Harmony or Judgment; You Choose
By Art Ramsay, PhD

 We are confronted every day, sometimes every moment, with a choice about how we perceive people or events. Of course, all we ever have to view anything is our perception, but what, exactly, is perception? The on-line dictionary had this meaning: the act or faculty of apprehending by means of the senses or of the mind; cognition; understanding. While Wikipedia has this: the process of attaining awareness or understanding of the environment by organizing and interpreting sensory information

 The main thing to get from the above is the words 'cognition', 'understanding', and 'interpreting'. While the senses are used, meaning more than one way of seeing something, they all send data to your brain. It is the brain and its prior programming that is the real decision maker about what you sense. Therefore, your beliefs are the foundation that drives your perception.

 Now, since we have gotten the perception meaning out of the way, I will continue with the topic of this article. No one views a particular event, situation, person, or thing the same way, due to our perception of it (I will refer to these items as 'it' to shorten the discussion). Your brain needs to make a judgment about what is being viewed. What drives this judgment? You guessed it: your beliefs.

 When the brain makes a judgment, you must choose how to perceive it. There are only two choices: either you like it or you do not. In some cases, there may be an in-between choice. If you like it, you will be harmonious, to some degree, with it. If you do not like it, you will judge it. Here, I do not mean you make a judgment about it, I mean you are judging it in some way. There is a difference.

 It is interesting that when we like something, we may not know in the moment, why we like it. But when we do not like something, we usually immediately know why. There are many meanings for the word 'judge' or' judgment' used here, so I want to be clear about what I mean by the words for this article.

 So far, I have used the word 'judgment' when referring to how your brain interprets something, or how you perceive it. I used the word 'judging' to have a particular meaning; here, in a negative way. An example of judgment might be 'that color is dark red'. An example of judging would be, 'that person is ugly'. Get the difference? Granted, I used the word 'judgment' for the article, but it is meant in the same negative way as above.

 Judging is something we all do; it is one of our brain's functions. But what happens, due to our prior programming through our beliefs, is that judgment goes beyond mere interpretation. Instead, your conscious mind sorts through your beliefs and comes to a conclusion. A choice is made and you respond from that choice. Did you choose something harmonious, or did you push it away through judging?

 Most of the ways we respond or view anything is chosen by our unconscious mind. When this happens, we tend to go into judging. The only way to override, or bypass, judging is to clear the way for new thoughts and beliefs to be implanted over the old. Or, like a computer, to overwrite the old program with a new, updated one.

 How can we live in harmony with our surroundings verses judging them? There are two basic ways to change anything having to do with beliefs and our subconscious minds.

  • Repetition
  • Will power

 Repetition involves creating a new belief or way of doing what we want to change, and habitually use it. We developed the belief or mode of living through habit. In order to overwrite the belief we have to develop a new method or belief and repeatedly use it in our daily lives.

 Will power requires an awareness of what is not working, and then overriding the old belief or habit every time it surfaces. This method takes diligence and a strong will to see it through. Here, you choose harmony instead of judging, and through shear will make that come about.

 I recently sat in the back row of the spiritual Center I attend and allowed my mind free will about my surroundings. I judged almost everyone sitting in front of me in some way. It was a brutal lesson in what happens when our beliefs are allowed to run nonstop. The event also showed me the beliefs that I have still not released.

 Try this: monitor your thoughts, especially when it comes to judging something. Do it while you are driving or in a crowd of people. Notice when you judge someone in a negative way, because it is a belief surfacing. You might want to make a note of these happenings over a week's time. Also, catch yourself complaining, because a complaint is expressed judging.

 We all want to live in harmony with our surroundings. It brings peace and serenity to our minds and bodies. Why then do we continue to cause stress in our minds and bodies through complaining and judging? We need to make a choice: either we live in harmony with our environment, or we continue our self-imposed stress filled life.

 Just know that even if you do not feel as though your life is stressful, it is rare to find a person that is stress free. Stress can be very subtle and hidden, but it is there. Stress is not always a harmful response in your body, an athlete needs it, but most of the time it is. Look for telltale signs of stress such as:

  • not being able to sleep properly
  • Poor concentration and increased irritability
  • Drinking excess caffeine or alcohol, and/or smoking more
  • An inability to make decisions, and feeling increasingly frustrated
  • Always feeling that something needs to be done, and that you cannot simply sit and relax

 The above is only a few; there are hundreds. Clean up your judging and strive for harmony, and you will live a peaceful, loving, and happy life.


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