I don’t know about you, but for me along with shame *(20), guilt (30) is a strong theme in my life. I feel guilty for not being able to protect my mother from an abusive husband. I feel guilty for being irritated with her that I had to cut into my working day to buy her pills. She was in a coma the next day, and dead a week later. I feel guilty for not being at my father’s deathbed. I feel guilty when I see a beggar on the street and ashamed of my ‘white privilege’. I feel guilty that I don’t have the financial wherewithal to help my child set up the business of their dreams.
F*!k me, it took me less than a minute to think of five things to be guilty about. What if I gave guilt more consideration? I might be incapacitated for months thinking upon my “sins” and wallowing in remorse, regret and recrimination; all fuel to my victimhood.
It’s hard to avoid feeling sinful and guilty all the time because we’ve been indoctrinated to believe that we were born into this state. I’m laying the blame squarely on the Christian doctrine of original sin, which asserts that humans are born with a flawed nature and an inclination towards sin, requiring spiritual rebirth.
According to Psalm 51:5, we learn that we were born into a world corrupted by sin, and even our conception is tainted with it. Paul explains in Romans that sin entered the world through one person, leading to death for all due to sin’s universality.
Guilt is the goal for “sin and salvation” merchants to coerce and control us. Fear of punishment keeps us in check (and opens our wallets and purses … redemption has a price, after all).
In my view, those who are fixated on punishment, such as religious institutions, countries, and individuals, are likely driven by their own guilt or projecting it onto others.
If we look back at history, and we only need to look a few weeks back, our propensity for cruelty is boundless. David R. Hawkins wrote that guilt provokes rage, and killing frequently is its expression. Capital punishment is an example of how killing gratifies a guilt-ridden populace. I feel that he is right.
Many people have lifelong struggles with guilt, while others try to avoid guilt by denying it completely.
Everything starts with the individual before it corrupts the collective. So, you and I still have some power, albeit only over ourselves. Let’s admit and take responsibility for our wrongs. Once we know better we can do better. Let’s resolve to let go of our guilt. Let’s resolve to do better. If we truly desire to unleash our full and magnificent potential, refraining from indulging in guilt is the key.
* Shame and guilt vibrate at 20 and 30 respectively according to the Map of Consciousness.