There is no one more inspiring than a man who is free of pain, fear, and guilt. Such a man was Ayn Rand's ideal, so it's no wonder that dwelling on her fictional heroes is such an uplifting experience. No one teaches freedom more effectively than one who lives free of pain, fear, and guilt.
However, Ayn Rand never explains how I am to reach this ideal which could be called the true Home of my spirit, so there is a need for courses such as Course in Political Miracles and there is a need for spiritual teachers who are willing to do what it takes to influence me to go Home.
In this Course in Political Miracles, so far I have learned several methods to cease generating pain and fear within myself. But how do I keep myself from generating guilt?
Many people think that guilt is an automatic emotional reaction to the perception of oneself as having done something "wrong" or as having a personal shortcoming. But what if these many people are not seeing the whole picture?
What if a man thought of himself as not worthy of total happiness? Wouldn't such a man be tempted to create a set-up for himself to feel bad about himself, so he could prove himself right?
So for this week's lesson I am going to view guilt not as an automatic reaction over which I have no control, but as a choice. This week, I am going to teach myself I do not have to choose guilt, but can remain in my natural state at Home in peace.
In the first place, who is to judge whether I've made a mistake or not? Certainly I do not know all the effects of my thoughts and actions on the minds and bodies of every being in the universe forever into the future. What looks like a shortcoming on my part may very well benefit millions of people in ways I couldn't have imagined.
I simply do not know ALL the effects of my thoughts and actions, so do not have the knowledge necessary to make any judgments about the effects of my thoughts or actions.
Secondly, even if I was capable of logically judging the effects of my thoughts and actions to be negative, I can nevertheless experience an atonement which wipes out all such effects altogether and leaves the world better by far. Following the guidance of my inner spirit produces such an atonement.
So this week I am dedicated to letting go of guilt that I may teach freedom as never before.
This week each day as I awaken I will remind myself of the principle of the week's lesson, using whatever affirmations come to mind. Examples of statements I could use might be:
"Today I do not play the game of guilt. In my spirit, I am good. Nothing I could think or do can change that fact."
"I will not cave in to guilt today. With my limited viewpoint, I am not seeing all the good that is coming about because of my thoughts and actions."
"Guilt cannot hook me today. I am clean of the past and ready to move into the future with the guidance of my spirit."
During each day I watch for any sign of guilt arising within me. At the least inkling of guilt, I tell myself:
"No! I'm not going to sabotage myself with guilt! Either everything in the universe is just exactly as it should be, or everything is working toward self-correction. Why would I want to close my eyes to perfection by seeing guilt?"
Finally, when I end each day and I'm about to rest in joy, I give thanks that guilt is no longer in the repertoire of things I stage to make myself feel little. In place of guilt, I feel gratitude and say to myself as I retire something like:
"Guilt is gone now ... or leaving me ... and everything is exactly as it should be."
The device which more deeply prepares freedom lovers for success, A Course in Miracles , talks about our ultimate need to free ourselves from every kind of slavery:
You have been told to bring the darkness to the light, and guilt to holiness. And you have also been told that error must be corrected at its source. Therefore, it is the tiny part of your self, the little thought that seems split off and separate, that the Holy Spirit needs. The rest is fully in God's keeping, and needs no guide. But this wild and delusional thought needs help, because, in its delusions, it thinks it is the Son of God, whole and omnipotent, sole ruler of the kingdom it set apart to tyrannize by madness into obedience and slavery.
Also available free of charge online:
Course in Relationship Miracles
14 June 1995