I am not sure where I first heard "knowledge carries no weight" - and even Google cannot provide me with the answer. Perhaps it came to me in a dream or from a passerby with a long beard, but regardless, the statement is profound.
This past month, I have been reading like I'm actually in grad school, which I am. As my graduation date approaches, I have committed to my coursework with tenacity. It is proof that time-blocking and goal setting really work; here are the fruits of my labor from this past month:
- Chemistry of Calm by Henry Emmons (a textbook guide on how to combat anxiety; tons of references to supplements, herbs, clinical treatments, diet, exercise, and meditation)
- The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon (such an easy light-hearted read, my key take-away: E + P = O - Emotions + Perceptions = Outcomes; feed the positive dog within you!)
- Energy Medicine by Donna Eden (This is THE Energy Medicine textbook and self-healing bible in my opinion, by far one of the most impactful and brilliant books I’ve ever read. I cried reading the epilogue because it is just so powerful)
- Jung and Christianity (still working through this one…the gist? It gets my brain swirling and I need plenty of breaks to fully grasp the concepts)
- The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra (just read chapter 1 this week, which inspired this blog post)
So, I only read 3 books in their entirety (roll yours eyes if you want), but these books were heavy! Even though knowledge carries no weight, I am feeling very full of new ideas, fired up, and eager to share what I’ve learned.
In Deepak Chopra’s book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, the first law is “The Law of Pure Potentiality”, which essentially means we are pure consciousness and this provides us with a limitless state of possibilities and creativity. We are not separate from one another, but rather unified in this collective consciousness A.K.A. Namaste: the divine light in me shines and bows to the divine light in you. The more we focus on objects or the material world, the more separate we become or disconnected from the universal love in the world. One way to access the field of pure potentiality is through the practice of non-judgment. Chopra states, “Judgment is the constant evaluation of things as right or wrong, good or bad. When you are constantly evaluating, classifying, labeling, analyzing, you create a lot of turbulence in your internal dialogue. This turbulence constricts the flow of energy between you and the field of pure potentiality.” (pg. 17)
Without quoting the entire first chapter of his work, I want to focus on judgment in the realm of spirituality. To me, this definition of judgment is another manifestation of anxiety and creates overwhelming thoughts. The internal dialogue or turbulence of one's judgment creates a busy mind, bogged down with quite simply - criticism. When we constantly evaluate others, we create separation. When we practice non-judgment, in turn, we are able to be more compassionate, understanding, and kind.
I must admit, non-judgment is an evolutionary process for me. My effort to adhere to this practice has made me very accepting and loving of others, whereas in the past, I would allow my evaluation of someone to dictate how I treated them, or how I acted. I would never be intentionally rude, but by having my own analysis or critique of the person, I would be cold, standoffish, and not as open. This changed my relationships or the potential relationships I could have had with others. As I evolve into a non-judgmental place, there is a parallel concept that is very powerful to foster: discernment. In juxtaposition, naivety is not only one of my favorite words to say (just sounds cool to me), it is a trait of mine I constantly work to overcome. As the chorus of “Naive” by The Kooks plays through my head, I reminisce on my struggle to know when to trust someone, how to not be foolishly superfluous in relationships, and how I often lacked an awareness of the energy around me to discern how to proceed. This is different than judgment. This is safety! I often placed myself in harmful situations or relationships, without any caution of the danger. I clearly have a guardian angel to thank because I am so fortunate that I didn't get fully swept away by my naive choices. I am still learning the distinction between judgment and discernment, and that they are not one in the same. Discernment to me is a way to use caution, grounded in love, to perceive situations/people and utilize intuition to guide my actions.
Yes, it is 100% judgmental to not like someone based on their religion, their sexual orientation, their race, or even simply their clothes. This creates separation and is harmful to the interconnected compassion and love that can exist between each of us. Discernment, is a different skill. To practice discernment is to make careful distinctions about what we think is true and to have a perception free of judgment to find spiritual direction and understanding. Therefore, if a judgment is made without a pause, without a consideration as to whether or not it is being made from a place of love, or divine guidance, it is only creating turbulence in your mind. This changes how you treat others, and creates separation between you and the infinite possibility of bliss and goodness that can exist in the world. We can be loving, accepting, kind, and compassionate towards all living things and utilize discernment to know what people, places, or things are safe, or for the greatest and highest good. The knowledge and mindful awareness of how we feel, sense, or perceive different energies in the world can be a gift of discernment to help guide us through life's decisions, not create barriers.
So, what books are you currently reading? I won’t judge you, I promise!