Some more from Richard Rohr in Hope Against Darkness
I'm really enjoying reading through this again.
"What we call Original Sin in Genesis perhaps could be called Original Shame, because the way that Adam and Eve describe themselves is that they feel naked. Then some of the first words of God to his newly created people are, "Who told you that you were naked?" (Genesis 3:11) Next, in a lovely maternal image, God as seamstress sews leather garments for them (3:21). The first thing God does after creation itself is cover the shame of his new creatures. This must name something that is fundamental within us.
We live not just in an age of anxiety, but also in a time of primal shame. I find very few people who do not feel inadequate, stupid, dirty, unworthy. We all have that terrible feeling of a fundamental unworthiness. I'm sure it takes many different forms, but somehow it seems to take shape in each of our lives.
Guilt, I am told, is about things we have done or not done, but our shame is about the primal emptiness of our being. Not what we have done, but who we are not. Guilt is a moral question. Shame, foundational shame at least, is an ontological question. It is not resolved by changing behavior as much as by changing our very self-image, our alignment in the universe. Shame is not about what we do, but where we abide.
Nine out of ten people start with this premise: "If I behave correctly I will one day see God clearly." Yet the biblical tradition is saying the exact opposite: If you see God clearly, you will behave in a good and human way. Your right behavior does not cumulatively lead to your true being; your true being leads to eventual right behavior. We almost all think that good morality will lead to mystical union, but, in fact, mystical union produces correct morality----along with a lot of joy left over. And the greatest surprise is that, sometimes, a bad moral response is the very collapsing of the ego that leads to our falling into the hands of the living God (see Hebrews 10:31)."