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The paradox & power of nonjudgmental compassion

The paradox of non-judgment is that it does not judge those who reject the way of non-judgment.

The ability to assimilate that which opposes it is the source of compassion’s power.

Love conquers all because love encompasses all.

Where there is no boundary line, there can be no battle line.

That’s today’s two cents.


T.K. Coleman

This Post Has 10 Comments
  1. I’m having some difficulty with “non-judgment” or should there be a distinction between moral judgments and value-judgments? And the faculty of judgment that weighs and measure facts and data to arrive at truths? Or should there be a distinction between making judgments and being judgmental? Making judgments entails making choices (including non-judgment, but that also entails making a choice/judgment.)

    “Where there is no boundary line, there can be no battle line.” Pondering…I’m inclined to think the opposite, that without boundary lines, there are battle lines. That without defined boundary lines, there are those who will persist in pushing further. (?)

    The United Nations is an example of constantly blurring, ill-defined, or non-defined boundaries
    that the bullies of the world keep pushing. Witness Rwanda, Darfur, etc. (I would also distinguish between initiating force versus retaliatory force.)

    What do you think?



    1. Alana, I like the way you think. I think that there is a difference between moral-judgment and value-judgment, but you have to be able to distinct them when one or the other is placed in front of you. Say… There’s a man on the street with long hair, piercings, and tattoos, but he’s well dressed, well educated, and has a very good job and he’s looking ready for the world. Just because he doesn’t fit your moral-judgment of what he should look like doesn’t mean he couldn’t fit your value-judgment of how great a worker or businessman that he is. Morals and values can very easily be mixed, but I suppose that depends on the type of values you were reffering to. I don’t know much about your other questions, but that’s what I think on your first one.

      1. Good distinctions, Emmy. As I keep telling you, you are way ahead of the curve.

        I wish I had your mind at your age. Let me see if I can add to this…

        Categories of judgment like “Good & Bad” or “Right & Wrong” get tossed around a lot and it’s easy to overlook some key distinctions in relation to those categories. For instance, consider the following three statements:

        1) Steve is the right man for the job.
        2) Sally is right about the condition of the economy.
        3) Sam did the right thing by helping the elderly woman cross the street.

        We could also form negative versions of the above statements as follows

        1) Steve is the wrong man for the job.
        2) Sally is wrong about the condition of the economy.
        3) Sam did the wrong thing by refusing to help the elderly woman cross the street.

        Both versions of statement #1 express judgments about value as it pertains to compatibility with a goal or desire.

        Both versions of statement #2 express judgments about value as it pertains to the factual correctness (or incorrectness) of a claim or set of claims.

        Both versions statement # 3 express judgments about value as it pertains to the appropriateness or inappropriateness of an action in relation to social norms and/or a code of ethics.

        These distinctions can come come in handy especially in contexts where our claims about the rightness or wrongness of something can be of great consequence.

        I love your thoughts, Emmy.

        Glad you’re sharing.



    2. Hi Alana,

      You’re an intellectual heavy weight!!! Let me see if I can step up my game and stay above water here.

      Here goes…

      The way of non-judgment, as I practice it, is not identical to the “the refusal to engage in mental acts of distinction-making.”

      For me, non-judgment is not the absence of thought or belief. It’s the absence of self-righteousness about what one thinks or believes.

      Moreover, it is not the prohibition of judgment, but rather the allowing of all judgments as valid relative to the vantage point of the ones who make those judgments.

      I typically don’t like to think of it as a philosophy as much I prefer to think of it as a state of consciousness devoid of any attachment to the objective “rightness” or “wrongness” of any particular lifestyle or point of view.

      In the way of non-judgment, one is free to believe as he believes and behave as he behaves without feeling morally or rationally obliged to attribute the property of “objectivity” to anything he says, thinks, feels, or does.

      Am I making sense when I say that?

      With regards to your question about geographical boundaries, we could make a distinction between a situation in which there are no boundaries and a situation in which the boundaries are just not well-defined (or agreed upon by all parties involved). I would say your example could be an illustration of the latter. If there really is no boundary, how we can say someone is pushing too far? What, exactly, are the bullies of the world pushing up against if not boundaries? If there were no boundaries, there would be no sense of having those boundaries trespassed. But there is a sense of having those boundaries trespassed. That’s why we call certain people “bullies.” In your example, the conflict is not because of an absence of boundaries. It’s because of an existence of boundaries combined with our failures to be clear and agreeable with each other about what those boundaries really are. For instance, you may have never taken the time to precisely define how much personal space you need in order to feel safe and respected. But if someone gets too close, you will know. Is that because you don’t have boundaries? I would say it is because you do have boundaries and, somewhere along the way, there was a breakdown in communication and cooperation with respect to where (not if) those boundaries were. Of course, this is simply ONE way to see it. Your take?

      More along the lines of my post on non-judgment, however, I’m presenting an approach to conflict resolution that says “hey…you have your way and I have my way. Let’s figure out a way to create a win-win situation without getting caught up in the whole good guys versus bad guys routine. I don’t need to be wrong in order for you to be right and you don’t need to wrong in order for me to be right.” In the absence of those kinds of boundaries—the boundaries created by the attribution of objective value to our tastes, preferences, moral sensitivities, ideologies, and opinions–we can effectively dissolve the battle lines between ourselves.

      Now, I’m not so sure if it’s going to be a fun ride for the guy who sits around hoping for the world to to think this way. So, on a personal level, i choose to play around with being the change I wish to see and conducting my own experiments in nonjudgment. So far, it’s pretty fun. I get to resolve conflicts more than i ever have before (although not perfectly by any means) and I get to learn a lot by talking to smart people like you without having to feel stressed out or defensive.

      Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. You’re challenging (in a way that’s very good for my mind). Thanks for that.



      1. Thank you T.K.! What you said about the distinctions was very helpful and very enlightening! And I certainly hope to be able to use your ideas in some of my own experiences. Also, I love what you had to say in answer to Alana’s questions, very informative to me because I didn’t know much about her questions, and you gave me a whole new perspective on something I had little to say about!
        Thank you again!
        Cheers 🙂

  2. Greetings! Apologies for jumping into the political realm (re the U.N.) when I was thinking of the personal realm. Relationships: Family, friends, co-workers, etc. Regarding boundaries. I don’t think of a boundary as a limit, but rather a frontier. Expressing one’s needs. Believe that relationships experience some difficulties when we aren’t communicating boundaries. Trying to be mind readers. Can lead to resentments, passive aggression, neuroses, etc. This requires courage. Will increase our visibility to one another. And can be done in a diplomatic, sensitive manner.

    Raising children requires setting boundaries while helping to develop strengths.

    All this entails choices.

    I see infinity, with boundaries, as an ongoing exploration of ourselves and the universe around us. Turning potentials into actuals. On our “voyage of discovery.”

    Thank you, Emmy for your response.

    Thank you, T.K. Very…provocative subjects.



    1. Please pardon my delay on this one…

      No problem with jumping into the political realm. It’s all good.

      I love everything you said about the beauty and practicality of boundaries. i agree completely.

      Distinctions are the essence of possibility. Without the capacity and freedom to draw lines of demarcation, we lose the privilege of experiencing ourselves as individual beings.

      Even from a metaphysical perspective, that which is boundless must, by virtue of its all inclusive nature, have room for boundaries.

      In my estimation, we should not seek to transcend boundaries. Instead we “should” seek to transcend the habit of thinking that our boundaries are ever the ultimate truth about anything or anyone.

      Enjoying our convos,


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