Manual for Teachers: 10. How Is Judgment Relinquished?
1. Judgment, like other devices by which the world of illusions is maintained, is totally misunderstood by the world. It is actually confused with wisdom, and substitutes for truth. As the world uses the term, an individual is capable of “good” and “bad” judgment, and his education aims at strengthening the former and minimizing the latter. There is, however, considerable confusion about what these categories mean. What is “good” judgment to one is “bad” judgment to another. Further, even the same person classifies the same action as showing “good” judgment at one time and “bad” judgment at another time. Nor can any consistent criteria for determining what these categories are be really taught. At any time the student may disagree with what his would-be teacher says about them, and the teacher himself may well be inconsistent in what he believes. “Good” judgment, in these terms, does not mean anything. Neither does “bad” judgment.
2. It is necessary for the teacher of God to realize, not that he should not judge, but that he cannot. In giving up judgment, he is merely giving up what he did not have. He gives up an illusion; or rather, he has an illusion of giving up. He has actually merely become more honest. Recognizing that judgment was always impossible for him, he no longer attempts it. This is no sacrifice. On the contrary, he puts himself in a position where judgment through him rather than by him can occur. And this judgment is neither “good” nor “bad.” It is the only judgment there is, and it is only one: “God’s Son is guiltless, and sin does not exist.”
3. The aim of our curriculum, unlike the goal of the world’s learning, is the recognition that judgment in the usual sense is impossible. This is not an opinion but a fact. In order to judge anything rightly, one would have to recognize in advance all the effects of his judgments on everyone and everything involved in them in any way. And one would have to be certain there is no distortion in his perception, so that his judgment would be wholly fair to everyone on whom it rests now and in the future. Who is in a position to do this? Who except in grandiose fantasies, would claim this for himself?
4. Remember how many times you thought you knew all the “facts” needed for judgment, and how wrong you were? Is there anyone who has not had this experience? Would you know how many times you merely thought you were right, without ever realizing you were wrong? Why would you choose such an arbitrary basis for decision making? Wisdom is not judgment; it is the relinquishment of judgment. Make, then, but one more judgment. It is this: There is Someone with you Whose judgment is perfect. He does know all the facts; past, present and to come. He does know all the effects of His judgment on everyone and everything involved in any way. And He is wholly fair to everyone, for there is no distortion in His perception.
5. Therefore lay judgment down, not with regret but with a sigh of gratitude. Now you are free of a burden so great that you could merely stagger and fall down beneath it. And it was all illusion. Nothing more. Now the teacher of God can rise up unburdened, and walk lightly on. Yet it is not only this that is his benefit. His sense of care is now gone, for he has none. He has given it away, along with judgment. He gave himself to Him Whose judgment he has chosen now to trust, instead of his own. Now he makes no mistakes. His Guide is sure. And where he once came to judge, he now comes to bless. Where he used to come to weep, now he laughs.
Father, we choose to lay judgment down. We now rise up and walk lightly, without judgment and without a care. AMEN.
6. It is not difficult to relinquish judgment. But it is difficult indeed to try to keep it. The teacher of God lays it down happily the instant he recognizes its cost. All of the ugliness he sees about him is its outcome. All of the pain he looks upon is its result. All of the loneliness and sense of loss; of passing time and growing hopelessness; of sickening despair and fear of death; all these have come of it. And now he knows that these things need not be. Not one of them is true. For he has given up their cause. They were never anything but the effects of his mistaken choice, and they have now fallen from him. Teacher of God, this step will bring you peace. Can it be difficult to want only this?
Giving up judgment entirely – what an idea! All cares would be gone and only joy, happiness, peace and freedom would remain. How in the world can we do this? We do it by taking baby steps:
1. You choose the Holy Spirit to be your one Guide for all things on earth and in Heaven.
2. You see Jesus as your model. He gave up all judgment and allowed the Holy Spirit to judge through him. And as he is your brother, if he could do it, so can you.
3. This would imply stepping back from deciding on your own, and asking the Holy Spirit what He would have you think, say, and do, keeping your mind open and leaving all opinions and “facts” out of your mind.
4. Yet asking is not enough; you must also listen to His Answer. Be still and quiet to hear His Voice.
5. Begin with “small,” “insignificant” decisions and work your way to “more important” decisions.
6. Relax; nothing is accomplished when you are rigid with tension and stress. Relinquishing control will help you to be less tense.
7. Above all, remember to trust the Holy Spirit. With doubt there is tension; with tension there is ego; and with ego there is error. With certainty there is freedom; with freedom there is light; and with light there is certainty.
8. Remember that Love is The Answer.
Workbook Lesson 50 teaches that the Love of God will see you through all difficulties: “This is the answer to whatever confronts you today.” (W-pl.50.4:4) The Holy Spirit is the Voice Who speaks for the Love of God. If you truly let Him shift your perception through Course practice and let Him guide everything you think, say, and do, you “can resolve all seeming difficulties without effort and in sure confidence.” (W-pl.50.4:5) All you need to do is to step back and allow Him to do a work in you, trusting Him and the Love of God completely. Through repeated practice, you can do this.
Father, help us to make the right choice, the only choice: our Comforter, our Guide, and our Friend: the Holy Spirit. We choose to lay judgment down. We now rise up and walk lightly, without judgment and without a care. And thank you, Father, for all your many gifts to us including Joy, Peace, and Love. We thank you most of all for your greatest gift – Your Self – the Self we all share! AMEN.