Monday, November 10, 2014

Choices And Tweaks

We are all discerners of spirits. That diagnosis lies aloft in our life or unconscious power, The intercourse of society, its trade, its religion, its friendships, its quarrels, is one wide, judicial investigation of character.

In full court, or in small committee, or confronting face to face, accuser and accused, men offer themselves to be judged. Against their will, they exhibit those decisive trifles by which character is read.

But who judges? And what? Not our understanding. We do not read them by learning a craft. No; the wisdom of the wise man consists herein, that he does not judge them; he lets them judge themselves and merely reads and records their own verdict.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote those thoughts in his 1838 essay, The Over-soul. We like to judge. It’s in our DNA. Our culture is based on judgment. Religion, science, and politics based their truths on judgments. We are the judge and jury, and we expect to be found guilty of not judging correctly. We find solace in those that have been judged the same way we have. We become part of the mass judgment and live as prisoners in our self-made mind shackles.

As Emerson points out, we live our preconceived verdict. We become what we are told we are. We wrestle with the fear of failure and fumble with the edicts of righteousness. We skip the sentence of sanity and jump into the paragraph of distorted thoughts. Nothing serves us worse than the comfort of our confused fantasies. Life does fall from the trifles by which our character is categorized.

The madness of this behavior rests in the lockbox of our beliefs. What sanity gives to one is madness to another. Each box of beliefs is set but is easily unset. The message we send from that box is one of judgment, and we build from it. Judgment changes with every choice and blends with every tweak. Choices and tweaks give us the power to discern our preconceived verdict.

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