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Did Buddhists believe that guilt was a cause of suffering?


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December 19, 2014 4:22PM

Buddhism does not state that "guilt" is cause of anything. The Four Noble Truths start that suffering is caused by desire. Desire is the process of wanting things that are beyond our needs (more food, more power, more money, more sex, etc). By artistic playing with facts "guilt" could be expressed as a desire (the want to be exonerated from something in the past) but this only makes it an example of desire not the cause of desire. Guilt is more likely a "pain" or "unsatisfactoriness" that is a result of desire. The Eightfold Path makes suggestions as to how to live one's life more skilfully. Following those suggestions would eliminate the need to feel guilt by eliminating situations where guilt would be generated.