The Mechanism of Guilt
Osho on Guilt
WHY IS IT THAT ‘GOING WITH THE FLOW’ MAKES ME FEEL GUILTY? PLEASE TALK ABOUT GUILT .
IT IS THE GUILT FACTOR THAT MAKES FLOATING SO UNATTRACTIVE.
PADMA, GUILT IS ONE OF THE GREATEST PROBLEMS everybody has to encounter. The whole past of humanity has been guilt-ridden. And each generation goes on giving its diseases to the new generation. And they go on becoming more and more. Naturally, they accumulate with each generation. And each new generation is more burdened than the previous one.
But guilt has been one of the basic strategies of the priests to exploit people. The priest cannot exist without guilt. When you feel guilty, remember, the priest is around you. When you feel guilty, remember, the priest’s hands are around your neck — he is killing you. Guilt is a strategy to exploit people, to turn people into slaves. Try to understand the mechanism of it. Only that understanding will help you to get out of it.
What exactly is guilt?
First: it is a condemnation of life; it is a life-negative attitude. You have been told something is basically wrong with life; you have been told that you are born a sinner. You have been told that nothing good can come out of life or out of you or out of anybody else. Nothing good is possible on this earth! Good is with God. And you have to find a saviour — a Christ, a Krishna — you have to find a saviour who can save you from yourselves, who can take you to God. Life is not worth living — -avoid living! If you live, you will get deeper and deeper into sin — life is sin. Avoid life. Withdraw yourself from life. And whenever you feel you are attracted towards life, guilt arises. You start feeling you are going to do something wrong.
And life is immensely beautiful. It has great attraction, gravitation to it. It is natural to be attracted by life. It is natural to be in love. It is natural to enjoy, it is natural to laugh, it is natural to dance. But ALL that is natural has been condemned. You have to go against nature — that has been the teaching down the ages. The puritans have poisoned your natural sources of life; they have made you against yourself! They have created a split in you. They could not corrupt the body, but they have corrupted the mind. So the mind exists according to the priests, and the body exists according to nature — and there is no meeting.
The body desires the joys of life — all joys. The body is life-affirmative and the mind is life-negative. The mind represents the priests — Christian, Hindu, Jain. The mind goes on talking in the language of the priests; it goes on saying “This is wrong!” If you are eating food and you enjoy the taste, Mahatma Gandhi speaks from your mind: “This is wrong — don’t enjoy the taste. To enjoy taste is sin.”
In Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram one of the basic disciplines was ASWAD — no taste. You have to eat just to fulfill bodily needs, but you should not take any taste, you should not enjoy the flavour of the food, the smell of the food. You should destroy the food so it doesn’t taste, and you should destroy your tongue too so it loses sensitivity to taste. When you lose taste, you have become a mahatma. The same has been true about other things: if you fall in love with a woman, you are falling in sin, something wrong is happening. If you see the beautiful face of a woman or a man, and you are thrilled, fascinated, great guilt arises what are you doing? This is irreligious!
And if you are a married man, then more so. You have a wife, you have committed yourself to her. Now, even to appreciate the beauty of another woman is impossible. You will go home feeling guilty. You have not done anything! You had just seen a beautiful woman pass by. Now, this is an ugly state of affairs. You will feel guilty; you will feel defensive. When you go back home you will try to hide yourself. You will not allow your wife to know that on the road you saw a beautiful woman and it was a great joy to see her — because if you say that, there will be trouble. And why create trouble? You will lie. And when you lie you will feel guilty again because you are lying, and one should not lie to one’s own wife. Now, so on and so forth…. One guilt creates another, and so on and so forth, ad nauseam. It goes on and on. There is no end to it. Then you become guilt-ridden; you carry a Himalaya of guilt on your heart.
And EACH thing has been condemned.
You will not get rid of the guilt unless you understand the whole mechanism of it — how it is through guilt that the priest has dominated humanity, how the priest has created a slavery, and a subtle slavery. You don’t have chains on your hands, you don’t have chains on your feet, but you have chains deep inside your soul. To be free of guilt is to be free of all priesthood. To be free of guilt is to be free of all past. And to be free of guilt is to become one, because then the split disappears. To be free of guilt is to drop schizophrenia. And then there is great joy, because you are no longer fighting with yourself. You start living!
How can you live if you are continuously fighting? You cannot live if you go on fighting with yourself. You can live only when the fight has been dropped. Then life has its own rhythm, its own melody. And life is such a blessing. And only in that harmony, when you are one, with NO guilt, with NO repression, with no taboos, with NO inhibitions, with NO priest interfering in your life — Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian — when you are on your own, uninterfered with, your own master, then only can you contact God.
The priest has made it impossible! If you cannot contact life, how can you contact life abundant? If you cannot contact flowers, how can you contact the one who has created them? If you Cannot contact beauty, joy, love, how can you contact the one from where all beauty, love and joy comes, flows? Impossible. The priest has made it impossible. The priest is the cause why the earth has become irreligious. Without destroying priesthoods and the old churches and old religions, the world will remain irreligious.
I teach you a new religion! Not Christianity, not Hinduism, not Jainism, not Buddhism. I teach you a new kind of religiousness — guilt-free, tabooless, non-repressive. I teach you a religion of joy, acceptance, naturalness, spontaneity.
Listen to complete discourse at mentioned below link.
Chapter title: Playfulness is Heaven
5 January 1978 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on ‘religion, joy, celebration, spontaneity’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- Beyond Psychology
- The Zen Manifesto: Freedom From Oneself
- YAA-HOO! The Mystic Rose
- Theologia Mystica
- The Tantra Vision
- I Celebrate Myself: God Is No Where, Life Is Now Here
- The Invitation
- Sermons in Stones