Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Comparative Judgment


Is not the mind also an instrument of comparison? You know what comparison is, to compare. You say this is better than that; you compare yourself with somebody who is more beautiful, who is more clever. There is comparison when you say, "I remember that particular river which I saw a year ago, and it was still more beautiful." You compare yourself with somebody, compare yourself with an example, with the ultimate ideal. Comparative judgment makes the mind dull; it does not sharpen the mind, it does not make the mind comprehensive, inclusive, because when you are all the time comparing, what has happened?

You see the sunset, and you immediately compare that sunset with the previous sunset. You see a mountain and you see how beautiful it is. Then you say, "I saw a still more beautiful mountain two years ago." What happens when you are comparing is that you are really not looking at the sunset which is there, but you are looking at it in order to compare it with something else. So, comparison prevents you from looking fully.

I look at you, you are nice, but I say, "I know a much nicer person, a much better person, a more noble person, a more stupid person"; when I do this, I am not looking at you, am I? Because my mind is occupied with something else, I am not looking at you at all. In the same way, I am not be looking at the sunset at all. To really look at the sunset, there must be no comparison; to really look at you, I must not compare you with someone else. It is only when I look at you not with comparative judgment that I can understand you.

But when I compare you with somebody else, then I judge you, and I say, "Oh! he is a very stupid man." So, stupidity arises when there is comparison; you understand? I compare you with somebody else, and that very comparison brings about a lack of human dignity. When I look at you without comparing, I am only concerned with you, not with someone else. The very concern about you, not comparatively, brings about human dignity.

~Written by Jiddu Krishnamurti

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