Chapter 19: Guilt, the Shadow of the Ego
I am constantly thinking of my husband. I left him for someone else, and now I feel guilty because I am the reason for our separating.
Never think much about the past. That which is gone, is gone; you cannot undo it. If you constantly think about it, you destroy your present and your future too, because that guilt will always be a barrier on love. Nothing can be done about it, so guilt is absurd. What can you do? All that you can do is, please don’t repeat the same pattern again - that’s all. Whatsoever has happened had to happen. The situation was such that it had to happen; it was impossible to avoid it. If it were possible to avoid it, it would have been avoided.
This feeling of guilt is also part of the egoistic mind; it is nothing spiritual. Religions have been exploiting it, but it has nothing to do with spirituality. It simply says that you could have done otherwise. It is an ego feeling; as if you are not helpless, as if you were in control, as if it were your decision that you do this, as if it were in your hands not to do this and to do otherwise.
Nothing is in your hands. You yourself are not in your hands. Things are happening; nothing is being done. Once you understand this, guilt disappears. Sometimes you can cry and weep for something, but deep down you know it had to happen because you are helpless, a part of such a great totality - and you are such a tiny part. It is like when there is a leaf on a tree, and a strong wind comes and the leaf is separated from the tree. Now the leaf thinks a thousand and one things - that it could have been that way and not this way; that this separation could have been avoided. What can a leaf do? The wind was too strong.
The guilt goes on giving you the wrong notion that you are powerful, that you are capable of doing something. Guilt is the shadow of the ego: you could not change it, and now you are feeling guilty for it. If you look deep into it you will see that you were helpless, and the whole experience will help you become less egoistic.
If you go on watching the shape things take, and the forms that arise, and the happenings that happen, by and by you drop your ego. Love happens - separation too. In fact man cannot do anything. The very notion that we can do is wrong, and out of that wrong concept many more wrong concepts arise. So look at the base. And this I call a spiritual attitude - when you understand that nothing can be done; when you understand that you are just a tiny part of such a tremendous vastness.such a tiny part of such a vast mechanism.
It is as if a screw in a big car thinks to avoid an accident. What can that screw do? Drop that idea - and with that idea the guilt will disappear. I am not saying don’t do it again. I am saying that you have not done it.