Guilt is one of the most destructive emotions. Like with many other people, it also caused a great deal of suffering in my life. On the other hand, the guilt is also a great teacher and it represents the door to freedom and inner peace. For me, A Course in Miracles provides the best learning system on how to get over guilt. It helped me realize, feeling guilty is a decision. The decision for separation and fear, which can be changed at any time for love and peace. We will see in the rest of this post why this is so, and how to change the decision from being guilty to non guilty.
Each person has already experienced feelings of guilt, but as with fear – which is a consequence of guilt – most of the guilt is in the subconscious. Why in the subconscious? Guilt in its original form (which is described below) evokes indescribably strong negative emotions. For this reason, we have suppressed them deeply in the subconscious, which is then projected out of our mind and into the world. Now we see guilt all around us (in our partner, coworker, a friend, a politician, and in a variety of situations) or we see it on ourselves – our body.
But for many – in the process of awakening – guilt in all its “beauty” swims closer to the surface of consciousness. This is also what happened in me.
I feel guilty
A few years ago, my experience with guilt was very devastating. Feelings of guilt totally flooded my consciousness. Almost to the point of going “crazy”. I did not understand where it came from, why, and especially why so suddenly and so violently.
Situations, which before that period, did not cause any major disturbances in my mind, suddenly became the biggest obstacles to my inner peace. There were situations, which “normal” person would’t even “blink an eye”, but I felt like the worst person in the world. I was almost feeling guilty for no reason.
From the terrible feelings of guilt because of the involvement and responsibility in the various cases of dead insects and spiders, to their irrational rescue attempts, feelings of guilt because of the wrong discarded garbage, and all the way to extreme caution in talking to others where I felt guilty if I assumed I said something wrongly. And there were a lot more cases.
It was interesting that A Course in Miracles – whose main theme is just guilt – came on my path exactly in the moments of my strongest self destructive feelings. For this I am extremely grateful. Even now I still experience guilty feelings, but I now have a tool that allows to look at guilt differently, to understand its origin and finally decide otherwise – for non guilty, which is 100% in every case.
I am also certain in you not being guilty, dear reader. Each moment you have a choice to find that quite place within and decide otherwise. Below you will find out why we do, think and feel things that trigger guilt, what are projections, how to correct mistakes and how to get over guilt.
What is guilt
Generally speaking, guilt occurs when we feel we did something we shouldn’t do, or we feel guilty because we haven’t done something we believe we should. We also feel guilty because of our thoughts and feelings. In any of these cases, guilt is almost always associated with the body (psychological or physical) or in other words, individual personality.
A Course in Miracles offers a broader picture in explaining the origin of guilt. An important difference is that feelings of guilt occur at the level of the mind and not the body. What our bodies do, think and feel that engenders guilt in this world is only a projection of the guilt which has first occurred in our mind. This happens with a decision for separation from our source or God who loves us unconditionally – which also seemingly destroys oneness, because separation and oneness can not coexist.
On the other hand, the decision for separation is also a decision to identify with the ego – who has convinced us into this false, illusory story and therefore becomes our illusory reality. But he convinced us not only that we will get better on our own, without God – he convinced us also that we committed a terrible act, which can no longer be undone.
Guilt, which was felt because of that, was unbearable. It was so horrifying that we had to escape from the mind. At the ego proposal, we created a world – our dream reality – and separated into billions of pieces, and from the mind – which is our true nature – hide and settled in the body. When we identified ourselves with our own body and forgot that we are one mind, we apparently alleviated guilty feelings that remained buried deep within our mind.
The very fact that we exist, separated from our source, with our own thinking mind and our own body, is a sign / proof of guilt. For the ego, this is the evidence that we are truly separated from God, so we can justifiably expect punishment. The only way – that the ego offers – how to get rid of guilt is through projection.
Projection of guilt
Suppression of guilt inevitably leads to projection. Now, we don’t see the guilt in our mind (because we have forgotten that we are minds), but we see it all around us: in our body or bodies of other people.
Every action, every thought and every emotion that evokes the feeling of guilt is the result of a symbolic source of guilt projected in this world. Understanding this can be very helpful on how to get over guilt.
Because of that, we do many mistakes in this virtual world. However, this is just a mistake and not a sin, as Jesus says in A Course in Miracles. It can be undone with forgiveness at any moment, by choosing to listen to another, quiet voice inside us, which says that the separation never happened and by recognizing that this whole ego’s guilt story isn’t real and therefore no punishment is ever justified.
How to get over guilt
Any feelings of guilt, regardless of our subjective evaluation of its weight or importance, symbolizes the guilt of separation, which is buried deep in our minds. Any guilt we feel because of the different situations in the outside world is only a symbolic reflection or memory of separation from God – without exception.
As already mentioned, our world interprets the guilt as for instance a consequence of our wrong actions, which should have taken place in reality. On the other hand, A Course in Miracles clearly explains that this world represents our dream of separation, which in fact did not happen. Therefore, if the world is unreal, then everything happening in it, is unreal – including guilt. This world only reflects our inner state of being.
The world you see is an outside picture of an inward condition. Kenneth Wapnick
Solution or how to get over guilt is to recognize that the decision for separation was only a mistake and not a sin. Guilt does not really exist, because we never separated from God. We are still one with our father. We just forgot – fell asleep. The mistake can be eliminated at any time with a different decision, which always happens in this moment, because everything that exists is this moment – time in reality is not linear, but holographic.
So the new decision is that we don’t listen to ego’s lies any more, but to the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit, Jesus or any symbol of love, which says that the separation never happened – therefore I am for ever safe in God’s love. And you can always know which inner voice are you listening to, by paying attention to your feelings in this moment. If it is anything else then peace, then forgiveness is the way to go.
Forgiveness is the key
So everything you need, is forgiveness. But not forgiveness in the sense that is interpreted by the world / ego – which says to forgive something, that really happened. You can not forgive something you think really happened.
Forgiveness … is still, and quietly does nothing. … It merely looks, and waits, and judges not. (W-pII.1.4:1-3)
You forgive because you know this world is an illusion, which is not happening in reality. Therefore you don’t need to do anything on the behaviour level. Forgiveness happens at the level of the mind, because only mind is real. That’s why you only need to look at your guilty feelings, without judgement.
If you engage with them, you give them energy, power and reality which they don’t have – and so the situation becomes even worse. All you need to do is step back, turn your attention inward, observe your thoughts and feelings and don’t do anything else. That’s how you slowly stop feeling guilty, accepting that you are mind and not the body – so the peace can forever return to you mind.
This seperated world is only a mistake, which only needs a gentle and loving smile that recognizes our sinlessness and father’s endless love to his one and only Son.