I just skim read your post - the comments you made about good v bad in the
context of guilt, and the subjective nature of the good-bad dichotomy
reminded me of Nietzsche. Have a look at some of his literature - you might
find it interesting if you are not already acquainted with it.
You will find several of his more famous pieces located on "The Archive"
See particularly "Beyong Good and Evil", which is archived as file number 5.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ninox Tamara" <ninox4@...>
Sent: Friday, February 28, 2003 8:08 PM
Subject: [WitchesWorkshop] Re: Guilt
> Hi Doug, Jonathon and all
> personally, one of the things that drew me paganism was the notion of
> personal responsibility and the apparent absence of guilt as a tool
> of manipulation.
> In order to feel guilt i must believe that i have done something
> "wrong". However i have come to my own set of beliefs over time and
> with guidance from mentors etc, and not had a system/ structure/ list
> of good and bad imposed on me. Thus if i am living *my* faith/ path i
> would not be experiencing guilt because i would not be doing stuff
> that is at odds with *my* beliefs. (this ofcourse begs questions like
> - so if i believe rape is ok then i don't feel guilty about it... is
> that ok? but that is another discussion about the nature of "good"
> and "evil" as opposed to the nature of guilt in paganism which is
> this thread)
> As a pagan, if i do do something that is "against" my beliefs and
> feel the need to accept/ deal with/ process it (none of which require
> guilt) with spirit/ god/ goddess/ all that is... i don't have to wait
> til a certain day to go and release my feelings, nor do i need
> someone else to "absolve" me - I deal direct! and i can do so as soon
> as i want to... or don't want to.
> Guilt, like so many things, works a variety ways - one way is guilt
> that you feel about something based on the belief system you hold,
> that you inflict on yourself as a result of doing something which is
> at odds to what you hold dear, as i have already mentioned.
> another way it works is guilt that is used as a control tool by
> another to shame or otherwise manipulate you into doing things their
> way. This results in the other (person, organisation etc) having
> power over you.
> To my way of thinking guilt is a bit like worry and holding grudges -
> it uses lots of energy and doesn't achieve anything and the only one
> who really suffers is you. As Jonathon said, guilt is strongly linked
> to fear and i would add, to loss of personal power/control and thus
> it opens you to manipulation.
> Guilt results in you feeling negative about yourself.
> Guilt is something you can choose to accept or reject. And for me,
> this is an example of personal responsibility.
> IMO Personal Responsibility is about empowerment and honesty. It says
> "I am the boss of me" - I have the freedom to choose my behaviours,
> responses etc and i take responsibility for the choices and the
> consequences, whatever they are. By responsibility i mean that i do
> not blame others for the choices i make eg "y o u made me angry/
> sad/ happy etc"... So if i choose and accept the consequences, i do
> not experience guilt and guilt is not something that can be used to
> manipulate me.
> Obviously some have a great deal more choices than others - an
> illiterate, poverty stricken, starving mother with child whose home
> is destroyed in a war that she does not support is not to blame for
> the war etc. and she has very limited choices. Her choices are at a
> "lower" (think Maslow) level; they are to do with survival.
> Those of us fortunate to be "higher", have a far wider range of
> choices and we have much, much more personal responsibility.
> Personal responsibility takes courage and humility. It means that i
> have to accept that there are some things that i don't have much/ any
> control over(... yet) and rather than waste energy and time on those
> things, i have to let go, and move on to stuff i can do something
> about. It means that i am going to endeavour to be as well prepared
> as i can so that ignorance is not an excuse nor is expecting others
> to take responsibility for me, it means that i will seek help when i
> need it rather than live in denial or pride, it means that i will
> admit any errors i make when i realise i have made one and i will do
> what i can to rectify the situation, it means that i will be as clear
> and honest in my communications with others as i can and not seek to
> mislead or manipulate etc.
> I hope you get the gist of my idea of personal responsibility from my
> ramblings:) It is a concept that guides every choice i make because i
> consider the possible consquences. Often consequences happen that i
> had not thought of... but that is the *magic* for me, that is the
> time when i can again exercise my personal responsibility and choose
> how i respond... and what i learn... and so it goes. And enough from
> me - for now.
> May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty
> Ninox Tamara ;>
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