The Difference Between Judging and Discerning

not black and white

When I was little, I was told how important it was to do what was “right” and not get into trouble by doing something “wrong”. Yet, as I grew up I saw that many of the rights and wrongs didn’t make sense. It all depended on the perspective and belief of the person.

When I was told that a terrorist is also a freedom fighter, depending on whose side you are on, I really got it.  It opened my eyes to seeing things in a new way.

Dualistic (either/or) thinking, prevents us from seeing the whole truth.

Judging is about determining what is right or wrong, good or bad. It comes from our minds tendency to think dualistically, in terms of right or wrong. We grasp on to this to keep us feeling in control and safe. In order to maintain a stable society, religion and the law reinforce this idea.

Yet, isn’t it even more important to see clearly, rather than to apply a right or wrong label?

When we let go of judgment and embrace the idea of discerning, we move into a place of seeking clarity and understanding.  We become freer to see things as they are.

Instead of asking “What is good or bad about this?” …  and being quick to judge, ask “What can I discern from this? What is going on here?”

When we detach from the belief of good or bad, and discern life’s multicolors and shades, we find freedom beyond the rules and conditioning of the mind.


46 thoughts on “The Difference Between Judging and Discerning

  1. I so agree.. It often comes from which perspectives we view life.. And I have come to understand more and more the statement there is no right or wrong .. For there are many paths that lead us home.. Not all paths are perhaps the ones we would choose to walk.. But the journey is understanding there are no right or wrong ways to to get there…
    And those whose paths lead a darker route, ensure we seek a lighter one.. For we would not know one without the other.
    Love and Blessings dear Val..

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are right .. it isn’t easy. It is a journey that most of us would resist as being too difficult. When we see that we can make a more informed choice, we can embrace a different path. 🙏💛

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wise words, Val.
    This is a thought process that has entered my mind since I had to give up full-time work 7 years ago. I now see the other side of many things I had been critical of many years ago. I now see street people and the homeless (through the camera lens & my walks) more from their perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Unencumbered by judgment we can enter this next moment empty of responsibility.

    If we judge something, say right or wrong, good or bad it is like attaching a ball and chain to our leg. We will fight to defend our ego (judgment)

    If we do not judge, things and people just exist, I think

    Great blog Val

    Liked by 1 person

  4. yes… and that phrase, “What, is going on here?” Is the one that replays with me, many times. I still, judge. I know I do…. I just try to do it much Less!! This was such a wonderful post, I’m hopeful many will take on the attitude and willingness to try, to be less eager to condemn. 🙂 thanks for sharing! cheers, Debi

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chocolate is pleasurable to many of us, while others might have a preference for pungent French cheese. Both are pleasurable in their own way to the individual. Neither is good or bad.
      Letting go of the attachment to pleasure and our preferences opens up a world of discernment rather than judgment.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Clarity and Understanding – Merging Traffic

  6. Val Some of life challenges I found very hard to see what I must learn. yet I read that if you ask what are the benefits from what ever you are dealing with, you will find your answer. You might not like it at first. Even when I have lost those dear to me I learnt that I must live my life to the full for them as well. But it took me a long time to come to that realisation.
    Life is a gift.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: The Difference Between Judging and Discerning | Teacher as Transformer

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