Direct Action Journal: The Wound of Perpetual Guilt

Dried up river in the southwest

By Will Falk / Deep Green Resistance

If fear is the mind killer, guilt is the heart killer. Experiencing guilt creates a wound. The wound is healed when the behavior producing the guilt is rectified. The scar that forms over the wound serves as a reminder to guide future behavior.

Living in a state of perpetual guilt, however, prevents the wound from ever healing. The wound festers. The guilt swells until it becomes an infection of empathy. The infected person devotes all her energy to coping with the constant pain of guilt. She spends all her time hunched over the wound, seeking to alleviate the pain. Focused on the wound like this, she cannot look beyond herself. A cycle develops. The guilt grows and becomes ever more painful. The pain strangles the infected’s capacity for empathy. Eventually, the infected loses her ability to act from a genuine concern for others and only acts to avoid the pain of more guilt.

The dominant culture produces this state of perpetual guilt for its members. One of the truly demonic characteristics of the dominant culture is that to survive we are forced to participate in the system that is destroying the planet. As long as this culture endures, our hands are soaked in blood.

It started long ago when some humans traded the long-term stability of true sustainability for myopic comfort. Agriculture developed. Grasslands and forests were destroyed for domesticated crops. Rivers were bled to death for the requisite water. And, climate change began.

Read the full article on the DGR News Service.

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