Discrimination or Judgement?


What is the difference between discrimination and judgement?

—Carina, Germany


Dear Carina,

These words are very similar and can be used interchangeably in many contexts. The online dictionaries are helpful with these nuances. I understand discrimination to be intuitive and judgement to be more of a rational process.

In the spiritual life, discrimination is used often to perceive the direction of consciousness towards God or away from God. For example, one may be attracted to influences that are generally well accepted socially like drinking wine. Because this action is mind or consciousness dulling, the devotee uses discrimination and hopefully avoids it.

Judgement is often a reasoned conclusion and has a connotation of disapproval. We are more interested in emphasizing whatever is positive in others as well as ourselves while inwardly acknowledging imperfections we are striving to change or transcend with the help of God and guru and soul friends.

We start wherever we are and as best we can make choices that support an upward flow of consciousness toward divine awareness using discrimination to discern the habits and influences that support us in that direction.