Friday, December 17, 2010

does guilt really exist?

somehow, in some way, years ago, i convinced myself 'guilt' not really real. how i managed to do this escapes me now. but - with the help of ginkgo and a smidgen of mediation - i can recover my original reasoning.

this concerns me because i just thought of something i inadvertently did years ago, and the memory made my face hot, i blushed with shame. such a minor thing, yet it had the power to turn me hot pink. good gravy, talk about social conditioning and effective parenting. they did it, those two, my father and mother, with the help of teachers who paddled me in front of the whole class.

and i never should have skipped a grade (the fifth). from being older and wiser i shrank to youngest kid on the block, this with my first male teacher. damn, kicked off the softball team, sent to little boy's room when i'd been sucking on my ballpoint, ink like a tribal tattoo around my mouth, without knowing it, only discovering the sad fact by glancing in a cruel mirror.

i hope the point well-taken. the world worked to make me feel guilty and ashamed. ah, now i've got a glimmer. no one can actually make us feel anything! not without our doing a reverse-moxie on ourselves. even physical pain can be approached differently. my father in korea - the one who usually wielded the belt - my mother took me out into the barn and tried the treatment. i just stood there like a man, not even deigning to acknowledge the whacks across my back. my mother never tried that again. my attitude changed everything.

thus, guilt is actually a mean term for 'responsibility'. the latter i can take, if i've agreed to an oath, or accepted living by the law. punishment becomes justified and clear, however it doesn't ask my conscience to do a double-whammy on me. nor can i be controlled by false appeals to my sense of self. shame ruled out, i can resist a blush. unfortunately, you have to be lightning fast not to injure yourself, to cut off that evil messenger at the pass.

more pics:

and a reading from the german philosopher arthur schopenhauer: