Discriminative Thinking

The judment discrimination points to the universal value of non-discrimimation, which can be understood in a positive way as ‘an awareness of the interconnectedness of all life”. Such a positive awareness can lead us to a care for all life, it can lead to a deep care for the impact of our actions.

The perception of separatedness, on the other hand, is a fundamental illusion, that can be very hard to overcome. And it can lead to a lot of suffering and violence. We can enter into an escalating spiral of hate and disconnection.

People sometimes compare other people with lower animals like vermine, worms or rodents. They can call someone a monster or special derogatory word. Dehumanization would be another jackal to paint the unfulfilled needs when we see this happen. Discriminative thinking, hearing and speaking can lead to horrific acts of physical and spiritual violence. Racist and homophobic crimes, hate crimes against women or minority groups in a society, even genocide. When this kind of thinking is expressed by leaders in a society, it may become a norm.

A blood-stalling example is the current political powerholder in Russia, V. Putin, speaking about Western elites. He says they have been filling their bellies with human flesh for centuries. Check it out with English translation below and notice how you feel, hearing this.

Putin says Western elites are cannibals and vampires.
.The Western elites have been accustomed to filling their bellies with human flesh for centuries.
There is a very strong desire among Western elites to freeze the current situation, this unjust state of things in international affairs.

They have been accustomed to fill their bellies with human flesh for money for centuries, but they must understand that the ball of vampires is coming to an end.
В западных элитах очень сильно желание заморозить существующее положение несправедливое положение вещей международных делах.

Они привыкли столетиями набивать брюхо человеческой плотью деньгами но они должны понять что бал вампиров заканчивается.
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It can be very challenging to connect with the impact when we hear such words for the first time. My first reactive judgment is – “This guy needs medical help. He is totally nuts.” – You can check inside, what your judgment is.

One challenge is that we habitually react to pain with discriminative thinking. If we do not stop and notice how we make someone wrong and judge the person, we will contribute to more violence on the planet. When we call out another person to be a racist, facist or some other label implying there is something wrong with them, we are joining everybody else in a dance of madness and suffering.

We can loose our ability to be compassionate – and we can recover it.


Hearing ourselves with Care (Discriminative Thinking – Part 1)

Marshall Rosenberg demonstrates how we can be in an inner dialogue with ourselves, hearing our judments not as attacks, but as vessels of our feelings that point to life-serving needs. To be there for oneself, with no other intention than to be present with care and openness.

In this case Marshall transforms his immediate, habitual judgment that a person is homophobic, a nazi or a bigot. He uses two puppets to support clarity who is saying what in that role play between two inner parts. One part is the compassionate listener – the giraffe. Another part is the reactive judge – the jackal.

Hearing our own judgment racism with care
Okay – I want to hear myself with care and be present with my feelings!

Transcript – Hearing my Jackals about Haters with Care

Yeah, I have problems with a lot of people in this respect: people that say and do things in relationship to Jewish people, to black people, to Asian people, to gay people. And if you follow the same person around, you’ll see they’ll usually do it to just about every one of those groups, because it’s the same quality of thinking, that I think leads to that.

So what do I do?

Well, to tell you the truth, a lot of the time, I try to put myself as far away from such a person as I can, to be honest with you. I don’t always choose to go to war over it, because if I did that every time, I’d spend nothing else except my whole life, talking to people who make statements like that.

But … if this was important for me, to do something about it, then I would probably – for me – since that behavior gets to me an awful lot – so if I really wanted to talk to these people, I’d probably first go off to a giraffe and say:

“Hey, there’s some stuff going on in my school. Some people saying things about gay people and it’s driving me crazy, and I’m afraid if I don’t get my feelings under control, if I start to deal with them about it, I’m going to jackal the heck out of them, and make matters worse. That’s what’s going on in me right now.” –

“So you’re in a lot of pain. You’d really like to talk to these people, but you need to get your feelings under better control until you do it?” –

“Yeah! My God, it really hurts, when I see how they ridicule and dehumanize people.” –

“Yeah, so it really hurts, it really hurts.” –

Giraffe Dance with a Hater (Discriminative Thinking – Part 2)

After welcoming his own judgments and listening to them with care, Marshall is ready to speak to a hater at the school and open a dialogue.

Notice the dance of honesty and empathy – as well as the stopping, when Marshall notices anger arising. All of this is beautifully demonstrated in this workshop roleplay in 1991.

Roleplay with Gay Hater - Connecting with Discriminative Thinking - Part 2
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Transcript – Dialogue with a Hater

Now I go over and talk to the jackal:

Now I’m quiet as a giraffe. Now I want to jackal this person a bit. I want to give this person a little fist therapy. So I know that when I’m that angry at the person, I didn’t hear them. Because I know, if I really hear them, that won’t make me angry.

So I know. I use my anger. I don’t repress it, I use it. I use my anger to wake me up. I didn’t hear this person. But now nonetheless I’m angry, so I have to give myself some emergency first aid giraffe treatment. So I don’t allow this person to draw me into his game.