Conniptions 

I just read that a conniption is a fit of violent anger or panic. 

Hmmmpf. 

I have conniptions with this definition. 

I thought conniptions were like little nips and grumbles. 

The pointed mumbling under ones breath that makes one conniptious. 

Judgement 

We all judge things all the time. 

I don’t think “being judged” is the perjorative that people load on it. It’s just the process of making a judgement. 

I learned a long time ago that a judgment doesn’t result in a right or a wrong. In most court cases for example, the Judge isn’t the arbiter of the truth or some absolute reason; his role is to just make a judgement (a decison) that everyone agrees (or is forced to stick with. Whether you (personally) agree with it has nothing to do with it. 

Bad judgment such as taking drugs, driving too fast, trusting the wrong person typically comes from a lack of experience. Or a lack of empathy. As you grow up you either learn from your bad judgments through direct experience, or by indirect feedback from others as to the way your bad judgment affected them (physically, emotionally). 

When we say someone has good judgment, I suspect what we are actually saying is that they have experience and opinions that allows them to make choices (or judgments) that result in (perceived) good outcomes. The good outcomes are likely those that closely follow societal norms. It follows that we all hope that Judges have good judgement. 

My judgments are based on experience and a lifetime of feedback which must have over time adjusted my behaviours. 

Whilst I know I must conform to social norms, I could care less for them. I tend to stick to the norms that make sense and mostly I follow my own rules. This isn’t so much because I am a rebel and more because i am genuinely a little bit different (probably Aspergersish) so I have had to figure some things out for myself. 

My judgments about people are based on a lifetime of studying them with fascination as to how we are all different. When I make a judgement about another person it’s not only based on the heuristics, but also it isn’t couched in the context of what other people have reported. Well it is – it must be – no man is an island, but for the most part my individual assessment reigns. 

I have met people that others “love” that I have thought are awful. And visa versa; I have met people that others find “weird” where I see only genuine. 

It might be that my judgement of people is coloured by the reflection of them that only I can see. And that is true for everyone. We can only see others through the lens of our own self. I may be more forgiving and accepting of weirdos, because I am one myself. 

What I do know is that typically I deliver my judgments (if asked) honestly and without worry about what the receiver thinks. Mostly I think people can tell that’s the case because all of our brains are little machines and it’s the subtleties that can make the difference. Since my judgment is delivered with sinceretiy most people are prepared to accept it without a little wonder as to whether that’s what she really thinks. 

So judgment and it’s authentic delivery are two different things. 

A judge could deliver a (perceived) good judgment with no genuine belief in it at all. We might all agree with his finding, but we would also find we don’t trust his judgment as it might apply to other things. We would, I suppose, smell the rat. 

If someone says they trust your judgment, likely it means they think what you are saying is in line with your underlying real beliefs. 

Eckhart and Carrots

Eckhart Tolle reckons all you need to do to be a guru is disconnect your thinking from your emotions. And voila, you are moorishly nowish. Simples. 

In cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), the hypothesis goes that thinking (your cognitions/schema) leads to feelings (emotions), which in turn lead to behaviour. And so on.

To evidence this, try suggesting the same thing to three different people, and likely you will find they will each “think” something different, have a different “emotion” in response, and then “behave” differently. 

If you still don’t get it, try telling your lover, your best friend, and your mum (assuming these are three different people) that you just stuck a carrot up your bottom and you will likely get three different reactions. 

According to Eckhart, no matter how you feel about the proverbial carrot, all you need do is witness that feeling. 

What you think and all the judgements you make are just your mind. Ego. Pain. Fears. The fact it happened and the fact you learned of the veggie event means nothing in the grand universe. Your role is to witness. 

I am not so sure. Mainly because if I kept my reaction to myself, and I was then bombarded with upside rooted veg stories, eventually I would stop witnessing my own reaction and (depending on the confessor) ask in them to stop fecking telling me, or ask if I could watch. 

The trick in CBT is not to disconnect your thinking from your emotions, but to find the underlying cognition and to witness that. 

That’s all you have to do actually. Find it and voice it (pay attention to it). Somehow that turns it from a wave to a particle. And often times if it’s a dodgy cognition it shifts from being hidden in the heuristics, to coexisting in the broadly (arguably) rational. At the very least it sits with your more apparent view of the world so your feelings are more in line with your opinions. 

Anyway that sounds a bit unguru like. And, maybe this is what Eckhart means in a way, or maybe he never had that many faulty cognitions (because likely once you’ve popped 80% of them the whole disconnection hypothesis works just as well). Or, maybe I am totally wrong and he is right and the cognitions change themselves over time anyway. His might be the less intuitive faster but route. 

Fundamentally, changing your own cognitions (however it’s done) has to be preferable to getting others to change around you. Whilst it’s tempting to ask others to stop pressing your soft spots, unless it’s temporary (while you bear witness and do some mental renovation) ultimately what you end up with is an edited world in which nothing is really real.