Contemplation inspired by Matthew 7:1-14
August 4, 2019
To hear this Gospel with the weight of Christ’s word: “Judge not lest ye be judged,” may trouble us deeply. We can hardly live without judging—after all, every noun we utter is fundamentally a judgment. We identify all the time what is in our world; that is a house, that is a tree, this is a man (or woman)! All of our sense perceptions give us a basis for these identifications, which lead immediately and naturally to judgments.
So, what is it that Christ is urging, in the founding of a new morality and a new world-order, that we refrain from judging? And how can we find security in a social organisation when we abstain from the judgment of our fellow human being? What could replace or evolve from the “either-or” trap of our judgments?
Let us look at the process of judging. It is based first of all on the information through our senses. And our senses work from us, through a medium such as air, vibrations, light, etc. We especially use light in seeing, but in fact all of our perceptions are mediated. Light is both a medium and a power. Everything we grasp about the world goes through a light process of focussing and becoming conscious, regardless of whether we perceive through seeing or hearing, smelling, feeling, etc.
We “cast a light” when we focus and become conscious. We are not so aware of how this light actually goes both ways, from us to the people and objects in the world, but then also reflecting back to us, which in turn forms our understanding, and even refines our organs for recognising and identifying. If we have already identified, then we carry a concept, and this concept is a judgment that we easily recognize again and again in our experiences.
Light includes all shades of light and dark, everything comes into relationship to ourselves through this medium. But light by itself is not necessarily “good.” We know how lasers, intensified light, can cut or destroy life. We have a slang expression about “gaslighting” someone, and this is not positive!
We use light, but there is One who could say, “I am the light of the world.” And He pronounced this in the very moment of withholding judgment of the adulteress in the Gospel of John, chapter 8. In that world-changing revelation, He the Sun-God shone into the judgment of the world, lighting up the path of growth in destiny. Sunlight gives power and pictures for future growth to the plant beings. Son-Light gives a new light to the I-am of the human being, that we too may be empowered and grow into our potential of becoming angels.
In our ordinary judging we create more darkness than light. The One who is the true light can shine into our “non-judging” hearts and minds, and reveal to our struggling, our judging and forgiving, the light of love. The judgment of love gazes into the world. We may well ponder, “What—or how—does love see the world?” And this beholding also reflects back to us: “How does ‘love’ see us?”
Contemplation by Rev. Susan Locey