“Der Richter und sein Henker”©
In my senior year as an undergraduate, I took a year of German to help prepare me for proficiency in two foreign languages required of students in doctoral programs at the time. I had taken two years of Latin in high school and figured that, as Romance languages, I might be able to teach myself enough French, Spanish, or Italian to get by. But I needed a second foreign language, and German seemed to be the most relevant to the study of psychology—or at least it’s history as I later discovered.
My German professor conducted the entire course in exquisite, High (formal) German, except when everyone in the class was totally lost and he deigned to utter a few words of English to get the class back on track. Herr Doctor Professor Carlton Iiams was one of the kindest and best professors I ever had, but his classes were extremely demanding. I took the first semester in six weeks of summer school (boy, that was a mistake!) and was struggling to get through the second semester. One of the assignments was to translate a novel written in German and to discuss it in class with absolutely no English allowed. I found it to be a brutal experience to say the least.
The novel was Der Richter und sein Henker (The Judge and His Hangman, in English) written by the Swiss author Friedrich Dürrenmatt in 1950. Regarded as a classic of crime fiction, it fuses existential philosophy and the detective genre in the pursuit of the “perfect crime.” But that was many years ago. I recently had to look up the book on Wikipedia to recall the plot as I was able to remember about as much of the story now as I would be able to translate it all these years later (good luck with that!).
But, for some inexplicable reason, the title of the book, Der Richter und sein Henker, has hung around in the dark alleys of my mind all these years, bubbling up into my consciousness at odd times for no apparent reason. And then one day, while searching for a topic for my monthly newsletter, it popped up again, but with a slight twist: Der Richter ist seine Henker (for Anglophiles unfamiliar with German grammar) or more correctly, Der Richter, seine Henker ist (with the German verb for “is” at the end of the sentence). There it was, out of the blue and totally unannounced. In short, it took me by surprise.
When that thought first occurred to me, I stopped, almost stunned by the implications of changing that one word. In English, The Judge is His Hangman. Now, I am not totally new to the topic of “Judgment,” having struggled with it for years myself and having written three previous newsletters on the topic(see “Judgment!,”)“Opinion vs. Judgment,”) and“More on Opinion vs. Judgment,”).But this twist on the title of an old novel from my past really grabbed my attention with its stark truth by equating judgment with suicide, especially in the context of something very important in my life, raising my vibration or soul growth. In short, the act of judging—either oneself or others—stops the process of soul evolution as surely as a dagger to the heart stops its beating. In that sense, The Judge (or “he who judges”) is His Hangman (or “executioner”). I wonder how Herr Doctor Professor Iiams would react to that interpretation. I can almost see him in my mind’s eye and almost hear him inside my head exclaiming, “Sehr interessant!” (“Very interesting!”) Just like Dürrenmatt’s novel, it is just the kind of philosophical conundrum he would have relished discussing.
But for me in that moment, the message implied by this small twist was simple, straightforward, and blatantly clear: Judgment is spiritual suicide. I would not have understood that sentiment years ago if I had heard it, but its “popping” into my waking consciousness one random day brought with it a new and more intense realization of its veracity. As Maitreya (one of my wisest teachers channeled by Margaret McElroy) so often said, “There are no accidents.” I think it was Spirit’s way of clearly telling me that it is time for me to get very serious about rooting judgment out of my mental and emotional makeup. How could I have engaged with and written so much about judgment and still be struggling to eradicate it from my life?
After pondering this question for some time, it finally dawned on me that I hadn’t given any attention to the origins of judgment, its source. After all, if you really want to do something about it, stop treating it as a symptom and start working on its cause. So, what is the primary cause of judgment in human affairs? Unmet expectations. How simple, but how very difficult to achieve! But the “Devil is in the details,” as people so often say. The real culprit in that simple phrase, “unmet expectations,” is not “unmet;” it is actually hidden in the word, “expectations.” And why is it “hidden?”
It is hidden because the underlying factor in judgment is EGO (who you think you are). When we perceive a personal affront, an offense to the ego, human beings tend to blame people—oneself or (preferably) others, not circumstances. It is difficult to regard the weather, nature—any environmental circumstance—as an object to be “judged.” Blamed, yes, but judged, no. Judgment involves people making decisions, choosing their behavior, etc.—in other words, attributing intention and/or responsibility for an outcome. We really can’t say that of natural forces or catastrophes—except in the insurance industry which labels it as “an act of God.” Hey, we gotta’ blame somebody, right? Sometimes I think it must be really difficult for God to put up with human beings (LOL!)
So, a personal affront, an offense to the ego. Does it really always involve behavior, intention, decision making, culpability? No. The ego is offended very easily (which is why the Lower Self uses it so effectively as a tool to control our lives). Our very tender and fragile egos are also readily offended by attributed characteristics of groups as applied to individuals (stereotypes). We label that form of judgment as “prejudice” which is just judgment based on attributed characteristics that are not “ME,” (EGO). Classic examples are race, skin color, gender, religion, nationality, political party, etc., etc., etc.—the list is endless in human history.
In short, we “expect” other people to behave either like us or as we think they “should behave” in order for “us” (our egos) to be satisfied. That is the underlying cause of judgment. So, why do we sometimes judge ourselves? Isn’t that counter to what I just said? Not really. Judgment is ultimately the assignment of responsibility rather than the acceptance of responsibility. To say “I was so stupid,” “I was duped,” “I didn’t know,” is a lot easier for the ego to swallow (hurts the ego less) than accepting responsibility and acting on it—learning from the experience so that it doesn’t happen again. Assignment of responsibility (to others or oneself) is the easy way out, the comfort zone of Unconscious Living. Acceptance of responsibility and acting on it requires conscious change, the core and essence of Conscious Living as described in many of my newsletters as well as in my“Dancing with the Energy” books.
So, what? What’s the difference in practical terms for daily life? As I wrote in a previous newsletter):
• “Judgment closes us down and is final; everything automatically becomes black or white, “good” or “bad,” especially when it is based on dogma, the “party line,” “because that is what I was taught,”—in short, any form of conditioning. It closes all possible doors to real communication, understanding, and problem solving. In contrast, respecting others’ opinions leaves open the possibility of change on either or both sides. We should not suppress or deny our own truth, but insisting that it is THE TRUTH rarely, if ever, advances practical solutions—or for that matter, soul evolution. As Maitreya so often said, “What a waste of energy!”
So, how do we learn to avoid judgment? Take active responsibility to become a better version of yourself:
• “Consciously. Deliberately. Constantly. Doggedly. And always with forgiveness to others and ourselves for what was done in ignorance or out of fear, shame, etc. [tools of the Lower Self].”
But don’t focus on not being judgmental. Remember, the Universe doesn’t understand the word, “no.” It only understands vibration. Not being judgmental holds the vibrational energy of Judgment. That’s exactly what you would be giving your attention and energy to! As Maitreya so frequently said, “Give it no energy.” In those four simple words Maitreya tells us to give as little of our thoughts—and especially our emotions—to what we don’t want. That is simple Law of Attraction 101, the basic course.
Conscious Living is allowing the natural flow of life energy for the purpose of growing into a better version of ourselves, aligning our life energy with Higher Self. That requires conscious change. But it is always a choice, and that means accepting the responsibility to become the Master of one’s life rather than being mastered by life. Just remember, Der Richter ist sein Hencker.
• “Most people do not realize that, as they continue to find things to complain about, they disallow their own physical well-being. Many do not realize that before they were complaining about an aching body or a chronic disease, they were complaining about many other things first. It does not matter if the object of your complaint is about someone you are angry with, behavior in others that you believe is wrong, or something wrong with your own physical body. Complaining [judgment] is complaining, and it disallows improvement.” ~ Abraham (Collective consciousness of Spirit channeled by Esther Hicks; Money and the Law of Attraction, 2008)
So, stop complaining about other people not meeting your expectations (judging them). That is their business, not yours. And while you are at it, stop beating yourself up for not meeting your own expectations (guilt is judgment turned inward). Neither one has ever served you and never will. Creating and feeding guilt is your business and that is a decision totally up to you! Accepting responsibility for your life (Conscious Living) is also up to you. Again, your choice.
But I’m not done with judgment just yet. As we will see in coming newsletters, judgment is an underlying factor in whether we become a better version of ourselves, soul evolution (or for that matter, manifesting anything). Until then,
Have a great month!