Evalution vs. Valuation

In a recent meeting of small group leaders, Jeremy offered a tremendously insightful point. We tend, from ego, to approach others from the perspective of evaluation, aka judgement. What God wants however is value-ation. Restated, God wants us to seek, to discover, the value in the other, to find that part (and we all have it) that is valuable. As Emanuel Swedenborg phrased it – that is the good in others we are to seek and then serve.

Fr. Richard Rohr offers this additional reflection driving the point home …
By teaching “Do not judge” (Matthew 7:1), the great teachers are saying that you cannot start seeing or understanding anything if you start with “no.” You have to start with a “yes” of basic acceptance, which means not too quickly labeling, analyzing, or categorizing things as in or out, good or bad, up or down. You have to leave the field open, a field in which God and grace can move. Ego leads with “no” whereas soul leads with “yes.”

The ego seems to strengthen itself by constriction, by being against things; and it feels loss or fear when it opens up. “No” always comes easier than “yes,” and a deep, conscious “yes” is the work of freedom and grace. So the soul lives by expansion instead of constriction. Spiritual teachers want you to live by positive action, an open field, and studied understanding, and not by resistance, knee-jerk reactions, or defensiveness, and so they always say something like “Do not judge,” as judging is merely a control mechanism.

Words and thoughts are invariably dualistic, but pure experience is always non-dualistic. You cannot really experience reality with the judgmental mind, because you are dividing the moment before you give yourself to it. The judgmental mind prevents you from being present to the full moment by trying to “divide and conquer.” Instead, you end up dividing yourself and being conquered.

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