Justice – it is the paradox of our existence. We assume it, and even demand it, but when we stand before a judge and jury we dread it. Not necessarily because we are guilty, for we might be completely innocent. But we still fear the judgment. We dread it because we realize that there is one factor in this physical world that even our innocence cannot withstand – bias.
Why does it surprise us that we are faced with imperfect justice in an imperfect world? Being human inevitably involves emotions, preferences, preconceived beliefs and prejudices – all things that result in a person who is biased rather than perfectly fair: predisposed to one side, not perfectly impartial. This is the predicament we are living with in this realm of the flesh. It is the epitome of duality – that in a universe governed by the karmic theory of perfect justice, we are living amidst bias and inequity.
Immersed in this quagmire, we have pitifully become a part of it. Our mind, happy to adopt yet another perversion, has distorted its innate ability to discriminate and rendered itself prejudicial in practically every respect. And worse than that, it has also become judgmental and condemnatory. How sad it is that every facet of life is blanketed by the shadow of a negative bias. And how much sadder that we fail to even see it. We never notice our own prejudices even when we complain bitterly about those of our fellow inmates. We never realize our own judgmental attitude even when we suffer the painful barbs hurled at us by others. We ignore the ugly tint cast by our own jaundiced eyes even when we are repulsed by the lack of impartiality of our peers. We have been infected by the viral nature of this biased world, and we have surrendered to it with total abandon – lock, stock and barrel.
Wearing our shroud of negative bias, we thus push forward on the treadmill of life. And day after day, as we move closer to that fateful moment of our final breath, we sometimes forget that we will soon stand before our Maker, when our every act will play back for us, either in full glory or in utter shame. And it is at that moment of perfect justice that the irony will hit us: that it is not justice we actually desire – not neutrality, but something else. When it comes to our failings, our offences, what we really want is to be judged with a positive bias. We want mercy and forgiveness.
The physical world has conditioned us, consciously or unconsciously, to behave with a negative bias. To judge and to condemn, based on the notion that justice must be served. But what is justice? It is the application of rules and laws to administer the appropriate punishment for every crime. And thus, perfect justice requires a perfectly neutral and unbiased judge, a neutrality that stems from absolute objectivity and complete lack of emotion – in other words, a judgment devoid of compassion, forgiveness, mercy and most of all, love.
And this is where the hat drops, for if there is love, there can never be neutrality – only partiality. Our final desire to be judged with a favourable prejudice is, in fact, a desire to be judged with love, the very essence of our Creator.
From the darkest depths of our transmigratory nightmare, love carries us to the very heights of pure spirit. And learning to live life positively biased with love and compassion must be the greatest achievement of human birth, for it alone enables us to make that journey from where there is truly no return – the leap from here to eternity.