This is a story of how an experience with guilt changed me...
The grounds were silent as a graveyard, till, in the middle of the night I heard some hurried and quick breathing. I opened my eyes from my silent, pensive and thoughtful slumber, and watched the events unfold, right in front of my eyes.
The faraway cry of a wolf was audible, as coincidentally, the haggard person fell down on his knees. He was a tall and thin male, and I estimated his age to be about 30. He was wearing a black zip-up coat which did well to hide the lower features of his face. I'd guess he had a army-type trousers and shoes on by the ease of movement he was showing through his apparent distress before he fell down.
As I was wondering the motive as to his presence there in such a lonely place, I found my eyes seeing his head rise up and see towards all the directions, just like a dog with the incoming scent of a bone in its nose. He got up, and his features were visible just for a second, but even in that light, I was able to see just how terrified he was. Suddenly, I was open to a whole lot of emotions radiating from that man. I realized he was extremely scared of something. I also know that I couldn't do anything but watch. Some wounds run so deep, that nothing, probably not even death can heal them.
I was not comfortable, and was possibly scared as well, so I stood up quietly and went my way. I think he sensed me and gazed at my direction, but I didn't look back, not wanting to etch the memory of that guy into my mind even more further.
Days went by and I started forgetting the interesting and intriguing experience I had then. That happened to stop when I suddenly saw a dream so vivid and surreal that it changed me from the inside. Following is the best I can do, but I am sure it will be very pale and dilute than the real, unadulterated experience.
The haggard man stood up and came towards me. To my horror, I found out that I couldn't move at all. He stooped down, and I could feel his warm breath caressing my ear. He whispered, "Watch this." I suddenly felt my senses heighten; I could perceive more colors, see better in the dark, and hear amazingly. Saying that, he went back to the position he was in before.
I heard someone coming towards the man. Somehow I already knew what was coming, and when I saw it with my own eyes, it only confirmed my belief. A woman came, ghostly white in colour, a fire of revenge burning inside her, her eyes triumphantly shone, finally finding the one who had kept her on the earth for so long after her death. She was not a single woman, I realized, but was a complex combination of women who the man had either cheated, or killed.
With that realization, came another; the man was a psychopathic serial killer, specializing on seducing women, breaking their hearts, and killing them. I don't know yet how these realizations were coming to me; I just guess, they were some type of telepathic help given by the serial killer. The man broke down, and cried in torrents. He whispered, "So, this is what happens. I have finally come in terms with what I have done. There is nothing more pressing, and suffocating than guilt. It's a wonderful world, if you can live in it unadulterated, but act without thought, you will come to my situation. I reflected on what I had done, and related with the ones I hurt. I have been running away ever since." The guilt, which I'd originally thought was a ghost started hovering visibly.
I was too fascinated to be scared. The man cried out, "Take me. Take me away from this worldly sufferings. I will now succumb to my past deeds. This pain I have; I'm sure it is reciprocated from all the suffering I've caused. If there is a higher power, listen to my pleas of forgiveness, and have mercy on me. If there isn't, even limbo will be better than this,"
Then, the dream faded away, but I think I heard a murmur: "Learn from this." before waking up all sweaty and wild-eyed from that dream. I like to think that man actually redeemed himself by teaching me what actually to do, and to avoid in life.
This incident has created a lasting impression in my life. First, I avoided hurting people due to the fear of guilt, the ever-present entity after something bad is voluntarily done to innocent people. But, these days, I avoid hurting people, not from the fear, but due to the realization of the fact that they are beings that can think like I do (albeit, a little differently), function like I do and feel like I do. I avoid hurting people due to the fact that I can relate to them, as a fellow human being residing in the same common land, and carrying blood of the same color.
It has remained a hope of mine, that people realize this, and try to reduce the guilt they face. The reduction in guilt means reduction in problems and evils of the society, which will help us achieve the best of what we are.
I realize there are a few Ted Bundys here and there, but we can realize their intellectual power and resourcefulness for the better. It may take some time, but with proper transparent authority, there is nothing that cannot be done.
I realize the naivëte what I wrote. But I hope for a world where everybody is as naïve as such.
I hope someday you can join us, and the world will live as one.
It's a fascinating world we live in. I hope we don't make it into a wasteland and sell away what little we have in our hands.
A superficial meaning of guilt, and its subsequent effects have been tried to be explored and explained in this article. I ask for forgiveness in any matters related to the lack of maturity, spelling and grammar errors, and unnecessary explanation. Suggestions are always welcome.
A version of this story was published in my blog: humanoutcast.wordpress.com