What Use Guilt?

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by Gordian Knot, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    OK. But it needs a trigger?
     
  2. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I think I made the definition too simple! What causes the emotion has to be part of a proper definition. How about this definition from The Free Dictionary:

    A painful emotion experienced when one believes one's actions or thoughts have violated a moral or personal standard.

    To which I would add: real or imagined.
     
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Works for me ...
     
  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Me too...but caused me to look up...

    Level 30: Guilt

    A person who is at this level will have a preoccupation with guilt and sin. They see everything in terms of blame. Those who don’t internalize this will often project it instead. The Salem witch trials is an extreme example of a group of people operating at the level of guilt and projecting it. People at this level have strong beliefs, but their moral compasses are often askew, leading to negative consequences for both mind and body.
     
  5. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    I have no idea, I have only experienced my own. Your description of your consciousness differs from mine, no more or less.

    No that is not what I meant, and it not really related to the current topic so I'll try to just summarise.
    I don't think the reasons we tell ourselves for our thoughts and feelings are necessarily true. I think thoughts and feelings occur within our subconscious and we become aware of them when they reach our consciousness, and we then tell ourselves an acceptable sorry of how they came about. Which may or may not be true. What I was trying to express was that I don't think you share this idea that you see yourself understanding your thoughts and feelings completely without bias.

    I think I might be missing your point but mostly we never think of our breathing, but at times we lose control. Psychological phenomena cause some of us to hyperventilate during distress, none of us can hold our breath indefinitely, the body will force us to take a breath at some point, even under water.

    The point is, human control is limited.

    Again, so neat, so binary, so calculated.
    In me, the anger will occur at one point, and then it is #1. Are you aware of your feelings before they occur?
    If I don't want to be angry I can try and 'trick' my brain by reasoning with it, framing things in a more favourable light perhaps. No feeling is to strong for your choices? If a child died in your care, you could disregard any feeling of guilt?
     
  6. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    Do you put any stock into 'The Levels of Consciousness'? I don't understand what they are basted on and seems just made up.
     
  7. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    My point was that the human breath can be trained. That is the point of the analogy. One can train oneself to hold their breath far longer than what is typical for the average person.

    It is a fair point. I would submit though that a great many, indeed most people cannot understand their emotions without bias. That is part of the human condition, not part of my particular approach. I would say that my approach is less likely to result in bias than otherwise.

    Would you please expand (unpack in your words) this statement further? In particular what you see as purposefully calculated. It seems to me you are saying that everything I am talking about is a fabrication in my own head.

    P.S. You didn't answer the question by the way. Let my try and restate. Binary or not, which is the more true statement for you personally? For you personally when someone does something to make you angry how so you react. is it they who have made you angry or is it you that has allowed yourself to get angry. If there is a third option, please mention it.


    No, of course not.

    Nope. You are still not getting it (believe me this is as frustrating for me as it is for you!). There are no tricks. No smoke and mirrors. I don't try and pretend my anger is something else. I accept that I am angry and then I decide how I am going to respond to that anger. That is the a choice we all have the ability to make, although most of us don't want that responsibility so we say our emotions got the better of ourself.

    There are plenty of instances where emotions will be so powerful that control will be lost. As in the example you cite. I would be heartbroken if an accident occurred to my child while under my care. Even if it was a true accident that I could not have prevented. The guilt and blame would still be there. Just like anyone else I would probably need counseling to work through that kind of trauma.

    But I am not talking extremes such as that. I am talking about every day occurrences that tend to push our buttons and we react with various emotions. Once the emotion is in our conscious brain, we have the choice on how we will react to that emotion. Does that seem so farfetched to you?
     
  8. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    I understood, I just wanted to point out the limitations. We all agree on this, no?

    Does your approach give you the ability to know when you are bias and not?


    I'm not rejecting the possibility of it being a fabrication in your head but neither am I claiming that I would know better what is going on in your head than you.

    I realise now that 'neat, binary, calculated' is a very condensing way to write it out. It is not meant that that way, or as a criticism in any way. It is simply foreign to me. Human nature, and nature in general, are very chaotic to me. The order we impose on nature is artificial by its very...nature. Well that's what it looks like from here. So perhaps there is an assumption on my part that what you are saying is a fabrication, but it's not conscient (my spelling app is rejecting this spelling. but you understand what I mean?) and it's only a product of me not being able to conciliate our opposing world views.


    Well I can't choose one because neither one is generally more true or false than the other. I attempted you answer in my own contrary way with:

    In me, the anger will occur at one point, and then it is #1.
    If I don't want to be angry I can try and 'trick' my brain by reasoning with it, framing things in a more favourable light perhaps.


    It was not me projecting what I thought you were saying, but as closely as I could answer your quiz the way the question was posed.


    Wasn't trying to be glib, just covering all the basics. It would have been very cool if you could!


    This is also an interesting distinction that I don't recognise in myself. You seem to be saying that occurrences that are either 'every day' or 'extremes', where as I would perhaps plot occurrences on an axis from 'easy to overcome' all the way to 'practically impossible to overcome' with a y-dimension registering the individuals ability to overcome the emotion at that time.

    So the emotion will occur in me and then I will have the theoretical choice of overcoming the emotion but it might not be practically possible at that time. I allowed myself to formulate this rather mathematically but I know you're a good old positivist, so I think I can get away with it.
     
  9. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I believe you can choose to react or not react to the emotional impulses...

    And that you can train yourself to reduce knee jerk reactions and the emotional impulses to near non existent...

    In situations that are regular occurrences...

    Like road rage, traffic cutting you off...there are those that go ape....and those that change their perspective to be virtually unaffected...
     
  10. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    I was tempted to say myself that it would a great time saver! Lots of good stuff in your post and I will respond more fully when I have more time.

    This is what I believe as well.

    Would really like input from some of our other regulars (or irregulars for that matter)! Please jump in with your own opinions if you are willing.
     
  11. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    We are now moving beyond guilt and should be in a new thread
     
  12. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    I disagree. For those interested, all the back story is here in this thread. If we go beyond guilt to dealing with all emotions it is a natural progression from where we have been.
     
  13. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Well then...

    Nobody can make you mad...it is a choice.
     
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    I always recall Roseanne Barr talking about the abuse she suffered as a kid ...

    The thing that struck me the most was her saying that mentally she had dealt with the issue, but the emotions were such that something could trigger a response and she was right back there, she was a child again, and all the stuff wells up from the subconscious.

    Memory is a tricky thing, we have mental memory, emotional memory, muscle memory, chemical memory ... and while I absolutely agree with the idea that we can engage in processes to manage our emotions — meditation, concentration, 12-step programmes, etc., — I wonder if we can ever erase the programming, or do we simply write codes to manage it?

    I'm thinking of depression. Dealing with such disorders is not simply a case of telling someone to get over it. Nor are such conditions easily 'managed'. Personally I think such balances are dependent on one's basic chemical composition, and the truth of that will out, despite our every best attempt to manage it.
     
  15. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I can't speak to those that were abused. As a child I remember well the belt, and even the buckle...punished and spanked by mom accompanied by, 'wait till your father comes home, you won't be able to sit for a week'. And then "this is hurting me more than it is hurting you". It wasn't sexual abuse, it wasn't passive aggressive, I was the unruly child, I fought with my father a lot till I left home... We stiil fought in later years, but got along famously in comparison....then as a parent, I understood their frustration... And their reasoning tonuse the same parenting skills that were common in the 50s and common in their childhood.

    I had to learn thou to not go there.. Yes, the emotions came up, but the actions and choices I made differed.
     
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  16. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    This is a whole nuther can of worms.

    People coping with repressed memories of terrible events can have a brutal row to hoe. The mind itself that has been altered through physical and/or emotional trauma.

    But again, this is a specialized situation and not the average person's brain functionality; the types of situations I am talking about.
     
  17. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    An objection here on ordering of people as either healthy or non-healthy. That is not modern psychology as I understand it.
     
  18. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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  19. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Abuse? It's extreme, I'll give you that.

    Yep, and all the meditation/therapy/whatever in the world might well help, but then it could all evaporate in a twinkling if the wrong button is pushed and the person is unwary.

    Roseanne Barr? Yes OK. Depression? It's my domestic situation, not so specialized, more socially unspoken and feared.

    The thing is, I think it's all part of the broader dialogue.

    Again, I'd say our mental/emotional/whatever balance is biochemical. Nurture plays into it, for sure, but nurture v nature is an ongoing debate. Why does the abuser abuse, and those who do feel no guilt, but actually load the guilt onto the victim, so a bit of guilt by the abuser might go some way to restoring a balance?

    Not seeking to be argumentative, just throwing things out there.

    For example lately in the UK there's been something of a critical reappraisal of the benefits of meditation. Nor the process per se, but there are instances, enough to figure in studies, of depression and anxiety as a result of meditation.
     
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  20. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    It's not my fault everything you say is wrong!
    But let's just leave that one as an objection, we have enough on our plates.
     
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