Shame

Shame kills faster than disease.

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.

As painful as shame is, it does seem to be the guardian of many of the secret, unexplored aspects of our beings. Repressed shame must be experienced if we are to come to terms with the good, the bad, and the unique of what we are.

Faith faces everything that makes the world uncomfortable - pain, fear, loneliness, shame, death - and acts with a compassion by which these things are transformed, even exalted.

Honor and shame from no condition rise; act well you part: there all the honor lies.

The ultimate function of the neurons in the prefrontal cortex is to excite or inhibit activity in other parts of the brain.” In prohibition and shame we excite the most destructive systems and inhibit the creative ones.

Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.

Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardour, for their curiosity, their intolerance of shame, the clarity and ruthlessness of their vision.

Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardour, for their curiosity, their intolerance of shame, the clarity and ruthlessness of their vision.

Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardour, for their curiosity, their intolerance of shame, the clarity and ruthlessness of their vision.

The first draught serveth for health, the second for pleasure, the third for shame, and the fourth for madness.

[Paraphrase] List of virtues: courage, temperance, liberality, magnificence, pride, good temper, friendliness, truthfulness, wittiness, shame, justice.

Shame is an ornament to the young, a disgrace to the old, since an old man ought not to do anything of which he need be ashamed.

The path of Knowledge is only to dive inward with the mind, not uttering the word ‘I’, and to question whence, as ‘I’, it rises. To meditate ‘This is not I’ or ‘That I am’ may be an aid, but you can it form the enquiry? When the mind, inwardly enquiring, ‘Who am I?’ attains the heart, something of Itself manifests as ‘I-I’, so that the individual ‘I’ must bow in shame. Though manifesting, it is not ’I’ by nature by Perfection, and this is the Self.

We may doubt the existence of matter, if we please, and like Berkeley deny it, without subjecting ourselves to the shame of a very conclusive confutation; but there is this remarkable difference between matter and mind, that he that doubts the existence of mind, by doubting proves it.

Have charity; have patience; have mercy. Never bring a human being, however silly, ignorant, or weak - above all, any little child - to shame and confusion of face. Never by petulance, by suspicion, by ridicule, even by selfish and silly haste - never, above all, by indulging in the devilish pleasure of a sneer - crush what is finest and rouse up what is coarsest in the heart of any fellow-creature.

Our fathers gave us many laws, which they had learned from their fathers. These laws were good. They told us to treat all people as they treated us; that we should never be the first to break a bargain; that it was a disgrace to tell a lie; that we should speak only the truth; that it was a shame for one man to take from another his wife or his property without paying for it. We were taught that the Great Spirit sees and hears everything, and that he never forgets, that hereafter he will give every man a spirit-home according to his deserts: If he has been a good man, he will have a good home; if he has been a bad man, he will have a bad home. This I believe, and all my people believe the same.

Our fathers gave us many laws, which they have learned from their fathers; these laws were good. They told us to treat all men as they treated us; that we should never break a bargain; that it was a disgrace to tell a lie, that we should speak only the truth; that it was a shame for one man to take from another his wife, or his property without paying for it. We were taught to believe that the Great Spirit sees and hears everything and that he never forgets; that hereafter He will give every man a spirit home according to his desserts - if he has been a good man, he will have a good home; if he was bad, he will have a bad home. This I believe, and all my people believe the same.

To be fond of learning is to draw close to wisdom. To practice with vigor is to draw close to benevolence. To know the seen of shame is to draw close to courage. He who knows these three things knows how to cultivate his own character. Knowing how to cultivate his own character, he knows how to govern other men. Knowing how to govern other men, he knows how to govern the world, it states, and its families.

God cannot endure that unfestive, mirthless attitude of ours in which we eat our bread in sorrow, with pretentious, busy haste, or even with shame. Through our daily meals he is calling us to rejoice, to keep holiday in the midst of our working day.