mhmm, although of course a new guilt would have taken its place when he realised this, because then how does he forgive himself for following all those orders that weren’t actually ordained by god? I think it’s telling that pretty much immediately after Cas full on rebelled, he went searching for his father. Of course, he presented this quest as strategic, but quickly it seemed like he wasn’t going to find his father at all (5.03 Raphael tells him god is dead). How strategic then is this really, if its likelihood of working is ever more slim? I think his drive to continue searching was very much driven by a need for absolution in some sense, of validation that his choices were right.
and listen, i have my hang ups about season 6 like everyone (god knows I do), but the bare structure of Castiel’s arc there I think really important in terms of his character’s overall evolution. because in season 6, culminating in 7.01, you have Castiel doing something he never really did in season 5: recognising the fallibility of his father. season 5 you mostly saw him losing faith in his presence, in his very existence even, wondering how he is to truly go from being an angel dependent on god’s existence to become an independent person. But in season 6 you have Castiel realise, regardless of his presence, regardless of whether orders are his or not, that god is fallible, and this culminates when Castiel decides to replace god, saying he’ll be a better one.