Marco Silva Coaching Blog - Judge vs Wise - PQ Article Balrog vs Gandalf

Inner Judge vs inner Sage

By Marco Silva 6/06/2022 | Adapted form Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine

The Balrog reached the bridge. Gandalf stood in the middle of the span, leaning on the staff in his left hand, but in his other hand Glamdring gleamed, cold and white. His enemy halted again, facing him, and the shadow about it reached out like two vast wings. It raised the whip, and the thongs whined and cracked. Fire came from its nostrils. But Gandalf stood firm.

'You cannot pass,' he said. The orcs stood still, and a dead silence fell. 'I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass.'

This is a passage from Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings", where Gandalf confronts the mighty Balrog at the Battle of the Peak in the Mines of Moria. Balrog symbolises the dark, destruction, fire, the unconscious, terror, and fear - Balrog symbolises all that holds Man back from moving forward, from Being. Gandalf knows that it is time to confront Balrog, a moment that is decisive and to which he gives himself with superhuman courage and determination. As a result of that battle in which he defeats Balrog, Gandalf the Grey is transmuted into Gandalf the White - wiser and more powerful than ever.

We all have a huge Balrog inside us who wants to determine everything we are, do, and feel - he (or her) is our inner Judge, the Master Saboteur, the unbalanced and unbalancing Ego.

The inner judge is the one that compares, passes judgement, passes sentence and ends up condemning and punishing oneself and everyone else... again, it is that unbalanced ego that deep down wants to protect us, it is survival instinct, it is unnecessary protection. He is a zombie that is never present, always comparing himself to the past and projecting all his fear and catastrophes into the future. The judge is never happy and/or satisfied, he always lacks something and everyone has joined forces to annoy him. Even God conspires against him... that strong intention of crazy protection may be noble, but believing him turns us away from Love.
Marco Silva Coaching Blog - Judge vs Wise - The Judge

If what you want is to feel more well-being and self-love it is fundamental to realise how this judge acts in you, don't be afraid of him (or her): call him, invite him to sit with you and talk to him, ask him what his intentions are, look him in the eyes, know your judge, give him a name... tell him how he makes you feel and that you don't need him, don't hesitate to tell him with a steely determination to stop, tell him "you cannot pass".

He will continue to emerge, he is part of you, you can't make him disappear forever. But each time you identify him and ask him to stop, he will emerge with less strength, for less time, deflated. Remember that you are not your judge, you are the consciousness that identifies this character... if so then you can also choose to believe in him or not, to give him strength or not.

The best way to keep the judge out of your life is to have the intention to maintain the constancy of being very present, to practice mindfulness, to live in the now and lots of daily practice!

The Saboteurs

The Master Saboteur (the Judge), does not work alone, he has pals, a team of 9 partner saboteurs. These are aspects of our being originated at the beginning of our lives and are also there to ensure our survival in the face of real and imagined threats. Although we no longer need them as adults, they are still present in our minds in a more or less obvious way. It is important to identify them and realise their influence on how we behave in order to deactivate them. Briefly, they are: 

1. THE AVOIDER - extreme focus on the positive and pleasant. Avoids difficult and unpleasant tasks and conflicts.

2. THE CONTROLLER - An anxiety-based need to take charge and control situations by bending people's actions to suit one's own will. Results in great anxiety and impatience when this is not possible. 

3. THE HYPER-ACHIEVER - Dependent on constant performance and achievement for self-respect and validation. Highly focused on external success indicators, leading to unsustainable workaholic tendencies and loss of contact with deeper emotional and relational needs.

4. THE HYPER-RATIONAL - Intense and exclusive focus on rational processing of everything, including relationships. Can be perceived as cold, detached and intellectually arrogant.

5. THE HYPER-VIGILANT - Demonstrates intense and continuous anxiety about all the dangers and what could go wrong; everything can end in catastrophe. It is the vigilance that can never rest.

6. THE PLEASER - tends to indirectly attempt to gain acceptance and affection by helping, pleasing, rescuing or flattering others. Loses sight of own needs and becomes resentful as a result.

7. THE RESTLESS - Restless, constantly seeking more and more excitement in the next activity or in constant laborious action. Rarely at peace or content with the activity he is engaged in.

8. THE STICKLER - Perfectionism and an exaggerated need for order and organisation. Never done well enough.

9. THE VICTIM - As a way of gaining attention and affection is emotional and temperamental. Extreme focus on inner feelings, particularly painful ones. Martyr streak.

Which one(s) do you identify with the most? Which saboteur rules your life alongside your inner judge?

Realise the lie that each of these saboteurs tells you as they want to convince you that your happiness will only be possible when you listen to them and follow them. You can expose it by realising which saboteur(s) are "commanding" your life in the present moment. When you expose them, when you become aware, they can no longer act on you and it is here that you can act in the world from your SAGE.

Strengthening your Positive Intelligence Quotient (PQ) muscles

Strengthening your positive intelligence quotient (PQ) muscles is critical for you to quickly identify the harmful work of the sabotaging accomplices, weaken them and more quickly connect with the SAGE within.

The key is to bring your attention to the present moment. Because your judge and his accomplices are never in the present, these "little buggers" live in the past when they tell you things like "what a fool for not doing it the right way - you are a failure!" or in the future - "you can never do it, don't even try".

Key concept number 1 - PQ is strengthened by the daily practice of mindfulness of the present moment.

Key concept number 2 - this practice involves the use of the fantastic tool that is our body and directed attention to our 5 senses.

 Practical exercises - Start with 10 seconds every hour:

1 - Close your eyes and with each breath cycle bring your attention to the temperature of the air coming in and out of your nose. Become aware of how your shoulders, chest, belly move as you breathe. Let go of your thoughts whenever they arise and turn your attention to how your body reacts as you breathe.

2 - In front of your plate look carefully at your food; the quantity, the colours, the shapes, the ingredients. Observe how your hand holds the cutlery and moves from the plate to your mouth. Be aware of how you open your mouth, place the food, close your mouth and start chewing. Chew very aware of what you are doing, how your jaw moves, your tongue moves... what flavours you can identify. Close your eyes and let go of any thoughts - focus your attention very carefully, maybe the food will taste even more delicious.

3 - Put your index finger and thumb together and bring your attention to your fingerprints riges - can you feel them?

4 - Close your eyes and listen, first the distant sounds and then the closer ones, listen the sound of your own breathing.

This will weaken the judge and his accomplices and strengthen the inner sage muscles and your Positive Intelligence Quotient (PQ). 

Your Inner Gandalf - The Sage

Remember that from the Positive Intelligence perspective, and with which I agree 100%, all your worries are self-generated: 

"All your worries in the form of anxiety, disappointment, stress, anger, shame, guilt - ALL the unpleasant things that bring you suffering are generated by your inner judge and his accomplices."
Shirzad Chamine

Marco Silva Coaching Blog - Judge vs Wise - Wise Gandalf

You can reverse this by activating your INNER SAGE, if you act from this position, with your positive intelligence at the controls of your thinking and feeling, you will feel very different; more satisfied, accepting, calm and happy.

I have already mentioned the importance of being present; it is in the present moment that your inner sage is activated. Remember that the judge and his accomplices are always either judging the past or in fear of the future.

Once in the present, as a result of the practice of the above exercises, it is time to identify the 5 SUPER POWERS OF THE SAGE:

1 - EMPATHY - for yourself and others - connect with your inner child and also with the others' inner child.

2 - EXPLORE - the ability to observe and experience the world from innocence, purity and fascination - what can I learn about myself through this experience?

3 - INNOVATE - it is about creating by breaking rules, assumptions, and old habits that hold us back - how can I do this in a completely new and different way to the old?

4 - NAVIGATE - it's about choosing between different paths and alternatives with your inner compass, with your purpose, with what you are aligned with - what does your 95-year-old wise future SELF tell you about the crossroads you are at now?

5 - ACTIVATE/ACT - this power moves you into pure action, where all your emotional and mental power is in action and you are not distracted by your accomplices and inner judge. The key here is that you anticipate your accomplices; put yourself in their shoes and intercept what they tell you and discredit them by staying focused in wise mode.

I insist, because it is extremely important, that this whole process involves daily practice and consistency, only then can you feel the courage to intercept the workings of your accomplices and activate your Sage.

This is one of the tools I use the most in my coaching practice, especially with clients who have registered for the 3 months intensive coaching programme. And with very positive results.


For an open, honest conversation: or +34 690134416


Based on the book POSITIVE INTELLIGENCE by Shirzad Chamine

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