Jul 20, 2016 On the power of losing one’s ego
Judging is weakening. I am not talking about judgment, which is what good judges must exercise rather than judging.
We constantly judge. Just recently, I judged that an unsmiling and at first barely talking cabdriver was unfriendly to the point of possibly being creepy, only to learn through talking with him that he was actually a very compassionate person who was preoccupied with a friend’s present travails.
We constantly judge ourselves. Some do so to the point of committing suicide, judging themselves as failures, even a very advanced appellate judge having said he killed himself for that reason.
We constantly judge circmstances, blaming constant rains for our feelings of malaise even though the rains make the fields bloom beautifully; and blaming a traffic jam for making us late, only later to learn that the traffic jam saved our life from driving over a bridge that collapses before we get to it.
We constantly judge those closest to us, when they do not meet our expectations or our vision of who they are or should be (and often when we resist accepting that everyone grows and changes), when they seem to betray us, and when they seem not to invest the effort to understand and listen to us.
Without ego, we do not judge. Meditative and contemplative practices — for instance sitting meditation and taijiquan (which incorporates moving meditation) — can help us lose our egos. Then, when I am tempted to judge, I can return to the experience of my meditative practice, to come closer to disintegrating my ego.
Time and time again, when I stop judging, I am listening better, and active listening is a critical component of successful battle, and, therefore, a critical component of criminal defense. Therefore, not activiely listening is weakening.
Losing the ego removes the barrier to successfully battling — whether through criminal defense or otherwise — through active listening, active observation, and actively being in the moment. Doing otherwise is weakening.
The biggest challenges to losing our ego include coming to terms with our own self identity, reputation, and livelihood. In my criminal defense work, of course, everything is supposed to be about my client, and not about me. When I invest in the supposed loss of losing my ego, I reap big dividends.