“Natural guilt is also highly connected with memory, and arose hand in hand with mankind’s excursion into the experience of past, present and future. Natural guilt was meant as a preventive measure. It needed the existence of a sophisticated memory system in which new situations and experiences could be judged against recalled ones, and evaluations made in an in-between moment of reflection.
Any previous acts that had aroused feelings of natural guilt were to be avoided in the future. Because of the multitudinous courses open to the species, not only did the highly specific nature of many kinds of animalistic instinct no longer apply, but a curious balance had to be maintained. The conscious options that opened as man’s mental world enlarged made it impossible to allow sufficient freedom, and yet necessary control, on a biological level alone.
(Long pause at 9:56.) So controls were needed lest the conscious mind, denied full use of the animals’ innate taboos, run away with itself. Guilt, natural guilt, depends upon memory then.
It does not carry with it any built-in connection with punishment as you think of it. Once more, it was meant as a preventive measure. Any violation against nature would bring about a feeling of guilt so that when a like situation was encountered in the future, man would, in that moment of reflection, not repeat the same action.
I have used the phrase “moment of reflection” several times because it is another attribute peculiar to the conscious mind and, again in your terms, is largely denied to the rest of creaturehood. Without that pause — in which man can remember past in the present, and envisage a future — natural guilt would have no meaning. Man would not be able to recall past acts, judge them against the present situation, or imagine the future sense of guilt that might result.
To that extent natural guilt projected man into the future. This is of course a learning process, natural within the time system that the species adopted. Unfortunately, artificial guilt takes on the same attributes, utilizing both memory and projection. Wars are self-perpetuating because they combine both natural and unnatural guilt, compounded and reinforced by memory. Conscious killing beyond the needs of sustenance is a violation.”
NoPR Chapter 8: Session 635, January 24, 1973