A lot of blog writing is thinking out loud. For me, blogging is often a process of trying to type my way to some degree of clarity and hopefully some fresh insight.
I use my blog at times to experiment with ideas and try to blunder towards better understanding. “What Is Wrong With ‘Wrong’?” certainly falls into the category of an experiment in thinking.
I have wrestled for a long time with the dualistic tendencies of my mental processes. Probably I will never think my way out of my inclination to divide the world into safe, tidy, hermetically sealed categories. But, apparently I am not yet done with trying to think my way to a more unitive view of the world. So, my list of “What Is Wrong With ‘Wrong’?” continues:
7. When I label anything I am no longer fully open to that which I have labelled. I cease being available to the lessons the things I dismiss with my judgment might have to teach. Something is lost in the process of labeling. Not only do I diminish the thing or person I reduce to the dimensions of a label, I also diminish myself. My labels limit my life to the safe parameters of that which I deem “right”, “good”, and “likeable”. This exercise inevitably leads to violence as I struggle to exclude that which I perceive to pose a threat to the “right”, “good”, and “likeable”.
8. Labels serve no useful purpose. What has ever been accomplished by pointing a finger at anything and saying, “This is ‘wrong’”? The usual argument is that identifying something as “wrong” will lead a person to work to change the situation. But change that emerges from the dualistic exercise of distinguishing between “right” and “wr0ng” will always lack the deep integration that is necessary to all truly healthy change. We do not move more fully into the light by trying to banish the dark but by finding the light in the midst of darkness.
Life-giving change does not come from judgment. Any action that emerges from the energy of judgment will always create more fragmentation, separation, and division. When oppressors are overthrown using the same consciousness by which they have oppressed, the “liberated” will invariably become the new oppressors.
9. When I move to labels and judgments, I am catapulted out of the awareness of unity. I lose touch with the reality that all things are held in the energy of love and love never excludes. Love always works towards integration, embrace, acceptance, and welcome. Love never shuns or demonizes. Love is not interested in enemy formation.
11. When I am able to let go of my constant need to judge and divide, I open to a new dimension of reality. This is the place from which positive transformative action can emerge.
12. Going through life attaching to everything the labels “bad”, “wrong”, or “unlikeable”, creates constant pain in my life. I become the victim of all those realities I deem unacceptable. I give them control over my life allowing them to “make me” angry, sad, depressed, or disgruntled. Labels are not a path to freedom.
11. By expending my energy on distinguishing between opposed polarities, I shift my consciousness away from the need to embrace all of life, to the determination to convince you to agree with my judgments. I move from a focus on the state of my conscious awareness to seeking support for my ideological position. When I reduce life to ideological formulations, I lose touch with the fullness of human experience.
To give up “right” and “wrong”, “good” and “bad”, “likes” and “dislikes” makes it possible for me to engage more deeply and fully in the reality of life as it presents itself in each moment. I stop seeing myself as separate. I become available to all of life. Life is a whole. I am part of everything and everything is a part of me.
The anxiety about giving up judging and labeling is usually the fear that I will become passive, indifferent, and unable to act decisively in the face of forces that are clearly oriented towards death. In fact, giving up judgment, simply means that my actions can emerge from a deeper more integrated place within myself. Having surrendered the determination to separate myself from a situation or a person, I am empowered to respond with greater understanding, wisdom, and compassion.
I can trust the presence, wisdom, and guidance of God’s Spirit at the centre of my being. It is God who
leads me in right paths (Psalm 23:3).
As I let go of my desire to separate life into tidy categories, my spirit opens more deeply to the power and action of God. Non-judgment is the necessary precondition for truly free and liberating action.
God is love. Love is never passive, indifferent, or inactive. I can trust the power and force of love at work in my life to always lead me to engage more deeply and fully in the pain of the world and to work for transformation and reconciliation wherever I encounter the reality of brokenness.