I’ve seen many people criticize and condemn vegetarians. Almost always the criticism seems to be “They think they’re better than me” or “They just want to be special.” And, for some, this may be true; but, what is gained in criticizing that? What is it within the individual that WANTS to criticize others? Is it not their own desire to think that THEY are better than others? Is it not their own desire to feel special? Ego projects itself, sees itself in others and hates what it sees.
To judge others really and truly is to judge ourselves. The attitude of being judgmental will inevitably turn on the individual who judges.
How can there be peace and harmony in the world while we judge others? How could we have intimacy, love, peace and harmony in our relationships with others while we judge, criticize and condemn them? How can there be peace and harmony within our own minds while we judge, criticize and condemn ourselves?
So, how can we look at things a bit differently to be more compassionate, more tolerant, more loving and gentle with ourselves and others?
It is the truth of our physical experience that we all have a body, our bodies and our personalities are indeed unique. There is no one who thinks, feels or perceives exactly as I do or as you do. The appearance and functioning of our bodies is unique.
And while I believe that on the deepest level there is no real difference between any of us, we are all made of Love and Light and inseparable from the whole, at that deepest level we ARE the whole and that the purity and perfection of the whole is who and what we REALLY are, that deepest level is not the only level, though it IS the creative level and the foundation; but, knowing this does not change that within the physical and within the personality is uniqueness and variation.
When one treasures and prizes their uniqueness, their specialness, it can block awareness of those deeper levels and the Unconditional Love that exists within us all; and yet, at the same time, there is nothing wrong with seeing and acknowledging the uniqueness within us.
Often people WANT to be treated special. They prize their specialness and often specialness is a thing which people use to set themselves apart, thinking that their specialness, their unique strengths places them above others. Of course, in this thinking there is the other side of specialness, their special weaknesses often leave them feeling inferior to others as well.
In this attitude, the individual denies themselves true openness to love. And can neither give nor receive love fully, their perspective being mired in the smallness of ego and their sense of separation from the whole.
Regardless, if someone prizes their specialness, their uniqueness, is it really right to criticize them, condemn them and judge them? Does the desire to have ones’ uniqueness treated with love, compassion and respect somehow make them worthy of derision and scorn? Is not the inherent cost of holding back the love and light within them enough? Is not the pain of living with the suffering they create for themselves by holding themselves apart more than punishment enough? Is not the denial of peace and the loneliness that comes from feeling separate and apart from others pain enough to ultimately teach them the folly of that choice?
And, since we all have SOME unique concerns, by criticizing the CONCEPT of specialness, by criticizing the DESIRE to be treated with love, compassion, concern, gentleness and respect, are we not criticizing and condemning ourselves as well?
Is there any among us who likes having their needs and concerns ignored?
Whether our needs or concerns are OBJECTIVELY real is kinda irrelevant, don’t you think? If I want peace and quiet so that I can study, does it matter if objectively there are other things I could be doing that matter as well? So often, people tend to use the idea of objective truth as a way to dissuade people from doing what has importance to them, dismissing their needs and concerns as if what they WANT is somehow more objective, more real, more important.
Our unique perspectives and concerns DO matter. They matter to us and ignoring and dismissing our own concerns or the concerns of others is, at least generally, not to express love and compassion. For there to be balance and harmony in our lives, we must honor and respect the concerns of others and ourselves. Whether those concerns are bodily needs or emotional needs, whether they are objectively raised by the ego or not. To judge and dismiss the ego of self or another will pretty much always be perceived by the ego as an attack and will tend to foster resentment and rage.
Now, this does not change the reality that there are some concerns that are more pressing. We need to prioritize. But, if you can come from a place where you are expressing gentleness, genuine compassion and concern, people are more amenable to change and shifting priorities. This is true of other and of ourselves.
If there is an emergency, if for example, someone got hurt, my desire to study may well be less important in the moment. There is nothing wrong with it or me; but, the situation has changed and priorities shift.
This is all about learning not to judge. The desire to play or watch TV may intrude on the desire to study. Neither impulse is good or bad and there is no value in condemning the part of us that would rather play than study. That said, studying often needs to be treated as the more important immediate priority. But, there can be no real balance and harmony within while judging and condemning the entire concept of “childishness” or “laziness” for example. Those who do so will tend to overexert and exhaust themselves. Those who do will tend to burn themselves out. We NEED play time and relaxation time in our lives. ALL of those needs matter.
Balance and harmony are found in loving allowance of self and of others and expressing compassion.
So, yes, even our egos and the egos of others are to be treated with love, compassion and respect. We free ourselves from the judgmentalism of ego, in large part, by not judging ego. We can only tune into love by choosing it, by making loving allowance a habit, a habit we practice each and every moment when we have the opportunity to interact with another human being and when we interact with ourselves.
That which makes me unique, my unique sense of priorities, my unique goals, my thoughts, my feelings are all a part of me. Not the core of me, which is LOVE; but, a part of me nonetheless, and the wholeness, the completeness, the peace of love cannot be known while judging, condemning and attacking a part. To enter into judgment is to choose judgment, at least in that moment, and to keep the habit of judgment alive. To choose judgment is to, at least for a little while, detour out of peace and love.
The mistakes of ego-based thinking are to be forgiven in ourselves and in others if you are to come to know the peace of true forgiveness. To rise above ego, we must forgive ego, in ourselves and in others.
Our value is NOT our uniqueness. Our value is bigger, deeper, grander than the small, unique, separate self we experience in the physical. But, through honoring needs of the individual, we choose love and open ourselves up to love. Don’t let uniqueness get in the way of love by dismissing it as unimportant. And, at the same time, you dismiss it as unimportant by not letting it interfere with the expression of love.
Love matters. How its expressed matters less. The needs of others give us the opportunity to express love; and, in doing so, we remember that we are all connected, we remember the fundamental unity of things. We remember that our uniqueness, our ego, does not really cut us off from others. We remember that we are not apart. We remember that we are not alone and that, in truth, there is NO aloneness, there is NO apartness. There is only the TRUTH that we are connected, whether we remember it or not.
Honor the unique expression of LOVE that is another and remember the LOVE within you that you really are.
Thank you for reading and God Bless,