Conscience is to have a feeling of right and wrong. It is an inner sense that leads to right action. We do not realize that we have two forms of conscience – false and real. What we have today is a false conscience. Real conscience lies deep within our psychic nature and has to be awakened by freeing ourselves from our habitual ways of thinking and acting.
Our psychology is a complex structure of moral and ethical conditionings. These control our thoughts, actions, and our sense of right or wrong. These include tradition, upbringing, nationality, race, education, and most important religion. These conditionings form the habitual pathways of thinking and acting. Further, our thoughts are influenced by fear of loss of prestige, possessions, position, and ridicule. What we understand as conscience is just a kind of conditioning; a false conscience.
For instance, when we meet someone we do not see the person but are guided by conditioning. If the person belongs to a different race or religion, certain likes or dislikes surface from within us automatically. We see the other through the colour(s) of our false conscience. These are fixed connections in our minds that make us judge a person almost involuntarily.
Say, we like a person and become friendly with him and even start enjoying his company. One day we learn that he is eating a certain food and in an instant, there is a change – our likes can and mostly do change to dislikes. We also say a person of this caste cannot be trusted. To be free of the grip of false conscience, we must learn to think in a new way; we need to undergo a change of mind. If we can really do this then one day false conscience will die. Truth cannot change with religion or tradition. It has to be the same for everyone, irrespective of anything else. Once real conscience starts growing within us, we will be able to see and follow that truth, devoid of all conditioning.
Real conscience is a great power and should be nurtured. Lying to our inner selves destroys conscience. We lie to avoid troubles and pains of life. We must be careful that our lying does not kill this feeling of right and wrong. Awakening of real conscience leads to a totally different way of living.