“Developing deeper understanding that leads to wisdom means suffering sometimes.”
We are all familiar with prejudice; it has many disguises, culture, religion, male/female roles, racism, nationalism, sexuality, etc. Many of us are disgusted by this injustice. As long as there is prejudice we claim we will never be equals. We shout out against judgment.
But at the same time it is prejudging that keeps us from knowing ourselves. If you think about it, you are the one, you have to favor. Only you can satisfy your body needs, your sense indulgence, your intellectual curiosity, and all your ambitions. When you are sick only you really feel the pain. When you are happy only you can rejoice the most. When you are on your death bed, only you experience your desire to live.
Too much pleasure is often more fatal than none at all. When we hear of someone dying of alcoholism, lung poising, or any other diseases derived by access of addiction, we often feel that won’t happen to me, surly I don’t over indulge. But, time is short and as long as we are slave to pleasures and desires we have no time to contemplate death and the spiritual afterlife. As long as we value comfort and pleasure over effort, we will never have the strength and discipline for deeper understanding. As long as we hold dogma and intellectual ideas over real experience we can never have a real perception of God. As long as we battle over religious beliefs and keep ourselves separate from each other, the earth and cosmos we will never realize the meaning of ‘God is everywhere.’
No father thinks his child is ugly, because all our ideas are our own creation. We are always partial to ourselves, thinking it’s not me. We create our own prejudice. If we are to reach beyond war, hunger, unhealthy desires, power and injustice to one another, and realize the heaven on earth, we must confront judgment first within ourselves in this way we open the doors to new possibilities.
Below are some ways to remove internal judgments:
What are you afraid of: Most often prejudice stems from fear. If you dislike a certain group, whether it is religion, sexual orientation, political persuasion or just plain beliefs, unless it threatens your life, ask yourself, ‘What am I really afraid of’, ‘can I agree to disagree and live and let live?’ Questions like these give you a clear picture of what you need to dissolve within yourself to free your mind and develop compassion for others.
Beliefs: What beliefs about myself and others and how things ‘should be’ cause me to hold back, to blame or give me excuses to behave in a selfish way?
Goals and Values: What goals and values do I have in common with those I view as enemies or competition? How can I perceive ‘there is more than enough for all?’
Finally, prejudice is a tricky thing: your beliefs always appear to be logical and solid-that’s’ their nature-but the world changes when beliefs once viewed solid crumble under the passing of time. For example; the world is not flat, but people believed it so, and went to great trouble to keep it so, until new discoveries changed their perception.