Tagged with: guilt

Everything with substance casts a shadow. The ego stands to the shadow as light to shade. This is the quality that makes us human. Much as we would like to deny it, we are imperfect. And perhaps it is in what we don’t accept about ourselves—our aggression and shame, our guilt and pain—that we discover our humanity.

Everything with substance casts a shadow. The ego stands to the shadow as light to shade. This is the quality that makes us human. Much as we would like to deny it, we are imperfect. And perhaps it is in what we don’t accept about ourselves—our aggression and shame, our guilt and pain—that we discover our humanity.

The difference between guilt and regret is that the guilt never faces the wrongdoing straightforwardly. There’s just this strong emotion of “I wish it hadn’t happened. I wish I hadn’t done it. I wish I had never gotten angry.” Or, “I wish I hadn’t done that embarrassing thing,” and so on. Regret is the opposite of guilt. We acknowledge it, we expose to ourselves that we have done something harmful, and how it came about from our ignorance, but we don’t get caught in emotions or story lines.

The difference between guilt and regret is that the guilt never faces the wrongdoing straightforwardly. There’s just this strong emotion of “I wish it hadn’t happened. I wish I hadn’t done it. I wish I had never gotten angry.” Or, “I wish I hadn’t done that embarrassing thing,” and so on. Regret is the opposite of guilt. We acknowledge it, we expose to ourselves that we have done something harmful, and how it came about from our ignorance, but we don’t get caught in emotions or story lines.

There is more to desire than just suffering. There is a yearning in desire that is as spiritual as it is sensual. Even when it degenerates into addiction, there is something salvageable from the original impulse that can only be described as sacred. Something in the person wants to be free, and it seeks its freedom any way it can.

As the well-known contemporary Indian teacher Sri Nisargadatta, famous for sitting on a crowded street corner selling inexpensive bidis, or Indian cigarettes, once commented, “The problem is not desire. It’s that your desires are too small.” The left-handed path means opening to desire so that it becomes more than just a craving for whatever the culture has conditioned us to want. Desire is a teacher: when we immerse ourselves in it without guilt, shame, or clinging, it can show us something special about our own minds that allows us to embrace life fully.

There is more to desire than just suffering. There is a yearning in desire that is as spiritual as it is sensual. Even when it degenerates into addiction, there is something salvageable from the original impulse that can only be described as sacred. Something in the person wants to be free, and it seeks its freedom any way it can.

As the well-known contemporary Indian teacher Sri Nisargadatta, famous for sitting on a crowded street corner selling inexpensive bidis, or Indian cigarettes, once commented, “The problem is not desire. It’s that your desires are too small.” The left-handed path means opening to desire so that it becomes more than just a craving for whatever the culture has conditioned us to want. Desire is a teacher: when we immerse ourselves in it without guilt, shame, or clinging, it can show us something special about our own minds that allows us to embrace life fully.

earthdrop
Do You Love Me?

A lover asked his beloved,
Do you love yourself more
than you love me?

The beloved replied,
I have died to myself
and I live for you.

I’ve disappeared from myself
and my attributes.
I am only present for you.

I have forgotten all my learnings,
but from knowing you
I have become a scholar.

I have lost all my strength,
but from your power
I am able.

If I love myself
I love you.
If I love you
I love myself.

- Rumi

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