The hidden guilt behind anger

Thursday, Aug 06, 2020 1304 words 5 mins 47 secs
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2020 Paul West

I've been noticing lately, in myself, and also in other people, that guilt may not always look like guilt.

I am familiar with guilt in the sense that, let's say, I steal someone's property and then see them struggling without it, maybe I start to feel remorse or shame or that I should give it back, and so acknowledge that it's wrong in some way and start wanting to make amends, feeling guilty that way. This seems a more typical definition of guilt.

But I think there is an experience of guilt which feels much more like a state of self attack, seriousness, and is very prone to projection. It's a state of accusation, and the person feeling guilty starts to accuse others at the same time. This accusing takes the form of projection and is usually hurled out in the form of anger.

As Jesus says, "All anger is nothing more than an attempt to MAKE SOMEONE FEEL GUILTY"

Why would you attempt to make someone guilty? It's really an attempt to project your own guilt onto them, to make them out to be the one who is guilty rather than it be you. This isn't really the same experiencing as feeling afraid and trying to blame the cause of fear onto someone, but the projection dynamic is similar.

And so the clue here is, that there is a strong correlation between anger and guilt. And I've been noticing especially the past few days, not only that if I am angry there is some subtle but definite sensation of "feeling guilty" or "feeling wrong" or "its my fault" tucked in behind it. And I've been suddenly noticing this in other people as well.

I saw a couple of people today who seemed edgy and short and were a little accusational. While on the surface they seemed like they were sort of "raw" and pointing a finger at others, or were holding a sense of "I'm wrong, because of you", I noticed they also were feeling kind of guilty about something. And in that guilt they felt angry at themselves, but typically so caught up in projecting it that they seemed to be trying to make others guilty instead.

The reason I'm bringing this up is because in the past, for example, I was often afraid for various reasons, but I did not know it. I did not RECOGNIZE it. I would have the fear and all the stuff that goes with it, but I did not label "whatever that feeling is" as fear. I was too immersed in it, like being in a fog. I couldn't see it from the outside. So I would've said, in the middle of feeling fear, no, I'm not afraid. I didn't even know I was in such a state of anxiety. Or that what I felt WAS that.

Similarly with this guilt, I've been doing a lot of healing and I notice often that there is this kind of heavy "something" that seems hidden from my awareness, which always seems to drag me down and makes me feel serious and often moving into anger or projection. And as I try to lift up closer to happier lighter states, this same curtain of something keeps pulling me back down. And I'm realizing gradually that this un-recognized something is actually guilt.

I actually feel guilty for a whole bunch of things and I did not even know that i was feeling this way. I was just "doing the guilt" unconsciously. This came to my attention because in one situation I expressed that I felt guilty about something, not even thinking that this was why I was annoyed, that I had not admitted to before, and after expressing this noticed that I felt significantly better. And that was unexpected, like I accidentally discovered what was really bothering me. And then after admitting to feeling guilty and letting it go, I felt so much freer.

Also per some things I've been reading in the course lately, I see Jesus saying things about guilt and about how without guilt you'd be happy and without guilt you'd have salvation and so on. That guilt is the opposite of love as well. And this all seems to add up. The state of ego, the state of fear, guilt, sin, death, suffering, unhappiness, it all seems to be various "forms" of the movement away from God.

In general a belief in sin leads to a belief in guilt and then to a belief in fear of punishment. But in Jesus's descriptions it sounds more like any amount of separation from God, any movement away from love, puts you simultaneously into a state of fear, and guilt, and sin, and suffering and sickness. It's all a movement towards darkness. And in particular, without guilt or a belief in guilt, there is no support for sin.

Sin says, you sinned. If you believe it, you become guilty. If you do not believe it, you become forgiven. It pivots AROUND sin, but guilt is evidence that you've believed sin to be true. If sin is true, then you ARE guilty and will feel it. But if sin is NOT true, you are NOT guilty, and will experience the innocence that lies beyond sin. Sin is kind of like a principle or concept, an illusion, and whether you believe in it or not sets you on a path to listen to ego or to listen to holy spirit. And "the world of bodies is the world of sin" so believing bodies are real produces guilt, while believing they are not produces innocence.

"The laws of sin demand a victim."

"(body's eyes) For everything they see not only will not last, but lends itself to thoughts of sin and guilt."

So now I'm working on the removal and undoing and acknowledging and recognition and noticing of "I feel guilty". And I think that it can be quite subtle at times and elusive. And it is "implied" in a lot of situations, even if its minor. And I think this guilt has a heck of a lot to do with all manner of unhappy feelings and conditions and forms of suffering. It's the heavy anchor that we drag behind us. I think most people are living in heavy guilt and don't even know it, and that has been me too."

I have also been noticing lately that I have not been giving myself enough credit for what I've been able to do. And I also notice myself "over-giving" or "over-serving" in a sacrificial way. And that suggests to me that its because I feel a GUILT, and this guilt is driving an illusory form of service which really is some attempt to "make up for" "being the cause of" the problem, which I'm blaming myself for. I think I don't credit myself with enough innocence and thereby end up making myself guilty for things I'm not even guilty for, and then start over-compensating for it.

Without guilt there is no self blame, and without guilt there is no reason to project guilt onto others through anger. And without guilt you cannot have sinned, so must be innocent.

"The world you see is the delusional system of those made mad by guilt. Look carefully at this world, and you will realize that this is so. For this world is the symbol of punishment, and all the laws which seem to govern it are the laws of death."

"Only by persuading you that IT is you, could the ego possibly induce you to PROJECT guilt, and thereby keep it in your mind."

"All anger is nothing more than an attempt to MAKE SOMEONE FEEL GUILTY, and this attempt is the ONLY basis which the ego accepts for special relationships."

"Projection means anger, anger fosters assault, and assault promotes fear."

"That is why the undoing of guilt is an essential part of the Holy Spirit's teaching."

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