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Judging Others

December 29, 2007

This is one of Jesus’ most powerful teachings, but is very often misunderstood and made trivial.  I wanted to write an entry on what it means to judge someone, the consequences of judging one another, and the value of this teaching.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 7, we find Jesus teaching not to judge one another.  “Do not judge, or you will be judged.”  This has become a sort of mantra, for Christians, and non-Christians alike.  What I find particularly interesting though is that people are very quick to say you’re judging them (or others), when you’re really not.

You see a person smoking, and you tell them, “You shouldn’t smoke, it’s not good for you.”  Then you hear, “Don’t judge me!”  You see another person failing in relationships, and you tell them, “You should forgive the people that have hurt you.  It’ll only hurt you more if you don’t.”  Then you hear, “Don’t judge me!  You don’t know what I’ve been through!”  You see another person always irritable and mean and you tell them, “You should work on your people skills, and work on being kinder to people.”  They say, “Don’t judge me!  You haven’t had the life I’ve had.  You’d be bitter too if you’d gone through what I’ve gone through.”

The most common usage of “don’t judge me” is when someone tells another something they don’t want to hear, and the “don’t judge me” is an escape.  This is very harmful.  Solomon, when writing Proverbs in the Bible always said, “A wise man will hear and increase learning”, “A man of understanding will attain wise counsel”, “Wisdom is found in those who take advice”, etc.  Wisdom often consists in taking the advice you get from others, oftentimes even when you don’t want to hear it.

I was talking to my good friend Greg the other day on the phone, and we were talking about traits we find in common with every person we see who overall just fail in some area, and never seem to progress.  Their main problem is they never want to change.  A guy who fails miserably in relationships says, “Why don’t women like me?  Well, if they don’t like me, it’s their loss.  I’m not changing.  There’s a woman out there who will love me just how I am.”  Every man I’ve seen who fails with women always has this mindset.  Compare this with the mindset of Mystery, a seduction expert, who is one of the best men in the world when it comes to attracting women, and overall people skills.  Near everyone likes him, not just women.  What does he say?  He says if you approach a group of strangers, friends, whoever, and someone doesn’t like you, YOU’RE THE ONE WHO IS DOING SOMETHING WRONG!  Whooaaa.  I’m going to step back and say that again… Whhhooaaa.  That’s powerful, very powerful.

Mystery has a mindset of complete change.  He’s like a constantly adapting fluid.  He molds and contours to any situation.  He’s always attentive to every social setting – trys to always realize the mood people are in, the environment, and every detail.  He always approaches every conversation with this huge set of factors in mind.  If he does something like act too cheerful when he’s around someone who’s down, HE’S THE ONE IN THE WRONG, BECAUSE HE WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH TO IDENTIFY THE MOOD AND OTHER PSYCHOLGICAL STATES OF WHO HE WAS TALKING TO.  Those less successful with people are just the opposite.  They always blame others when they fail when conversing and interacting.   Mystery’s mindset allows growth, and leads to success.  The “loser”, I’m not changing, blame others, people just don’t realize how good I am, mindset, leads to stagnation and continual failure – no growth at all.

This kind of thing, where people use this, “Don’t judge me” nonsense to get out of changing, lead me to thinking about this issue.  I took a second look at the Bible scriptures to check these particular verses thoroughly.

Matthew, Chapter 7:
1″Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

3″Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

6″Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.”

Take a close look at Verses 3 through 5.  Jesus seems to point the glance of judgment back on yourself.  That’s interesting – that’s just what Mystery does.  Mystery says, “Huh, this person doesn’t like me.  I’m sure there’s nothing wrong with him, it’s me not seeing the failures in myself.  I still haven’t mastered people skills yet, or I could have seen the plank in my own eye, and that I was using the wrong approach in this particular situation.”

Most people’s interpretation of these teachings of Jesus are in direct opposition to what they really teach.  Jesus taught to always die.  Nail yourself to the cross – your bad beliefs, your pride, and everything else that keeps you from success – nail it to the cross, let it die, then rise again, and rise to a higher level of life.  That’s the symbolism of the cross.  Even when it hurts to admit you’re wrong, and that you are the one who fails, you nail that pride to the cross, take the pain of change, and rise to a new level.

Before progressing even futhur though, what does it mean to even “judge” someone anyway?  We keep throwing this word around, but what does it mean?

Well, this word’s meaning has been muddled by lots of people using it as an excuse to do whatever actions they want, and not change.  What it really means, however, comes from judges, like a court system.

During a court trial, a judge is appointed to hear the evidence in a particular situation, and based on this evidence and experiences, he is to form what punishment the accused is to receive for the actions done.  When you are judging someone, you are stepping into this office, and are saying what a person does or does not deserve, based on their actions done.

The person telling you to stop smoking isn’t judging you.  He’s not saying you deserve some punishment.  He simply cares for you, and is telling you a fact, that it is bad on your lungs to smoke, and increases your chances of getting cancer.  The friend telling you to forgive your ex-husband/wife/girfriend is not saying you deserve anything based on what happened.  He or she isn’t saying you deserve the pain you’re going through.  They’re simply trying to help you.  The same applies to the friend giving people skills advice to the irritable person with no friends.

What are real life examples of judging others?

Well, since the true meaning of judging one another is often not known, you hear even Christians consistently judging others, advocating very  judgmental views, but at the same time, not giving good counsel and advice when they should, worrying they’d be “judging” the person.

Take the Republican mindset (this is U.S. politics) – when things like Universal Healthcare are talked about, the question is always asked, “Who’s going to pay for it?”

Most all Christians are strangely Republican, when Republicans stand for everything that is judgemental.  Take a man who has mismanged his money, and hasn’t been responsible at all.  He’s an alcoholic, and spent all of his paychecks on drugs and alcohol.  He partied all his life, and now his body is reaping the effects of bad decisions.  He comes to the hospital half-buzzed on alcohol, because he’s in a lot of pain.  Who’s going to pay for this guy’s healthcare bills?

Not I says the Republican.  He wasn’t responsible in his affairs.  Now let him die.  Why should I take care of someone like this?  He created this mess himself.  He had money.  He should’ve been more responsible, and saved some money, and bought health insurance like the rest of us.

This is a real case of judging.  You’re saying what a person does, or does not deserve, based on actions they’ve done.  You’re saying this person is not worthy of the service of healthcare.

What’s so nasty about this?  It represents a complete lack of faith in the alcoholic.  You don’t believe in him.  You don’t believe he can change, and one day rise above the alcohol and become a valuable citizen again.

When we judge people like this, we put them in a cage.  Instead of viewing the human being as a being of infinite potential – a free will immersed in a body, capable of doing anything they set their mind to – we view them as just what we see right then and there.  We confine them to their past, and we don’t see a future, we only see the present.

Judging others is directly tied in with faith.  Jesus always taught to believe in others, even when nobody else will.  Why else would he say to pray for your enemies, and those who use you as a tool?  This is because he believes they can change.  We all can change, and so can the alcoholic.

Jesus’ whole message is one of, “You are dirt.  I am God, but my ways are higher than your ways.  Though you are dirt, made of water, and earth, and weak and fragile, I will believe in you and make you into something great – I will even conform you into my own image – you will all become “redeemed”! What does it mean to be redeemed?  Eyes have not seen, nor ears heard what I have in store for those who will obey my teachings, and follow my ways!  You cannot even comprehend this state of existence.  Why bother trying to explain it?  That is impossible.  But, if you are to become like me, your actions must become like mine.  You are worthless dirt, yet I will give you everything.  You must do the same.  See those around you?  The poor, the destitute, and the worthless?  The man who has been beaten along the streetside, robbed by thugs, who needs medical aid?  Take care of them all for no reason at all.  Give with no thought of return.  If you give to him for no reason at all, I’ll also give to you for no reason at all.”

Even if you don’t want to believe this literally, it’s still a beautiful message and an example of what we all should do.  It’s pure belief in someone’s ability to change.  It’s taking something weak, and pathetic, and making it into something great.

This is what we all do with children.  Near everyone believes in children, yet there’s no real substantial reason for this.  Children are typically stupid.  It’s not like they’re building spacecraft, or writing Physics proposals telling us the structure of the universe.  Most of them are just stacking blocks, or playing with toy cars.  We say, “Oh!  Think of all he’ll be one day!  He may be a doctor, or a lawyer, or a scientist!  He may cure a disease, or become a ruler of our people and lead us to peace and prosperity!”

But later something happens.  The child gets a little older, and doesn’t get straight As in the school system.  He might even start failing some classes.  He hangs with the wrong crowd, and eventually he or she often becomes what is classified as a “loser”.  Just some burden on society, leeching off Mom and Dad, and not making a life for themselves.

Poor child.  He had such a good life ahead of him, but now look at him!  We start judging who’s valuable, and who’s not valuable.  Who deserves the toys and the good life, and who deserves just to die and rot in the grave.

Jesus’ teachings are more powerful than just feel good morality.  What are the consequences of this entire dynamic of judging one another?  It leads to the impossible problem of valuation.  Everyone becomes “appraised” as to their worth to society, and when it all plays out, it doesn’t work well – in fact, it will always fail.

How can you put a value on infinite potential?  You can’t.  It’s bad basis.  We’re beginning our logic with a flawed premiss.  This is the meaning of “we’re all the same”, “we’re all one.”  We all have infinite potential, we’re humans.  But do you believe that?  Most people do not.

What we all do instead is set cages on this infinite potential.  We tell some people they’re losers, and other people they’re winners, and we try to direct creativity.  We tell the artist who wants to paint pictures that his work isn’t worthwhile.  Painting pictures isn’t worth getting healthcare, a home, and food to eat.  You’ll have to do a “real” job if you want these things.  The writer wanting to get his life going, “We don’t want your books.  Do something ‘real'”  In my case, the philosopher, “Morality and ethics?  Government?  Inner workings of the mind?  Who needs that stuff – do something more valuable!”  That’s when I stare back and wonder, “You really think there’s more important things than how we treat each other, how to love one another, how to interact with one another effectively, and the power that exists within our mind – that very power to create things out of nothing, and make something?  You think me stocking shelves at some super-market, or writing banking software is more valuable than finding these truths?  God help you!”

Judging one another – appraising one another’s actions and putting some value on them (aka – money and payment for actions) – leads only the the wonderful world we all live in today.  For some strange reason, a small handful of people end up with all the money, and everyone else struggles.  No matter how many economic theories they throw at us, or political policies, or new school curriculums we teach – the same story keeps recurring throughout history, over and over and over.

It sounds so good when the poor alcoholic is needing healthcare, and you tell him he’s not worth it.  You say, “I’m not paying for that!”  But then your employer starts to tell you you’re not worth it either.  They reduce your wages, price of goods increase, and they stop paying all or even half of your healthcare costs.  They figure if you’re such a hotshot, why don’t you pay for it yourself.  After all, you’re lucky to even have a job aren’t you.  Then the gas companies also tell us, “It’s all about me”, and raise their prices and make more and more profits.

Somehow, strangely, weird institutions end up with all the money.  Bankers, who do little to nothing, have more money than you can ever imagine.  A small handful of the population ends up with all the money, and everyone else struggles.  It eventually gets so bad that there’s a revolution, the system is set back up square one, then it deterioriates once again back to small handful ruling the many.

I was having a conversation with my friend Dale the other day.  We found it so strange how some people can do so little, yet end up with so much.  We concluded the crafty and the intelligent end up with the money – there’s little to do with justice.  After all, valuation (just another word for justice) is not based on your actual actions, it’s based on PERCEIVED value – and since it all becomes too difficult to keep track of, people make themselves look important through propaganda and manipulation (or even hidden control), and since everyone’s too busy working two jobs to figure out what’s wrong, the reasons behind the struggle are left hidden to a select few who painstakingly research it all out.  They find the reasons, and these reasons are oftentimes so crazy nobody would believe you even if you told them.  And since you can’t communicate these complexities in one or two sentences, it’s really up to each person to individually find these things out for themselves.

I used to tell my Dad, in short blurbs at the dinner table, that the real reason people struggle financially is due to economic manipulation by banks, particularly the Federal Reserve.  He always dismissed me as, “Yeahh, yeahh.  Another conspiracy video him and Greg watched.  Congress watches out for those kinds of things.  Sure there’s struggle, but it’s certainly not what Jason’s saying it is.”  Then he watched a Google video, made by the Mises Insitute, talking about the Federal Reserve, fractional reserve banking, and how it all works.  He came into my room, outraged, “How are they doing this and getting away with it!  Why doesn’t Congress do something?”  He couldn’t believe that intelligent men – many many intelligent economists – have been saying the Federal Reserve is evil for a LONG LONG TIME!

He learned about the Fed’s creation due to J.P. Morgan (banker) and John D. Rockefeller (oil baron), and the other capitalist magnates, and how it was simply a method to expand their empire by exploiting the everyday working man.  I thought, “This is good.  Now 250 million other Americans to go.”

Please please, if you haven’t seen this video already, here’s the link:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-466210540567002553&q=Federal+Reserve&total=2839&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0

If you watch that video, you’ll see how bankers have manipulated our country, and screwed up our money.  The dollar bill represents justice – perceived value.  People believe that if you have that dollar bill, it obviously means you’ve done something worthwhile to attain it, therefore we’ll give you food, healthcare, a big mansion, etc., whereas this other guy, he doesn’t have money, he must not be contributing much to society.  But, money doesn’t always flow to the things that are really valuable.  Bankers print themselves up all kinds of paper money, and loan it out, and very craftily take control of everything.  Living life alongside the Federal Reserve is like playing monopoly against another player who has a printer beside him, printing up as much money as he sees fit, and using this printed up money, same as your earned money.  You can’t win.

Because we have trouble keeping up with one another, we don’t always know who is really valuable, and who isn’t, so we leave that up to money to decide.  If you have money saved up, we say, “Yes, he must have been responsible, and done hard and valuable work to make that money.”  So you exchange goods and services with this person.  Then another struggling person comes along, without money, and you tell him, “Go home.  I want nothing to do with you.”  Unfortunately the one you’re sending home may be a good man, and the one you’re helping a profiteer who made his money exploiting you.

This fact of us not being able to keep up with one another is exploited in all kinds of ways.  The Federal Reserve is just one instance of this.  It really always comes down to the same principle, just employed in different ways.  CEOs have moved all retirement policies into the stock market.  Since all of people’s retirement policies these days is invested in the stock market, this increases the value of the stock.  The shareholder’s stock gets pushed up to really high heights (supply & demand), mainly due to this artificial inflation.  The rich men sell their stock the the public (indirectly – this stock is purchased FOR the public, in their retirment accounts) when it’s at its peak, trading this fake stock paper for your money, and when the stock falls again, they buy it all back, and keep the extra money difference.  Stock is only paper – especially if it’s common, non-voting stock.  They still retain control of their company, which is what really matters.  Certain forms of stock will give them 10 votes to your 1 vote anyways.  They keep the power, and the money.  At the time I’m writing this journal entry, dividends companies pay out are a joke anyways.

As for the really rich, they keep their real money in gold, in order to protect it from this vast manipulation that is the currency the public uses.  The value of paper money flys all over the place if not backed by something more solid – such as a gold standard.

I only went into this kind of stuff because I wanted to show how money represents a horrible attempt to attach justice (valuation) to our actions, and that ultimately it leads to slavery.  Literal economic slavery.  Working two jobs, and not making ends meet.  Not judging others is a core principle that must pervade how we interact, for our own sakes, not just for the gratuity of the poor and destitute.

The ideal societial configuration is like that found in the Bible, in the book of Acts.  In that society, every man shared with one another.  All property was held in common, and there was no sense of ownership.  No money was used in the society.  The only money they had was to interact with outsiders, who used money.  (Acts chapter 4, verse 32)

If money is to be used in a society, it has to be watched over like a hawk, and the public has to have a powerful understanding of all its intricacies.  Right now, people don’t know the first thing about money.  As long as this goes on, they will always struggle.  If you don’t understand how it could be manipulated, and how that money gets its value, and how that all works, people will always exploit you and your lack of understanding in this area.  Even if this is done, however, it’ll always be inferior to loving one another, and sharing with one another.  It’s rooted in that flawed sense of justice.  It’ll work better if you watch over it, and keep the money stable – it won’t be ideal, however.

If people would share, and love one another, manipulation of action by a select few is impossible.  Think if people all started helping one another, for free.  They just ignored money, and just helped each other.  Instead of needing the bank to finance the construction of a house, the neighborhood just comes together and builds homes for whoever needs them.   The construction workers and architects simply design and build these houses, for free, and the farmers grow crops, and share the food they grow, for free.  The software programmers write code, just to help this process all go more smoothly, for free – after all, since you wouldn’t need money, it wouldn’t be a big deal to work for free would it?

Money is a key to manipulation because people will not perform actions without money.  If you control the money, you control people’s actions and destinies.  That’s why the corrupt people in this world are trying to slowly make it to where you have to always go to them for everything.  Want to go to school?  Must come to us, the bankers.  Want a home?  Must come to us, the bankers.  Want a car?  Must come to us, the bankers?  Need to do an electronic money transaction?  Must come to us, the bankers.  Want to start up a business?  Must come to us, the bankers.

I’m sure most people would dismiss me as an idealist.  But what are the consequences?

You can talk about economic policies and put them in place, but we’ve had economic safeguards before.  As long as the power resides in the few, these safeguards are subtly removed one day, and the only people who know things have changed are the small handful of economists out there.  It’s easy to keep a small handful of people quiet (or at least, not heard).

Even democracy doesn’t save us on this issue.  It’s good that people can vote for the world they want, but if serious education doesn’t exist in this area, right from wrong is too hard to discern.  The public can too easily be manipulated.  The news networks run a few propaganda specials, “Why so and so economic change is the way to go”, and there goes all the hard work countless people worked for, or even died for.

You can make a cure for cancer, but if nobody has money to afford it, what good is it?  We can create all kinds of fancy cars, but if we can’t afford the fuel, what good are they?  And what good is all the physics, and other sciences going to do, if we have such a screwed up financial system that is always getting in the way of progress?

A gallon of milk, in our current day and age is easier and easier to produce, yet it gets harder and harder to afford.  A box of Cheerios, goes up in price faster than your paycheck.  Home prices are skyrocketing far beyond comprehension.  30 year mortages will become 50 year, or even 100 year mortgages.  You’ll never own your own.  Your car will be financed for 20 years – you won’t ever be able to own it either.  The idea is you must come to the banks for everything important, and you’ll never pay off the loans.  (no freedom)

College is nice these days, if you can afford it.  We’ll see how many people are going to college if our banker friends decide to cut off their student loans?  You can create all kinds of new science and technology – but what good is it if you die off, and nobody can afford to go to college to learn what you’ve written about?  Bankers are financing student loans not just for profits, but also so they can be in control of what’s taught!  It’s just one step away from them saying, “I’m sorry, we’re not going to finance student loans for these degrees, only these other ones we approve of.”  And soon, society becomes whatever they want it to be.

Morality will always be the chief cornerstone of society.  Without it, nothing can be built. I wrote a journal entry a while back saying, “Knowing the consequences of our actions is the key to morality.”  You’ll find that the consequences of not following the good advice we’ve been given by the past sages only leads to slavery, poverty, and death. Start giving to people with no thought of return.  Start today, right now.

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