ABSENCE OF GUILT IS DANGEROUS; ITS PRESENCE CALLS FOR REPENTANCE

Sensitivity about right and wrong is in-built in every human soul. Be it among the mortals residing in secluded tribal lands or those dwelling atop tall skyscrapers in modern cities, all are privy to moral laws etched in the human heart by the Creator.

When I heard the word ‘conscience’ for the first time in the Moral Science classes at primary school, the concept was a bit intriguing. With the cognitive functioning skills yet to attain the fullest extent of maturity, it took some grappling to get to the bottom of the big word with a difficult spelling (at that time 🙂 ). But, I vividly remember the examples cited by my teacher. To quote one of the examples, “If Mummy has asked you not to touch the sweets kept on the dining table and you quietly grab one and rush into another room when no one is watching, how do you feel? Do you feel your heart racing? Do you feel afraid that Mummy would either give you a piece of her mind or a spanking, when she finds out what you’ve done? If you feel such pricking within you, that is your conscience. Your conscience is pricking you because you are guilty! You have done something wrong.”

It was very easy to understand the concept with such examples. Thanks to such teachers who helped instill moral values in tender minds!

Conscience is installed by default programming within each of us by God, the Intelligent Programmer. It is further shaped and nurtured as we build on our relationship with Him. And, it dies off when the connecting wires are chipped off. I prefer calling it the ‘Guilt Indicator’. This indicator beeps within when there are certain erroneous acts of omission and commission by us. How we respond to these beeps shapes our character and personality.

There are two possible responses to the pricks of the conscience:

  1. To scan within
  2. To ignore

Scanning within

When scanning within to explore the probable genuineness of the Guilt Indicator, there can be two outcomes – one, a confirmation of the wrongdoing and a desire to admit, repent and make amends/ face the consequences or two, a confirmation of the wrongdoing followed by plans of covering up or burying the cause of the pricking. To give examples of the above two outcomes – A man murders his wife and responding to the nudges of his conscience, he realizes that he is guilty and so he goes to the Police Station and turns himself in ready to face the consequences. Another man also murders his wife, but schemes to hide the evidence so that he won’t be caught. Both scan within, both realize that they are guilty, but then, respond to their guilt in two entirely different ways.

Ignoring outrightly

There are many who give a cold shoulder to the beeps of the Guilt Indicator. They refuse to acknowledge the pricks within. Most of the anti-socials, psychopaths and sociopaths fall into this response category. They lack remorse or guilt for their actions. No wonder we amaze at certain people saying, ‘How on earth can someone be so barbaric!’ Statistics show that a majority of cold-blooded murders are committed under the influence of alcohol. Most confessions of serial killers reveal that they consume alcohol in excess quantities before executing the commissioned task and that they wouldn’t be able to kill while sober. Alcohol snubs their conscience! It numbs their guilt pangs temporarily.

I remember having presented a paper on an in depth study on Psychopathic Personality Disorder during my Post-Grad studies in which I had referred to the movie – ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ and to the Noida serial murders at Nithari (it was a hot topic in India that time) as my case studies to make the audience have a clear understanding of the disorder. My point in mentioning this here is to draw home the point that ignoring one’s guilt pangs eventually brings out a cruel form of the self which was never meant to be so in the first place.

God has not embedded the conscience within us by accident. He knows that when His created human beings respond to this nudge from within, they would be sensitive to His voice and thus would refrain from deviating from His ordained path.

How many times a day do we lie in some way or the other? How many times a day we cheat in some form or the other? How many times a day do we allow our eyes to feast on illicit content? And, how many times do we hoodwink ourselves to justifying every such act of ours?

I look at the world today and see many events which were naturally meant to evoke guilt in people being justified, rationalized, in some cases even legalized and made into acceptable norms. No, these are not indicative of liberal post-modern mindsets. These are simply acts of rebuffing the divine design without remorse. How else would you explain the mushrooming of strip clubs and casinos in most known pleasure resorts of the world?

Keeping the conscience alive and nurturing it with Godly wisdom is the way to live lives in consonance with the norms of the Creator. Ignoring the nudges of the conscience leads it to a slow death, thus turning hearts of flesh into hearts of stone.

However, once the guilt is accepted and atoned for, it should be bidden a farewell and not carried on forever. When you feel guilty, deal with it and then leave it. Do not ignore it. Do not dwell on it for an indefinite period. Do not feel guilty simply because other people make you feel so. Do not feel guilty for things that are beyond your control. Don’t push others to feeling guilty.

The best way to start dealing with guilt is confessing the wrongdoing before God. He forgives and gives second chances to those who truly repent, no matter what the severity of the guilt may be. And, He comforts those who harbour unnecessary guilt by lifting up their burden. He cancels the guilt of the guilty!

THE ADULTERATION OF VALUES

Sugar was found mixed with fine plastic crystals that naked eye can’t see. However, if sugar with crystals is added to cold water, it will not dissolve and settle at the surface of the container. If this test is done with milk or tea, the result may not be conclusive as even adulterated sugar gets dissolved.

White chilli powder is dyed with ‘sudan red‘, an artificial dye to turn it into an expensive red chilli powder. Whole red chillies are adulterated with coal tar to enhance their appearance.

Adding glucose, dextrose, molasses, sugar syrup, invert sugar, flour, corn syrup, starch, or any other similar product, other than floral nectar to honey, adulterates it.

Adulterated milk is what we end up drinking these days. Other contaminants like urea, starch, glucose, formalin along with detergent are used as adulterants. These adulterants are used to increase the thickness and viscosity of the milk as well as to preserve it for a longer period.

When we hear the term ‘adulteration’, the imagery that immediately appears before us is that of adulterated food products. The word ‘adulteration’ comes from the Latin word adulterare which means corrupt. More than any other thing, the word ‘adulteration’ aptly applies to a degradation/corruption of value systems.

Civilizations have become advanced. Technological know-how is on the rise. Awareness levels have increased. Independence has increased. Economy has shot up. But, the latitude of acceptance has come down. Tolerance levels have plummeted. Conditions have taken the place of trust. Virtual relationships have taken the place of real-world relationships. With dysfunctional and single-parent families on the rise, the definition of family is gradually getting skewed. Lust has replaced love. Corruption has become a part of life – shell out money and your work is easily done without delay.

A group of teenagers came to me with the question, “Do values and integrity matter in this day and age?” I paused for some time before answering them, thinking that we are living in times where the very existence of values and integrity is being questioned! The information explosion at the click of a mouse, the lure of reaching heights of accomplishments, settling for mediocrity in place of excellence with a ‘chalta hai’ attitude has diluted the desire to conform to existing values.

We are living at times where a substitute can be found for almost everything. Live-in relationships as substitutes for families, internet games in place of the sweat and laughter of playing on playgrounds, extra-matrital relationships in place of the warmth of one’s own spouse – you think of it and you can list the gross adulteration.

Not that such things never ever happened previously. While the rarity of such occurrences in the past made people startle, the rarity of such incidents not occurring today, makes one marvel.

No matter how powerful the pull of the world may be, if our equation with the Almighty is strong, the likelihood of getting sucked into this whirlwind of adulterated values will be lesser. Yes, we may end up being victims to it all for the stand we take, but our conscience would remain clear of not victimizing anyone or ourselves of such dilution.

TRUTHS ABOUT DECEPTION

Whenever I make any new friends especially female ones my Di (elder sister) asks a bulk of questions about them. Though it’s good for me,  I often get irritated about it. Once I said, ‘Don’t try to put your nose into my issues, mind your own business. And why should you know everything about my friends!’ I can never forget her lovely reply, ‘you’re too sensitive about relationship and in this particular matter you use your heart more than your brain’.

The word ‘Deception’ always reminds me of one the incidents of my life.

Then I was a university student, barely in my early 20s. Being an extrovert, I had lots of friends. Within a very short span, my friendship with one of my friends went little more intimate. We started sharing best of our times and lives and trusted one another. After a couple of years of our friendship, my friend’s behavior always hinted me negatively but every time I avoided it correcting myself: ‘doubt always kills friendship and I should not allow it in’. In between my dear friend took a new Videocon smart phone with voice modulation feature. After some days, when I saw my friend is avoiding my phone calls, I questioned – “hey, what happened why have you stopped responding to my phone calls and the reply I got was, ‘actually, my cousin sister is using my phone and is always busy talking to her fiancé’. Many times I had phone conversations with my friend’s cousin sister. Almost after 8 months and because of some unexpected personal issues we had to break our friendship. The next day I came to know from my friend’s parents that ‘there is no one as the cousin sister in the family!!’ It was my friend who took advantage of the voice modulation technology and was misleading me! All our friends felt very bad about it as we simply believed the lies and fabricated stories of our dear friend.

“DECEPTION” is ‘an instance of actions and/or schemes fabricated to mislead someone into believing a lie or inaccuracy’.

C. Ryle says, “What would you expect? Sin will not come to you, saying, “I am sin.” It would do little harm if it did. Sin always seems “good, and pleasant, and desirable,” at the time of commission.”

Yes that’s very true, that’s what deception is all about! Deception allures us presenting itself in its most attractive form with all kinds of fabricated stories and well organized schemes to believe a lie. Wise King Solomon says in the Bible, For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword.”

Pamela Christian says, “Unless we examine what we believe and why we believe it, we can easily be deceived and not know it.”

Deception needs introspection. God always prompts us in many ways when we are being deceived. He speaks to our conscience ‘something is going wrong’, so it’s better to pause and introspect the whole matter rather than being emotion-bounded.

“This life’s dim windows of the soul,
Distorts the heavens from pole to pole.
And goads you to believe a lie,
When you see with, and not through the eye.”

(William Blake)

We are meant to see through the eye, with the conscience, not devoid of conscience.

Couple months back, I and a few of my friends heard about the present condition of our same friend who once deceived us. Now we all feel sorry about our friend but each of us are helpless to help our friend. The hound of deception which our friend once embraced has deceived her back. Deception deceives back the same person who deceived once.

Deception always DECEIVES back!

JUSTICE – A SERVICE

‘Is being compassionate, wrong?’ – you ask

Does justice need to wear a mask?

Is begging for alms always deceptive?

Should you shut your eyes and be imperceptive?

 

Standing for justice,

Is never a task simple,

Road blocks and red lights,

Along the way are ample.

 

Should you dare to stop an unjust mob outrage,

Be willing to face their heightened enrage,

Should you decide to raise your voice for justice,

Be prepared for criticisms from your family and society.

 

With such a tight grip has injustice held,

The hands of one and all,

That ’tis hard to be dispelled,

By just a simple call.

 

How many slogans and protests,

Would it take for mankind to get rid of this pest?

Is the human conscience so dead that,

That justice seems to be such a far cry?

 

Justice against crime,

Seems to be coated with slime,

Is it not our duty prime,

To ensure justice sublime?

 

In a world where injustice looms large,

At every corner and every street,

Lets not mutely watch,

And our chests simply beat.

 

Rise up, aware one,

Speak up against injustice,

Take care to practise justice,

In doing so, you would render a noble service.

 

IS THE MOB JUSTICE JUSTIFIED?

Hello Everyone,

Recently I saw a news clipping which brought forth the news of a mentally ill woman lynched to death by village people on the basis of suspicion that she has kidnapped a child. I emphasize on the word “suspicion“.  There was no proof whatsoever.

This is not something out of the blue.  Such lynchings have become more or less a routine.  People get killed by the mob because of their eating preferences (read beef), their religious beliefs, their voice being voiced (example: a young auto driver killed because he asked two men not to urinate in public, Reference: Times of India news site).

Reason behind this brutality:  Being hurt!  Yes people get brutalised by people because the later set of crowd gets hurt, I mean  when their religious sentiment gets hurt they don the robe of anger;  when their ego gets hurt on being pointed out they let their emotion flow with the blood of innocents.  And suspicion plays a pivotal role in such atrocities. People are losing their confidence in the slow judicial system; patience is pedestal.  Under such circumstances a slightest streak of provocation leads to news headlines for the next day which says “Mob lynched…..”.

Saddening part is that the ire of mob vanishes without a trace when it actually matters.  When a girl gets molested or eve-teased or a defenseless is being troubled in full public glare no one bothers to raise a voice because everyone is worried about the fury of few preparators of the crime.  But they forget if few can be powerful then how much more power they collectively as a mob would have.  If suspicion can motivate a mob to kill someone then why not a mob be motivated enough to take a right decision to oppose something which is evidently wrong and something not based on suspicion or instigation. Note: opposing doesn’t mean killing here.

My question:  I understand very well how sentimental one can be when it comes to sensitive issues like religion especially in a country like India but agitation based on clueless accusations leading to brutality can leave a family devastated and sobbing for life.  What if there is a fallout of the very base of suspicion that led to the fury.  Can lives be given back?  And why no one is feared of law and order and thinks twice before taking it into own hands.   Is it the failure of governance that they are assured of the mob power.  How justified is it?

As my friend Kuljeet mentioned  two days ago in her article “Salad Bowl Folks!” we have many more issues to deal with  collectively rather than passing verdicts in a fit of rage under the disguise of “Mob”.

A RENWED COSCIENCE TO LIVE IN FREEDOM

In the last article of the topic “Guilt & Conscience” helps us to understand, “how bid good bye to the guilt.” 

Tonight, I will talk about renewed mind and conscience which is really important to live a life of freedom and liberty from the clutches of guilt and sin.

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Materialistic thinking or desires really made us live on lower value systems. The urge to gain wisdom and thinking high is very rare. Those who live above the corruption of this world have always kept a clean conscience. We need to keep our eyes and mind open to find them as our examples.

As it is always better to think and follow,

Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; 

You need to take time to think in a quiet place to understand what I am trying to convey here. 

Do not be conformed to this world any longer with its superficial values and customs, but be transformed and progressively changed by the renewing of your mind focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes.

The world teaches about false and superficial value systems. The general public always follow the wrong things. Negativism is always easy to follow or imitate. But living in discipline and high values with a transformed mind is really very difficult. 

Let’s take responsibility of living with a renewed mind and conscience this Year in 2016 by focussing on things of high value, following which are good and live a transformed life.

Stay Blessed!
 

WHAT IS THE REASON OF YOUR GUILT?

All of us have felt guilty one time or the other in life? It might be a huge guilt that burdens our heart down or a minor one that just goes away with time. Last 2 days we learnt about true and false guilt – but how do we know the difference between the two. How do I realize that the guilt I am feeling now is really a true guilt or a false one? I could identify about 4 reasons of feeling guilty – that might help one figure out the difference.

Breaking the promise

Breach of a promise makes us feel guilty. If you promised a friend that you would go out for a movie with her and have to cancel at last minute, it leaves a little guilt inside you. I promised myself to not eat too much fatty food yet I feel guilty when I indulge in a second chocolate pastry.

Not meeting the expectations

We live in a society and people have certain expectations from us. Our family comes first in this case. I know mothers who feel guilty about not spending enough time with the kids. Sometimes siblings drift apart from each other and that becomes a reason of guilt.

Lying

Telling lies is a complex process. We all have told lies to our parents about eating an extra chocolate or bunking classes. Now as adults the lies get more and more serious and could be a strong cause of the guilt.

Hurting another person

Hurting somebody’s feelings intentionally or unintentionally does make most of us feel guilty. Nobody likes to hurt the other person unless one has a strong feeling of revenge. This is one guilt that most common.

Doing something immoral

This area is quite grey because moral values can differ for people. Highly immoral activities are also illegal like murder, rape, theft etc. – these activities are black and white, but there are also moral values that have been changing with times and also differ depending on cultures and families. For example, 20 years back a woman engaging in pre-marital sex was considered highly immoral by Indian middle class community; today it is considered ok by majority of Indian middle class. A woman engaging in pre-marital sex would have felt high amounts of guilt 20 years back than the woman of this date. So in such cases, the feeling of guilt out of morality differs largely on a person’s up-bringing and society.

So, if you feel guilty about something – try and find out which category does your reason of guilt falls into and then probably you can better judge whether it is a true or false guilt. Living with guilt is like living in a feeling of constant failures. More guilty you feel, more negative you will get. It does not help. Do what it takes to come out of that guilt – but just remember not to hurt anyone in the process of getting rid of your own guilt.