Those who don’t find the reprehensible reprehensible, are reprehensible
Suppose someone sits and works and lives in a place that is dirty and stinky. If they don’t find anything wrong with their surroundings, we would wonder if something is wrong with them.
What applies to physical dirt applies all the more to behavioral dirt. When we function in an inter-connected, interdependent society, we all expect a certain basic standard of behavior from each other. Suppose someone doesn’t act the right way, or, worse still, feels nothing wrong in doing something wrong or, worst of all, derives a devilish delight in doing wrong things that hurt others. We would wonder if something essential is missing in them.
Yes, what’s missing in them is an active conscience. Conscience is our inner protector; it deters us from wrong actions and prompts us toward right actions. People with a demonic mentality have a conscience that is silenced and almost deadened. Why has their conscience become deadened? Because they have acted wrongly so many times, neglecting their conscience repeatedly till it is rendered numb and mute. Driven by greed, they may even murder their rivals and celebrate such viciousness as proof of their cleverness (16.14). Those people who don’t see what is reprehensible as reprehensible are reprehensible.
Thankfully, even if someone is reprehensible, they aren’t incorrigible. They are still parts of the divine, as are all living beings (15.07).
Nonetheless, people with a deadened conscience are scary reminders of how perverted a soul who is essentially just like us can become. Such reminders can inspire us: to stop being nonchalant about the morally questionable actions we may be considering; and to strengthen our conscience by practicing bhakti-yoga, thereby transforming ourselves positively and increasing our capacity to positively transform others.
Think it over:
- How does the conscience of some people become deadened?
- How can encountering people with no conscience inspire us to strengthen our conscience?
- Is there something wrong that you don’t find wrong? What can you do to activate your conscience in that area?
16.14 The demoniac person thinks: “… He is my enemy, and I have killed him, and my other enemies will also be killed. I am the lord of everything. I am the enjoyer. I am perfect, powerful and happy.”
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