Thou shall not judge thy neighbors.

How many think that the phrase “Thou shall not judge thy neighbors” is only in Bible. I had dwelled upon this in my words in Barbarians, Here is another version from Swami Vivekananda:

we tend to reduce everyone else to the limits of our own mental universe and begin privileging our own ethics, morality, sense of duty and even our sense of utility. All religious conflicts arose from this propensity to judge others. If we indeed must judge at all, then it must be `according to his own ideal, and not by that of anyone else’. It is important, therefore, to learn to look at the duty of others through their own eyes and never judge the customs and observances of others through the prism of our own standards.

I find similar expressions all the places. May be I will add more here.
Interesting thing is that when it was quoted to me as a child, it was spoken by a Muslim.

English: Higher detail image of Swami_Vivekana...

English: Higher detail image of Swami_Vivekananda.jpg Swami Vivekananda, September, 1893, Chicaco, signed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

23 thoughts on “Thou shall not judge thy neighbors.

  1. If you had met any other lawyer you would have said ‘most certainly last’. But truth is that you have met the person behind a lawyer. I rarely discuss law here. Human race is far more important than law. BTW have you ever considered joining law? You have the traits.


  2. Well. It is all jumbled up. But I will write here. I agree that it is difficult to write humor in a subject like science. But that is why it is a challenge.
    About Preciseness, I take this entire thing rather lightly. But you come prepared in such a fashion as if we are arguing a murder trial.
    Any way, keep it up. There is nothing better than being natural.
    I will read that post.
    Thanks and all the best.


    • A murder trial? Now that’s funny. It’s good to know you take the entire thing rather lightly. You’d never guess by the way you present it, nor by your rebuttals. You learn something new everyday. 🙂

      Btw, humor can be found in more than one of my postings. Hope you’re enjoying your spring evening.

      “This garden universe vibrates complete.
      Some, we get a sound so sweet.

      Vibrations reach on up to become light,
      And then through gamma, out of sight.

      Between the eyes and ears there lie
      The sounds of color and the light of a sigh.

      And to hear the sun, what a thing to believe,
      But it’s all around if we could but perceive.

      To know ultra-violet, infra-red, and x-rays,
      Beauty to find in so many ways.

      ~Moody Blues


  3. Thanks to both of you for these thoughts. As always, I am touched by what you have to share. Yes, we tend to do violence on the world even with our day-to-day view of the world, with the “tyranny of assumptions” that has consumed us and constitutes our identity so often.

    But, a caveat here. I don’t know if we can ever escape a “tyranny” of some sorts, even with our “liberal” and “enlightened” views. Or, to state it better, we need to be careful that we do not “tyrannize” with our “noble” thoughts. Or at least, I find that I am prone to that.


      • Hey Sandeepji, thank you for your opinion. In case you haven’t noticed *grin* I’m a big picture thinker. You throw a seed, and while I see the seed, I also see the tree.

        As far as you reading my writing and finding the precision and seriousness funny? If you are referring to my comments in your blog, well, so far the blogs entries I’ve read from you have been of a serious nature. It would be disrespectful to make light of your writings, unless you made the first move in that direction. For example, Lew and I have exchanged ‘less serious’ comments, and dare I say, joking comments in a serious blog entry.

        One last note, my blog is a themed blog, unlike yours. However, there is humor in some of my ‘scientific’ blog entries. For example, it is quite humorous that many people become superstitious when in fact, it’s frequencies in their environment that have messed with their head and hormones, and fertilized their imagination. I guess some people fail to see the humor in that. I laugh along with Mother nature. 😀


    • Very well said, Lew. Hitler convinced himself that his thoughts (and actions) were noble, thus tyranny became a custom of Germany for many years. The same with Stalin. Both were brutally traumatized by their fathers.

      Psychologist Alice Miller wrote: “Physical as well as psychological abuse of the child is not only harmful but highly dangerous. Not only for the individual but under certain circumstances for whole nations.

      In order not to die, all mistreated children must totally repress the mistreatment, deprivation, and bewilderment they have undergone because otherwise the child’s organism wouldn’t be able to cope with the magnitude of the pain suffered. Only as adults do they have other possibilities for dealing with their feelings. If they don’t make use of these possibilities, then what was once the life-saving function of repression can be transformed Into a dangerous destructive, and self-destructive force. In the careers of despots such as Hitler and Stalin, their suppressed fantasies of revenge can lead to indescribable atrocities. This phenomenon doesn’t exist anywhere in the entire animal kingdom, for no animal is trained by its parents to deny its nature completely in order to become a “well-behaved” animal – only human beings act In such a destructive way.”
      http://www.naturalchild dot org/alice_miller/adolf_hitler.html

      This parental behavior is driven by societal customs, including religious traditions.

      “Withhold not correction from a child; for if thou strike him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and deliver his soul from hell (Proverbs, 23:13-14).

      James Prescott, Ph.D wrote: “The reasons that civilization is failing is because we have failed the children of the world and this failure includes all the major religions of the world.”

      Jiddu Krishnamurti wrote: “Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay.”


      • Very well Victoriaji, In your usual analytical way you have expanded my thought beyond the frontiers I had intended but you are right we stifle development of child by imposing our morality of ambition. It is a problem.
        BTW that ‘ji’ is a suffix we use as mark if respect here. In Delhi you will find many people who would address you with ‘Helloji’ ‘how are you ji’. ‘Fineji’. But that is overdoing it.
        Some time When I read your writing I find the precision and seriousness funny. I wish you may right something humorous in your blog that too about science, if and when that is possible.
        Thanks in anticipation.


  4. Nice post, Sandeep. I like this part of the quote…”It is important, therefore, to learn to look at the duty of others through their own eyes…

    That is empathy – prosocial behavior, where one puts themselves in the shoes of others. Vivekananda goes on to say:

    …and never judge the customs and observances of others through the prism of our own standards.

    Yes, I agree, so long as those customs and observances do not cause physical and emotional harm to others. Such customs negatively impact the whole. We are all interconnected. No one is more superior than another, but thinking that others are inferior reinforces the illusion, thus certain customs and belief systems are born.

    “We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.” ~Swami Vivekananda

    Margaret Wheatley wrote: “Oppression never occurs between equals. Tyranny always arises from the belief that some people are more human than others. There is no other way to justify inhumane treatment, except to assume that the pain inflicted on the oppressed is not the same as ours. I saw this clearly in South Africa, after apartheid and during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings.

    In those hearings, white South Africans listened to black mothers grieving the loss of their children to violence, to wives weeping for their tortured husbands, to black maids crying for the children they left behind when they went to work for white families. As the grief of these women and men became public, many white South Africans, for the first time, saw black South Africans as equally human. In the years of apartheid, they had justified their treatment of blacks [custom] by assuming that the suffering of blacks was not equal to theirs. They had assumed they were not fully human.”


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