75. “Thou Beholdest The Mote That Is In Thy Brother’s Eye and Considerest Not The Beam That Is In Thine Own Eye"

Every reader of this passage believes that he fully understands these simple words, and yet there are but few who really grasp their whole meaning. It is quite a mistake to think that they simply signify that man must be lenient to his neighbour. If he follows the injunction, he will find leniency to his neighbour will come quite naturally of its own accord, but this in the second place. He who interprets the words of the Son of God so superficially is far from being able to make them living agents within himself. He proves that from the outset he is unable to estimate their wisdom. Many preachers will also interpret them in the same insipid, mawkish way as they do love: Christian love, as the Church teaches it to be.

This injunction of the Son of God is solely intended as a scale by which to measure your own faults. If you look about you, and at the same time study yourself, you will soon find that you have in a marked degree those annoying faults that you so particularly dislike in others.

The best way to judge men is to begin by studying the people you are with. There will hardly be one among them who does not censure some fault or other in his neighbour. He will either frankly and openly, or covertly, express his disapproval or indignation, and as soon as he does so, you will be surprised to find, on taking him under closer observation, that he himself has in a far higher degree the very characteristics which irritate him in others. This will surprise you at first, but you will find it is the invariable rule in every case without exception, and you need never fear to go wrong if you allow it to guide your judgment of men in the future. The man who excites himself about another's faults is sure to have the same faults himself magnified. Test men in this way, and you will discover the truth directly. Not being personally concerned, you will not seek to screen either party.

Take those individuals who are habitually morose and discourteous, and generally go about with sour faces. They are the very people who expect and require to be treated with special kindness. They are indignant if a reproachful glance is cast at them, however justified it may be. Women will even burst into tears. The effect upon an earnest spectator is so comic and yet so tragic that he forgets to be indignant. The same thing is repeated in thousands of different varieties, and you will find it easy to learn and to recognize that this is really the case with man. When, however, you have got so far, be courageous enough honestly to acknowledge that you yourselves are subject to the same rule which you have proved never to fail with others. Then at last your eyes will be opened to your true self, to your own personal deficiencies. That means a great step forward, perhaps the greatest, towards development. You will cut a knot that binds all mankind today. Free yourselves and then joyfully assist others to do the same. This is what the Son of God meant by His simple words, and it was in this form that He gave mankind His precious precepts for their edification. But men did not honestly seek for instruction in His words. They considered themselves superior and preferred to look down leniently on others. This flattered their disgusting pride. Their whole despicable train of thought is clearly evident in their interpretation of the Holy Word. The hypocritical Pharisee has successfully transplanted himself into Christian communities.

Those also who call themselves serious seekers after the Truth take this passage much too lightly and superficially in the prevalent delusion that by reading the words alone they grasp their whole meaning. That is not seeking honestly, and, therefore, they cannot find the treasure. Nor can such men make any progress. The Word remains
dead for those, that should have made it living, so they can draw no profit from it, nor can they advance upwards.

And every sentence that the Son of God spoke to man is full of such treasures, which have not been lifted, because no one has up till now looked for them.