I have come to appreciate the Catholic guilt process. I still think that it is all a large pile of bullshit but I do appreciate that others find value in it. I appreciate the Catholic form of guilt because it has a forgiveness and atonement remedy. Sin… confess… ask forgiveness… have some repressed dude in a costume touch your head with water and Bob’s your uncle; you are good to go sin again.
It isn’t like this with what I call the New Age Guilt” or the ‘NAG’. I fell into this trap for years. I would walk about with a subtle nagging guilty feeling that I wasn’t doing enough to make the world a better place.
The danger with movies like the secret and the myriad of new age self-help books is that they tend to be ironically ego-centric in their approach to spirituality. Spiritual Materialism is the term. The reason that you don’t drive a Mercedes-Benz, live in a huge home or have a shit-load of cash is because you had two negative thoughts last week. You just don’t believe enough. It’s YOUR fault. All of that is just another big pile of crap but more so, it is a multi-million dollar guru market. Basically, if you have a “7 steps to spiritual freedom” outline and aren’t afraid of public speaking then you are well on your way to owning that Mercedes-Benz.
What I have found is that the only cure for atoning that ‘I’m a shitty person” feeling is radical forgiveness. Practice forgiveness even when you have nothing to forgive. If someone cuts you off or makes you mad, then forgive them. If you make a mistake, forgive yourself and correct it if you can. Forgive the world for its chaos because the truth is that no one really knows what’s going on here on Earth so we may as well enjoy our experience. The big ‘secret’ is that there is no fucking secret.
Eventually, I started to accept myself and relax.
Now, I have way more time to write my “7 magic steps to transforming your shitty life” books.