Guilt

The suicide is guilt of a double offence; one spiritual, in invading the prerogative of the Almighty... the other temporal, against the king.

Guilt soon learns to lie.

Guilt is the very nerve of sorrow.

When a nation has allowed itself to fall under a tyrannical regime, it cannot be absolved from the faults due to the guilt of that regime.

Guilt is ever at a loss, and confusion waits upon it; when innocence and bold truth are always ready for expression.

Sin with the multitude, and your responsibility and guilt are as great and as truly personal, as if you alone had done the wrong.

To be sure, if it is the purpose of educators to stifle the child’s power of independent thought as early as possible, in order to produce that ‘good behavior’ which is so highly prized, they cannot do better than deceive children in sexual matters and intimidate them by religious means. The stronger characters will, it is true, withstand these influences; they will become rebels against the authority of their parents and later against every other form of authority. When children do not receive the explanations for which they turn to their elders, they go on tormenting themselves in secret with the problem, and produce attempts at solution in which the truth they have guessed is mixed up in the most extraordinary way with grotesque inventions; or else they whisper confidences to each other which, because of the sense of guilt in the youthful inquirers, stamp everything sexual as horrible and disgusting.

It is criminal to steal a purse, daring to steal a fortune, a mark of greatness to steal a crown. The blame diminishes as the guilt increases.

Christianity bears a huge burden of guilt... We shall continue to have a worsening ecological crisis until we reject the Christian axiom that nature has no reason for existence save to serve man.

It is counterproductive to assume we have created every misfortune in our life, as if we had made a conscious intention to do so. That kind of thinking leads to guilt and despair. Nevertheless, a sincere willingness to acknowledge that we have certain beliefs that have created our situation will enrich our approach to working through obstacles.

Man’s freedom is his inner worth... His guilt alone can rob him of it.

The myth of integration as propounded under the banner of the liberal ideology must be cracked because it makes people believe that something is being achieved when in reality the artificially integrated circles are a sophomoric to the blacks while salving the consciences of the few guilt-stricken whites.

To live by the code of “do as you please regardless” is to become a prisoner of your own moral corruption. It is to be troubled by guilt and tormented by the inconsistency of living contrary to the demands of your own conscience and moral nature. You simply cannot be satisfied while ignoring any part of your nature.

To “justify” means nothing else than to acquit of guilt him who was accused as if his own innocence were confirmed.

Glory, built on selfish principles, is shame and guilt.

The apportioning of blame [is] the means by which society obtains a modicum of revenge for the wrong it has suffered, expiates its own guilt for such responsibility as it may have had for the event in question, and finally seeks to prevent a repetition of the disaster.

Pessimism about man serves to maintain the status quo. It is a luxury for the affluent, a sop to the guilt of the politically inactive, a comfort to those who continue to enjoy the amenities of privilege.

If, as Heraclitus said, “A man’s character is his fate” – that is, if our fate is largely determined by the habitual tendencies of our repetition compulsion-personality – then the power of consciousness is that it allows us to change impulses, we have what Kierkegaard called “the possibility of possibility”: the possibility of having a free choice and the moral responsibility that comes with it. In that sense, the fear of consciousness is ultimately the fear of moral responsibility, because if we own our anxiety, shame, and guilt, and allow ourselves to have full consciousness of emotions that motivate our behavior, then we will inevitably recognize the full weight of our responsibility for that behavior.

The root of the guilt problem lies in human nature itself, in our failure as human being to live in accordance with our potentialities and our vision of the good.

The issue we should all ponder is moral, not legal; responsibility, rather than guilt; prevention rather than punishment.