Religion creates Feelings of Guilt and Fear leading to psychological Problems – 14 Sep 11

Religion

Yesterday I explained that many people turn to religion only to alleviate their conscience by confessing their sins. Religions have successfully used this idea for centuries in order to attract people and keep them coming to temples and churches. For this purpose, they liked to spread the idea that you have definitely done something wrong that you have to confess.

I have noticed this idea and attitude in various religions and many religious believers really think that they always have some kind of sin to confess. Religions have promoted this idea. There is something that you did. In the last 24 hours you must have some something wrong. You surely have committed one of the many sins that God would punish you for if you did not confess them.

Even if you don’t know about any sin that you could have committed, there is an answer: you must have done something unconsciously! Even if you lived carefully, you have unconsciously insulted God, hurt someone, had an impure thought or something equally wrong. So if you go to your priest, he will give you a task for penance, even if you don’t know what you did wrong.

I assume if you said that you have done nothing wrong, they would accuse you of having too much ego and you would have to confess this sin!

Some of my Christian, Catholic friends told me that in their childhood their parents took them to church each week, some even more often, and they had to go and confess. They had to, not because they have done something wrong but because it is part of the religious tradition. Many of them often had no clue what to tell the priest and so they made up stories. They told that they had not obeyed their parents, that they had fought with their siblings or had not paid attention in school. They were told that they had to confess something and so they did – even if it was not true!

So you see what religion made you do! In the effort to get you out of your sins, it made you lie about them. Wouldn’t that be sinful in itself?

If you go in a Hindu temple, you will see a similar thing happen. You can see people holding their ears. This is a gesture of saying sorry and asking for being pardoned for their mistakes. Others even hit their own cheeks. This is what they are taught: in front of God you should ask him to forgive your sins.

Religions want to make you feel guilty. If you feel guilty, you will come to them to confess. You have to live in fear that God might punish you and they teach this already to young children. This is why I say religion is not good and unnecessary. A constant feeling of guilt reflects in other areas of your life, too, and it creates psychic problems! I have met many people who always live in guilt and they have problems leading a normal life. You are always wrong, you are always guilty.

Of course you have to teach your children to accept their mistakes so that they don’t repeat them. You, as an adult, have to think of the consequences of your actions. But whatever you do, don’t be afraid of God and don’t spend your life in a permanent state of guilt. If you pray your rosary or Mantra a thousand times, does that really help correcting your mistake? Did that really alleviate your conscience? Do you think God loves you again after this act of penance?

I believe we should live free of such fear and guilt. If you made a mistake, accept it. You have to take care not to repeat it and if you can apologize or repair, do it. You can calm yourself in meditation or prayer but don’t have the idea that God saw what you did, got angry, wanted to punish you but got satisfied through your prayer. There is no need to confess to any priest. Answer your own conscience. God is inside you and all of us.

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  1. D

    Just passing along a beautiful quote I heard recently…..”Listen to a seashell, hear the ocean…..Listen to a child, hear brilliance”! Author Unknown

  2. Rita

    I have experienced this, too. The question what to confess was there every Easter holiday and every Christmas holiday, whenever we went to stay with my grandmother. With her we had to go to church and she made sure we went to confess, too. I am sure though that the priest knew we made things up. Three Ave Marias later we were relieved to have gotten over with that… 🙂

  3. Swami Balendu

    Dear Rita,Thank you for your comment. that is exactly such a story as I have heard before from friends. It is making the tradition a farce and if it is like that, one could as well leave it!
    Much love

  4. Emily

    I believe religions should be teaching the exact opposite!– that we are forever loved, accepted, and forgiven by God no matter what mistakes we make. In fact, you only have to ask once for forgiveness or anything else… ask Spirit just once and it is done. Don’t spend your life feeling guilty and chanting or praying for forgiveness…it is already done! Embrace God’s love and share it with others.

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