I have been asked the question of what the difference is between judgment and discernment. What a question! I’m kind of looking forward to hearing the answer to this one. I think you are all pretty clear about judgment, although you may still continue to practice it. Judgment no longer gets many positive reviews in the spiritual press. Jesus said, “Judge not lest ye be judged” and “First take the beam out of your own eye and then you will see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother’s eye”. Judgment, in truth, is merely projection. You judge in others what you judge in yourself, but don’t want to face. Sometimes you do go directly to the source and judge yourself. All judgment comes from guilt and fear. It comes from the insane belief buried deep in your mind – which you don’t want to look at or acknowledge – where you believe that you separated from God, deciding that you could do a better job than God. You then created this universe and these bodies to disappear into, to hide from God – to then live with your judgment, self-judgment, and fear of retribution. These are not new subjects; we have talked about this before. It is crucially important to notice where you are holding judgment, whether of another or yourself, and to bring that to Spirit, asking to be able to let it go. It is always helpful to remember that whatever we judge is not real and never happened. This is a dream. You did not separate from God. God loves you unconditionally. You and everyone else are totally innocent. Ask Spirit to remind you of this and to help lift the load off of you.
But we didn’t come here today only to talk about judgment. We have another key term here, and that is discernment. Let us see if we can discern the difference between the two words. One who was arguing in favor of the importance of discernment might say that it is valuable to be able to look at a situation without judgment, simply noticing what is going on. Perhaps what is noticed is that somebody is doing something that is likely to bring them pain and suffering. Your discerning perception shows that they are choosing this rather than the joy and peace of God. You don’t say that the person is bad or wrong for doing as they are doing, for that would be judgment. You simply notice. What might be the value of that? You could support them to make a different choice, helping them to avoid pain and suffering, perhaps, instead finding the forgiveness of God. Well, that sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Let’s think about this a little bit. If you are discerning that another is not making the best choice in a situation, it would imply that you know what the best choice would be. Hmmm….. That kind of makes you like God, doesn’t it? As the man used to say, “If you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?” Isn’t trying to replace God what got you into this mess to begin with? If you know everything about what’s good for everyone else, does that mean you have absolutely no inner suffering or fear of your own, that you are absolutely at peace and at one with God at every moment? Hmmmm….. If you are still in a body, probably not.
It’s a slippery slope. It’s one of the ego’s favorite games. “I’m not judging you; I’m just noticing what you are doing. I’m very sensitive, you know. I just pick things up.” One of the first lessons in A Course in Miracles says there is no order of difficulty in miracles. Nothing is harder than anything else. There is no order of difference in judgments. No matter how the ego tries to sugarcoat it, each and every discernment is a mild judgment. To think that another is not acting or speaking in the manner that best supports them is a judgment. It’s hidden in what feels like love and caring and concern, but it is no less a judgment, still a projection, in truth an act of hate and fear. It is not your job to save anyone else. Your job is to save yourself and even that you cannot do alone. You must humble yourself before Spirit and ask that your guilt be removed and that you see through the all-loving eyes of God. The Will of God may be for you to say something to another person. This comes from your surrender to following your inner guidance, to your commitment to hear and follow the voice of Spirit. It has nothing to do with your discernment. It is a matter of obedience, not of wisdom. If you feel doubt about whether the voice you hear is Spirit or ego, then hold back. That is called discretion. The first and loudest voice is usually ego. Listen deeply. Breathe. See what is there. Err on the side of discretion. When it becomes clear, when there is no question, when you feel the peace of God – go ahead and act. If you are truly speaking from Spirit you will have no attachment to how your words are received, or to what the listener might think of you. If one of those qualifiers is missing, it is probably still time for discretion. Discernment is the wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Let’s take this a step further. You all have opinions. You have ideas about how things should be in the world. Perhaps you have political opinions. You think certain types of laws or leaders are better for people and for the world. You have ideas about how people should treat each other. You have thoughts about what is the best food or diet, what music is better, how one should dance. You have thousands of opinions about how things should be, about what is good and beautiful. Those are all judgments, each and every one of them. If you truly want to wake up, you will give away all of your opinions which are expressed in terms of what is good or what is right. In truth those are insane ideas. It is not of value toward your awakening to evaluate what you see (project) in the world. The important question is whether you are viewing what you see through ego’s eyes or Spirit’s eyes. Any attempt to try to make the world a better place through your opinions and actions serves to demonstrate your belief in the reality of the world and temporarily cements your place here. This, again, is your ego inspired try to replace God through this attempt to create heaven on earth. And, as my favorite question goes, how’s that working for you so far? Every opinion you have is a burden. It weighs you down and keeps you from being free. You have no need for opinions, discernments, or judgments. They don’t serve you in any way. Let them go.
I am not suggesting that you never make a decision. I am not saying that you should not have a preference for one food over another when you are hungry. When you are hungry, eat. If you want to hear a certain kind of music, listen to it. This is not a suggestion to not follow your desires while you are in a body. Just don’t get hung up in the rightness or wrongness of your desire. And certainly, don’t think that because something feels good for you that it should be good for everybody. There is no right diet, right way to breathe, or right sleep cycle. Eating, sleeping, and breathing are neither good nor bad. They are simply necessary while you are in a body, so just do it and get on with what you are here for, which is forgiveness and waking up. I don’t want to be accused of beating a dead horse, but right/wrong is duality which is of the ego and the world. The Oneness of God is loving acceptance. The ego’s opinions can feel so good in the moment, but beneath that is the need for defense, for separation, for making yourself seem righteous in God’s eyes – wanting to throw others to the wolves so that you can be saved. “God take the meat-eaters. Spare me. I don’t even eat eggs.” Opinions are about separation. They are from the ego. They are what keep you from realizing your Divine innocence, perfection, and Oneness with God. Be a happy idiot. When you think you know something, it is time to give that thought to Spirit. Let go of believing that you know and allow Spirit to show you the way home. You have tried to do this on your own for countless lifetimes. You have had seemingly endless opportunities in this incarnation. It is never too late. Now is the time. Let go and let Spirit guide you.
One last thought, and this may go without saying but I will say it nonetheless. Judgments, discernments, and opinions take you out of the now. There can be no judgment without duality. There have to be things to choose between; there have to be past experiences; there needs to be future opportunities. Without duality and time there can be no judgment. There are no two ways about it. When you are in the Divine now, in the holy moment, there can be no discernment, no choice. You look at your brother and see the Son of God. You see your mirror there with absolute love and acceptance. You see only Divinity. If any judgment is there you are not in the now, you are off somewhere else, somewhere unreal. Instead you are comparing, analyzing, and thinking. Your Divine mind does not think, it knows. In knowing there are no alternatives; there is simply truth; there is isness. If you can think about something, it is an indication that you don’t know. Thinking will never bring you to knowingness. You’ll never figure it out. In the holy moment at One with Spirit the truth lies. It is revealed: there is no effort on your part. This is a zone without judgment, without guilt. You are simply an innocent, free, and unconditionally loved Child of God with nothing to do and nowhere to go.