Teaching the Ego, Senses and Unconscious To Let the Conscience be Their Guide!
The inspiration for National Conscience Month is the Yoga Science “Law of Karma” which states simply that thoughts lead to words, actions and, eventually, to consequences. This law of cause and effect is as real and unavoidable as the Law of Gravity. Once we appreciate the mechanics of the “Law of Karma” (that thought precedes action, and action precedes consequence), the nature of our decision-making emerges as a critical factor in determining our condition in this life.
In today’s world we are all urged to move at excessive speed— to react instantaneously, without taking time to examine and evaluate what’s best to be done, and what’s best not to be done. And because so many of us have forgotten to use our Conscience as our guide, we increasingly experience the burdens of pain, burnout and disease. We suffer personally—and as a culture from addictions, gun violence, chronic health problems, suicide, racism, bigotry, anxiety and depression––to name just a few of our ailments.
However, the reassuring message of the ancient Bhagavad Gita, is instructive, clear and prophetic. The Gita says: “Whenever there is a decline of truth and a rise of untruthfulness, the Supreme Intelligence appears in the human organism to protect and reestablish dharma––the truth that will uphold and maintain the individual and collective social order, and make it possible for humanity to flourish.” This Divine appearance is not the fantasy superhero that comes to earth with abilities far beyond those of mortal man. Nor is it a force that reflects shallow, but popular, misunderstandings of scriptures and mythologies. Rather, because all the problems and pain caused by nontruth begin in the human mind, these problems can only be solved by purifying the human mind. So, the entire process of reestablishing the dharma begins when each of us understands and coordinates the Four Functions of our own mind. Those Four Functions of the mind are: the Ego, the senses, the Unconscious Mind, and the Conscience.
We all make thousands of choices every day: what to eat; how much time to spend at work, at play, and with family; how we will choose the words we speak; how courteous we will be to others: while driving the car, or waiting to check out at the grocery store. And each and every one of these decisions has consequences.
Our minds are rarely calm and in the present moment. As a result, many of our choices are based not on the Truth, but on the shortsighted or faulty perspectives of the Ego, Senses or Unconscious Mind. These bring pain to us, our neighbors, communities, nation, and to the Good Earth, our Mother.
BUT THERE IS A DIFFERENT WAY! First, we must be willing to experiment with using the Conscience as our guide. Second, we must cultivate the loving, parental skills necessary to convince the Ego, Senses and Unconscious Mind to willingly join us in endorsing the panoramic vision of the Conscience. Then, with the four functions of the mind coordinated to serve a higher purpose, we will discover whether the thoughts we think, words we speak, and actions we take, really do make our life happier, healthier and more rewarding.
Throughout this relatively easy experimentation process, you must begin with small, seemingly insignificant choices, such as: “Am I going to brush my teeth after dinner, or am I not?” Then, you need to remember two critical characteristics of the Conscience. First, the Conscience is the only function of the mind that can discriminate, determine, judge and decide. The Ego, Senses and Unconscious Mind have no such power. Second, the Conscience functions as a mirror. While it has no inherent wisdom of its own, it does possess the ability to access Perfect Wisdom from the Superconscious Mind, and to reflect it into the everyday operation of our Conscious Mind.
But here’s the rub. Unless a mirror is cleaned regularly, dust accumulates on its surface, and obscures the mirror’s reflective quality. Similarly, when we don’t use our Conscience regularly, its ability to reflect wisdom from the Superconscious Mind is compromised. In such cases the handicapped ability of the Conscience can reflect and consider only the relatively loud and insistent voices of the Ego, Senses and Unconscious Mind. The Conscience will still make the final decision of what to do and what not to do, but its decisions will be based on limited and possibly faulty input. However, each time we use our Conscience, our skillful thoughts, words and deeds act as a cleaning agent against the accumulated “dust.” This assures us that the full reflective capacity of the Conscience will be ready, willing and able to guide us flawlessly in every relationship and circumstance.
The great tragedy of our times is that because so many of us were never taught the enormous value of letting the Conscience be our guide, millions of us unwittingly embrace lifestyle choices that eventually injure our health, impair our peace of mind, inflict suffering on others, limit our possibilities, and eventually threaten the very integrity of our society––all because we were never trained to use our mind in ways that can profoundly benefit us personally, and humanity as a whole.
Contrast this bleak picture with a quiet revolution that took place in India thousands of years ago. During that time certain women and men who deeply desired a more rewarding life silently listened to the Gayatri Mantra every day: “Oh Inner Dweller, Divine Mother, my heart is in darkness. I pray You will remove this darkness, and bring the illumination of Supreme Truth by awakening, strengthening and purifying the mind’s Conscience that I might be able to skillfully discriminate between passing pleasure and perennial joy.”
To successfully deal with the glut of information we have available to us today, each of us needs to learn how to maximize the competence of our most powerful instrument, our mind. We need to increase our concentration, memory and our creative capacity to use information wisely. Letting the Conscience become our guide will instruct and motivate us to think, speak and act much more creatively than ever before––not as limited, habituated, individual human beings, but as a part of the One, all-encompassing Supreme Intelligence.
The encouraging news is that when we regularly use the Conscience in thought, word and deed 24/7, we immediately begin to discover the creativity and will power that solve all our problems. This transformational process is not fiction. It is a practical, scientific, reproducible methodology for attaining the summum bonum, the highest good of all life.