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Wilkinson: To witness rather than judge

Tulasi Wilkinson
Guest Commentary
The Aspen Times

Perhaps who we really are in this world is a witness. To see, to observe. A great being once said the world is as we see it. So the question is, how do we see it?

How do each of us see it? What are we bearing witness to? And then, how do we respond?

To respond to an injustice in our mind and heart seems automatic and happens instantly. We see it, we hear about it, and know what it means to us. How we see it seems clear to us.



Then, we are faced with the questions: How do we respond? Can we respond? Is it my place to respond? What will I risk if I respond to this injustice?

In the current times we are in, we ask ourselves: Do we feel we have the power to stand up against an injustice that has the obvious power of money and position behind it?




Throughout all of time, humanity has faced such questions and circumstances. We all note the hero who stood for justice no matter their personal cost.

Some were above fear in consciousness, while others have stood trembling in fear as they gave this life of theirs for justice. Why is it we feel so deeply when we witness injustice? What is it in our human soul that wants to be removed from injustices? That wants to not see it or hear it?

Injustices are everywhere throughout our societies. Like a massive monster that has his arms around our world. We witness unrighteous behavior in all countries, in all religions — simply every place we as humans exist.

All people carry within them all possibilities of behavior. We all suffer small and large injustices. We all have been just and unjust in our thoughts, words, and actions.

A great being once said we only need to sleep at night because we have worn ourselves out spending the entire day in judgment of others and the material world. Our minds are caught in a constant battle of the pairs of opposites: what we like, and what we don’t like. In a subtle constant judgment instead of just witnessing.

The beautiful gift of sight can become our weapon of injustice. Judging what we see and who we see.

This is where detachment in the true sense plays such a huge part in our lives. Otherwise our mind, if weak, will take one into prejudice and condemnation of others.

To remain supremely detached means to be detached from our likes and dislikes. To allow within ourselves all that has been created and just witness without judgment.

Fear of not having enough to survive or be happy is a delusion which causes injustice. When we give, we become full. When we take unjustly more than we need, our hearts become empty, and our humanity dies.

Being generous of spirit is our cure to the plague of injustice. By practicing the great virtues of humankind, we can find some peace in our world that will always be in battle between just and unjust thoughts, words, and deeds. The battle for justice lies within ourselves.

Some wise words inspired by the Rig Veda: Oh golden sun in the blue sky, impeller of all that lives, grant us the boon of sight. May the highest of cloud-swept peaks bless us with wisdom and vision. May the creator himself illumine our heart and shine through our eyes. May you grant our eyes the power, our bodies the perception to appreciate the sublime mystery of this world. Oh magnificent sun beautiful to behold, may we learn to see and see clearly with these our mortal, our human eyes.

Tulasi Wilkinson was an owner of Smuggler Mountain from 1987 through 2005.