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Can you have opinions, without passing Judgements?


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#1 DaoChild

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 12:55 PM

Just some food for thought today


I went for a walk outside, and was thinking about how the Sage is unwaverable - he can neither be given to or taken away from. So, no doubt things go and come for him. But does this still mean you can have *opinions* ?

Can we still be participating members of society (who need opinions), while at the same time get rid of assumptions, judgments, and other limiting forms of thought like that?

Can you say: "Wow I really like that dog, it's very pretty! " That is my opinion, but it is also a judgement, since nothing is in fact beautiful or ugly, it is just our perception that shapes that.

What I'm saying is, how do you stay unwaverable, while at the same time avoid being Wishy-washy. Being like a mountain and avoiding both Joy & Sadness seem like a pretty alone life if you ask me. And although you may be unshakable and stoic, it seems like you'd miss out on a big part of what is being part of society.

#2 Bruce

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 12:59 PM

Like you said, it would be pretty hard to function in society without having opinions. I've never had a teacher who didn't have opinions. You can still have opinions without being attached to them. :)

#3 h.uriahr

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 03:35 PM

Opinions are judgements. Obviously you can modify or completely change your opinions but they are still judgements none the less.
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#4 TheWhiteRabbit

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 03:56 PM

Good question, I can see where you are going with this I think.

Ive thought sometimes about the degree of being able to differentiate between things and judgement to the point of impingment upon something good, a person, thing or idea...

It would make an interesting topic in this post if it does not seem too strikingly off-topic?
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
“To be great is to be misunderstood.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“To be humble to superiors is duty, to equals courtesy, to inferiors nobleness.” Benjamin Franklin
“Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.” Dalai Lama
“To understand everything is to forgive everything” Buddha
How Metaphysical Messages work:
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#5 TheWhiteRabbit

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 05:19 PM

I guess what I meant by the above statement is, you can know something and be attached (judgement) or not be attached (differentiation) or at least it feels like those are the right words...

Say for example you see a buss comming and decide to not step out in front of it... is that judgement or being able to see or differntiate something bad or good for you?

You see someone do something you dislike... judgement or differntiation?

To me it seems that these ideas blend somewhat or maybe i am wrong about it...
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
“To be great is to be misunderstood.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“To be humble to superiors is duty, to equals courtesy, to inferiors nobleness.” Benjamin Franklin
“Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.” Dalai Lama
“To understand everything is to forgive everything” Buddha
How Metaphysical Messages work:
Spoiler

#6 thelerner

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 06:03 PM

I agree with Bruce's angle. I judge it to be correct though I'm not attached to it. :)

Like downgrading desires to preferences. I like chocolate more then vanilla, but its a preference,
I'm cool either way.


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Push hard to get better, become smarter, grow your devotion to the truth, fuel your commitment to beauty, refine your emotional intelligence, hone your dreams, negotiate with your shadow, cure your ignorance, shed your pettiness, heighten your drive to look for the best in people, and soften your heart. A creed from Pronoia

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#7 zanshin

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 06:07 PM

I agree with Bruce's angle. I judge it to be correct though I'm not attached to it. :)

Like downgrading desires to preferences. I like chocolate more then vanilla, but its a preference,
I'm cool either way.
Michael


I think this is the difference, my opinion is I like chocolate better no big deal, a judgement would be to say chocolate is best for all and anyone who wouldn't like it best must have some sort of deficiency.
Come sweet joy and purge melancholy.
 

#8 thelerner

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 06:18 PM

Is this a fair test of a higher level practitioner:

How they react when someone else's judgement? I.e. they're totally accepting when someone else says Chocolate preferers are supremely ice creamly deficient? :)

Can they take it with a smile? Versus having to defend? or feeling enmity towards Vanillerer?

I was given the finger while driving today and I was surprised at the string of negative reactions and drama my mind went through. All pointing out a certain lack of maturity on my part. (though mature enough to keep driving)

Being able to take compliments and criticism with the same equananimity is essential to move ahead in the spiritual game or so I've heard.

Michael
Push hard to get better, become smarter, grow your devotion to the truth, fuel your commitment to beauty, refine your emotional intelligence, hone your dreams, negotiate with your shadow, cure your ignorance, shed your pettiness, heighten your drive to look for the best in people, and soften your heart. A creed from Pronoia

Where we have stopped dancing, singing, being enchanted by stories, or finding comfort in silence is where we have experience the loss of soul. Dancing, singing, storytelling, and silence are the four universal healing salves. ~ Gabrielle Roth

#9 zanshin

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 06:24 PM

The finger giver on the road I can handle, with strangers I tend to assume they are might be rushing see someone in the hospital or having a really bad day. Working in health care have gotten to the point where I can feel compassion for people or at least be relatively unfazed by those who act mean and grumpy toward me. Now friends and family is another story, wow can they push my buttons.
Come sweet joy and purge melancholy.
 

#10 TheWhiteRabbit

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 06:41 PM

Can they take it with a smile? Versus having to defend? or feeling enmity towards Vanillerer?


This isnt to debate this, but it brings up some real issues I have. Not necessariliy the feeling enmity part.
Its the practicality of having to deal with aggression from someone else twords onesself.

On one hand there is the realization that everyone has their own opinion and their right to it... yet one has to be able to create ones own reality. Without that no one can truely accomplish anything. If you had to agree with everyone, you could not make decisions for yourself.
Unfortunately, this lands me to the more primitive and strategic side in these rare circumstances, when I generally ask myself why this had to happen in the first place and someone had to aggress against me. Leaving me to not necessarily taoist warfare, but strategy.

My own deep thoughts...
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
“To be great is to be misunderstood.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“To be humble to superiors is duty, to equals courtesy, to inferiors nobleness.” Benjamin Franklin
“Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.” Dalai Lama
“To understand everything is to forgive everything” Buddha
How Metaphysical Messages work:
Spoiler

#11 DaoChild

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 06:47 PM

Friend are family are Always the most difficult to keep your cool around. They know how to push your buttons, and often times do it for fun. Additionally, growing up with family sometimes means that even if you really change, once you go back to family it's easy to settle into old patterns. For me, returning home from college every summer and winter is always a big test - have I trained myself sufficiently so I can keep my cool around my family? It's always the biggest trial for me, since they know me so well.

#12 h.uriahr

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 11:09 PM

Having a preference of one flavor to another is judgement. You like chocolate more than vanilla therefore in your judgement, you prefer chocolate. I personally see no difference in opinion and judgement. Just because something isnt attached to you doesnt mean you arent passing judgement on it.
Oh, I am so unfortunate that this has happened to me. Not at all, but rather How fortunate I am that, even though this has happened to me, I continue uninjured, neither terrified by the present, nor in fear of the future.

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Take it easy on me. This is my first blog :)



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#13 contrivedname!

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 04:59 AM

Having a preference of one flavor to another is judgement. You like chocolate more than vanilla therefore in your judgement, you prefer chocolate. I personally see no difference in opinion and judgement. Just because something isnt attached to you doesnt mean you arent passing judgement on it.


i agree w/ this, though i agree w/ rabbit and bruce as well. in my opinion opinions ( :lol: ), judgements, and differentiations are originally a primitive tool which was developed (lacking better term at the moment) by humans in the early beginnings of human consciousness, basically to like the things that are beneficial and dislike those that arent. for example when experimenting with food sources the earliest types of judgments may have been along the lines of "this plant is good because i can eat it" and on the other hand "this plant is bad because it makes me sick or can kill me". in this regard judgments are useful tools for survival of the species, that can be passed down generationally. where judgments probably started their errant course is in the further development of the human ego, when people not only began to further try to extrapolate effects from causes (ie other than the most basic) but started applying their tool of judgment to social constructions, behaviors, etc. and to create sysytems to describe these things, ie gods, spirits, tao, etc. (im not necessarily saying this is good or bad), which could very well be the beginning of the development of ego as we "know" it today. i guess my point in saying all this is at some point in our evolution, imo, humans began to separate judgment from a very basic prinicple of utility and began to expand it outwards into other areas, eventually ariving at ideas such as right and wrong, good and evil, righteousness and wickedness, etc., the setting up of dichotomies if you will (duality). again, these became a useful tool for humans, but now more in respect to their social interactions also, as opposed simply to survival. hmm, back to my original point, where the tool went errant is when the ego developed to the point where it stopped using this as a tool and it became the lens through which to view reality (and perhaps, on the other hand, it started this way and it was only once ego became more deveolped that the concept of transcendence arose). phew, well thats some of my long winded thoughts on this subject :)

#14 freeform

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 05:49 AM

i wonder where the idea that a sage is stoic and holds strict principles comes from... sounds like some kind of mythical father-figure...

In my experience the most spiritually advanced people that I've met have been very child-like.

Any of you who are lucky enough to have your own little sages running around can learn from them.

One day carrots are their favourite, the next day they hate carrots... for us non-sages this is an impossible thing - you either like them or you dont! (but the sages know better, of course :D )

Mountains seem huge and permanent - but they're not, they're equivalent to waves moving in an ocean - growing, collapsing, flowing, contracting - they just move at a different pace than water... they seem permanent to us because we move at a different pace to them...

Opinions and judgements serve a purpose. Why try to get rid of them?

I hold opinions, but I place no value on my opinion's permanence. This is very different from what we've been taught and it can be hard to notice it happening...

#15 Mattimo

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 08:25 PM

I'll chime in here,

I believe that there is a fundamental difference between opinion and judgment relative towards comparing people with other people and/or yourself with another person. On the one hand, the literal definitions of both words are arguably more or less the same. However, all words have associated connotations whether they be personal or somewhat generalized amongst the masses. To me, the word judgment has a negative and/or scathing emotional connotation in that judgment does not come from a place of love. If I were to use judgment in a sentence or two, what firstly comes to my mind is: To pass judgment; to condemn others. Whereas, personally, I believe the word opinion has a neutral connotation. Moreover, by my reasoning, I don't feel emotionally identified with my opinions. Rather, when I have an opinion, I feel that it comes from an emotionally-integrated summation of my life-experiences. Reverting to judgment again, I feel as if it is an un-integrated emotionally-charged opinion. Confused yet?

Let's look at from a different perspective. For example, does a person have the right to help a loved-one that is an alcoholic or a drug addict. To help that person out one would have to analyze that person's predicament. By analyzing why the addict does what he/she does is one passing judgment or deriving opinions? Arguably, the addict has already passed judgment on him/herself and is evidenced by the way they treat themselves. Therefore, I contend that if one were to help the addict they are attempting to derive opinions - which are hypothetical reasons - why the addict does what he/she does. Which is, therefore, different from judgment.

Ultimately language is a reflection of your heart and it is absolutely impossible to translate the language of the heart into words that will accurately transmit your message. So the reality is, only you can answer your own question. What these words mean for me might not mean the same for you.

I do not believe it is moral to judge another person by my definition - but does that mean I don't do it? Alas, the mind is a rampant thing.

Edit: for the sake of this discussion I would like to further analyze ;) a few things you stated. By who's ideal or definition is nothing beautiful or ugly? Does it come from the rhetoric of the alleged perfected master or enlightened individual who unequivocally states that all is one and everything is as it is? And where is that monk who stands immovable, like a mountain, letting joy and sadness wash over him without being affected?

In my opinion, these are illusory, misinterpreted and/or misunderstood ideals of what enlightenment is. But what do I know, I'm not enlightened :). You see, language is a tricky thing in that words are defined by other words, concepts are defined by words or other concepts (which are themselves comprised of words). For example the definition of "word" is explainable, in this fashion, only by other "words."...thus, remaining technically undefined. So you can see the apparent limitation here. But what is the quintessential underlying ingredient? Experience. Therefore, I would highly recommend contemplating the difference between experience and the interpretation of experience through the medium of language. They are profoundly different on this earth-plane!

My understanding of enlightenment is being able to pierce the essence of things and in doing so becoming a more "real" and mentally/emotionally/physically/spiritually integrated human being. By that logic is it not possible that the enlightened-one in fact feels and experiences joy and sadness more profoundly?

To ramble further, many mystery traditions suggest that the function of the nervous system in a human being is to conduct ecstasy, which is EXPERIENCED. That is pretty damn beautiful, mysterious, awe-inspiring, etc from my linguistic, humanistic vantage point.

I guess my bottom-line is "life is many things but it is also one thing and that is the beautiful (or ugly) paradox of experience."


-Matt

Edited by Mattimo, 16 February 2009 - 09:14 PM.


#16 Smile

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 10:09 PM

Can you say: "Wow I really like that dog, it's very pretty! " That is my opinion, but it is also a judgement, since nothing is in fact beautiful or ugly, it is just our perception that shapes that.

What if that dog looks like this?
Posted Image

If you see this dog's beauty inside, would it still be a judgment?
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