May 16, 2016

Learning From the Feeling of Remorse

Repentance and Remorse Are Sweet
Whisperings From One’s Own Spiritual Soul

Carlos Cardoso Aveline

The sixth principle of one’s consciousness is the spiritual or Buddhic soul. It is also the real source of remorse feelings. Remorse is therefore a sane emotion: a remorseless individual could only exist by being disconnected from his or her own conscience.

While discussing the process of Devachan - which is the culmination in the trajectory between two incarnations -, a Master of Wisdom referred thus to remorse:

“If a remorse of conscience (the latter proceeding always from the Sixth Principle) has only once been felt during the period of bliss and really spiritual love (…..) then this remorse must survive and will accompany incessantly the scenes of pure love.[1]

Remorse is Buddhic, then. So is repentance. This is the main point for the present note. Remorse is an uncomfortable feeling: there can be no doubt about that.  Yet it must be respected, for it comes from an actual contact with the higher self, and such a contact is probationary: it is not supposed to be necessarily nice.

The reality of one’s failures must be accepted. It is no use to try to convince oneself that one rarely makes mistakes, in order to escape from unpleasant feelings. Remorse must not be artificially denied or suppressed in one’s life. To be proud of having nothing to repent about is a pathetic delusion. Remorse must be calmly observed, and accepted, and heard, for it brings important lessons for us to learn.  

In his work “The Prophet”, Kahlil Gibran wrote:

“… How shall you punish those whose remorse is already greater than their misdeeds? Is not remorse the justice which is administered by that very law which you would fain serve? Yet you cannot lay remorse upon the innocent nor lift it from the heart of the guilty. Unbidden shall it call in the night, that men may wake and gaze upon themselves. And you who would understand justice, how shall you unless you look upon all deeds in the fullness of light? Only then shall you know that the erect and the fallen are but one man standing in twilight between the night of his pigmy-self and the day of his god-self, and that the corner-stone of the temple is not higher than the lowest stone in its foundation.”[2]

This applies to every altruistic movement, and to every aspect of life, individual or collective.  


[1] “The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett”, T.U.P. edition, Pasadena, California, 1992, 494 pp., see item 8, Letter XXIV-B, p. 188.

[2] “The Prophet”, Kahlil Gibran, Senate, 2003, Surrey, UK, 114 pp., see p. 52.


On the role of the esoteric movement in the ethical awakening of mankind during the 21st century, see the book “The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature”, by Carlos Cardoso Aveline.  

Published in 2013 by The Aquarian Theosophist, the volume has 255 pages and can be obtained through Amazon Books.