There are people of all faiths and, I contend magician sorts, like the Danes at the Rebecca Ø Fest who delight in making others feel guilty because it gives them a survival advantage. They feel they are right, even when they have no evidence for their beliefs or no ability to demonstrate that their belief is not true only within certain confines. (An example of the latter is for a scientist to demonstrate that the force of gravity acts to accelerate a body at 9.8 metres per second - this is roughly true everywhere on earth. A religious person might say that shows that God wants everything to descend accelerated by such a force therefore you will accelerate towards hell at 9.8 metres/ second. However on other planets the and objects in space the force of gravity is different due to the different masses of the planets and objects.)
Therefore the best way to cope with guilt feelings when you feel a weight is being put on you without justification, (although obviously I advocate a conscience in the Buddhist sense and in the sense of Darwin as a vehicle for collective civilisation), is to think of the accusations as being led by a being attempting to be the alpha member of the community. In such a framework you can imagine our ape-like ancestors, before we had laws, would have had disputes over bananas or the equivalent. hence what is trying to make you feel guilty is really loudly and aggressively demanding to know “Yes, come on confess! You took the last banana”. In reality there is no order of precedence as to who has a banana. By making the situation a trivial dispute we can see we are not really guilty. This conjures the image of the apes at the beginning of Stanley Kubrick’s film “2001 a Space Odyssey”, where one of the apes suddenly realises he can bash other apes with a stick and organises a slaughter. The God of the Jews has something similar in mind when he decides all who steal shall burn in hell. He, (or she), has made a rule which gives him or her an excuse to the bashing.
We can then recognise that all guilt feelings are due to either:
- a conscience, which in legal affairs would be about betraying the principles of democratic civilisation, which we probably all have from time to time,
- or a burden of something operating in the mind trying to trick us into, what can become when taken to excess, absurd posturing, aggressive religious beliefs or self harm.
Check the banana analogy and in most cases you should be able to dismiss these distressing feelings