Byron Brown

Space and the Judge

“The judge will attack your experience of space from different directions:”So you are feeling emptiness in your head You numskull, that means you are stupid! … If you start losing your sense of boundaries, you are asking for trouble…. Quit spacing out and get to work! What do you mean, you don’t feel guilty about what happened? Don’t bother trying to sense yourself; there’s nothing there-and that’s your problem!” Until you begin to recognize spaciousness for what it is-the authentic presence of your beingness without any content-your judge will easily distract you from experiences of open emptiness. All it has to do is call up the image of something missing and you will fill up the space with searching and worrying!

Spaciousness has its own particular power in relation to the judge. It is what is in between and around words, objects, and ideas. The more you are aware of space as an experiential quality, the more you are focused on the open field in which everything arises. This is the opposite of content, of the narrow, focused engagement with the judge.The judge’s message is seductive compared to other content, but compared to empty space, it is no more powerful than a TV commercial and considerably less pleasant than a nice piece of music.When you are feeling spacious, the judge is not right in your face, even if it is present, so it can’t exert its usual degree of pressure. In fact, spacious means space to choose, space to ignore, or space to go around. Feeling spacious brings elements ofour experience back into proper proportion, and the judge’s significance rapidly diminishes.
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We have seen that

any psychic process that controls you gets much of its power from being unconscious. Therefore, the first phase in regaining control of your own heart and mind is to make the particular process as conscious as possible. By being curious and willing to be in touch with what you are already experiencing, you are becoming more aware of the psychic activity of self-judgment.

Self-judgment is the constant valuation of yourself according to standards learned in the past. It manifests as attacking and engagement. The more you become conscious of the inner activity of attacking and engagement, the more you realize that almost any mental activity used to stop judgment ends up supporting rather than ending it. This is because the effort to stop the attack is initially motivated by the experience of yourself as the victim of the attack-that is, the child. But as you have seen, acting from that selfimage of the child-victim always leads to some form of engagement. In other words, real disengagement requires disidentifying from the child self-image so that you can be truly effective in stopping the attack.
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The heart’s direct antidote

to judgment is compassion. Because the judge sees only what is wrong and what needs fixing, you know you will get no compassion from it. You will therefore be wary of exposing painful, scary, or negative parts of yourself, for you can be certain the judge will make you wish you hadn’t. Everything you think and feel can be used against you. Its job is to maintain the status quo, to protect you by maintaining a restricted sense of self.
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