Ask: Are not murderers, etc., guilty?
My problem with the Course is it seems irresponsible to say that there is no such thing as guilt. What about murderers? What about rapists and child molesters? Are they not guilty? If we don’t say that some behaviors are bad or wrong then the world would be even more chaotic than it is...
When A Course in Miracles says that there is no guilt it means that in God (Truth, Reality) there is no guilt. But in the mistaken construct of a reality (illusion) that we call a world there must be rules for living with each other in relative harmony. So there is in the world guilt under the law.
The guilt that the Course says does not exist would be an internal feeling of “I am wrong/bad” or “I have done something wrong/bad”. This is the guilt that is not real. In the world, legal guilt does not refer to an internal experience of guilt. It refers to socially inappropriate behavior.
The ego (personal thought system) confuses them, however, to explain the internal guilt that you feel is real. Here is an excerpt from my recently released book, Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace, which might help clarify things:
When you are very young adults are supposed to teach you the boundaries and laws of your family, culture, and society. These rules of right and wrong form a social-morality. As you learn these you develop a social conscience. Your social conscience is an internal sense of what is right or wrong according to your family, culture, or society. It is what feels disturbed when you violate social-morality. Rules, boundaries, and laws vary among families, cultures, and societies. They also change over time as values change and more is learned about the world and human nature. Though arbitrary, social-morality is a starting point for living in relative harmony with others in the world.
When rational and realistic, rules, boundaries, and laws serve the well-being of a family, culture, or society. But the belief in an absolute-morality results in unrealistic and/or harsh social-moralities to control members of a family, culture, or society. Absolute-morality, if it existed, would be right and wrong behavior in the world as decreed by a power, or god, over it. Your unconscious belief in absolute-morality is your belief that guilt is an intrinsic aspect of reality. When you confuse absolute-morality and social-morality, social-morality becomes an attempt to control what is seen as intrinsic guilt.
A disturbed social conscience and feeling guilty are not the same experience. But the personal thought system hijacks your social conscience to “prove” your guilt. A social conscience refers to the self’s behavior in the world in relation to others. If guilt does not become involved with it, your social conscience is assuaged through amends or a genuine change in values. Guilt, however, is the feeling that the imperfect and sometimes mistaken self is proof that you are intrinsically wrong or bad. Guilt cannot be swept away. Where your social conscience sees temporary mistakes easily corrected, your belief in intrinsic guilt sees eternal sins that can never be undone. It twists your social conscience into a useful source for guilt.
Murderers, rapists, and child molesters break social-moral boundaries and are guilty under the law. But they are not guilty in the eyes of God because they do not exist to God! There is no relationship between God and the world. Only the belief in intrinsic guilt makes it seem that there is.
Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace and new! Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace new! at www.acimmentor.com.
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