By Moriah Marston and The Tibetan (Master Djwhal Khul)
Many of us are drowning in a sea of guilt. We feel guilty if we have food on the table while our global neighbors are starving. We’re guilty if we’ve left an unhappy marriage and found joy with a new partner while our ex-spouse is struggling with loneliness. We’re guilty if we live in a warm, safe house while the homeless struggle on the street. We’re guilty if we’re not helping the world become a better place because our personal life is more compelling. We’re guilty if we survive while others die in tsunami waves or terrorist attacks. We’re guilty if we say no to others’ needs because we’d rather do something for ourselves. We’re guilty if we procrastinate on our goals. We’re guilty if we eat too many cookies, don’t exercise, speak harshly to a loved one, don’t clean our houses, buy a new dress, go out to eat because we’re too lazy to cook, don’t send our resume in on time, forget that it’s Mother’s Day, relax in the hammock while others are toiling away—and on and on.
The “guilts” become so far-reaching; they meld into one towering amorphous guilt-trip that pervades our every moment with its endless lists of crimes. Eventually we don’t even know why we feel guilty—we just do. We resign ourselves to that nagging feeling that we’ve screwed up somehow and hope that the higher courts take pity on us.
Guilt trippers sniff out the fertile hotbed of feelings in our gut and have a field day. We fall for it every time, as if they are prosecuting attorneys for the Cosmic Court, ordained to reveal our crimes in Technicolor. To relieve ourselves of the weight of our secret guilt, we eagerly give them our power. Then we’re furious with others who seem to sail through life guilt-free. How dare they not lie with us in our collective sticky, suffocating acid-bed of guilt!
Most of our guilt is nothing more than resentment. Guilt springs from our habit of “shoulds” and thrives when we’re at odds with our real needs. Inability to accept our needs reflects a bottom-line self-condemnation. When we fall short of people’s notions of whom we’re supposed to be, we fill up with the guilt that disguises our resentment for having to adhere to a standard that betrays our soul’s true path. Deeply buried conflicts about our needs force us to “hire” others to be make impossible demands. This flushes out our unconscious internal struggle. These people hold a nonverbal contract over our heads, insisting we should give more to them than they give in return. When they guilt-trip us with unreasonable expectations we attempt to quell our rising resentment with guilt—to persuade ourselves that their demands are reasonable and that we’re bad for not fulfilling them. But our gut indignantly registers this inequity.
If our relationship ideals mandate that we should respond to the needs of others regardless of their lack of generous return, then we’re prime candidates for guilt. There are always GOOD reasons why we behave the way we do. The challenge is to identify the deeper reasons for our behavior rather than guilt-trip ourselves for actions that fall below our standards. Most guilt from saying no to others reflects a fear of our own soul’s requirements.
Guilt can be a genuine ambassador of our conscience when it makes us uncomfortable about ways in which we have hurt ourselves and/or others. Guilt triggers an alarm to signal that we are out of alignment with our highest intentions and need to pay attention to unconscious impulses that undermine our ethics. Guilt warns to us to make it right. Unfortunately we often attach to the guilt itself rather than follow through on the work mandated by our conscience. We’re more inclined to berate ourselves for our crimes rather than take responsibility for them.
Perhaps our lofty expectations of perfection make it unbearable to directly face our wrongdoings. It’s too painful to accept the discrepancy between our highest ideals and how we really live our lives. So we attach to the guilt itself and relentlessly fester in shame and self-castigation instead of going the distance to work through the lesson that guilt carries. To learn about our unconscious conflicts/wounds we must undeviatingly acknowledge the infringement and then take responsibility to correct for that aspect of our shadow. This correction is not punishment but restitution. We have to return the appropriate energy to balance out what we took from ourselves or others in our crime. Penance is not self-debasement, but rather a true adult assessment of how to take responsibility for learning the lessons in our destructive impulses.
The more we attach to guilt, the less we practice self-forgiveness. We can only forgive ourselves if we’ve resolved our actions, not through endless guilt, but through appropriate restitution. Otherwise our crime continues in our psyche, renewing itself daily, because there is no outlet for its resolution and transformation. We fear that the higher courts are non-forgiving—reviling our crimes for eternity with no possibility for reparation.
Resigned to guilt’s endless punishment, we suffer from a lack of the imagination required to create a venue for making amends. Terrified to release our crimes, we cling to guilt to prevent us from repeating our wrongdoings because we don’t trust that we’ve really learned the lesson. Guilt harnesses us to the past as we discount the natural process of evolution that resolves our crimes through self-responsibility. To truly understand the nature of our crimes empowers us to redress them. Then we’re FREE. Guilt has served its purpose. Do we really dare to be guilt free? Do we trust our learning enough to release guilt’s poison prick to the gut that relentlessly reminds us how bad we’ve been? Can we trust the wisdom harvested from our transgressions?
We may have been born riddled with a nasty hangover of guilt from old past-life crimes that we don’t even remember. We just feel bad about who we are. Hundreds of lifetimes of unresolved guilt are registered at a cellular level in this lifetime through countless opportunities for self-recrimination. Wherever we are eaten up by guilt, the soul is unresolved. We may have clung to our “wrongness” in previous lives. Guilt’s unclean, sticky energy is impossible to shake off. We have to work it through, not override it, by tracking the symptoms of chronic guilt.
The Tibetan playfully slams down the court gavel—“Case Closed!” He teaches:
The illusion of original sin implies that humankind should feel guilty about its innate nature. The ironclad notion of original sin is so hard-wired in the collective unconscious that most of humankind, regardless of their religious upbringing, carry some level of guilt, however vague, that seems intrinsically linked to the very texture of their being—a rotten disposition that is unfixable and unavoidable. Therefore, human beings are victims of their original sin because they are powerless to be born without it and thus powerless over their guilt. Humankind forgets that the interplay of shadow and light in human nature was created by Source, not by humankind’s defective impulses.
Like being covered in paint, guilt suffocates the soul. The pores of the soul’s energy body are clogged with unremitting self-accusation, with no hope for pardon. Humankind employs guilt to restrain the ego and keep it in check. They uphold false courts that believe in punishment rather than education. These courts thrive on guilt - societal guilt, emotional guilt, spiritual guilt—that intimidates the students with rivers of collective remorse and disfavor. These rivers flow along quicksand that sucks the students down into the dungeon of suffering where indemnification is forbidden. There is only a great ocean of shame about what disappointment humankind has been to its Source. The fundamental religious pathways have used guilt as a tool to corral their followers into appropriate behavior. This is a rather uncreative response to the limitless options available for guidance, education and illumination.
Now humankind must release its attachment to guilt. To live a life beyond guilt would indicate that humankind has at long last comprehended its Divine Imperative and approves of the human process. Then students are willing to work with their nature to refine all shadow impulses through good intention and willingness—not guilt.
If there are crimes that haunt the soul, take them to the truest High Court, a dimension of pure Justice, which resides in the heart chakra. Place these crimes on the Court’s Altar and allow the Sacred to sanction the resolution of misdeeds that only reflect the blind sleep state of the immature soul.
This High Court is held in the Temple of Love, Compassion and Acceptance where all crimes are immediately forgiven in the Light of Self-responsibility. Here the student can objectively view the offense and decipher the riddle that holds its deepest lesson. Then guilt becomes an obsolete hair shirt. Humankind rejoices in its liberation from guilt’s punishing blanket of recrimination and evolves forward into full acquittal for all crimes, imagined or real. It now makes a leap into acceptance, mastery, maturation and self-responsibility—a realm of heightened conscience where the Divine Compass steers the soul forward along the high road to Sublime Standards that form the bedrock of collective transformation.
Copyright © School of the Golden Discs