On Guilt

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica On 6:44 PM
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Feeling a little guilty about something? Something small, like that extra peanut butter cookie? Or something large, like  ... oh, I dunno. It's you, not me, who's riddled with guilt!

Sin, sin, sin. It's everywhere. Gosh, sometimes I feel bad just stepping on my lawn. It must hurt the grass to be beaten into the dust by feet.

There was a time when I felt guilty about things. I guess. Well, I used to take communion, which is all about shedding guilt once a month, so you can stack it up again for next month.

Don't know when exactly it happened, but my views on guilt changed. Not to the point where I'm going to run down some dear old granny and speed away laughing into the rearview. But just enough that I worry a lot less. Sorry, grass. I've gotta walk over you. Deal with it.

See if you follow me on this. Guilt happens when we strive to be like a deity and fail to do so. What the heck? We're people! We're not deities! People make mistakes. They do stupid, hurtful things. We try not to, but damn. There we go being human again.

I've found the Pagan rule on this to be so completely impossible to follow that it leaps into absurdity. "An thou harm none, do what thou wilt." Exactly what can I do that will harm none? If I eat a carrot, it harms the carrot. If I drive to work, it harms the glaciers. If I eat a peanut butter cookie, I'm harming peanuts, wheat, cows (butter), the tropical environment (cane sugar and those who harvest it), and the glaciers (baked in the oven). Not to mention my arteries.

If I wanted to harm none, I would have to starve to death in a desert. And who's to say that all the Advil I've taken over the years wouldn't kill the vultures who ate my carcass? Wait a minute. If I died, it would harm my daughters -- they still need me! Aaaaghghghgh! See what I mean?

Therefore, once again I fall back on the good ol' tried-and-true big, broad, flexible outlook. Like I said, I'm not going to rob a bank or flatten a granny, but when push comes to shove I'll try to judge the relative level of harm by human, not superhuman, standards.

Perfection happens only with upholstery ... all hale the percale!

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