Dennis Dossett

The First Step Toward the Ultimate Life Lesson©

In last month’s newsletter, I stated that, in essence, “Judgment is spiritual suicide” because “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.” That sounds like suicide, doesn’t it? The word, “suicide” does get people’s attention, but for some folks it seems a little too extreme. So, for them, let’s call it “spiritual stagnation,” as in one’s soul evolution is still, immobile, inert, lifeless, or dead. It’s basically the same thing, but the label is perhaps a little more palatable.

Now, to be sure, “judgment” as a process can refer to positive attributes such as discernment, acumen, shrewdness, astuteness, good sense, discrimination, wisdom, judiciousness, prudence, understanding, intelligence, reason, logic, etc. But a second meaning of “judgment” refers to an outcome such as punishment, retribution, or penalty, and generally implies a “final disposition,” as in the commonly used phrase “Judgment Day.” In short, that is it; it is “the end of the matter” once and for all. It is the second meaning of “judgment” I’m referring to both here and in the remaining “Steps Toward the Ultimate Life Lesson” we’ll be considering in future newsletters.

As I wrote in “Opinion vs. Judgment,” opinion … “becomes judgment when we make it ‘personal’—when there is no room left for tolerance of other opinions.” … “When judgment begins, listening stops. When listening stops, understanding becomes impossible. When understanding is impossible, problem solving is non-existent.” In short, judgment is exclusionary; it establishes and solidifies separation, otherness. In this sense, judgment is the essence of resistance to the natural flow of our life energies, the antithesis of Allowing them to be freely expressed in pursuit of Alignment with Higher Self. That is why “Judgment is spiritual stagnation.”

So, what does all that have to do with “The First Step Toward the Ultimate Life Lesson?” Well, judgment (as an outcome) is part of the very definition of “Tolerance,” that first step. Perhaps we should clarify exactly what is meant by “Tolerance:”
• “The ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.” (Oxford Languages). Similarly,
• “Toleration is when one allows, permits, or accepts an action, idea, object, or person that one dislikes or disagrees with.” (Oxford Languages) The Merriam-Webster Dictionary links toleration to “putting up with” something undesirable, as well as to “neglect or failure to prevent or alleviate it.”

The common denominator in these (and other) definitions seems to be “putting up with” (to suffer, indulge, abide, submit to, stomach, etc.) someone or something we don’t agree with or like. That is the direct result of “judgment” as a final decision, the end of the matter. But it is not really a very satisfactory outcome at all. While judgment as a process tends to refer to positive attributes, judgment as an outcome, the end result, tends decidedly to be much less positive, especially for the judge!
• “Judgment often says more about the judge than the judged.” ~ Dr. Eric Allenbaugh (American executive coach, leadership consultant, speaker, & author)
• “Judge not that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged.” Bible, Matthew 7:1-2 (a.k.a. “karma”)

So, by definition, Tolerance begins and ends in judgment. One might think that is not a good thing—especially as a step toward the Ultimate Life Lesson. But the definition of progressing, evolving, growing into a better version of ourselves (a.k.a. advancing, moving forward in vibration) is not “perfection.” It is slow (but hopefully steady) progress toward less and less judgment. As I have said for decades, “If you are looking for perfection, you are on the wrong planet. That is why we are all here together.” But over that same time period I have also repeatedly said that “Progress is our most important product.” And progress is a matter of extent or degree rather than all or nothing.

The question is, “How do we do that? How can we make progress?”
• “If you can cultivate the right attitude, your enemies are your best spiritual teachers because their presence provides you with the opportunity to enhance and develop tolerance, patience and understanding.” ~ H. H. the 14th Dalai Lama

And how can we “cultivate the right attitude?” Remember, other people in our little corner of the world are there to mirror for us what we have difficulty facing within ourselves.
• “I have learnt silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.” ~ Kahlil Gibran

• “Nothing is more intolerable than to have to admit to yourself your own errors.” ~ Ludwig von Beethoven (1770–1827; German composer & pianist)

• “The capacity for getting along with our neighbor depends to a large extent on the capacity for getting along with ourselves. The self-respecting individual will try to be as tolerant of his neighbor’s shortcomings as he is of his own.” ~ Eric Hoffer (1898–1983; American philosopher & author; 1983 Presidential Medal of Freedom)

Ultimately, the key to tolerance is really quite simple:
• “Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.” ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917–1963, 35th U. S. President)

• “Being tolerant does not mean that I share another one’s belief. But it does mean that I acknowledge another one’s right to believe, and obey, his own conscience.” ~ Viktor E. Frankl, M.D. (1905–1997; Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist, & Holocaust survivor)

• “Tolerance is giving every other human being the rights that you claim for yourself.” ~ Robert Green Ingersoll (1833–1899; American Civil War veteran, lawyer, political leader, & orator)

I can think of no better advice than that offered by Maitreya (channeled by Margaret McElroy):
• “If humanity is to move forward in vibration, tolerance must be brought into being whether on a personal or on a spiritual level. What does it matter if someone has a belief different from yours? It is their right as a person on the earth plane. The Creator, or Ultimate Being, gave you this free will to be different from each other. Imagine a world in which everyone was the same. It would not be very interesting! Tolerance comes from one soul stating, ‘I will give this no more energy’ and then moving on. It is the ultimate in higher conscious awareness. When you can be tolerant of another and walk away from conflict, you are truly raising your vibration.” ~ Maitreya (Newsletter #185 – Tolerance)

And by “no more energy,” Maitreya means not to waste our life energies by focusing on thoughts about or emotions related to what we disagree with or don’t like. In metaphysical terms, “Your thoughts create your reality” and “Your emotions fuel your thoughts, gives them power.” In short, we have the responsibility to choose our thoughts wisely, thoughts that serve Alignment with our own Higher Self. But it is our choice.

• “When you tolerate another, their beliefs, their way of doing things, then you step forward in vibration away from critical judgment. You step toward tolerance and understanding. Why not try doing that if you can? Imagine a garden of many different flowers. They all live together—some tall, some small. There are rogue flowers known as weeds here and there, yet they all live together in harmony. Your world can be like that, and it starts with you. It is as simple as that.” ~ Maitreya (Newsletter #46 – World Peace)

What Maitreya is talking about here is the ideal situation. Most of us aren’t yet at the point of Unconditional Tolerance—tolerance without judgment—but it ultimately makes living daily life more productive and much easier.
• “Be entirely tolerant or not at all; follow the good path or the evil one. To stand at the crossroads requires more strength than you possess.” ~ Heinrich Heine (1797–1856; German critic & poet)

But until you grow into Unconditional Tolerance, try taking the First Step. Remember, “Progress is our most important product.” Until then,

Have a great month!

Dennis
www.DennisDossett.com