At various times the experience of guilt and doubt are of concern to many, especially those experiencing those qualities. Being alive is a great opportunity. We have the chance to live and learn, to examine the influences we create and change them for the better. Sometimes I ask the question “Are doubt and guilt good for me?” I think the answer is “No.”
We are not talking here about the breaking of the laws of the land. People are found guilty in courts and a punishment is handed out, if the offender had some doubt about the qualities they were expressing through their actions prior to the offence the situation may not have occurred. The reason behind punishment is to ensure that the crime is not committed again. If the offence was serious the offender is given a long time to reflect in the form of a custodial sentence, lesser offences equate to milder punishments. There can be miscarriages of justice.
What we are talking about here is the person who is actively examining his or her life, who wishes to change and is making efforts to change.
I’d first like to talk about the Supreme Judge, from a Brahmin perspective it may be said that no one has truly been judged throughout the Kalpa despite having numerous births and deaths. The only time that a soul is truly judged is at the end of a Kalpa. Until the final moment there is the opportunity to make effort and it would be very unkind, very inaccurate and definitely premature to prejudge anyone.
One benefit of the Confluence Age is that we become aware of the standards of God prior to Judgement Day. We understand that God’s interest is to our great benefit. The main aim in the effort to change is the inculcation of purity, a desirable quality without which one cannot enter the depths of this most incredible of studies. Much of the training each aspirant is given is aimed at developing this quality in their thoughts words vision and actions. It is a big change, for many a massive change in their lives. For some it is easy and for others very difficult, everyone has their own karma. There are many benefits and there are some pitfalls along the way. For example, a soul seeking to imbibe purity attracts the love of the Brahmin family and the help given enhances their own efforts considerably. But should if one prematurely experiences guilt and doubt in this area an aspirant’s efforts and progress can be severely hampered. It may be that a teacher is a little over zealous in talking about the great benefits of this quality. It may be that the nature of the aspirant leans towards guilt and doubt regardless. Whatever the reason the experience of doubt and guilt are undesirable and can lead to a chronic condition where great pain is experienced along with other undesirable consequences. If you have given permission for this to happen to you can end it here with understanding, blame can be an abdication of responsibility leading to further waste of time.
Thoughts create attitudes by which qualities are given to actions. Once we have created something we cannot change it. “The moving finger writes and having writ moves on” (The Rubiyat of Omar Khayham). What we can do though is to create new thoughts, which are new causes. If I try to change what I have already created all kinds of difficulties arise. Yes, I can recognise that what I have created is not what I wish, kindly minimise its effect and return to the creation of pure thoughts attitudes vision actions and dreams. Certainly this approach will work. I personally ensure that I experience no distress if something from the old world manifests in my life. Distress does not help. Instead I recognise that here is an energy that can be turned into something most valuable much as the alchemists of old sought to turn base metal into gold.
I’d like to mention Dadi Gulzar, I often recall her saying “Check and Change.” She would never say check then wallow in guilt and doubt. So simple, no premature blame or judging, just “Check and Change.”
If someone attempts to instil guilt and/or doubt in you I would look at the situation very closely. (If the situation arose in the past replay it in your mind over and over, the effect of doing this should be that you gradually become an observer with no reaction, you can then begin to understand all aspects of the situation). Think about the entire process and become clear, is that person overzealous? Are they truly guiding me in my efforts? Have I misunderstood? If guilt and doubt are already in you then let it go, it is premature, debilitating and of no use to you at this time. Move your attention away from that or merge it then make good efforts in the creation of new causes through new thoughts attitudes vision and actions.
I never try to lay down the law because I don’t consider that I am in a position to do this. In some circumstances the pain of guilt and doubt could be less than that which would be experienced if a person continued with their foolish ways, I leave that to the experts. A hint for the wise, a rod for the brute comes to mind.
Just to ensure that the reader who has not learnt to turn his imagination to good use makes no error here. The person who is actively examining his or her life, who truly wishes to change and is an effort maker has no good reason to experience guilt and/or doubt.
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Plato in "The Republic" books 2 states:
'Society originates, then,' said I, 'so far as i can see because the individual is not self-sufficient, but has many need which he cannot supply himself'
'And when we have got hold of enough people to satisfy our many varied needs, we have assembled quite a large number of partners and helpers together to live in one place; and we give the resultant settlement the name of a community or state.'
In Heaven, according to advanced knowledge, we are naked, requires no houses and food is readily available straight off the trees. So we are all self-sufficient.'And in the community all mutual exchanges are made on the assumption that parties to them stand to gain'
'And our first and greatest need is clearly the provision of food to keep us alive ... our second need is shelter, our third clothing of various kinds'
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