Guilt and Fear

For which Crime and Punishment are euphemisms.

What is the root of guilt?


Or is it that mixture, fearful guilt, guilty fear, which produced humanity, the hyena, and its particular kInd of laughter?

What is the root of guilt? is a great question. Especially since so many confuse guilt with being loving or good. That fucker is old. It is outside trying to get in and it is inside whispering. And it whispers so softly and quickly, most people don’t even notice, the modern introspective abilities nearly destroyed.

And then there’s shame, often more prevalent on the other side of the political spectrum.

Shame and guilt, both complicated by the fact that it is not damaging to notice when you do things that you would rather not do again because of what happened or what you didn’t realize or your haste or whatever. Some things that get called shame and guilt and not really those things and are just fine moments of really facing what happened and learning from that about yourself and what you do and do not want to do and be like.

The rub is distinguishing between these.

Guilt is simply feeling sorry you did something hurtful to someone, and wanting to make amends.

I think guilt is more akin to debt, as in having been inadequate. A debt of guilt, amends needing to be made.
Shame… is something not as much resolvable. One commits a shameful act, one lives with shame.

Except, one can do an extremely honorable thing and wipe away the shame.
It is not as calculating, one doesnt aim directly at the shame in order to wipe it away, one simply seeks to eclipse the memory of the shameful act and the reactions by producing a new image by showing some excellent qualities at the right moment.

Guilt is about specific things, things that can or should be set straight, made right. Shame is about being perceived (by oneself foremost) as generally inadequate as a human persona.
It is more superficial, more warm blooded in a sense, less contemplative.

guilt is fed back into shame as shame becomes conscious of the metaphoric connective feed back into it. The ring cycle was a downward theft of self esteem rather then the robbery of the goods involved. Shame is a perfedious unconchiable denigration of the real into the metaphor, and that into the imagination .

Sort of an eternal disintegration, returned with a negative interest.
However, that has always been the substratum, and the particular conflict is always defeated on the only possible level battleground, the singular . Once it’s politicised the qualitative finess, which become the model of values to live by and the standard bearers to march to, become democratically lazy, unbecommingly open to bribe, fearfully and reductively self centered and nationalisticly fixated by so called progressive projections, which they can never attain, only procrastinate.

Guilt is a hiding and submissive fear.

I agree. I look through the posts here and I would guess that people are referring to different phenomena with the one word. But also that people do not realize how hard it is to know the difference between compassion and guilt, guilt and remorse, self-hatred and being affected by one’s effects on other people, guilt and shame…

So, what’s remorse?
Is guilt then good?

There are many defnitions of these words.

I think of guilt as about acts.
Shame about what you are.

Obviously there are gray areas and overlaps.

I also distinguish guilt and remorse, the latter being useful, the former not.
You do something you yourself think is bad or might be and you walk around feeling bad, thinking you are bad. Helps nothing, does not evolve, will likely be repeated. Its a kind of self-punishment. Remorse is when it hits you emotionally - shit, I hurt that person I care about. It’s not about you and if you are bad. It’s about the effects of your action that you realize you do not like and don’t want to repeat. That can lead to some kind of growth. Guilt is just self-flagellation.

Shame is about who you are at root. It might become clear though an act or through failure or rejection.

Sometimes people talk about healthy shame. I think that’s a poor word choice, because people will then think whatever shame feel is probably right and good.

I do think that getting frustrated with one’s abilities and wanted better can be a very good thing. I just wouldn’t use the word shame.

Guilt is anti-life and stagnant. Remorse is not these things.
Shame is generally a dead end, a kind of reverse narcissism. Though of course narcissists have a lot of shame they are running from.

Oh the irony!

The root of guilt is the root of the brain.


The amygdala is invovled when guilt occurs because it is scary and emotionally unpleasant to think you have grounds to hate yourself or be socially considered bad. But the amygdala is not the source. You have to have a strong social cogntive aspect to guilt, and that is what the amygdala is reacting to.

Guilt is not like rage or fear. It is a complicated phenomenon where parts of the brain are triggering other parts. As if parts of you brain have taken over the voices of the church or parents or peer groups.


Where there is guilt, you once had social threat, which became internalized. People are so fucking scared, and tend not to look at that, because if they knew what guilt was, they might slowly drop it over time. And even considering that is scary. Religions knew how to push buttons with visions of eternal damnation, though there are secular ways of getting the more lobal and advanced parts of your own brain to torture you and your amygdala.

Guilt is the subconscious criticizing the conscious ego when one realizes/understands the intricacies/full implications and extent of damage one may have done through ill intent or even sometimes not even with intent depending on how connected one is to subconscious and self awareness.

It’s the eternal judgement already dormant and embedded into the psyche, instead of it being a place after death it may be a place one creates here for the self, a realistic subjective hell.

This is why a child is “innocent” because they cannot fully understand the intricacies of their actions and Ill intent and so the subconscious cannot judge them because they have no grasp or conception of that topic of ill intent of conscious identity/ego. A child until a certain age is the closest thing to the embodiment of the subconscious outside of animals/nature I believe.

The brain is merely the physical receiver needed to communicate between subconscious, archetypes and personal ego/identity. If one does not have guilt internally embedded naturally, it could still be due to issues of the brain which is where psychopathy stems from, a lack of this system of internally embedded judgement of self, possibly trauma or the consuming of self by the “negative” archetypes, a lack of understanding or being able to due to psychological entrapment in ignorance and method.

People indoctrinated can easily be tricked into what to feel guilty for as well as society surely does. Through knowing self one may determine true morality and justice which is through true balance and equality.

Or in Freud’s schema, it is the superego telling the self that it is bad or did a bad thing.

Agreed. Though I don’t think it has to be present.

I agree, though one can be conscious of one’s actions and the consquences without guilt. One can via empathy not do certain things and regret having done them without guilt.

I do think one can, through knowing oneself, disentangle oneself from guilt and make choices one wants to make.

Shame is the acceptance of guilt.

Remorse is the intention towards restoration.

Humanity is not just guilt for violating the social contract, but also pride for endorsing it.

Of course, psychopathy stems from this disengagement from guilt or the “integrated judgement complex” it could be due abnormalities in the brain and not being able to “receive/process” it as normal or perhaps even become a wholesome version of the tyrant through the ego with no regard to others, a lack of empathy, guilt, self awareness. Psychological entrapment into the dark thoughts instead of a balance. A psychopath finds relief in murder or unjust thinking/action due to this iabnormality. All in all, another form of coping, just a shallow and negative side.

Shame, ones conscious understanding of judgement(guilt) agree.

Do agree, for on a collective level of humanity.

I think it is a good thing to treat guilt and shame as two different things, just as anthropologists do when they refer to guilt vs shame based cultures

Psychopaths have no empathy, lacking guilt is not the problem. They literally do not care about what other people experience.

We think guilt is necessary, but it’s not. However it seems like if we had no guilt we would be psychopaths. Well, not if we have empathy.

And it’s not a good person who does good things and avoids bad things because of guilt.

There is no love or care in that. It’s a form of negative self-obsession. Sort of the opposite of a pompous ass.

Guilt is about what you are and what might happen socially (and legally). That aint love, but most people cannot feel the different, so trained to think guilt is a must.

I suppose that does make sense then and is true, if empathy may exist detached from guilt then I suppose guilt may not be needed at all and overcome. But does empathy cause one to reflect on the past? Or does it imply that one only can relate to another’s pain in the present moment? Guilt may be necessary in order to reflect/become humble, if one doesn’t feel judgement or guilty, (criticism of self by self) then wouldn’t becoming humble be more difficult and a possible delay for learning?

If my act caused someone pain and I feel empathy for that person - and there were no overriding reasons why I needed to do whatever it was, this would make me reconsider my future actions and reevaluate my previous action.

I think guilt actually freezes learning. One can, yes, stop doing certain things - including good things - due to guilt. But you have not resolved the issue. You have what seem like bad urges and you have guilt, and maybe you create rules to control those urges. That’s no real solution. Remorse and empathy however can allow for real learning, rather than a bunch of rules. Guilt is basically like having an internal condemning priest inside you. YOu are still a sinner, just one who has control of the beast. You are still evil inside, but trying to behave well. Not out of love, but out of fear of being a bad person and all that entails.