One of the greatest obstacles to spiritual progress is our human tendency to ‘know what we know’ – that is, to base present choices on attitudes and opinions that we may have held in the past, or perhaps that have been handed down to us from others.
“Judge not,” Jesus suggests (strongly), “that you be not judged.” And the spiritual guide A Course in Miracles tells us repeatedly that judging is the single activity that wearies us, ages us, and becomes our greatest obstacle to spiritual peace.
By ‘judging’ I think Jesus means applying old attitudes to a new situation, without pausing to ask if the attitudes are appropriate to the situation – or appropriate to our present level of spiritual understanding. This is not the same as the spiritual power of discernment (sometimes inaccurately called judgment) that allows us to choose wisely, lovingly and efficiently between two or more possible choices.
The ego mind loves to call upon our past thoughts to label things ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Divine Mind within us prefers to discern which choice in any situation is more efficient than others in moving us along our spiritual path. It’s essential to remember that if we find ourselves judging, we can be sure we are giving power to ego mind.
The judgments that carry the most negative weight are those we direct at ourselves. ‘I know how I am,’ we say with a sigh – usually before accepting as true a negative belief about ourselves. We fail to recognize – we’re always the last to recognize – that we have grown. We are not the same person we were in the past – even in the very recent past.
So no, you don’t know how you are. You usually don’t know yourself at all – you haven’t kept up with your own spiritual growth. We must stop knowing what we know about ourselves if we are to fully appreciate our progress on this wonderful spiritual journey.
Today, I free myself from ‘knowing what I know’ – about myself, about others, about anything. I AM open to new awareness, new possibilities, new levels of love and appreciation as I move through this day, expressing in all things as the spiritual Being I truly am.
APPRECIATING JOYCE WELLER
All of us in Spirit Expressing share a sense of loss in the passing of Joyce Weller, a loving and supportive member of our spiritual community since its inception. We know that her loving Spirit is continuing on its journey, strengthened by the many expressions of loving kindness she leaves behind. We enfold Wayne and all her family and friends in love and support, as we give thanks for the loving Spirit that was with us as Joyce.
The memorial service for Joyce Weller will be held Saturday, February 7, at 2:00 pm at the West Avon Congregational Church, 280 Country Club Road in Avon, CT.