Guilt – where it resides

The "Breede River" near Bonnievale.

Why in heaven’s name do you want to blog about guilt?
Well, with so much “liberation” going on in the Middle East, the question of the guilt of those keeping their people in bondage can no longer be suppressed. When, one wonders, will the people of Zimbabwe rise up against their oppressors?

What then is guilt and where does it reside?

If guilt exists – and it seems it does – the space where it resides, ought to have a name, such as conscience. Yet, conscience for instance does not refer to a space but denotes a way of knowing. Like a coin having three sides, two more or less flat ones and one curved, so conscience refers to more than one way of knowing about stuff.

In what kind of space does guilt reside?

Is it a dark space or is it dimly lit perhaps?
How does light enter into it, so one would not have to grope about in the dark?
Is it a net perhaps where stuff gets entangled?

Or is it a cupboard with bones rattling in it when shaken?

Guilt references a space where information is temporarily stored, a kind of buffer zone. Once it is identified and processed, it will be cleared out – trashed or imprisoned and the space is then open to receive fresh guilt.
Or it is shifted to a space outside ourselves and then indexed with our finger where guilt is now arrested.

Seen as a river or stream, it could be gently flowing or sluggish and muddied, dark and deep; crystal clear and sparkling or dried out with the occasional flash flood sweeping piles of debris along with it.
The river bed then as the space for guilt and the type of water the type of guilt carried in it, with brook trout darting or crocodiles lurking.

Guilt as a continuum in our lives challenges the way we respond to it. And it is the quality of our response to such challenge that influences the quality of water we dunk our hands in.

Luke - courtesy Naomi Kranhold photography

With love
Walter & Colleen
Betty’s Bay, Friday 4 March 2011