Judgment: The Mind's Disease

posted Jul 16, 2012, 6:56 AM by Interfaith WS

    Charlotte came to my workshop on "Human Relationships and the Dynamics of Spirituality." She told us that she was in her mid-forties, and that it was only in the last year that she seemed to age, and her hair had turned prematurely gray. Her daughter, she said, was her problem.

"For five years, I have meditated, but now my daughter has robbed me of inner peace. I want the best for her, but she goes for the worst. I was paying for her education, but she dropped out of college to buy a new car, the worst thing she could have done. Now her future will suffer. Recently, she started going out with someone who is her inferior. Only bad can come from that. AII this turmoil has affected my health and my meditation. Is there something I can do to change her, to make her see the light, so that I can get back my peace?"

Darshani. Yes. You can help yourself. Right understanding is your highest priority. To want to help others is natural, especially your children. But once they come of age, the most you can do for them is to point the way. You can tell them what you would do under the same circumstances and tell them the possible outcome of their choices. Then we need to leave the rest to God, to trust and let go. Eastern spirituality teaches that God is absolute Truth, nameless and formless existence, and that the same Truth has taken the form of the entire universe and everything in it. When we try to run his show, we get hurt, and so do others.

To set ourselves up as constant judges of what is good and bad about people and things and events simply means that the Force behind the helm is still invisible to us. This tale from the East puts it clearly.

Once there was a poor Indian villager who owned nothing but a white horse. Richer neighbors came to his hut one day and said, "You are so poor! Why not sell your horse?" "No," he said. "I don't want to." The next day his only horse ran away. "How unfortunate you are!" cried the neighbors. "Your only possession of value is gone. How unfortunate!" The wise man said, "l don't know whether I am unfortunate. All I know is that my only horse ran away."

The next day, the horse came galloping back leading a pack of twenty-one wild horses. Neighbors flocked to his door. "How fortunate you are!" they exclaimed. “You own twenty-two horses. Oh, how fortunate!" ''I don't know whether I am fortunate," said the villager. "All I know is that I now have twenty-two horses. ''

Next day, the villager's only son got on one of the wild horses. The horse galloped away and threw the boy with a thud. His ribs were broken and villagers brought him back to the hut totally incapacitated. Again, the neighbors visited. "Oh, how unfortunate!" they exclaimed. "Your only son is totally incapacitated. " "I don't know whether I am unfortunate," said the villager. "All I know is that my only son is incapacitated. ''

Next day, an army captain knocked on every door in the village. "We're at war," he declared. "Every man between the ages of sixteen and sixty is conscripted.” The only man who did not go off to war was the villager's son.

The redundancy of judgment is the point of the story. Not only is it a waste of time; it is harmful.

Learn to relax. Then learn to meditate properly to deepen your inner contact with God. Surrender is born of that contact and inner peace is born of surrender. You may profit from reading and meditating on The Way by Seng-ts'an, third Zen patriarch: "The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised. Make the smallest distinction . . . and heaven and earth are set apart. If you wish to see the truth, then hold no opinions for or against anything. To set up what you like against what you dislike is the disease of the mind."

If you work towards the goal as Seng-ts'an describes it, not only will your life change, but so will everybody around you.

Somebody once said that body and soul are God’s gift to humankind, and mind is society's disease.