Remember how I quoted Jiminy Cricket's "let your conscience be your guide" mantra in my last blog? It is a statement full of Truth and wisdom. To reiterate, your conscience is Divine. It is part of your Knowing as a divine aspect of Great Spirit and to follow one's conscience is to remain on course along the path that Spirit has laid out for itself as you. Conscience is listed in the dictionary as: "the inner sense of what is right or wrong in one's conduct or motives, impelling one toward right action." I like this definition, as right action is a term my students are all very familiar with. If we break the word down into its two parts, con from the Latin meaning with and science from the Latin for knowledge, we can see from a higher level that the Divine is built into the meaning of the word. The omniscient, or all-knowing, God IS The Knower. One's conscience, therefore, is with, or within, the Knower. So, to follow one's conscience is to follow the Divine that you are.
It seems simple enough, doesn't it? Yet, people get confused between conscience and imprinted beliefs of right and wrong. Here's how you can tell the difference. All things in this world present in opposites. We make a grave mistake by labeling anything as definitely right or wrong without acknowledging all the grey area between the polarities. Let's take killing as an example. The vast majority of the people on the planet believe killing other humans is wrong. Of those who believe in the eye for an eye mentality behind the death penalty and see killing of a guilty individual as justifiable, the vast majority of those would agree that the killing of an innocent person is wrong. So, now most of the people on the planet will fall into this category: it is wrong for an individual to kill an innocent person. However, how many of these people will have to rethink that belief when presented with a situation such as Dr. Kevorkian, who assisted terminally ill patients with their own suicides? Now we have an individual killing an innocent person. Some would argue that the consent of the person to be killed makes the difference here, but you see my point. Things in this world are never simple to label as always right or wrong. We teach our children that it is wrong to lie, yet is it wrong to lie to someone about where you're taking them on the way to their surprise birthday party? If an old woman was on her death bed with only minutes to live and you got word that her son, who was on his way to be with her, was killed in a car accident, would it be wrong to withhold the truth of his death from her, or tell her he's on his way? Or, because lying is "wrong," should you just tell her the truth and watch her experience the agony of her loss during her final moments of life?
Beliefs are tricky things. The mind loves to identify with them and we work very hard to hold ourselves firmly to our beliefs, yet the mind is also very adept at skirting around those beliefs when it's convenient and can serve its selfish agendas. It can always come up with a benevolent justifier for acting out of alignment with its beliefs, like the man who says he doesn't believe in physical violence but hits his child and justifies the behavior by saying that the child asked for it. Did physical violence all of a sudden become right just because the man got angry and couldn't control his temper? No, of course not. But the man will not allow himself to see his own hypocrisy, so he must now believe in his story of how the child brought it on himself.
Your conscience, on the other hand, is pretty black and white. Within your Knowing, you always have a sense of what is right action for you. Most of the time it is very subtle and we move through our lives not hearing the voice of the conscience very often. But, when we do, it is loud and clear to those who pay attention. The best way to describe the feeling when one's actions are out of alignment with one's conscience is this: it's icky. That's right, it just feels icky inside you as you go to make a decision that is not right action for you. It's certainly not a technical term, but I'm sure you all know that feeling. It's the feeling you women have experienced when you've allowed yourselves to be sexual with a man when you really didn't want to. It's the feeling many of you men had as children when other boys dared you to do something that you normally wouldn't do, like beat up another boy or steal something. It's the feeling that men and women experience at the wedding altar when a small part of them realizes they are making a mistake, yet they don't stop the wedding.
Your conscience is specific to you. It is not tied to beliefs, but is integral to who you are and what this manifestation of you is meant to become. I worked for a stock broker for a few years as an executive assistant. I was very good at my job, but I was really only there for the money and the sense of self-importance the job gave me. Because it was a very small firm, the owner needed me to get my Series 7 license so that I could handle trades in his absence. I took that test 3 times and I failed it 3 times...the last two times by one question! Each time, I had that icky feeling inside, telling me that this just wasn't my path and I needed to come clean with my boss, but I ignored it, convinced that the raise it would bring me would be worth it. As a National Honor's Society student with an above average IQ, there was absolutely no reason for me to fail this test three times, no matter how hard I studied. The result of my successive failures was being let go by my boss and it was hind site which showed me what a gift in disguise that was. However, imagine if I had just listened to that inner voice from the beginning. The one that said, "What are you doing? You know in your heart that this isn't your path." It would have saved my employers all that money, they could have found someone better suited to the job sooner, and I wouldn't have had to experience all the angst I went through, just to end up being fired anyway. The initial choice to take the job was made because I needed a job, I believed things about what the job said about who I was and I believed that money was more important and should be valued above my own happiness. These were beliefs that I learned as a child...that we all learn as children. Parents may tell their children that the most important thing in life is to be happy and that they should do what they love, but what kind of example have they set? They speak the words, but their actions prove otherwise to their innocent children who pattern themselves after their miserable, stressed-out parents who consistently point to the importance of money in life. And so it goes, on and on, people spouting out platitudes of how life should be, yet no one speaking is even listening to their own conscience and living the kind of life they espouse.
My path was never to be a stock broker. For some, it is. And those who have that as their divine plan would not experience the tugging of their conscience at the thought of taking the Series 7 test like I did. See how it is unique to you?
So, where are you not in alignment with your conscience in your life right now? When you find an area, you can look back and see where your conscience has given you indicators along the way that you were off course and you consistently ignored your own God Self. Then you can begin to take a good hard look at what kept you from taking right action and confronting those fears within yourself. You see, it's never been about those people in your life who have imposed themselves on you. It's always been about why you allowed it. That answer lies within you and it is your job now to uncover what you have not wanted to see.
You are a great sailing ship on the sea of God. The winds of the world will blow, to and fro, and your conscience will be your rudder.