Osho on Judging People
Question - How to drop Judging People?
Osho - There is no need to stop or drop judging people; you have to understand why you judge and how you judge. You can judge only the behaviour because only the behaviour is available. You cannot judge the person because the person is hiding behind, the person is a mystery. You can judge the act but you cannot judge the being.
And the act is irrelevant. It will not be right to judge a being through the act. Sometimes it happens that a man is smiling. The act is there on the surface and deep inside he may be sad In fact, he may be smiling because he is sad. He does not want to show his sadness to anybody – why bring one’s wounds to everybody? Why? That seems embarrassing. Maybe he is smiling just because he is crying deep down.
Nietzsche has said, ’I go on smiling. People think I am a very jolly person and that is absolutely wrong. I go on laughing because I am afraid that if I don’t laugh, I may start crying. So I have to convert my energy somewhere otherwise it will become tears. Before it becomes tears it has to become laughter.’
The insight is perfectly true. Nietzsche is one of the most perceptive men ever born on the earth. Tears and smiles are very close. In Indian villages women say to their children, ’Don’t laugh too much otherwise you will start crying.’ And that happens. If a child laughs too much he starts crying. Tears and smiles are very close. If you want to hide your tears the best way is to smile – that’s why people are smiling.
Just by seeing a smiling face you cannot judge what is happening inside. The inside is not available to you. The inside is private; it is not available to anybody. So the first thing to understand is that you can look only at the behaviour and the behaviour does not mean much. All that is really significant is the person behind. And you don’t know. Your judgements are going to be wrong. And you know it – because when people judge you by your acts, you always feel that they have judged you wrongly.
You don’t judge yourself by your acts, you judge yourself by your being. So everybody feels that all judgements are unjust. You feel that judgements are unjust because to you your being is available – and the being is such a big phenomenon and the act is so tiny and small. It does not define anything. It may be just a momentary thing.
You said something to somebody and he became angry, but don’t judge him by his anger because it may be just a momentary flash. He may be a very loving person. If you judge him by his anger you misjudge him. And then your behaviour will depend on your judgement. And you will always wait for the man to be angry and you will always think that he is an angry man. You will avoid the person. You have missed an opportunity.
Never judge anybody by their action – but that is the only thing available to you. So what to do? Judge ye not. By and by become more and more aware of the privacy of being. Every being inside his own soul is so private there is no way to penetrate it. Even when you love, something at the deepest core remains private. That is man’s dignity. That is the meaning when we say man has a soul. Soul means that which can never become public.
Something of it will always remain deep, lost in some mystery. I have heard.... Two men were called to a home and asked to haul some trash to a garbage heap. After they had loaded the truck the back of the truck was overflowing with all the trash. One man said, ’You may get into trouble with the police if we drive through town and the trash blows onto the street.’
The other man said, ’Don’t worry, I have an idea. You drive and I will spread my body over the trash and that will keep it from blowing about.’ On the way to the garbage heap they passed under a bridge. As they drove under it, two men standing on top of the bridge happened to look down and saw the man lying on top of the garbage, arms and legs spread wide.
One of the men said, ’Will you look at that! Someone is throwing away perfectly good men!’ From the outside that’s what we can judge. From the outside it is always wrong. Seeing it again and again, understanding it again and again, penetrating it again and again, you will not need to drop judgements, they drop of their own accord. Just watch. Whenever you judge, you are doing something foolish. It does not apply to the person at all, it can apply only to the act. And that act too is taken out of context because you don’t know his whole life.
It is as if you tear a page from a novel and you read it and you judge the novel by it. It is not right; it is out of context. The whole novel may be a totally different thing. You may have taken a negative part, an ugly part. But you don’t know anybody’s life in its totality. A man has lived for forty years before you come to meet him. Those forty years of context are there. The man is going to live forty years more when you have left him.
Those forty years of context are going to be there. And you saw the man, just a single instance of him, and you judged him. That is not right. That is just stupid. It will not have any relevance to the man himself. Your judgement will show something more about you than about the man. ’Judge ye not so that ye may not be judged’ – that’s what Jesus says.
Your judgement shows something about you, nothing about the person you have judged – because his history remains unavailable to you, his being remains unavailable to you. All contexts are lost, there is just a momentary flash – and your interpretation will be your interpretation. It will show something about you. Seeing this, judging disappears.
Source : from Osho Book "Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 2"