Roberto Assagioli in his booklet Meditation for The New Age, vol. 3, booklet one:
“Criticism is one of the most insidious of the glamours which goodwill can eradicate because it is a double-edged glamour, that is, it affects both its originator and its object. To think of someone critically builds a thoughtform through which we then see that person whenever we look at him. Consequently, the weaknesses and failures with which we have surrounded him are the main things we see in him, while his good qualities and his real self are hidden by what we have built. But not only do we see him through the veil of our own thinking; we are also projecting it to him and, when criticism is voiced, are clothing him in this in the eyes of others also. All this is definitely harmful and may have far-reaching and devastating effects. It produces reactions in the person we criticise which—according to his type—may be of a depressive nature or of counter-criticism and active hostility against ourselves.
But the harm we inflict on ourselves by our critical attitude goes even deeper. Not only are we affected by the “ boomerang-reaction ” of others (which is an aspect of the Law of Cause and Effect), but our criticisms evoke the same faults and negative aspects in ourselves and thus stifle the opposite good qualities. This is our self-inflicted—and well-deserved—punishment!
We often criticise thoughtlessly, without recognising that we are being harmful, but it has been said that criticism lets in more glamour than we ever realise. We should beware of the temptation of “ sitting in judgement ”. We may be under the delusion that we are seeing people as they really are, but this is rarely the case.
To criticise is a particular temptation for those with an active mind. The outstanding characteristic of the intellect is to analyse, dissect and separate; therefore the more people are becoming mentally polarised, the more the cultivation and expression of goodwill is needed. It is a first expression of the love of the heart which balances the mind. Yet goodwill is more than a quality of the heart. It also entails a rightly directed will—a will for good—and it carries with it an inner orientation to reality and the good of the whole.
Criticism is only one of the many adverse glamours which the Principle of Goodwill counteracts and transmutes. The following tabulation lists some of the others which it helps to dispel in the same manner, and to them can be added those listed in Chapter I as obstructing right human relations. Some points for reflection are also suggested to make a personal work outline for the current two months as before.”« Back to Glossary Index