3.2. Repentance

Carlos (@carlos) · · 0 · 0

There are two psychological states of mind after the crime has been committed: the resulting remorse leads to repentance when the sinner realizes that they have sinned, and the realization is followed by repentance. Repentance can be passive, that is to say, remorse in negative emotions, but it can also be active, when the sinner does something useful or even useless to mitigate the sin committed and reassure his conscience. A special form of the latter is some form of compulsive action (a psychological condition called OCD: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), when the sinner has lost control of the situation and the guilt manifests itself in repetitive or symbolic actions that are socially not useful and psychologically pathological. The most typical example of this is the manifestation of a distorted conscience of the murderer in various distractions and substitute activities, such as a killer constantly washing bloodstain when it is no longer there, but still imagines it. Another excellent example of this is Lars von Trier's latest scandal movie[1], in which the serial killer obsessive-compulsive anti-hero cannot escape the crime scene because he constantly thinks he leaves blood stains somewhere in the murdered woman's house, so he keeps going back to check the house, though the situation is getting more and more dangerous because of a suspecting cop turning up. We can often find examples in literature, and perhaps the most famous is Edgar Allan Poe’s short story the Tell-Tale Heart, in which the murderer under the pressure of heavy remorse constantly hears the heartbeat of his victim buried under the floor, finally turning himself in just to get rid of the noise.[2] Here, as in the film, there is the perverse enjoyment of guilt-inducing action and the resulting danger.

Repentance is also an important moral act in religions, which, in the form of confession to the priest, is a weekly routine of Christians, albeit usually serves to confess minor sins and do penance. In this case, atonement is to say prayers kneeling down in church in a compulsory number determined and selected by priest.

The act of repentance is often manifested in deviant, masochistic sexual habits when the pain voluntarily caused by the subject or intentionally inflicted by other person (a paid escort dominatrix) to alleviate some remorse, that is, it serves remorse through suffering. This behaviour can also be observed in various religions, such as self-whipping, crucifixion in Christianity[3], and it has the same purpose in sexual intercourse as well[4] when the victim is whipped, mocked, locked up in stocks, made to lick something, a crucifix or dildo etc.

[1]   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_House_That_Jack_Built_(2018_film)

[2]  http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/poe/telltale.html

[3]  https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-excess/201705/religious-self-harm

[4] https://missavazhang.com/blog/458

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