One frustration that used to plague me was when friends and not-so-friendlies would get upset with me for stating opinions without prefacing them with, “In my opinion….” Did they not know it was my opinion? If it’s not a fact (or Truth) and it’s squawking from my mouth, isn’t it obviously my opinion? Why did it bother them so much that they had to blurt out, “In your opinion!” or “That’s your opinion!”
Yeah. No duh.
There are legal reasons for prefacing your public sentences with “In my opinion,” if you could be perceived to be impugning someone’s character or mental state, when you don’t know the facts, or are unqualified to evaluate them professionally, as, say, a psychiatrist. But that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about the basic fact that it really, really bothers a lot of people when you don’t qualify your statements with “In my opinion.” What’s worse is, now there are herds of ya out there who want facts and/or Truth to be prefaced with “In my opinion” because it just sounds right to your tone-deaf ear. Any statement not prefaced thus sounds judgmental. Dictatorial. Kinda like the dictator you don’t know you’re being when you say you’re nonjudgmental.
Nonjudgmentalism, in this case, means a lack of discernment, which means you’re ripe for the picking by those who wish to do you harm. If you think leaving your apartment in the middle of summer to walk out into the world is freeing and you come upon a man in a ski mask and think, “Every day must be Halloween!—This is great!” you might be in for a rude awakening. But do you awaken to the whole all at once or by increments? I ask because there are those of you who would respond to an experience of getting mugged by being thankful for the spiritual teaching. We’re a ridiculous people, what can I tell you?
There are two issues here: not being able to discern opinion from facts from Truth (or direct wisdom), and not wanting to be told what to do or otherwise imposed upon. Which is not to say there’s no such thing as healthy nonjudgmentalism—there is. And it is important in maintaining healthy relationships. But how will you be able to tell healthy from unhealthy if you have banished discernment from your conscious thinking?
Now, believe it or not, all of that is merely the preface for the deeper reason we behave like this: thought bastardizes true freedom, which is wholeness, by saying that freedom is an ideal and being free is behavior based on a belief in the ideal. That’s a whole bunch of decisions coming between you and direct action, is it not?
We are thought and thought wants to exist. Thought is partial but it wants to be the whole of consciousness, because the death of thought in charge is the death of thought’s sense of self. Put more closely to home? You don’t want to die, so you translate the death of your self sense as the one who controls into permanent annihilation. And while the end result is not permanent annihilation, permanent annihilation is the fire one must dissolve in to resurrect as that mysterious end result. Incidentally, the most dangerous thing you can do right now reading this is believe it and try to dive into the fire.
If I were smart, if I were careful with you, I would never tell you this about yourself because it sets up a goal. It gives you a sense of relief that you will continue on, carry forward, after a moment of nothingness. And that expectation keeps you from it.
It would be like a butterfly telling the caterpillar to stop being afraid of chewing through the cocoon, because it will not die, but instead carry on as the butterfly. But the fact is, the butterfly is not the same as the caterpillar, is it? And the caterpillar does not want to die into its butterfly form—not really—so it hears this from the butterfly and imagines the rest. Much safer to stay in the cocoon and imagine what it would be like to chew through, or claim to have done so already, to feel powerful and convert others to your imagined specialness. Meanwhile, you’re all dying, physically dying, and you don’t know it, because what needs to happen is the action of chewing through, not the action of imagining it. Not teaching that imagined vision to others. Not inventing a video game where you virtually chew through and feel the exhilaration of simulation.
Who are you? Have you ever really asked yourself that, naked of all answers? Do you know what it is to be naked and honest with yourself? It’s to have no answers. Not because you were instructed not to have answers in order to get a transcendental result, but because truly there are no answers. You don’t know anything at all that does the trick because none of the alleged answers do–and you know that by the fact that you’re heard them, tried the ones one tries, and you’re still seeking. (Although, some of you are more clever than the average seeker. You pretend not to be seeking but to be fortifying your this-is-what’s-right-for-me answers by bouncing them off of what you read here. Your tricks are boring and they are tricks.)
Be naked. Be nothing. Be the ultimate passive question. Understanding what this means is freeing. No more living a lie with its draining neurotic insistence that everyone around you be stating opinions so that you can feel like whatever is in your head is valid. No more fear of yourself taken out on others.
In fact, no more others.