I’m driving to my local farm stall earlier this week to buy the organic yoghurt that I love so much and I’m listening to an advert on the radio and the announcer has this lilting, singsong voice in the ad, much like one hears at an airport when flights are being broadcast.
I’ve always had a major judgement around that tone of voice.
I think I learned this from my mother who was very particular about how she spoke. She grew up in the Free State and went to elocution lessons as a child and so for most of her life she spoke like the Queen.
We used to jokingly call her Buckingham Palace.
What’s interesting is that despite the joke, I developed prejudice, a judgement around certain ways of speaking.
So driving off to my yoghurt purchase, I notice the judgement come up for the thousandth time around this singsong voice and what I also noticed was that I was absolutely sure that I was right about it.
I had this iron-clad belief that this resentment of this person and this radio station, was correct, untouchable, incontrovertible.
I was God.
The all knowing.
The deliverer of truth.
The righteous one.
Take one of the judgements you have about another person.
Perhaps you are judgemental of nose rings or youngsters with purple hair or people who are well educated or people who are not very articulate all those who are too intellectual, or Jews are Arabs or black people or rap music or rudeness…?
Whatever it is just notice how you are absolutely certain that your judgement is correct.
Having No Prejudice
Some years ago a friend told me about a Holocaust Museum in Houston Texas.
Apparently there are two doors at the entrance.
One has a sign above it which says Enter here if you have no prejudice and the other has a sign above it which says Enter here if you are prejudiced. If you try the first door you discover that it is locked.
A beautiful comment on human nature.
Regarding the rather topical issue of racism, I think that the fact that we are racist is obviously problematic but what is many times more problematic is the belief that we believe our racist opinions to be right!
Our prejudices are very difficult to dislodge, but if we believe them to be true, there is little hope.
The problem is that my observation of myself and others is that we are addicted to the self-righteous feelings and beliefs evoked by the ‘rightness’ of our prejudices.
Do You Want To Dump Your Prejudices?
And so my question is, do you want to dump your prejudices?
I ask this because, my observation is that most people have little interest in dumping their prejudices. It just feels too good to hold onto them.
The sense of self-righteous superiority is just so pleasurable.
Do we want to dump that!?
If you’re uncertain, a good way to establish more certainty is to notice how you feel when a prejudice arises in you.
For most people there is pleasure and pain. The pleasure is the self-righteousness – we love feeling superior – and the pain is the contracted tightness which I have noticed I feel in the pit of my stomach when I’m making a judgement.
If our true nature is love and love is expansive and light and open then when we are judging someone else, we are contracted and dark and closed.
Ask yourself if you want to continue to live your life contracted and dark and closed. Really feel what that’s like.
Feel the hundreds of times you’ve done that and how you have wanted to keep doing it and how you’ve got support from others to keep doing it. We are endlessly searching for someone to agree with our judgments.
Have you noticed that?
You share an opinion and you watch carefully for the reaction. If there is agreement then the two, or more of you, dance off into the conversation loving the mutual agreement of condemnation of the judged.
If the person disagrees with you, you either fight them or change the subject.
Can you feel the incredibly strong desire to keep doing this judging of others?
Notice if there is an energy that wants to let go of that desire. Don’t push it, just feel into it.
This doesn’t work if you push, if you try too hard.
If it is starting to work, you are seeing through the pleasure you get from your self-righteous judgments. You are discovering that beneath it is acceptance of all things. A Stillness that honours all that is.
Slow And Subtle
This work is slow, delicate, subtle.
You can’t rush it.
The truth that is love seems to come slowly. It cannot be pushed, or jammed down your throat, even if you are doing the ‘jamming.’
Can you begin to feel the truth that is beyond the conditioned beliefs, the fearful prejudices that hold you locked in pain and superiority?
Can you begin, just begin, to abandon superiority, the pleasure of being better than another?
As I did this process with the ‘sing-song-radio-guy’ I noticed that the belief on which the prejudice was based, had little substance.
It was in fact a lie that I had chosen to believe as a child. I was taught that there is a good way to speak and a bad way to speak and that ‘sing-song’ was bad.
I simply noticed the indigestion caused by the lie and slowly allowed it to dissolve in truth. (Of course judging ourselves is also based on a bunch of lies – but perhaps a discussion for another time.)
If You’re Struggling
If you’re struggling to do this, it probably means that your wanting to believe you are right or your wanting more pleasure and less pain, is overwhelming you. You then need to let go of the wanting.
Use whatever method has worked for you in the past. If you’ve never done this, then notice what wanting feels like and exaggerate it. Really intesify it and then just let go. Go back and forth between holding on and letting go…holding on and letting go and you will get the feel of it. I call this reciprocal switching.
Returning to how we ingest lies as children.
Can a child be blamed for believing what the all-powerful adults are telling her?
Children have a rather undeveloped cerebral cortex and almost no experience of life and so they are blank slates upon which childish, but powerful adults write their scripts of judgement and superiority.
That’s simply the way it is.
Do you want to begin to examine and dissolve the lies you have believed to be true, that chain you to this prison of righteous condemnation?
If you would like to have a one on one consultation to work on any issues raised in this blog, please mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org