Guilt is one of the strong tools for the bonded mind to reinforce bondage as guilt appears to be a virtuous feature, and it is often considered a prerequisite for salvation. As Paul says, guilt (self-blame) goes hand in hand with a need for forgiveness. What a relief to see that salvation is the freedom from selfing, that, among other things, thrives on the activities of blaming and forgiving.
The main point is that after awakening there is the underlying, all-pervading sense that whatever has appeared and is appearing is not resisted by any belief that it should not have happened or should not happen. Even if there is an apparent short-term mental/emotional resistance to a condition (health-related, environmental, economical, political – you name it) it is still pervaded by the underlying sense of okayness. Some would call it universal love. Natalie’s statement can easily be misunderstood. I also think that this okayness will, as a rule, increasingly infiltrate old habits related to old self-concerns, mellow them down, and NOT increase them.
The inhibiting ‘filter’ (Natalie), consisting of the do’s and dont’s of an approval dependent, imagined person, may not be there anymore, and therefore any emotions can flow more freely, but this filter has been replaced by this unconditional boundlessness, okayness or unconditional love. This is a fundamental difference, compared to the situation before awakening. It is fulfilling, and therefore it spontaneously deletes the imagined dependence on limied sources of satisfaction. Emotions that are related to an assumed need to be satisfied by circumstances will decline accordingly, including Natalie’s.
Preferences for soothing circumstances will always remain, but the assumed need (dependence) is no more.
An enlightened person lives a much less selfish life and helps others while the unenlightened remain part of the problem. You cannot equate the two states as equal.
Dietrich: This is one of the toughest issues for minds. Separating beliefs usually value virtue over vice. These beliefs are also inbuilt into the way the relative world is set up, and therefore these values have their place. From the innocent point of being, no value judgment is possible. Actions from this vantage point of no-thingness are spontaneously marked by the absence of concern for mental, self-image related satisfaction as there is no identification with any self-image. You would probably call it ‘ego-less’ acting.
There a two aspects we can’t escape from: One is life itself as a whole, the other one is life’s momentary expressions, including our ‘personal,’ unique momentary expressions. Each expression – by the time we think about it – has already happened, and is therefore unchangeable. We can’t think about it at the time it is happening – only afterwards. Of course, that particular happening – the ‘thinking afterwards’ – is also an expression we can’t escape after it has already happened.
Naturally, thoughts happen like any other event, and naturally thoughts are made of the same stuff everything else is made of, namely no-thingness. Even the belief into past and future are made of the same. Seeing this, all is essentially equal in value and substance.
Therefore I recommend to forget about thoughts that attempt to escape life in any way. Life as all can’t be escaped from. This includes life’s current expression though our mind-body apparatus as each of our particular expressions has already happened by the time we think about it. Once we fully experience the unity between life and its current, momentary expression, a sense of freedom from worry comes with it. It’s the letting go of mental, futile attemps to disagree with what has already happened. Consequently, our actions are not based on beliefs that life should have been different. In a later article I will prove that such actions are more likely to be constructive rather than destructive.
In other ‘teachings’ the attempt is made to adjust to the ignorance of the listener’s minds so that the said can be related to. In Paul’s case, there is this uncompromising, unpretentious directness that is not going to guide the conditioned mind to a loftier place. He undermines it. How beautiful is that!