Our judgements become our filters – Chapter Six

Our judgements become our filters – Chapter Six

Image 1Our judgements become filters of perception.

When we make a judgement we are saying this is good for me or bad for me – we are polarising our opinion. One example of this could be the weather. On a cold, wet and windy day someone might say they hate this type of weather. It’s just weather, not good or bad, it just is. The judgement is a want for something different, but you can’t control the weather. How many people give away their happiness by wanting to control something like the weather – something that is beyond their control? The judgement that this is bad for us creates the want. We might have a preference for something different but a judgement that cold, wet rainy days are bad will create a lot of unhappy days in our lives. Nature has a way of bringing these days into our lives when we want them least – as often happens when I plan to play golf!

Many judgements are made to the effect that something is good or bad – black or white. We no longer see all shades of grey. We create a filter of perception and the mind starts looking for everything that agrees with the filter and disregards the rest. We can see that filter at work for some people with regard to the weather. And isn’t it interesting that we often call it bad weather?

If we withhold judgement we open up our perception to see all shades of grey. We are more likely to see reality than our limited, filtered view of it. Many judgements become beliefs and what we believe we will see.

Image 1The more judgemental we are the more we close down other possibilities.

A friend came to see me after losing his job. His boss didn’t like him and had been looking for some excuse to get rid of him, and had finally found one. My friend said that this was the worst thing that had happened to him. I said it could be the best. He looked at me and said, ‘I have just been sacked; how will that look on my future job applications? There is nothing good about this!’ That was his judgement about his predicament. A month later he called to tell me he had a new job with more money and a great workplace environment and fantastic people to work with. Getting sacked was the best thing that happened to him. He had been putting up with a job he didn’t enjoy, with a boss who had continually used disconnecting habits on him. His want for security had kept him there and the wants for approval, control and security were the cause of the judgement he made.

Our judgements create filters of perception just as our beliefs create filters of perception. The more judgemental we are the more we close down other possibilities.

I made some great big judgements about being short when I was a teenager. I wanted to be six foot tall (183cm) but I was only five foot five and a quarter inches (165.7cm) – and wasn’t that quarter inch (6mm) important? If anyone asked my height, I would tag that quarter inch (6mm) onto the end because it made me more than five foot five. When platform soles shoes became fashionable in my teenage years I was overjoyed, I gained 3 inches (75mm) in a day! My joy soon diminished as every other teenager grew a similar three inches. I did however tower over my parents for the first time and that gave me some satisfaction.

I remember standing at a bar in a nightclub and turning around to see Phil Lynott from the band Thin Lizzy standing beside me. He must have stood over six feet six inches (198cm) tall with his six inch (15cm) platform soles. He stood there with this massive afro hair style and with legs as thin as my arms. I stood in awe. Tall and thin was in and Twiggy was the name of the super model favoured at the time because she was so thin. I just wasn’t cool! I realised that genetically I could not compete with this level of coolness. I was in fact not born to be that cool.

I suppose we can be glad people like Van Morrison and Roy Orbison didn’t make such judgements about themselves. Great talents would have been lost. We can see how judgements and beliefs can turn a good looking and very talented young man like Michael Jackson into something quite bizarre looking. All this was due to his judgements about his skin colour and looks.

I look at the tightened faces of some of the celebrities, resembling more a sculptured cat from a Pharaoh’s tomb than the person they once were. And I see the artificial smile to hide the empty cat like eyes. They look like caricatures of their former selves. I see the conditioned ego afraid to grow old. This is the want for approval, control and security in action. You can’t control your body as it ages. You can have an influence by keeping the body healthy but you have no real control. Botox and plastic surgery are just for cosmetic enhancement. This type of beauty is only skin deep although it might temporarily improve self-esteem for some if their self-esteem is so bad. True beauty really shines through from within.

There are also the judgments that plague many men about the size of their manhood. (My wife tells me I am a big enough dick without further enhancement!). Is the ego ever satisfied with what we have? More is more and less is less. Was I average, less than average, more than average? More would be good, less would be bad and the ruler won’t lie. If you are waiting for an answer to that one you won’t get it – I still have an ego! The last people I heard of who didn’t have an ego were Christ and Buddha. It doesn’t mean we can’t be happy even with an ego. I don’t bother about that question now. What is just is, and that’s okay with me.
Image 1Withdraw judgement to see possibilities.

A client came to see me for anger management and a drinking problem. He came on a Tuesday and we discussed the want for control as the anger issue. The following Tuesday he came back and I asked him how he had gone. He wasn’t drinking and was using the technique that I had taught him to release negative emotions. He had been feeling calmer and less agitated until Friday when he got his bank statement. When he saw that there wasn’t much in the bank account he said he got angry, went out and bought a stack of beer, got drunk on Friday and Saturday but on Sunday was too hung over to get out of bed. He said he hadn’t had a drink since, was back to using the releasing technique and was back on track. I asked him if there had been any more money in the bank on Thursday and he said no. ‘But you were happy on Thursday so what changed on Friday?’ I asked.

‘I got the bank statement,’ he said.

That was just a piece of paper with numbers; it didn’t change anything. What changed was his judgement about his financial situation. When it wasn’t in his awareness he had no judgement about it. It didn’t affect him. When he judged it as bad, it created a want. He could just as easily have looked at it and thought about all the money he was saving by not drinking. That would have turned the want into an expectation. When it was not in his awareness it didn’t exist for him. We will discuss more about this later.

It’s interesting to note that while thinking about his lack of money, he wasted more on beer. What he was holding in his mind he was bringing into his world.

It’s interesting to note that while thinking about his lack of money, he wasted more on beer. What he was holding in his mind he was bringing into his world.