The conscience that dispenses with conscience is pseudo-conscience
Our conscience is the inner voice that guides us towards making wise choices. This conscience is in the pure state the voice of Krishna, who, the Bhagavad-gita (13.18) indicates, is situated in the hearts of all living beings.
Still, our inner voice cannot be our sole or sure guide. Why? Because Krishna guides primarily and authoritatively through guru-sadhu-shastra (spiritual master, saintly teachers and scriptures). And though he speaks from within too, the inner voice we hear may not always be his voice. Why? Because within us exist many other voices – voices that come from the inner impressions created by our past worldly indulgences. Such voices glamorize unworthy materialistic actions and trivialize noble spiritual actions. And these degrading voices become stronger, louder and clearer when we are situated in lower levels of consciousness, or in the Gita’s parlance, in the lower modes of material nature.
One particularly insidious way such voices mislead us is by impersonation. They pretend to be the voice of conscience and denigrate the actual voice of conscience. For example, some liberal extremists argue that their conscience urges them to live dissolutely, so they aren’t answerable to any universal scripturally-determined moral standard. Thus, they dispense with the non-subjective conscience: the voice of the transcendent divine.
Such rationalization is often a self-serving license for licentiousness. But even if it isn’t – even if we want to be earnest – our buying into such reasoning reflects a dangerous naivety about the complex forces populating our inner world. Just as the gullible mistakenly equate a quack with a doctor, we unwittingly equate pseudo-conscience with conscience. Thus, we end up self-righteously charging down the path of self-destruction.
To avoid such self-degradation, we need the Gita as an indispensable inner torchlight. By using its illumination to differentiate between pseudo-conscience and conscience, we can make intelligent, uplifting choices.
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