Sunday, March 25, 2007

Is Guilt Useless?

"Carrying guilt around in our minds is like hiking up a mountain and picking up every rock we stub our toe upon and throwing it in our backpack. That is unskillful. It is unnecessary suffering and it stems from a belief in a separate self. That somehow we are so important that we should suffer more than anyone else. It is also the belief that we are so powerful that we can actually revisit these past unskillful actions and somehow in reliving them change the result."

- James Ure, The Buddhist Blog

Jiddu Krishnamurti used to liken guilt to the appendix, calling it just as useless. And, as James points out, it is not only useless, but causes unnecessary suffering to boot. But what do you think of guilt? Does it serve any purpose? Should we abandon it?


Brendan said...

Guilt is less than useless. It is the opposite of useful. It is anti-useful. It destroys love and prevents genuine communion between people just as much as fear.

jacquie4000 said...

He that is conscious of guilt cannot bear the innocence of others: So they will try to reduce all others to their own level.

Charles James Fox 1749-1806,

Brendan said...

Great quote jacquie, and quite accurate in my experience.