August 31, 2021 — Reviewed by Matt Benzing
With its direct language and practical exercises, Your Conscience is a standout spirituality text.
Leonard Perlmutter’s self-help text Your Conscience applies spiritual insights to the challenges of everyday living.
The book begins by naming four functions of the mind: logic, ego, the unconscious, and conscience. For its purposes, conscience is identified as the most important of these functions. It is called the core of an individual’s identity—the force that integrates the other aspects of the mind together and empowers enlightened decision making. From this perspective: the conscience is not just a guide to good behavior, but a resource for wisdom and guidance.
The book encourages paying close attention to the conscience; doing so, it claims, will enable a person to access the superconscious wisdom “that is buried inside each of us.” This superconscious wisdom, the book says, points the way to right living and decision making. By listening to one’s inner voice and putting some space between responses and actions, it promises that a bridge of yoga can be achieved, mediating between essential wisdom and the demands of the outside world.
Perlmutter’s seven chapters build on the central argument in a steady manner; each also builds on the ideas established in the previous chapters well, so that the power of attention is defined and demonstrated before the bridge of yoga, which utilizes that power, is discussed. Further, the book begins with a helpful glossary that defines its perhaps unfamiliar terms and concepts at the outset, so that they are familiar to the audience by the time they’re referenced in the text. Diagrams are used to explain some of the more complicated concepts as well.
The book draws from various books and cultures, including with references to William Shakespeare, Walt Disney, and Hindu, Jewish, and Christian texts. The book so stands to be relevant to practitioners from a variety of faiths and walks of life, in part because its advice is always practical. It suggests experiments throughout that are meant to help audiences develop a sense of conscience in their daily lives; each is an opportunity to try out the principles explained in the book. And while there’s a clear level of authority in the text’s execution, its language is straightforward and concise. Its chapters are well suited in length and format to daily readings, making it a good potential resource for extended study.
With direct language and practical exercises, Your Conscience is a standout spirituality text that emphasizes one function of the mind with clarity, calling it the unifying feature of morality.