How I Used Truth - Lesson 2 - Annotation 7
What causes a condemnatory attitude of mind?
7. An attitude of condemnation is primarily caused by our failure to act from our highest nature, the Christ or real Self. The word condemn comes from a root word which means "damage"; with condemnation is included the pronouncement of punishment. On the other hand, correction is that which erases the damage. Condemnation is a negative approach to wrongdoing, while, correction is a positive approach that changes the condemnatory attitude of mind.
The text points out on page 39 that, "All condemnation springs from looking at personality. . . the outward appearance, not the real self" (How I Used Truth 39). Such an attitude has been built because we have judged by appearances, rather than seeing another person as a spiritual being seeking expression through an evolving soul. We probably have not stopped to consider the pressures, the frustrations, the loneliness, the fear of failure, the sense of separation, not only from God but from one's fellowman, that the other person may be experiencing. Any of these limiting feelings may have taken possession of him and led to actions that we feel justified in condemning. It is true that the primary cause of such actions on the part of another has come from forgetfulness of his true nature. However, our shortsighted approach to his problem is an example of the same forget fulness; we have not judged from the Absolute or from our own divine nature. We have not held the vision of his divinity and his right to unfold in his own way.
A condemnatory attitude of mind is by no means limited to the actions of other persons. We need to deal with this attitude insofar as it relates to everything in creation. When we condemn conditions, occurrences in life, we are not building but tearing down. With the change of the underlying cause of condemnation we find that we no longer condemn anything that appears to us as error.
In the handling of both error conditions and the wrong acts of others, we need to be centered in Truth. Then we will no longer "judge by the appearance" of conditions but we will "judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24). Judgment from the spiritual standpoint will reveal to us whether we need to do anything, in the outer. Having erased a condemnatory attitude from our mind, we will be open to whatever guidance God has for us. Without such guidance, we may be guilty of trespassing upon another's rights. On one occasion our guidance may be to hold the high vision and do nothing in the outer. At another time, God may reveal to us in prayer what we need to do to alleviate error conditions. Although we do not condone that which is contrary to God's law of good, our eyes are opened to the Truth and we steadfastly affirm the Presence of God, in the thing, person, or condition.
Another point, worthy of consideration in the matter of condemnation is this: It is impossible for us to condemn a person or a situation before we have held condemnation in our own consciousness. We cannot project to others, or to any situation, what has not first found lodgment in ourself. When we have the assurance of sonship that the Spirit of God gave to Jesus at His baptism by John, "This is my beloved Son" (Matt. 3:17), we are so lifted in consciousness that only understanding and love can be projected from us to our world of people and things.
"And condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned" (Luke 6:37).
If we desire to be free from condemnation by others, it is vital that we remove the causes of condemnation from our own mind. Only through understanding that we are spiritual beings, sons of God, can we learn how to erase the causes of a condemnatory attitude of mind.
Through our eyes the other fellow
Oft appears as someone strange,
Someone that we cannot fathom
Someone we should like to change.
. . .
Know then when we judge adversely,
when our thoughts condemning roam,
That reform had best be started
In ourself and right at home!
—Frank B. Whitney: Beginning Again
Preceding Entry: Explain: "Whose soever sins ye forgive, they are forgiven unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained" (John 20:23).
Following Entry: In the light of Jesus' teachings, how can we handle the attitude of mind that condemns another?