My dear friends…

I’ve decided that I have to stop
confusing the simple act of observation with negativity.

Some
people, in an effort to not "put any into the space,"
refuse to say anything about anybody or anything that could be construed
as being negative in any way. And if anyone else says anything about
any person, place, or thing that is not wholly positive, many people
will criticize the speaker for "spreading negative energy."

Soon, a certain dogmatism springs up around all
this, and suddenly it
becomes unacceptable in some "new age" circles to do anything but smile
16 hours a day and say nothing but positive things about everything. In
these circles, when someone offers the least little comment, prediction,
or description that is less than totally positive, someone else is sure
to say, "Are you wanting to create that?", or "Why are you creating
that?"

(Example: "Gosh, I have a real headache this morning."
"Well, why are you creating that?")

After a while, people feel
so hogtied, they feel so straight-jacketed, that they’re afraid to say
anything about anythinganything unless they can glow
from head to toe with positivity.

I call this a New Age
Bypass. It’s psychic surgery, on the psyche itself. It can also turn
into a game of "make-crazy," where people can’t even objectively
describe something they’re seeing right in front of their face without
running the risk of being labeled a "downer," or a "negative thinker."

("The stock market certainly had a bad day." "Well, aren’t you the
downer…")

Yet an Observation is not a Judgment, and a
Description is not a Condemnation. We would benefit a great deal from
noticing the difference.

It is perfectly okay to say "The rain
is coming" when, in fact, you can smell it in the air. I remember a day
a few years ago where I was at a huge picnic, with about 40 or 50
people attending, when one of the guests happened to say, "Looks like
it’s going to rain." His wife nearly had a conniption fit. "Don’t SAY
that!" she snapped. "Are you trying to MAKE it rain?"

Now I
understand perfectly well that we create our own reality, and I have
read all the messages of Conversations with God and virtually
every other New Spirituality text that is out there that says we do so
with the triplet tools of thought, word, and deed. I know all about the
As-You-Speak-It, So-Shall-It-Be school of thought on this subject. I belong
to that school. But does that mean that we cannot even offer a simple
observation, bereft of any judgment or announcement of preference, about
what we are experiencing in our lives?

Of course not. Saying
"oh-oh, it looks like rain" does not mean that you are at cause-and
thus, at fault-when the rains come. It simply means that you are
observing what is going on around you. It means that you are aware. And
awareness is one of the greatest attributes that any person could
develop.

The message here is: do not substitute passivity for
discernment; do not–in the name of "positivity"–insert total blindness
where once there was keen observation. Covering your ears does not make
the wind howl any less, and putting your head in the sand does not make
danger disappear.

The ability to observe the environment
around us, the ability to discern one thing from another, is what comes
with evolving to a higher level of consciousness. Observation is the act
of seeing something; it is the simple act of witnessing without
assessing. Discernment is the act of differentiation; it is the simple
act of telling one thing from another.

Observation is a
statement that says "what’s so." Judgment is a statement that says "so
what"? As sentient beings, humans have a desire to notice what is going
on around them. Indeed, they have a responsibility to do so.

When you consciously and deliberately stop noticing something
because you "don’t want to put negative energy into the space," you
forfeit your most precious gift as a creative being: the gift of deciding.
You cannot decide what you want, you cannot consciously choose your own
future, if you are refusing to look at what is true so far.

I’m going to keep on working to remove judgment and condemnation from my
experience, but I shall never remove observation and discernment. The
teaching is, "Judge not, and neither condemn," it is not, "Observe not,
and neither discern."

Love and Hugs,
Neale.