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Finding Resources Discussing Freedom From Social Judgement?

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Finding Resources Discussing Freedom From Social Judgement?

Post by Free » August 6th, 2011, 5:13 am


This forum and its members seem good at coming up with various sources of various topics.
And the forum has "freethinkers" as part of its title, so it's not all about women, and probably a fitting place to bring up this topic.

I find it near mind-boggling that one of the largest subjects, at least socially, plaguing humans, imho, is this element of judgement, and beyond actual judgement, perceived judgement.
If you're not one of the types that truly does not care what others are thinking, be it genuine (which is very rare), or simply paying no mind, truly distracted by other things, or outright giving them the proverbial middle-finger in your mind, then you might fit into another category, the type that can feel monitored by people.

Let's start as a foundation, a truth. Do people judge? Yes, of course. Do people judge negatively and without being accurate many times? Yes. Of the old days, if you had an earring as guy, people thought this and that, and the person wearing the earring was truly NOT this or that. Basic.
Do people negatively judge, incorrectly and THEN reject others? YES! Read that one again. This is happening more and more, and might I say, globally.
Add into this, the increase of fear in people and distrust of others, and you wonder at the increased division amongst people!

Now, can you imagine, in certain types of people, the ones that are not able to just blow it all off, how they might be worried near constantly about what others are thinking, even if what the others are thinking is not even right, or it's just overboard.
Why would the person care? Well, we're all mostly social beings. We desire to connect (i.e. to partake in various levels of love).
When we are judged negatively by others, it begins the process of rejection. Counterproductive to what we are desiring - to connect with others.

Here's the kicker though. Obviously the people around you are not constantly judging or monitoring you. They clearly have more important things in their lives than to pay mind to you so much. BUT, you know the possibility is still there, and could be at any moment.

Here's an example. Most of us live around others. Places where we have to be civil and fit into whatever the "box" is for that area. Say we rent a place. And we really don't want to be thrown out. You may be doing something that is clearly not wrong, maybe exercising in your own apartment naked or something, who knows, but the neighbor might think it odd if they see you, thinking you're different, not like them (ok, you're different, fine, but you're not some fruit-loop), and so this neighbor will distance themselves from you, a form of rejection.
Or you're taking apart your iPod or whatever the example, and you feel that maybe you're neighbor could be watching and they are the nosy type and known by others to meddle other peoples affairs to make themselves feel more significant, and so you worry (i.e. fear) if they are watching, and if they may report you for making some bad device, or who knows!
The point here is, not feeling a sense of freedom, instead, feeling monitored or potentially monitored most times. It's like a smothering pillow, a heavy weight to your free spirit to just be.

And so, even if you don't have a desire to get to know the neighbor, when you carry on your business, you might feel monitored.
Neighbors DO get nosy. This is not a paranoia thing. It's a fact people judge others. It's a fact people are nosy.

Like I said in other posts, it's much more intense and heavy in Western lands because it's as if you have a deeper aspect, deeper thinking and analyzing and this adds a sort of "heavy weight" to the air. A heavy energy. These thoughts have energy.
Yes in many non-Western lands, sure, you still have nosy neighbors and people making judgements, but, they don't give so much weight to them, don't sit and analyze it all.

Another example, you try to go do yoga or whatever, in a park in a certain Western land. You have the others sitting there. Fine, it's a public park. But, they stare and stare and stare. Not much to stare at, but they're just simply nosy and get some significance out of this. It wouldn't be so bad, it's not the actual staring - it's the thought energy that comes with it. You know the thoughts are going and going, we've all overheard others talking about others and not in nice ways. And so, it makes for an uncomfortable place, and back to what I said earlier, ideally, you don't want to be rejected by this community that you're trying to live in.
Verses, many parks in non-Western lands. You go, you still gets stares, but the similarities end there. Because you don't feel that heavy weight of the eyes and the thought energy by the others, and even if they think you're different, or odd for wearing polka-dots or whatever, they'll still talk to you and be friendly!

I hope some out there, somewhere understands what I'm talking about! I know the masses don't get bothered by all this, and hey, that's fine, I wish I could be that way. But I know I can't be the only one noticing and pondering this and thinking it's not quite the ideal thing.

Really, my whole point to all of this is really one word: FREEDOM!

Don't we just want to be free?
This term is thrown around SO MUCH! Yet I rarely see the aspect of this freedom I'm mentioning talked about.

I have come across TONS of lectures, books, seminars, etc. over the years. Even ones catered to freedom, but why is it I have not come across this exact thing mentioned above?
This aspect of finding freedom from social judgement, or at least the perceptions of being judged? Imho, it's a huge matter.
You could almost say, a form of terrorism for many out there. The person being bothered by this doesn't even have to have others actually doing the judging around them. Just the simple fact that we know people DO judge incorrectly and negatively, can put one on a near constant alert to it.

I know there's healthy judgement. It's what has carried people on to these days, a sort of survival mechanism, both literally and socially.

I would prefer to live in a nice Western land for the many good aspects, but this one thing, this HUGE element - seeking true freedom, has me honestly questioning at times to go live in a jungle tribe. Not kidding! Obviously for many other reasons I don't want that. But do you get the point?
Actually, I stayed in a jungle tribe for a brief time, and I can tell you, the freedom was amazing. I mean in all aspects. You could just truly be you. Within healthy reasons of course. As well, you were certainly much more connected to nature and eating well. And, you were removed from the heavy drains of the negative aspects of modern living (tech, machines, etc.).
The masses seem to be carrying on and I'm sure, it's just me that's stuck off in the gutter somewhere, but I can say, the masses don't know a TRUE freedom like I just mentioned I briefly experienced. Actually, it's how almost all of us lived not so long ago, when you consider the human time line. The grand percentage of human time, we lived these ways. I think there are many ills of modern societies globally that people are still unaware of and we are just now truly umasking. And the masses just simply do not know what they have been missing. Things appear to be fine. Almost like eating an empty calorie burger day in, day out. Many would argue, tastes good, filling, it's good food. But it's a deception.

NOW, after that long rambling, if you're still reading :lol: DOES ANYONE KNOW OF ANY RESOURCES discussing this specific matter? About finding freedom from these heavy aspects of society - the judging, and being under the gun of simply the perceptions of judgement.
An obvious is simply moving, but I mean, the inner workings of what's really going on. The sociological, psychological aspects.

I truly believe many aspects of society in these modern days, such as the past 50-100 years, have truly gone quite messed up, certainly not just in the US. And it's really not just the stuff people keep talking about.
There are the deeper things. That one I already mentioned. But also too, what has been the damages of technology? The industrial ways of modern life. There may be the appearances (deceptions?) that humans have been progressing as a result, but have we been really? I'm starting to think, not really. I've been to hundreds of cities across the globe, and almost all of course have the vehicles. What I mostly see is congestion, high costs, burning up fuel, and something not mentioned a lot, isolation. Think if all those people were out walking, as so 100's of years before. The better social interaction. The better understanding people would have of their local environment. The slower pace. It would all be slower and better. Take in the air, the nature, think on a different level, etc. More true to one's humanity, and true to natural living. More true to the original design.

I don't know folks. How are all these other people getting by? Sometimes I wonder, maybe the masses are right. Maybe just go along with the systems. Well, for some reason, some time back, I got bumped off the masses tracks, and, I just can't put myself back on them, no matter the costs I might have to endure.

So whatdya say? Do you know of any good authors or speakers for example, talking about these sort of lesser-talked-about aspects.

If you're still reading, thanks.
"Give me liberty or give me death" - Patrick Henry

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Post by onebelo » August 6th, 2011, 5:54 am

i think it has something to do with money and a perceieved 'status'. once you put yourself above someone in a status is the moment you can start to look down on someone

ive spent some time in thailand and for the most part i feel i could wear fluffy pink slippers all day and feel like i blended in with the city no problem. and going travelling to smaller cities/villages it mattered even less.

it certainly has a lot to do with status. in the under developed cities people have their own problems and are just happy to have a nice home and food to eat, pointing out someone elses 'differences' is just not on their minds.

i mean just take a step back and look at the social differences between poor and rich. when do you ever see these problems in a poor society? do you ever?

coming home from thailand made me feel very strange. over there i could talk to any strangers and feel totally natural talking to them, even if a person was rude and dismissed me i didnt feel like he was scared of me or threatened, but he was probably late for something or maybe he was an asshole, but thats alright, because even then i didnt feel out of place or alienated. when i came home to the UK even asking a stranger a question made me feel like i came from another planet, and starting a conversation would just be the last thing ever done even if in a boring airport situation. i feel like people are scared of interaction over here.

it is a very strange phenomonem indeed. and if anyone comes in with any information that you requested on the subject i definetely wouldnt mind reading into it aswell.

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Post by ethan_sg » August 7th, 2011, 10:40 am

Well to put it simply, modern industrial society and everything it encompasses is toxic to the human spirit and destroys human connections.

Therefore the more developed a society, the more entrenched it is within the system, the more 'divided and conquered' its people are, and the more intolerant, individualistic, selfish, judgmental and materialistic its people become.

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Post by Free » August 9th, 2011, 6:21 am

Very good replies both of you.
Short (unlike my long post :wink: ) and with great points.

Realized after posting, that I probably put too many words there, and thought, maybe no one would reply.
Not sure if you guys read that whole launch of letting things out, if so, thanks.

Hadn't reflected too much on the wealth aspect, but yes, I can see it as a strong factor.
Guess I don't really think in those ways much, while I suppose many others do.

And surely, these modern days, it's like the problematic theme as a whole is this division aspect from all facets.
Correct indeed 'ethan_sg' "toxic to the human spirit". I just don't think we're meant to be living like this.
But as soon as I mention these ills and the like, I'm the oddball - people say they're all doing fine, why am not I, such as going along with the crowds.
I don't know. Yet in ways, I still find blessings, to be able to have these different vantage points to see the truth of the problematic aspects of society and humanity.
There's this division of people to their healthy foods, there is this division of people to nature, there is certainly division of people to their communities, there is even division of people in travel by means of isolating vehicles and such. And considering I am spiritual, I notice more division of people to true spirit.

No wonder.

We know these problems. I'm sure several here have the scientific type minds that like to figure things out. Well certainly this is a grand stage, these issues facing societies, for dissecting deeper the issues.

This is partly why I started the thread. Looking to really figure out what's going on. Sure, we have theories about the evil ones at the top probably purposely messing things up for the masses, but it's also important to focus on the more intimate issues - person-to-person.
And about our individual places in the world, in life.
How many of us are truly free inside? This is the big question. I mean free, free to just be (within moral limits obviously - humans across the world generally have this innate).

All this judging around - I suppose there are a large amount of people that are just shut off to noticing it, or suck it in internally, or drown in out through negative vices (drugs, alcohol, tv, over-eating, etc.). But there are those that are quite sensitive to noticing it all around.

As far as resources - like I said, of the many resources out there for life's issues that I have come across, I still haven't found any that dissect this judging aspect and how to find true freedom from it, from these negative aspects of others around.
We mostly all judge, the point is the people who do so too much, and at the expense of unnecessarily excluding otherwise good people from connecting with them and to community.
As well, freedom from simple near constant perceived judgement.

There was one very popular book about freedom with a great title: Harry Browne's "How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World". Didn't get to completely finish it. It was fairly decent for what I read, but it still didn't delve into how to break free from others in the regards I mention. To really feel free.
Sure, one way might just to be a complete jerk and not care in this manner, but obviously that's not the wise and effective route.
There has to be a way.

Without getting into religious talk, there are some writings that mention to not make men (& women) you're masters, idols, to be slaves to them and it refers to paying mind to what they think of you (this is assuming of course, you are a person doing right and of decent character - again, the others who unnecessarily and place invalid judgements). And, that we are in this world, but to not be of it. Applying in this area, this does make some sense, but, like other things, a lot easier said than done.

So, that's all I have for resources. And why I started the thread, maybe some others had some books, speakers, etc.

The solution I can see so far (aside from some switch just getting thrown to where you just truly don't care), is to live in a less judging place, just like what 'onebelo' mentions in his post. I experienced the same exact thing, several times over, and various places.

By the way, I'm currently in a Western land, contemplating the next location, and that is why the words are dumping out in these posts.
Like 'onebelo' noted, and others here know, when you have the contrast of comparing 2 lands of quite extremity in these regards, things become even more clear.
"Give me liberty or give me death" - Patrick Henry

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Post by Truthville » August 12th, 2011, 1:21 am

Great posts and great subject.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the complete negativity of the media. In the US, very rarely do you see a "good" story and, as a consequence, these stories tend to resonate longer with people.

Years ago, I remember a national story about a man in New England, I think, whose textile plant burned down putting 300 people out of work. He continued to pay them their full salary while the plant was closed.

How many business owners in the US would do this?

The negativity of the media leads people to "judge" more harshly IMHO because they LACK the internal mechanisms to actually "feel" people and what they are about. I have this mechanism, BUT I've found most people don't. People, at least here, are most likely to assume the worst about a stranger out of ignorance and/or fear.

For instance, NEVER would I, as a single man, approach a small child and engage them in conversation here in the US. Why? Because I would be though of as a pedophile by many. I could even be harmed in some way by doing so. It's sad really.

As far the "judging" aspect, I seriously just pay no mind. It's true, we all judge. For me, it's more of a self-defense mechanism than anything. I've had the misfortune of knowing/being contact with some really scum of the earth type people. I tend to judge the situation more than the person, though.

I personally could care less what most people get up to or what they are in to UNLESS it involves me in some way. I live my life they way I want to. Sadly, a lot of people, IMHO, live their lives trapped in the prison of other peoples judgement. It limits their lives, and yet most are blind to their enslavement. The Mass media in this country creates/encourages/defines the prison and sadly, most people walk right in with a smile on their faces.

I really haven't studied or researched this subject SO I can't really point you in any direction. All I know is that I try to live as free as I can, and I would suggest others do the same.

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Freedom from the Heavy Energy of Excessive Social Judgment

Post by ethan_sg » April 6th, 2012, 11:34 am

Hi Free,

Looking back I think your original post in this forum topic, though long, is actually one of the best posts I’ve read on this site and is very insightful on this very important topic of freedom from social judgment. This freedom, I think, is one of the primary reasons why many of us find that life in less developed/westernized countries tends to be far more socially fulfilling, with the freedom to be ourselves.

And I do not think that this relative freedom from the very heavy burdensome ‘energy’ of social judgment applies only to foreigners, it applies to everyone within the country, it’s the norm in social interaction which thereby makes the social environment in less tarnished countries healthier not just for a foreigner, but also for people in general.
It is ironic that in the West and in particular America, the purported iconic country of individualism, people are the least free to be themselves and most unable escape the heavy energy of social judgment.

One contributory reason for this is that in American individualism, everyone sees each other is separate, unrelated, individual beings, like discrete unconnected atomic particles. The belief we are all separate and different and everything that happens to us is a consequence of our actions, and we have to take responsibility for everything that happens in our own lives and never blame consequences or attribute much weight to external factors.

The destruction of organic horticultural/agrarian/hunter-gatherer human communities contributes to this perception because a lack of communal interconnectedness prevents us from seeing our interdependence on each other as human beings and the importance of external factors which are out of our control in the things that happen within our lives. In rejecting the concepts of externalities and interdependence and failing to see ourselves as part of a greater whole, we come to worship the idea of the individual self and attribute everything to the individual self.

When the general belief is that we are all discrete, separate, atomic particles and not interconnected as part of a greater whole, the sense of togetherness and that ‘we’re all in this together’ and that ‘we’re all a victim of what this world may bring to us together’ (external circumstances) is lost and people become very judgmental and critical of each other.

In fact this leaves the individualized masses being vulnerable to manipulated by the ‘tyranny of the majority’, a majority which is easily manipulated by consumerism, and the fashion fads, materialistic judgments it promotes, all what the corporate elite would want of the populace. When the masses are so conscious and preoccupied with being socially judged, they consume a lot more material objects to make themselves look ‘fashionable’, ‘rich’, ‘hip’, etc. Because there are no overriding principles to unite these individuals within their discrete individualism, whatever the majority favors becomes the rule – tyranny of the majority. And what the majority favors is manipulated by large scale advertising of popular culture. In fact the burden of social judgement has become so heavy in many developed countries that a lot of social interaction in these countries have become little more than business-like meetings, where only the most boring topics devoid of passion and deep emotion gets discussed because only the lowest common denominator can be used when everyone is afraid of stepping on each other's toes.

On the contrary, it is because people in less developed countries are less judgmental that they tend to be more likely to see themselves as part of a communal whole and ‘all in this together’ that people there would still be friendly to the person acting or dressing eccentrically in the park, because it doesn’t change the fact that that eccentric person is a fellow human being and one of us and perhaps he’s just acting the way he is because of the circumstances in his life. Besides, since there is no worship of individualism in these countries, people are very humble and who is one to individual to judge another individual as being weird to the point that he is only worthy of contempt and not worth being friendly with? This less individualistic, more united worldview also leaves them less susceptible to the manipulations of consumerism and the mass popular media.

Although the toxic seeds of change are unfortunately being sown in rapidly developing/westernizing countries like China and Brazil, I am certain from my personal experiences in China as compared to developed countries that I feel far far more free to be myself as an individual in China than in any developed country, where you’re always being judged by how you dress, what you say, what work you do etc. In China, social interaction with locals just feels so much more natural and flows so much more easily. People readily speak their hearts and minds without trying to measure or over-think what they say too much, there are far less mind games going on, and you don't feel the heavy energy of social judgement which is precisely what Free is talking about. Because there is a greater degree of mutual trust among individuals, there is also a greater sense of 'familiarity among strangers' which is what Winston's articles have mentioned a lot.

The irony therefore is that excessive individualism induces an absurdly heavy burden of social judgment on each individual, very toxic for social relations and togetherness, and inhibits each individual’s freedom to truly be him/her-self.
I’m sorry that this was so long and not really that organized right now but I didn’t have much time and I just wanted to put it out there. Maybe I’ll rephrase all of this in a more eloquent and organized fashion when I have more time.

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Post by Billy » April 6th, 2012, 4:54 pm

aren´t you guys again too one sided? yes of course social judgement is toxic. but so is violence. in developing countries you don´t have the same security level. but i do understand where you are coming from. but a little bit of a balanced view would be nice too.

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