A Psychological Block
Shame says I am bad.
Guilt says there is something wrong with me and I need to be punished.
Both stem from a psychological and neurotic process that can trace its roots back to the belief that “I am incomplete” and “I am unworthy of love”. The combinations and permutations of situations in which this belief can play itself out are endless. The world bears witness to these beliefs.
When so much of our creative energies are identified with this polarized self concept (ego), we dream a dream in which we forget the beauty and magnitude of who we are.
“The ego is nothing more than a part of your belief about yourself.“
A Course in Miracles
The Ego Mask
The ego is a self-made conditioned construct. It is a learned belief where we dream we are born into victim-hood and limitation. It is a mechanical-feedback loop that reinforces the learning of the world as something independent of our perception of it. We think we see a world out there that we believe is separate from the internal meaning that we have given to it. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The fact is we do not see or experience the same world.
“The world is a witness to your state of mind, the outside picture of an inward condition. As a man thinketh, so does he perceive. Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world.“
A Course in Miracles
You change your mind about the world by seeing you are the cause of the world that you are experiencing. You are At Cause and not At effect (separation)
With the belief in separation, also comes the feelings of fear and the witness of lack. We believe that we can be at the mercy of circumstances. We are resigned to our lot, our set of capabilities and our conditions and feel powerless to influence them. We are taught to perceive an external indifferent or even hostile reality as something that can deprive us without consent. Through repetition, this wounded self concept becomes solidified. It morphs into a mental mask of prejudices through which we look upon the world and upon others.
It is critical to understand that the ego is neither your friend nor your enemy. It is a program and as such owes its allegiance to no one. Like software, it has no free will and is coded to do what it does which is to survive at all costs. In survival mode, we can only react in fight and flight. In taking responsibility, we respond and create in a million creative ways. There is no need to fight or resist a computer program. You merely see it for what it is.
Exposing the ego’s modus operandi & justification for guilt
From the perspective of the ego, guilt is of value. It is integral to its identity. Afterall, “it keeps me in check and I can continue to feel sorry for myself, punish myself and get sympathy from others”. This is an unconscious movement. We don’t know it is happening while it is happening. You see, when we are trained to believe something false about ourselves repeatedly, it acts out as if it is true. A child constantly told that he is “good for nothing”, will feel like he is a failure at everything that he does. An infant elephant tied to a rope in training will still feel bound to that rope when it is full grown.
When we are mentally identified with the ego, we become engrossed within a dream of guilt, of pointing fingers and judgment. While we believe we are subject to the dream, we can’t evaluate our situations or influence the course of the dream in any significant way. We feel trapped in our situations and build a prejudice and aversion to learning something new. We perceive a fearful world instead of one that is filled with opportunities for co-operation, growth, evolution and creativity.
When I say this is a dream, I do not mean it is a small thing. What gives rise to an entire perception of a world that is hostile, violent and fearful can hardly be idle. It is in fact a testament to the power of our minds to make illusions or create reality. When we are able to accept this, we also have a renewed appreciation for the power that is inherent within all of us. Nothing holds us back except for a decision. The power of decision is our own. We create our own realities.
“Every thought you have contributes to truth or illusion; either it extends Truth or multiplies illusions.. every thought you have either brings love or fear, peace or war……There is such a temptation to dismiss fear and guilty thoughts as unimportant, trivial and not worth bothering about that it is essential you recognize them all as equally destructive, but equally unreal.“
A Course in Miracles
The ego will assert: ” I need guilt to keep me from stop doing the very thing that I know to be destructive.”
This is upside down thinking. It is not destructive actions that makes guilt. It is the belief that I can attack my divine innocence and negate abundance that compels me to act out destructively with a punishing intent. Whether I am pointing fingers at others or judging myself as inadequate or lamenting how unfair life is, the belief acts like a splinter in my mind. It warps my perception and crystallizes into a mask through which I look upon and interact with the world and others.
We have to get our cause and effect relationships right. It is not the actions of a victim, martyr or narcissist that creates the guilt. It is the belief in our minds that I can attack my Perfection and Abundance, that creates the sense, feeling and identity of a victim, martyr and narcissist. These masked identities are the effect and NOT the cause of believing that “I am not good enough”.
Just addressing our behavior can help us minimize the feelings of guilt, but they do not fully address the fear that is in our minds. Fear is the false depreciation of ourselves to effect change. Guilt is the story that we continually tell ourselves that the life is unfair. Fear is false evidence appearing as real. In guilt, we attribute external causes to the world for our unhappiness when it is only the perception of ourselves as powerless that brings those witnesses in the world to bear. When we can start to uncritically observe how our self perception and witnesses to that self perception play out in real time, we can also truly evaluate if there is any value in holding on to the story of a past.
Letting go of Guilt
“Defenses that no longer work are automatically discarded.“
A Course in Miracles
When we use guilt as a punishing motivation to keep us from engaging in destructive behavior, we also inadvertently reinforce it as a thing of value in our minds.
We have to ask ourselves. Is this intelligent? Is this useful? Is this the truth? Does self deprecation and attacking others help us move forward in any way? or does it stagnate us in the status quo of being a victim? Does being negative work?
Guilt’s purpose is always to fragment, and like all defenses, they project the problem out there so that we don’t have to be responsible for our inner conditions and decisions. This is the mechanical nature of guilt. It sees a divided a world, that stems from a confused limited identity pretending to be you.
Guilt simply does not work. It reinforces the problem that we are trying to get rid of. It becomes a vicious cycle of self-defeat and repeated woundedness.
“It’s not the problem that causes our suffering, it’s our thinking about the problem.“
When we can wake up to the fact that the ego’s game no longer works, we are also no longer run by it. We give ourselves the renewed appreciation to flourish and to be surrounded by people that care about our growth and evolution.
Be a Compassionate investigator
Guilt has a propensity for exaggeration and self-importance. Alternatively it is also prematurely dismissed and suppressed because it does not feel good. So the task of the inner work is self-honesty. That requires courage, acceptance, compassion and peace. It is to honestly acknowledge the inner defect of the self that we have taken ourselves to be without triggering further movements of self-hatred, blame and resentment of others.
When we can truly see the meaningless of guilt as a form of self-attack, it releases us. The story lets us go.
We no longer come from a place of trying to get love and affection from others. Instead, we see that we have never been separate from LOVE itself. Givingness and service comes from this realization.
“Out of Abundance, He Took Abundance and Abundance remains”
We cannot even begin to fathom what is beyond our analytical minds to comprehend. There is literally no limit to what we can imagine.
Come to embrace that you are worthy of healing. All healing is the release of fear and guilt.
Fear is isolation and guilt keeps us in solitary prison, split apart and fragmented and powerless. The sense of guilt always brings about scenarios of punishment, without you realizing it. This is the usual reactivity to life from the ancient worldview of threat and the need to constantly protect your self-image.
To shift a guilty complex, it is important to see that the actions of ceaslessly justifying oneself and the obligations to another as a means to seek their approval are misspent energies. They keep us occupied in a way that is unproductive and self-punishing
As you let go of the knee-jerk reactions to life, you will also see that these sensations are no longer believable obstacles. The world as a feedback loop will reflect that inner change in the content of your mind.
In struggle, decide healing is my purpose and decision to be whole again. Healing is always accomplished when illusory beliefs no longer have the power to attack what is and has always been Universal Oneness. I AM.
Let me be thankful this day that I can move from woundedness to wisdom.
Live true to your convictions and you will never experience guilt.
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