amorous echolalia


It so happens that in more than one place recently—in reading, in conversation, and in listening to podcasts—I've seen or heard explanations of the difference between guilt and shame.


Guilt, they say, is awareness of wrongdoing. Shame, however, is awareness of innate badness.


Thus, feelings of guilt can be purged by trying to atone for past action. But shame is a dimension of the self and is inescapable.


For the same reason, while avoidance of shame may be hopeless, perhaps guilt can be avoided. How?


Some say that, if you want to lower rates of abortion, proliferate readiily available contraception. Fewer unplanned pregnancies, fewer abortions.


Likewise, to reduce rates of divorce, jettison the idea that the predetermined outcome of any romantic relationship must always be marriage. Fewer hasty marriages, fewer divorces.


So, there we have it. To reduce guilt, reduce the bad action that leads to it. But how in the world can you do that?


After all, you're fundamentally bad. (Your shame told you so.)