Time To Weigh Anchor
We rarely question things when life is going well, when we have a certain measure of balance, harmony and joy in our lives. When things are going well, on the personal side of life, we tend to be enjoying what we are doing at the moment and spend less time concerned about the future or the past. On the spiritual side, we rarely question things when we feel connected to the world around us, we are more empathic, telepathic and clairvoyant though often in ways we may not realize.
Of course the converse is also the case; life is not going “good” by our definition when we are out of harmony and find more frustration, disappointment, hurt or anger than joy. For those on a more spiritual path, things are not going so well when we struggle to feel or further develop the connection we have with everything, to sense beyond the capabilities built into our physical self or to find the moment. We can also find ourselves feeling disconnected from our daily lives and the people around us. This puts us out of step and can lead to lower emotions compounding our challenges.
When we want to figure out what is preventing us from “enjoying” life we can try to look outside for answers or for causes, but they are not there. They are within and not without; if we decide we want to do something about it we have to start within. When we do this we have only one place to go to get to the source of our issues. That source is our own mind. It is not easy to do because unlike our cars, toys and gizmos we are not born with an owner’s manual.
There are few guides to our mind, certainly not many that are straightforward and which give us concrete steps we can use to deal with our issues as a whole rather than piece meal. In addition, they generally do not help us to resolve the actual source of the problem. They tend to help us manage a particular issue or issues better. Further, they are frequently psychologically based and on the notion that the mind is a result of our having a brain and not the other way around.
Be that as it may, no matter what we choose to do in order to address issues, what we are doing is digging into our mental baggage. Our mental baggage has a source. I spoke about this in the essay “What The Gods Made For Play” (1):
“The past is not something we can actually forget. The experiences we have had remain with us in their raw essence though we cannot be conscious of them save through our thoughts about our experiences. The raw essence gets buried beneath the plethora of thoughts we have had about them but it is not gone. Our memories, even false ones, do not erase the actual experiences, they merely them harder to get to“
Our baggage comes in many forms and variations, so much so that for the most part each variety seems unique. People deal with anger, motivation, depression and anxiety issues as if they are mostly separate concerns. This is not actually the case. Just as the countless varieties of chairs, stools, benches, beds and so forth are the result of the single high level concept of repose so too are many of our problems the result of high level concepts or beliefs that are inaccurate or conflicting.
Of the many forms of baggage that we appear to have, there are two that arguably result in many of our issues and the negativity manifested by them. And what are these two forms? They are guilt and blame. This particular form of baggage is most prevalent in our personal lives though we can feel guilt or blame towards people we have never even met, or interacted with.
“Typically, blame is making someone other than oneself responsible for the consequences of an experience. This includes self-blame for the consequences from the actions of others, as many parents do. Guilt means feeling remorse over the consequences of one’s actions, this also includes self-blame for those same consequences. The reasoning is the person who hurt me is the cause of and hence is to blame for my problem.”(2)
The above quote is from the essay “Guilt and Blame”. It explores the form of this type of baggage from a personal perspective; it includes examples of guilt and blame to illustrate how it manifests and touches on how we can approach dealing with it.
“Overcoming guilt and blame requires change to our views of us, and the nature of our relationships with others. It can be a slow or rapid process depending on the depth of our issues and our commitment to resolving them. For some even the idea of letting go of guilt and blame can seem callous, selfish or indulgent as though they are a denial or avoidance of personal responsibility. Guilt and blame may seem to be valuable to us. One may even believe that guilt and blame make them more responsible and accountable, or that it contributes to the development of compassion, caring and honesty. This is not the case, it is an illusion. To compound the problem people often feel both guilt and blame at the same time. People feel guilty about something they have done and blame themselves for doing it.
Guilt and blame may provide some impetus to changing our behaviour; however, any overall good or benefit this may provide is lost because we are doing it for the wrong reasons. Guilt and blame are the result of poor observation and misunderstandings about our nature and who and what we are.”(2)
In this piece we will look further into how we come to take on guilt and blame so we understand why and how we create them in the first place. The reality is that while we can work on our guilt and blame, we can be far more effective if we understand how our own thoughts and way’s of perceiving manifested them in the first place. To do this we will go back to our beginnings in this lifetime, to the source and work forward rather than start with the present and work back.
Our baggage can take many forms, though virtually all of it is the result of how we have reacted to our perception of experiences. In this case when I refer to “we” I am primarily referring to our mind. At the start of our lives, when we are very young, we react based on what we brought into this life with us; however before long our minds form out of the memories of our reactions and how we integrated them. Along the way we use our minds more and more until it is virtually all we know.
We start off life creating far more thoughts than we use (ever try to talk with a two year old?) though over time the opposite occurs. As adults we tend to use far more than we create. For example, many people (typically older ones) don’t want to learn new things; they don’t want to think about things as they have become accepting of and comfortable with what they know. Further, they would prefer to let sleeping dogs lie, as the saying goes. I don’t know how many times I have heard people say “Thinking about it makes my head hurt” or “I don’t want to think about that” or “That’s just the way I am” or “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. It’s the mind set of people who don’t want to deal with things because to do so triggers baggage (mental programming) and the conflicts bring out thoughts and emotions they do not want or are not prepared to deal with. It would force them to reevaluate what they know which can dredge up old issues and the pain associated with them.
Be that as it may, the baggage we create is in the form of thoughts and the energies those thoughts stir. I mention both simply so you will note that to deal with baggage one must deal with both. Dealing with the baggage is a process, like peeling away the layers of an onion or unraveling a knot.
“As adults we have lots of thoughts and we use them without having to think about them. We tend to use existing thoughts, ones we manifested in past experiences. When we have a though it creates a track in space, figuratively speaking and once created (if sufficiently reinforced) we can then use it. When we are young we do not have such a mental house, and we spend a great deal of time integrating our experiences into thoughts, thoughts which gradually “gel” to create our mind. It is this mind we use as adults. The memories of early childhood experiences are part of the fabric of the house and become harder to access because they become buried by layers of experiences. In these cases the thoughts will need to be coaxed out, just like teasing apart a ball of knotted string.
You do not loosen a knot by tugging on what you can, you tease it, loosen it up. You work on more than one section of the string and gradually unravel it. The process with our mind is similar, though because of its nature the mind can be made to clear knots more easily, almost as if you could make a few of the knots in the tangle of them just vanish. This is what happens when we have an epiphany or a moment of clarity when old ideas just fade and the new settles in like it had always been there.”(1)
Further, while baggage takes many forms virtually all of them initially stem from one source. That one source is that which we brought into this lifetime. Just as our bodies have a genetic code as a starting point, our core spirit, Spark or soul also has its own form of code. It is important to note that incarnation is a process “directed” by the Laws of Karma and not our higher self. The Laws of Karma determine not only the circumstances of our birth but also the qualities that are within that Spark. These qualities are part of our individuality and contain a great number of attributes such as base temperament, gifts, proclivities and so forth as well as some memories or reaction sets from past lives. This code, combined with who we are born as become the seed of an incarnation, and no one is exempt.
It is also important to note that when that Spark descends down through the planes (actually it is ascending but that is another matter beyond the scope of this essay) it builds its mental and emotional bodies. It attracts energy of like kind, these being energies of the various sub-planes that resonate with the code I referred to. In addition, it must use what is available. This means energies from our parents prior to birth, form others we come in contact with and those of the various group consciousness's and some of the traits or qualities that people refer to as instinctual. By various group consciousness's I am referring to those related to the area, culture and country we are born into as well as those of humankind and so forth.
The energies I refer to form the kernel around which we will build our mind. This is our foundation and we will grow and learn from there. Further, we will do so regardless of whether we see or realize it because each and every experience adds to and influences our consciousness. It does so in both the lower and higher self though influences on our higher self generally only occur once we die, when the “essence” of our existence returns.
Each and every day of our lives the one thing that we encounter more than anything else is ourselves. Despite how attention grabbing and compelling the reality that we observe around us is, it does not compare to that of our own thoughts. One may be inclined to think that what our senses perceive is really where our focus is. This is a cursory observation based on the fact that our senses are turned outward. Yet not matter where we go, no matter how much attention we pay to this thing or that, for the most part all that we perceive passes through our minds before we are conscious of it.
Our minds do not generally modify the input we perceive, that is it does not change the smell of the flowers in the garden, a chair does not appear to us as a table nor does the sound of birds chirping become that of a barking dog. Yet, all that we perceive with our conscious mind is processed and interpreted information. There are layers of thoughts about everything we perceive added before we are conscious of what is there. The original or unprocessed perceptions are what I call, for lack of a better term, raw perception (1).
A child has virtually no mind, so during the period after birth most perceptions are of the “raw” variety. A child’s mind is like a computer with a bare bones operating system. As the child grows and the mind develops our experiences manifest our personality (or software on the computer) and this gradually influences our individuality subsequently the kernel I referred to earlier. There is an old saying that reflects this, “Today’s personality is tomorrow’s individuality”. Which is to say that aspects of personality that persist gradually influence individuality. As life rolls forward, and we react to our experiences, we build our mind, which then functions somewhat independently from our inner self. The more independent it becomes or we allow it to be, the stronger the illusion of ego gets.
Now, let us go back to the beginning of our lives. At this stage we have inherent qualities of body and spirit, the kernel I referred to. We have aspects of all the various sub-planes within our aura, based on what I mentioned above. We then begin to experience and, based on this kernel, react to what we experience. This kernel is evident in children, which we refer to as their temperament. A child’s temperament is based solely on the kernel for the first year as they mind has not yet developed enough for us to function through. Once the mind begins to take shape its programming begins to influence temperament. Of course traumatic experiences can change this to a certain extent.
I spoke about how we create and manifest thought forms at length in various essays so I won’t go over it again here except at a high level. Namely, that when we experience something our mind integrates the experience based on existing thoughts. Our existing thoughts are those we manifested as a result of past experiences and which were reinforced over time through repetition or which were manifested as part of a strong reaction to an experience. When there are new elements in an experience the mind tries to integrate those elements using existing thoughts. It does so based on commonality rather than an exact match though if one exists it will use the matching thought.
When a child experiences something the thoughts they manifest lead to other thoughts and they all stir energies on the lower astral plane (emotions). All aspects of the experience, including their own thoughts, factor into how the mind integrates the experience. Each experience adds to the “body” of our mind, when we are young this happens at an incredible rate.
We can look at this at a high level even thought what is created becomes a morass of energies. Why? The answer is our minds are capable of both deciphering and untangling knots if the thoughts we have thoughts that are clear, non-erroneous, unambiguous and in balance and so forth. If we have such thoughts then our minds will work behind the scenes to reorder things. The problem for us is that when we are children we lack reasoning skills and so we manifest thoughts that erroneous and lead to the morass I referred to.
The following example was included in the essay “The Nature of Thoughts Parts 3 and 4” (3):
“A young child is feeling lonely, perhaps unloved. The child over hears a parent saying “we never wanted a child when we did...” The parent may have even stated that they were not prepared financially for it, but love their child none the less. However, the child hears the words when they are feeling lonely and the combination creates a thought form such as “my parents do not want me, they do not love me”. The interpretation is false; however, it is as real a thought to the child as any other they may have. If reinforced it will become part of the rational minds programming and will continue despite it being false.”
The child manifested an erroneous thought even though they certainly are not likely conscious of it. Whether they carry it forward depends on how strongly they reacted and whether or not it was reinforced by subsequent experiences as figuratively this is what creates the “ruts in space” that some would call our memory. Once a rut is created the mind will use it unless we change it by manifesting a new one. The same thing applies to how we develop thoughts related to guilt and blame.
We develop guilt and blame mechanisms or “ruts” over time. Once we have manifested them we will experience guilt or to blame under certain conditions. These are discernible if we consider what is going on when we do this. Namely, the following are required:
- A reaction that manifests lower emotions
- Thoughts that lead us to assign blame and/or feel guilty
- A “target” or something to feel either guilty about or to direct blame at
While it may seem overly simplified, the above list is what it boils down to. This is what we have learned to do. Also note that an experience can lead to more than one guilt or blame reaction. In fact, notably with guilt, we can even do both at the same time! And what enables the thoughts that lead to feelings of guilt or blame? Primarily they are erroneous beliefs about self and the nature of the experiences we have. By the later I am not referring to the experiences themselves, rather to the idea that what we experience is beyond our influence or control.
When we have experiences that lead us to positive emotions we do not blame someone or something for it, we only feel guilty or blame others when we feel “pain”. Pain is the result of thoughts that we have created, ones that are in conflict, or which are of the kind that resonate with lower emotions. This is something I covered in a fair amount of detail in the essay “Releasing Pain” (4) as well as in other compositions.
“Our minds are powerful, and while we go about our affairs our mind learns and thoughts form relationships based on commonalities between the ones we manifest now and the ones we have already. We come to develop certain skills, we pick up likes and dislikes all due to our reactions to and integration of experiences. All of these are things we learn. A significant factor in this, one worth noting, is that we bring in some tendencies and proclivities with us. We have them because they are needed for the lessons we are learning and they influence our reactions to experiences. We will come back to this later as it affects our experiences and subsequently how we deal with pain.
In terms of examining pain, understandings of what thoughts lead to pain and why can be very helpful. Now, many of the thoughts we have are at the lower levels of the mental plane and are simple ones, as they relate to our physicality; our bodies, objects and awareness of the world around us. These are not the thoughts that lead to issues and hence pain; the ones that do this are the thoughts about other thoughts. Among these types of thoughts, the ones with the most influence on us are our beliefs.”
Let us consider these three points in terms of guilt and blame. The first is obviously a requirement in that we need an experience that triggers a reaction(s) or thoughts that lead to lower energies. However, guilt and blame are not the initial reaction. They occur after the fact because the mind cannot assign blame without having considered the experience and the consequences within the context of what we did or someone (or even something) else did first.
Second, as mentioned, guilt and blame only arise out of the thoughts we have about an experience. We know this because not all negative experiences lead to such reactions. We do not assign fault to ourselves, which is guilt nor to others, which is blame, when we think that the experience was random, unavoidable, not deliberate, and unintentional and so forth. Nor do we do it when we take full responsibility for the events that occur in our lives. Having said that, remember these are not determinations that a child can make.
A child takes them on completely unaware of the long term consequences. What they learn are the “rules” or the circumstances required or necessary for one to feel guilty or assign blame. They also learn that people do this. The idea that doing so is not beneficial does not factor in. They arise when the rules fit the experience as interpreted by the developing mind of the child. We know this to be true because there are areas in our life where we don’t assign guilt and blame. For example, a person may not do this in the workplace, but might at home.
Lastly we need a target to assign blame to, otherwise we simply react negatively. By this I mean our reactions can lead us to any number of lower emotions without our feeling guilty or assigning blame right away or if at all. However, it is important to note that as we continue to have similar experiences the odds of doing so increase. This is because the mind will eventually come upon a strong enough commonality amongst the myriad of thoughts we have to manifest thoughts that make someone or something responsible for the discomfort or pain we are feeling.
If you look at the list you should see that all three of the points listed are ones that result from the thoughts in our minds. We have the least control over the first one because some of these reactions are from aspects we brought in or are built into our body such as the fight or flight mechanism. That said, we can and should learn to modify even these reactions or perhaps more aptly train our minds to not react in this manner. It takes a lot more work because they are core reactions, but they are there for a reason…for us to experience and learn from. Whether we simply keep experiencing them or learn and grow past them is up to us.
I listed the last two items separately though in reality they are directly related. This is because the very notions of guilt and blame include a target. That is we blame someone or something and we feel guilty about something in relation to someone. When we want to deal with guilt and blame, to either reduce the amount we already have or stop adding more, our focus must turn to our thoughts.
When we are children, this is problematic, as we lack the mental development to recognize when we are observing superficially, buying into the mistaken notions and are not yet capable of reasoning to the level needed to recognize them as such. Further, our parents and others around us are a significant part of our world and we are dependent on our parents and others. Both of these render us more vulnerable to their influence. The notions that guilt and blame are real things and important are developed very early in life. They are the source of the thoughts we have that lead us to guilt and blame. I say this because though there are a number of reasons why we end up with thoughts that lead us to feeling guilty or to blame.
I was at the grocery store the other day and observed a mother berate her child for doing the kind of things children do. The child couldn’t have been much more than 3 and certainly did not know any better He was exploring, curious and excited by everything. However, she was in a hurry and he was lost in his playfulness and curiosity. Rather than be calm about it she got angry and then said “You are making me mad!”
I truly felt for the child, but it is a scenario I have seen countless times. I did not interfere, that tends to either make it worse or results in the adult trying to blast me. However, when the child looked at me I looked at his mother, shook my head without being negative or judgmental, and then turned my attention to him. I smiled, winked and sent calming energy his way. He got a puzzled look on his face and continued to look back at me as she dragged him off towards the checkout counter.
How many times have you heard people say “You hurt my feelings’, “This is all your fault”, “it’ or “You made me do it” etc. etc. etc.? In reality it is “I allowed my feelings to be hurt”, “I put myself in this place and time” and “I allowed you to convince me to do it”. People blame and feel guilty and they teach this to us starting at a very young age as this mother was doing to her child. We can even develop them before we are able to speak because we may have brought some aspects of this in as a lesson to work on. Also, we do have access to the thoughts of others even if we do not understand them at a conscious level as a baby would not be able to do (note most are not consciously aware of the thoughts of others either). They in turn learned this from others and on back it goes. It creates cycles of guilt and blame and can lead to other things like shame, loss of self-esteem and all sorts of cyclical problems and much more.
Children lack the benefit of a clear and strong reasoning mind (not that many adults have such a thing either) and are also strongly connected to their parents and are dependent on them. They get more of the same from others, mostly their peers, so it doesn’t take long before they take on the same reaction set. And let’s face it- we have been handing down this form of ignorance for as long as we have had minds.
There are also many who believe that teaching children guilt is good and a beneficial thing to do. I have read a number of articles that suggest such an approach is a good thing and beneficial. It is an absurd notion driven by a society out of tune and balance and, like spanking is a conditioning tool. It is used to get people who do not know better to do as they are told or to follow some societal or cultural pattern they were taught or bought into. Its use by parents who do not have the time, the inclination or skill to work with their children so that they learn properly is prevalent. These are merely justifications people use to self validate their actions. People who do this have no comprehension of the life-long lessons and pain this establishes or the affect on their psyche.
People learn to make others responsible for their woes or they feel they are the cause of the woes of others and take on responsibility for it. Further, it becomes ingrained in us. Much of it amounts to mental and emotional blackmail. Once someone blames another for their feelings and the other person accepts you have created a cycle of guilt and blame that is hard to escape. And the person doing the blaming gets to set the price. The value they assign is the cost to them and can grow over time. The old “eye for an eye” simply perpetuates the pain and the scale is arbitrary, determined by the person who feels wronged.
Once the hooks are in they are challenging to release. An example of this would be when someone says “I will forgive you but I will never forget”. The person making the statement has not actually forgiven the person. The fact is that without taking full personal responsibility for our role in an experience that causes pain (which includes being there to experience it in the first place), or forgiving there is no way the other person can make it right.
For example, we had our house broken into and some irreplaceable items stolen. I was disappointed especially since some of the items were my father’s who’d passed away only a few months prior to the theft. We even knew who did it, but they were never caught and denied it. I accepted that it happens; we added some extra security to try to prevent future occurrences and moved on. A friend of mine had his house broken into as well, a few items were stolen; however, the man’s wife was so distraught over the break in that she could not sleep in the house, got very moody and completely out of sorts. She was so sick with dread and other emotions that she insisted they sell their house and move, which they did. To this day she is bitter and angry over the person or persons who broke into their house.
Both guilt and blame are debilitating even if we cannot see how. They affect each of us differently and to varying degrees. With blame, except when directed at ourselves, we are for the most part sending energy out. As a result we will have to deal with the karma of our thoughts more than the energy we are sending. However, with guilt, we direct the vast majority of these lower energies at ourselves. Hence, of the two, guilt is perhaps more debilitating because we are beating up on ourselves for some action we did or a choice we made.
This is very difficult to deal with, especially when we made choices with the best intentions and the results did not turn out as we had hoped. This is because in such cases we are often doing both. We are feeling guilty for the choice AND blaming ourselves for the outcome. This makes resolving such internal issues much harder. Often when we make choices we are trying our best while pushed to make a decision and under a great deal of strain and stress.
When we make a choice we are deciding between two or more possible paths into the future. We do so we almost never know the consequences of the choices. By that I am referring to our level of certainty about what lies ahead on the various alternatives we had to choose from. We can surmise part of what can occur on them but it is extremely rare that we have full or even significant knowledge as this only occurs when we are in the now and our mind is not involved. In such cases we can continue to feel guilty and blame ourselves, but all this does is continue and increase our pain and suffering. We can be adding hurt for a loss, regret, shame, self loathing and other negative energies to our assault on ourselves. These thoughts make the tangle of issues stronger and more far reaching. It affects how we view ourselves, how we view the world and so on.
“Each of us knows we have baggage, we are even consciously aware of some of it. We see some of it when it is exposed to us by our reactions to our experiences, but they are the tip of the iceberg or one of the loose threads in a knotted ball of twine. We have not built our knot of string (thoughts) in a day; it has taken our whole lives to develop the ones we have. Further, the way our mind processes our experiences increases the entanglement between our thoughts. As a result when we try to make progress in one area we find ourselves pulled back by another. This is in no small way part of why the knot is so hard to unravel.” (1)
This is the basic problem with our justice system as well. What is deemed as just in some situation by one may not be seen that way by another (as in the example above about having our home burglarized). People simply do not agree on what should be made a “crime”, how we deal with those who break our laws or how those that do should be dealt with. Society as a whole will not get past this so long as it remains focused more on punishment and retribution than protection and prevention. We know this because study after study after study has shown this to be the case. The potential punishment is nowhere near the deterrent that getting caught is. That said, such lessons are part of our evolution and we may never get past it altogether.
There is no going back to change the choice we must live with it. The only way to deal with it is for the people on both side of the equation to face each other and deal with what happened rationally and with care and compassion for each other. That means the person who did “the wrong” must recognize how their actions may have facilitated or acerbated another’s problems. The person “wronged” must understand the ignorance of the other and their own complicity in the experience. It only works, of course, when both sides are sincere, understand what the “wrong” was and care about each other enough to recognize this and work together to both release the pain and take steps to prevent it from happening again.
We are seeing this now, in a small way, in initiatives such as “restorative justice”. We must also choose to forgive ourselves for our choices. There is no other way. There are ways to find the strength to do so but most stem from coming to accept that we are eternal, that the lessons in life are meant to teach and not to admonish, and we are admonishing ourselves or others by carrying the guilt and blame. As hard as it is to accept, both perpetrator’s and those they affect chose the lesson that the experience presented them with. Both are responsible for the occurrence, it was not random or an accident or coincidence. We attract what we need in life to learn.
Life works out the way it is supposed to even though we may not like how it does. We must console ourselves with this and accept that what happened did so for a reason. We do not own our lives, we live them and when we made a choice with the best intentions, with love in our hearts all we can do is look at whether we considered everything. That includes examining what led us to that situation in the first place, whether we made a mistake in our reasoning or based our choice on superficial or subjective observation. When the acts are random or out of the blue we will find it hard to see what led us to it, therefore in these cases we need to examine our reactions, work through the pain and move on. Otherwise our reactions are simply imprisoning us.
If we did this then we can learn from it and make better choices in the future, but it serves no purpose to continue to beat up on ourselves for it. Life is impermanent, all things change and we all will eventually die. We can accept this, and find the strength to persevere and enjoy the gift of life, or we can succumb to it become frozen and locked into our past through fears, regret, sorrow, blame and guilt and so on.
Guilt and blame are also passed down and transcend generations. Some feel they need to carry the torch for those that went before even when they had no part in it and the only thing affecting their lives are what they have created in their own minds.
No matter what we do, we really cannot take on such responsibilities for others, nor can we escape ours by trying to assign them to others. You cannot make up for the past, there is no going back. All you end up doing is getting stuck in the past and bound by it. People who are still stuck there, and that is a very large number, won’t stop doing it, but we can stop buying in.
There are challenges associated with opting out, namely many base their world on it. Opting out can lead to tension or more in relationships, family can ostracize you, we can even lose friends or we may deal with verbal, energy and sometimes threats of physical attacks from people. Also, one must be willing to deal with the consequences in a world that at times appears to feed off the negative energies manifested by reactions such as guilt and blame.
One must also be careful that they do not choose a path that leads to even greater challenges. We sometimes have to weigh the relative benefits of our choices. For instance, if by refusing to play the guilt and blame game we can face greater challenges ( such as financially or perhaps even harm to our person) we may need to accept that it is a current condition in our lives and instead work on reducing the problems caused by other concerns or dependencies first. If this should be our choice we can still reduce our buy in to guilt or blame internally rather than with the other person. Sometimes it is a matter of what we can live with and handle at a particular point in time.
Make no mistake, some of the fundamental reasons people react with guilt and blame are the mistaken belief that we have no control over the experiences we have, the notion that our lives are “ours” and should go as we’d like or believe they should and taking on possessiveness of things and desires such as to be liked, valued, and befriended and so on. We do this even though this is simply part of the illusion and is of no benefit to us outside of being lessons we need to learn.
We are not victims, though many will continue to suggest otherwise, we are the architects. The fact that we do not appear to control our experiences consciously, is neither here nor there. All that happens to us is the result of past experiences: actions and reactions cascading down through the years. It is they that lead us to have the experiences we are having now. And being liked is something we also make important, mostly because we lack the connection to source to be reliant without the approval of others and they use it as a tool to extract what they have come to think they deserve, want or need from us, even what they believe we “owe” them. People then, in turn, tend to act in kind. Being liked comes with what we perceive as perks and we allow ourselves to want and/or need them which keeps us locked into the illusion. But the perks are a trap.
There is no “secret” to resolving such things. We all know them for what they are and if we stop and consider them, while we may not like or want to admit it, we know. In order to get past guilt and blame we must take full responsibility for what happens to us now. We must see them as anchors, or baggage that keep us in the past and we must also work on reducing attachments as well as our self reliance and esteem. Further, anytime we find ourselves feeling one of these two things we need to recognize it for what it is: baggage.
Our non-conscious mind is influenced by our conscious mind so we need to try to see guilt and blame for what they are. When you find yourself feeling guilty do not buy in, when you find yourself blaming another do not buy in. Be forceful with your thoughts and focus as much of your attention on it as possible. Do your best to make it singularly important. This act alone helps lessen the impact of our old thoughts and starts to implant and strengthen new ones.
The diagram below, from “Guilt and Blame” (2) covers a series of steps we can follow to work on it when it occurs.
The reality is very few people live their lives in a fully unconditional manner without attachments. It is not easy to do so as we all find ourselves, at times, desiring, wanting or needing something to feel good, happy and safe and so on. It is our desires that keep us incarnating, something I examined in some detail in a recent composition. The below passage from was included in the essay “The One and the All” (Part 5 of the Awakening Our Gifts series (5)).
We are here, incarnate, because of desire, and it is our desire that leads us astray. We will continue to incarnate until all the possibilities of our desire are burnt out. At this point desire remains only as an abstract idea and part of our individuality; and we die to the lower desires but continue to live in the higher desires. This passage is also from the same chapter of The Cosmic Doctrine:
“These in their turn he learns to be finite and mortal (re: the higher desires) and constitute a barrier between us and our Father “whose face he would behold”, and he desires to escape from them. He would no longer love with the personal love which loves a person, but the higher manifestation of love which is love and loves no person or thing but is a state of consciousness in which all is embraced.” From “The Cosmic Doctrine” by Dion Fortune
Earlier I mentioned that we not only have to deal with our thoughts of guilt and blame but also the energies they manifest. These energies do need to be dealt with, though I will not go into them in great detail here because that is a whole new topic altogether. However, I will touch on this here as I did mention them deliberately.
I will start by reminding you that energy follows attention. Think about this. When we have thoughts that blame someone, anger is often a component. So our anger follows and mirror’s our intent. When we blame our anger, which is energy is directed at whom or whatever we are blaming. If we have focused our anger enough we may be buffeting them with it.
The “form” the energy takes depends on us, as I discussed in the essay “Energy Linkages: Breaking Limiting Bonds” (6), where I stated:
When we have thoughts of anger and direct them at another, energy goes towards them. Whether the energy actually gets into their auric field depends on how vulnerable they are to the energy. This changes when two people are in a confrontation. In this case, by sending energy at them, we have opened ourselves up for energy to return along the same path. The way the energy moves is depends on the person sending it. For instance, the energy may take the form of a spear, a wave of tiny spikes, a wave of energy or even a penetrating cloud. From then on, the energies that move along the link will do so in this fashion.
Note: You should consider reading this essay if you missed it.
So, when we blame ourselves, which is essentially guilt, then we direct the energy at us. In addition, even when we are directing it towards others the energy affects our auric field. This is because the source is us, it is within this field. It is rare that we solely blame another for some outcome, there is invariably a little built of guilt in there as well. This is simply because at an inner level we know that we should not be assigning blame.
The essay on Energy Linkages covers this process, though one must develop their sensitivity to energy, their level of honesty and work on being unconditional to work on linkages. It is not easy to be objective when strong emotions are involved.
“To clear such linkages we need to do a number of things, including letting go of our side of it, removing the energy the other person has directed at us and neutralizing the link. In addition, if we have had more than one encounter with the person, likely if it is someone we know well or perhaps an abusive family member, each encounter can forge a separate link.” (6)
What we can do is be mindful of what we can manifest. Not an easy thing to do at all. It is hard to live life with minimal conditions or attachments especially when we live in our thoughts, thoughts that are conditioned by the past and imagined future. Our lives do become personal to us as they are all most of us know. When something happens that creates a disturbance in our world we often find ourselves either blaming, feeling guilty or both. Since most do not touch their inner selves or see beyond the illusion of their minds then everything revolves around “I”. Guilt and blame are part of the illusion and if we succumb to them we are only strengthening the illusion and moving further away from ourselves.
It is up to each of us to decide for ourselves how we will live our lives and often it takes pain and suffering to get us to move and shift. We cannot do this if we cling to our lives as if this is existence is all we are or the one and only life we have. Doing so makes it even more personal and again, the “I”, the ego and the illusion it creates stronger. We need to remember that just about all of us have far more to be thankful of than not. We all should try to open ourselves up to the magnificence that is all around and within us and remember that every day truly can be a fine day!
I am not yet I am
a leaf on the tree
and the forest itself
a grain of sand on the beach
And the whole of the beach
a wave on the ocean
And all of seas
the earth and the stars
And as they move
and sing in the heavens
I can move with them
But only when I realize…
I am and yet I am not
© 2012 Allan Beveridge
Artwork courtesy James Beveridge
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