Our lives are usually guided by some principles and ideas about our behavior. Without some ethics or standards we would have nothing to stop us when we see an opportunity.
The opportunity is not always clearcut black and white. The grey compels judgment. Judgment is guided by personal experience and extrinsic factors like societal norms. This is the moment-to-moment challenge of life. Some of the moments do not yield large-scale change personally or globally. However, it is often in the day-to-day that we find out where we really are in our progress in rejoining with “The Energy”.
Every moment is a diagnostic on how we step forward with our energy. Seeing past the pushing self is the ticket. There are so many creative hiding places where we go to avoid change and destruction of the ego. The ego buys self on the cheap. We become “me first” through pushing through life instead of effortlessly gliding in life.
As we use our interpretation of the Dharma (right conduct), we, especially the ‘me’ that wants to be first, will see a distinct advantage of being ‘right’. It is a secure place that, at least at some level, assures comfort in acceptance by ourselves and others. We are not going againstany hard grain. It is an easier path than being a sociopath or criminal. Our families/friends like us better when we don’t violate big moral codes.
Given that the colors of nuance are shades of grey, being too much of a stickler to the rules does not align well with the vagaries life gives us. There is no hard rule for every situation. An example is in criminal justice where there are sentencing guidelines that mandate certain punishment for certain crimes.
Historically, there have been too many individuals caught in these excessive sentencing rules, resulting in clearly unfair punishment given the crime committed. Clearly, by this example and others, it is not possible to legislate laws for everything and every circumstance. Judgment is the tool that must be brokered.
Judgment is also the area where the ego plays it’s game of hard ball. Using our judgment without the dross of ego is the highest skill. First thing we do is magically waive our hands exclaiming no conflict of interest and give ourselves a pass when in fact, the situationcompromised us.
Being ‘right’ is an area where the ego excels. This feeling of being ‘right’ should be an enormous clue to our ‘witness’ that something is probably wrong.
Examples play out constantly in our life if we just look a little deeper past our ingrained behavior. On a daily basis, I take the dog for a 60 minute walk. She is a pitbull mix. She evokes different reactions from different people based on their personal and societal backgrounds. Her behavior towards humans is a 10 out of 10. No issues there. However, people on the street do not know any of that and their reactions will continue as they do.
Previously, on a different occasion, we would pass a large group of 2 preschool teachers with about 18 or 20 tots in their stead. As they saw me coming from the opposite direction with the dog, they would bunch up and go as far as they could to the side to avoid any perceived threat in order to protect their children. I and the dog would pass in the space they abandoned for me.
There was nothing inherently bad about this situation. I felt I had the same rights to the sidewalk that they did. They were uncomfortable, so they moved.
Looking at my behavior more intently, I saw a righteousness there that occluded some of my vision. I didn’t need to be so right. The next time I saw this group from a distance I proceeded to get out of the way, going off the sidewalk giving them the space. A beautiful smile from one of the ladies gave positive affirmation to my adjustment. And internally, I smiled as I had seen that ‘me’ being right was wrong. It was ‘pushing’ the need to be right.
Just following that moment, was a women, who looked like she’d been on the street, so to speak, smoking a cigarette. She smile as we passed. It was a beautiful smile. It was a departure from a bland affect she had just the moment previously. In that time, my judgment was reacting to the cigarette. “Cigarettes are bad”. Oh, thanks for the smile. It helped see past the knee-jerk righteousness that was consuming me, for thatmoment.
“Being right” ends up taking up a lot of space being small. When we disallow ourselves and others the space ‘to be’ with the trump card called “being right”, we go to a small corner of the Universe hugging and clutching this idea we think we have. Over-attachment to our presumption of ‘right’ is dealing with limitation we have arbitrarily crafted vis-a-vis judgment.
To be free, is not to be too loose either. To be free is to not own anything, to include concepts like absolute right and wrong through the biased vehicle of the little me. Spaciousness and infinite expression of the unlimited in form, does not conform to little prescriptions by little egos. The Vastness knows no bounds. More space to walk is usually a good thing.
If we could see our energy as little arrows or vectors, pointing in one or different directions, we would see our investment patterns. All arrows pointing in one direction gives one-pointedness. Arrows pointed in multiple directions yields scattered energy. ‘Pushing’ the arrows ourway is forcing a process called ’struggle’. Aligning the arrows with ‘no-thing’ idealizes harmony with everything.
Over-Investment in ‘being right’ is a trick bag because we cannot be ‘right’ when pushing the ‘me’ agenda. Lining up the vectors with the Dharma means that the ‘little me’ is not first. The Dharma of the infinite interest of One is always the arrow to follow without having to be right.