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Right & Wrong, Good & Bad


You might find it revealing to reflect upon the ways in which mental habits of comparing and judging contribute to feelings of distress, discontent, and even suffering? It's fascinating how we tend to assess both ourselves and others based on ideas of right and wrong, good and bad.

Many of these notions were ingrained in us during our formative years, as we absorbed teachings from parents, caregivers, teachers, friends, and the society we grew up in. Through repetition, these ideas became woven into our sense of self, to the extent that we accept them as truths without always fully understanding why. They simply align with what we were taught.

As we observe the news or engage socially, it becomes evident that the gap between different belief systems is amplified, with people passionately expressing viewpoints that often seem at odds with each other. Have you ever found yourself caught in the habit of passing judgment on some of these beliefs as either right or wrong? It's a common inclination to desire a world that aligns with our favored convictions—the way we think things "should" or "should not" be. This habitual inclination is quite reasonable, as our own comfort and survival needs naturally take precedence.

But, we come to satsang in recognition of a greater calling. Our inner spirit, our true nature, beacons us to fresh insights that transcend those conditioned ideas and beliefs that represent barriers to our awakening. We are invited to question the very beliefs that underlie our suffering. We are encouraged to investigate the thought patterns that create and maintain our mistaken identification with ego. The invitation is to turn our focus inward, rather than to the outside world, to rise above fear and judgment.

Through the practice of witnessing you have the opportunity to uncover your unique set of limiting beliefs. Notice that witnessing applies no standard of right or wrong, it simply observes without judgment. Current events and everyday human interactions provide the opportunity to notice the extent to which judgments tend to draw us away from inner peace and contentment. Can you embrace the role of being the witness to your own tendencies of comparison and judgment?






There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.

~ William Shakespeare

In freedom there is no right and no wrong.
In freedom there is freedom from right and wrong.
~ Papaji

The pivot of Tao passes through the center where all affirmations and denials converge.
So you are neither perfect nor imperfect.
Neither right nor wrong
Neither good nor evil.
Neither yin nor yang.
Neither this ”nor that.
You are, instead, only the empty space in which all of these apparent opposites appear-to-appear.
~ Chuang Tzu

You can't get anything wrong, and you don't have to get anything right.
~ Pamela Wilson

There’s only what is. And that’s completely unbroken, without possibility of lack. Every one of us inevitably contributes to this unbroken, pulsating wholeness, whether we’re temporarily good or bad, ignorant or wise, selfish or selfless, violent or gentle, beautiful or ugly personalities. All of us together, as we are, are an ever throbbing, ever changing, never gaining, never losing creative whole, floating in spaciousness that does not know right or wrong.
~ Toni Packer

The attempt to manipulate circumstances so your idea of good can come about is to let the ego play God - and that, as you know, can and does backfire.
~ Neem Karoli Baba

Now is the time to understand
That all your ideas of right and wrong
Were just a child’s training wheels to be laid aside
When you finally live with veracity
And love.
~ Hafez

You have been brainwashed since you were a small child,
and you have a belief system that you react to every day.
You say this is good and this is bad
and this is right and this is wrong,
I love this and I hate this.
All part of your belief system, the mind.
Now, these roots have been planted a long time ago.
Therefore to get rid of your negative thinking so-to-speak,
you have to dig a big hole to pull out the roots.
You do this by turning away from your problems,
turning away from your situations,
turning away from the world and diving deep within yourself.
Continually, day after day after day, never looking for results.
Never saying, I've been practicing a month now and
nothing has happened.
Remember how many years it took you to be the way you are.
The things that your mind has accepted.
The stuff you've got deep in your subconscious so-to-speak.
It has to come up and gotten rid of.
~ Robert Adams

Right or wrong,
Joy and sorrow,
These are of the mind only.
They are not yours.
It is not really you
Who acts or enjoys.
You are everywhere,
Forever free.
Forever and truly free,
The single witness of all things.
~ Ashtavakra Gita

If there is beauty, there must be ugliness;
If there is right, there must be wrong.
Wisdom and ignorance are complementary,
And illusion and enlightenment cannot be separated.
This is an old truth, don’t think it was discovered recently.
“I want this, I want that”
Is nothing but foolishness.
I’ll tell you a secret –
All things are impermanent!
~ Ryokan

Are you aligned with the perfection of oneness
or are you playing the game of right and wrong?
~ Stuart Schwartz

We really cannot know what is right or wrong, we can only open.
Surrender to this mystery.
~ Gangaji

The essence of meditation is training in something
that is quite radical and definitely not the habitual pattern of
the species: and that is to stay with ourselves no matter what
is happening, without putting labels of good and bad, right
and wrong, pure and impure, on top of our experience.
~ Pema Chodron

To end strife,
One must end opposition,
The root of which is mind.
Right and wrong,
Good and bad,
Past and future,
Joy and sorrow,
Desire and aversion are all
Created by this thought factory.
Taking the attention away from mind is
A movement toward peace.
~ Wu Hsin

At any time, do not judge anyone as good or bad, neither yourself nor the other; because no one, neither the sage nor the psychopath, does anything: everything happens according to God's Will/Cosmic Law.
~ Ramesh Balsekar

Do not hold to dualistic views.
Avoid such habits carefully.
If there is even a trace of right or wrong,
the mind is lost in confusion.
Although all dualities arise from the One,
do not cling, even to this One.
When the mind exists undisturbed in The Way,
everything is without fault.
When things can no longer be faulty,
it is as if there are no things.
When the mind can no longer be disturbed,
it is as if there is no mind.
~ Sosan Zenji, 3rd Zen Patriarch

Would you be free from the clutches of Duality? Then pluck its tree – the tree of Good and Evil – out of your hearts. Aye, pluck it root and branch that the seed of Life Divine, the seed of Holy Understanding which is beyond all good and evil, may germinate and sprout instead thereof.
~ Book of Mirdad

There's a wonderful helplessness to be enjoyed as it's revealed that what's good and bad are in fact not so, beyond mind. Things simply are.
~ Jac O’Keeffe

While you are still making judgments about
what is good and what is bad,
you are identifying with the mind
and making new karma for yourself.
~ Annamalai Swami

Everything in the world is good, is holy and beautiful.
If you see something evil, think that you are not understanding it in the right light. throw the burden on yourselves!
~ Swami Vivekananda

Nothing is right and nothing is wrong.
No one is good and no one is bad.
There is just that mysterious power working within, motivating you, leading you, directing you.
But where are you going?
There's no place to go, so there is absolutely nothing to do, there's no place to go.
This does not mean that you will sit around doing nothing, accomplishing nothing.
You will always do something, yet you are not the doer.
~ Robert Adams

I have been asked many times, "How do you stop thinking?"
And I have found one way.
The minute I can look at any person or condition and
know that it is neither good nor evil,
my thought stops, and my mind becomes quiet.
That is the end of it because then
there are no thoughts left for me to think about it:
I do not think good of it and I do not think evil of it.
All I know is that it is, and
then I am back at the center of my being where all power is.
Our mind is restless only when we are thinking about things or persons,
either in terms of good or evil,
but the mind is at rest when we surrender all such concepts.
~ Joel Goldsmith

Our imagination is a very powerful force in determining what we perceive. If we imagine that the world is teeming with evil forces, we will surely perceive the world as evil. But if we imagine the world to be essentially good, we will perceive it as good. Either way it is the same world that we are looking at. But the world is neither good nor bad in and of itself; it is simply what it is. And if we see the world as either good or bad, we will not be able to see it as it actually is. We will only be able to see it as we imagine it to be.
~ Adyashanti

In meditation, our thoughts and emotions can become
like clouds that dwell and pass away. Good and comfortable,
pleasing and difficult and painful—all of this comes and
goes. So the essence of meditation is training in something
that is quite radical and definitely not the habitual pattern of
the species: and that is to stay with ourselves no matter what
is happening, without putting labels of good and bad, right
and wrong, pure and impure, on top of our experience.
~ Pema Chodron

Become conscious of being conscious.
Say or think “I am”, and add nothing to it.
Be aware of the stillness that follows the “I am”.
Sense your presence, the naked, unveiled, unclothed beingness.
It is untouched by young or old, rich or poor, good or bad,
or any other attributes.
It is the spacious womb of all creation, all form.
~ Ramana Maharshi

Dualities are usually seen in terms of opposites: Mind/Matter, Self/Other, Conscious/Unconscious, Illusion/Reality, Quantum/Classical, Wave/Particle, Spiritual/Material, Beginning/End, Male/Female, Living/Dead and Good/Evil. Nonduality is the understanding that identification with common dualisms avoids recognition of a deeper reality.
~ From Science & Nonduality Conference

As the ego encounters reality, its process is first of all to decide whether what is happening is right or wrong.  . . . If the ego decides that something is wrong with reality, what follows is the idea that you can do something about it,  . . . The movement of ego is a ceaseless attempt to get its own way, to try to feel better, to try to experience this or that.
But you can’t change what is, so this ego activity simply brings you suffering and makes you feel entangled and full of frustration.
Frustration happens when you want something and are not getting it, when you are trying to impose your will upon reality by pitting yourself against the unfolding current of the universe.
~ A H Almaas

If today
was your last day
in this body,
Would the opinions,
and projections
of your mind
or that of others
make any difference to you?
No, they would not.
Then why not live like this
from now on?
~ Mooji


It must be realized that the entire human scene is mesmeric suggestion, and we must rise above the desire for even good human conditions. Understand fully that suggestion, belief, or hypnotism is the substance, or fabric, of the whole mortal universe and that human conditions of both good and evil are dream pictures having no reality or permanence.

~ Joel S. Goldsmith

I don’t need to be serious, honest, dishonest, moral or immoral, aesthetic or gross. There are no reference points. The life story that has apparently happened is uniquely and exactly appropriate for each awakening. All is just as it should be, right now. Not because it is a potential for something better, but simply because all that is, is divine expression.
~ Tony Parsons



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