The cunning combination of complacency, complicity and carnality consumes our conscience
Our conscience is our inner guard – it cautions us whenever we feel tempted to do anything unworthy. However, just as a carnivorous predator may consume a guard, so too can our conscience be consumed by a cunning combination of complacency, complicity and carnality.
We all have carnal desires for selfish enjoyment. Such desires, the Bhagavad-gita (03.40) cautions, have based themselves in our senses, mind and intelligence. From there, they ravage our conscience. Here’s one of their modus operandi.
Carnal desires stimulated by sense objects seen with our senses or recollected with our mind enter our consciousness. Therein, they gain sway through our intelligence’s complicity. Intelligence muffles our conscience’s voice of protest through some spurious reasoning of how the indulgence is not all that wrong.
The ego thereafter comes into play by its complacency. It makes us believe that we are too smart or too powerful to have to face any consequences of our actions. And if we are practicing spiritual life, the ego gives a spiritual color to the complacency, arguing that even if things somehow go wrong, our many spiritual practices will protect us. Such complacency conveniently overlooks the reality that our spirituality is meant to protect us from indulgence in wrongdoing, not from the consequence of wrongdoing. The Gita (03.06) cautions that pretender spiritualists put on a façade of renunciation while delighting internally in immoral fantasies.
By understanding how our conscience can be cunningly consumed and how that consumption can spell our destruction, we can vigilantly protect ourselves. Sound protection can come through regular introspection guided by scriptural study. When we are thus reminded of the reality of things as they are, not as they are depicted by conscience-consuming illusions, we can choose prudently, hearing the warning of conscience and resisting the lure of indulgence.
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