world are the eyes that will look back upon us. How we receive others is how they will receive us . It’s why Jesus said, “Do not judge, or you yourself will be judged.” His words also: “Knock and the door will be opened to you.” In other words, you are going to find what you are looking for.
The bondage that occurs with increased judgement (and pre-judgement to be certain) is all around us. Shame towards our beautiful and precious selves, bitterness, stone-walled denial of the reality in front of our very noses, entitlement, vicious competition, the need to perform, progress, and protect. There is not freedom in this and it is a wonder that so many of our culture’s biggest advocates for this type of bondage are found in religious circles. Bondage sculpted as freedom (for we are nothing, we are separated from God, and only OUR beliefs will give you the freedom you are seeking) is one of the most mind-bending confusing hooks of lower-level spiritual development. Ironically, or maybe not so ironically, much of this same bondage is offered to us from our government, media, and western culture. It’s a trap and many write it off as the “rat race.”
Spiritual or psychological maturing is always towards a bigger mind, a more expansive heart, a worldview where “everything belongs.” All peoples, all of nature, all of ourselves. We must see the bigger picture, recognizing that our current moral high ground and restrictive dualism is a flash in the pan, dust in the wind. That tree across the field is 200 years older than you and will see your grandchildren die. Those stones have been there since before your people were even using language.
There are many ways to grow and to release our dualistic judgement of the world around us, but most of them include leaning into ALL of Life, each changing season all the way unto death. There must be, at some point, a recognition that we can’t know everything and we can’t know the whole story while at the same time recognizing that the story we are given is far from the whole story. Each path towards maturity will include some way of finding silence and settledness while including all of ourselves – our breaths, our bodies, our shadows, our limits, our aging, and our dying. Be skeptical of anything that does include these things. Pursue freedom for all things. Look upon all of nature and surely each and every human being with eyes of pure adoration and love. Use words of affirmation and belonging to counter the spells that so many believe about themselves and the world. Healing, not judgement, is the way.