Lesson 243 • August-31

Today I will judge nothing that occurs.


Practice Instructions

See complete instructions in separate document. A short summary:

  • Read the commentary paragraph slowly and personally.
  • Pray the prayer, perhaps several times.
  • Morning and evening: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
  • Hourly remembrance: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
  • Frequent reminders: Repeat the idea and then spend a quiet moment in meditation.
  • Response to temptation: Repeat the idea whenever upset, to restore peace.
  • Read the "What Is" section slowly and thoughtfully once during the day.

Practice suggestion: Think of some situation that has been upsetting you, and repeat the following lines:

I do not know what this means,

Because meaning is supplied by context,

And I do not see the whole context for this.

The whole context for this is the whole-totality, infinity.

Yet I see only bits of my perception.

I do not know what this means.

Commentary

If attempting to practice today's lesson does nothing else, it will show me just how constantly my mind is judging. The eventual goal, of course, is to truly relinquish all judgment, and to allow the Holy Spirit to judge everything for us. Letting go of judgment is a key to transcending the ego: "The ego cannot survive without judgment, and is laid aside accordingly" (T-4.II.10:3).

"I will be honest with myself today" (1:1). The Course teaches us that letting go of judgment is simply learning to be honest with ourselves. This lesson is paralleled in the Manual:

It is necessary for the teacher of God to realize, not that he should not judge, but that he cannot. In giving up judgment, he is merely giving up what he did not have. He gives up an illusion; or better, he has an illusion of giving up. He has actually merely become more honest. Recognizing that judgment was always impossible for him, he no longer attempts it. (M-10.2:1-5)

So giving up judgment is simply being honest about the fact that I cannot judge. To judge accurately I would have to know many things that "must remain beyond my present grasp" (1:2). I would have to know "the whole" (1:3) just from what my limited perception is telling me. And I can't do that. So any judgment I make has to be an illusion, no more valid than a wild guess.

Still-just watch yourself doing it! Our minds automatically categorize every person we see. We evaluate their clothes, their grooming, their sexual attractiveness, the appropriateness of their behavior, the way they walk, and on and on. We get up, see the sunshine, and say, "What a nice day!" or we see rain and say, "What miserable weather!" We read a book and tell a friend what a "great book" it is. We take a bite of food and instantly judge it. The ego mind seems to do little else but judge. Just watch yourself.

That isn't going to stop overnight, if ever. What we can do, however, is to become aware of these judgments constantly going on and realize that they are without any real meaning. We can tell the ego, "Thank you for sharing," and choose to realize that we don't really know what anything means or how to react to it, despite what the ego is telling us. We can turn instead to our inner guidance. We can "leave creation free to be itself" (2:1) without our constant interference. We can bring our judgments to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to heal our minds. And, perhaps most important of all, we can simply desire that judgment be undone. In the end, that desire is all it takes:

Vision would not be necessary had judgment not been made. Desire now its whole undoing, and it is done for you. (T-20.VIII.1:5-6)

Undoing is not your task, but it is up to you to welcome it or not. (T-21.II.8:5)

Don't worry about how your judgments can be undone. Don't try to undo them yourself. Just desire that they be undone; just welcome the undoing. That is all, and the Holy Spirit will do it for you.

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