What is Conscience - Should I listen to what it says?
Is it important to listen to our conscience? How do we decide what is the right thing to do and not do? Sadhguru explores the limitations of morality and contrasts it against our humanity.
 
 

How do we decide what is the right thing to do and not do? Can our conscience help? Let's look at what is conscience with yogi and mystic, Sadhguru, as he explores the limitations of morality and contrasts it against our humanity.

Question: What is conscience? Should we allow it to guide us in life?

Sadhguru: Conscience means that which hurts when everything else is feeling great! What you feel guilty about or what you feel is right or wrong is essentially a social phenomenon. That has been injected into you by social norms. Morality is of the society and it is different from one group of people to another. Different times in history and different points of geography have had different moralities. Whatever your grandmother thought was absolutely immoral is something you do shamelessly today. So morality always differs from person to person according to times and situations. It has no existential relevance. But your humanity has existential relevance.

What is conscience? Conscience means that which hurts when everything else is feeling great.

If your humanity was alive and active every moment of your life, it wouldn’t be necessary for somebody to tell you to behave this way or that way. It is only because people failed to keep their humanity up that society has tried fixing it with morality. But though everyone has received every kind of moral that they should, we haven’t been able to fix the world. With morality you have just learnt to pretend with the rest of the people around you. Within yourself all the nonsense is still going on. If your humanity is full-blown, you wouldn’t need morality. You would be fine the way you are.

Consciousness vs Conscience

With morality, you will develop a conscience, not consciousness. If your humanity is full-blown and on full-time you will not need any morality. Morality is an imitation of humanity. Morality may fix a few things in society but it will cause complete havoc within the inner nature of the human being. Humanity will also bring social order, but in a loose way without any enforcement. It will make the human being beautiful. That is what is most important. If humanity flowers and overflows, then divinity will be the next natural step. Only if you allow your humanity to overflow within you, then divinity will flower. Without the richness of humanity, divinity cannot happen, no matter what you do.

Make a list of all the things that the major religions of the world call as sin. You will see, just to be alive is a sin.

Morality never brought divinity. It has brought guilt, shame and fear, because no one can fulfill the kind of morals which have been set. Make a list of all the things that the major religions of the world call as sin. You will see, just to be alive is a sin. Anything that you do is a sin. Your very birth is a sin. Since the very process of life is supposed to be a sin, you always feel guilty and terrified.

India is a culture without morality. There are no morals carved in stone to tell you, “This is what you do and this is what you don’t do.” We never depended upon morality because we created human beings who are capable of stirring up humanity in such a big way. So the need for morality or a moral code never arose in each generation.

Three keys for humanity

To stir up this humanity, we set up three fundamentals.

To stir up this humanity, we set up three fundamentals. One is, absolute passion towards the source of creation. This is manifested in this culture in a million different ways. When we wanted to build a town or a city, the first thing we built was a grand temple. The people who built this temple lived in huts but they built a phenomenally grand temple. This is especially so in the south of India. The other two fundamentals are, compassion for all life around you and dispassion towards yourself. If you maintain these three things, your humanity will be always on. Otherwise your humanity will get switched off and you will have to pretend like a fake human being with a set of morals. Then you will develop a conscience.

Editor's Note: For more insights from Sadhguru, follow him on twitter and facebook.

 
 
 
 
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3 years 10 months ago

I had a bad experience today and found it that..
when you do good with few , usually bad happens with you.. You help others to get them through easily and then stuck up in a mess.. Why this imbalance? Why is it that on right path there are difficulties.. it should be a fluent flow.. isnt it..? Why is that after a certain time the humanity in me is switched off.. When being peacefull spreading cheers.. doing good for others with no expectation.. suddenly it all falls apart to an act which shakes my perspectives.. why are they so delicate.. i dont know why do i get in a state of discomfort in a peaceful process.. Any answers with experience?? Please share. .

4 years 7 months ago

Very beautifully explained. Often I've seen people who're conscious about spirituality tend to be entangled with a high degree of guilt-conscience or conscience itself. They're so conscious about acting according to their conscience that they're not free. And I guess, this is where people who're not spiritual appear more normal than people who're spiritually conscious. This article kind of opens our eyes and helps make practice of spirituality easy.

2 years 5 months ago

Wow!! I need to know and understand more about Humanity and Conscience and their difference.. Hope there is a book about it.

4 years 7 months ago

Thank you, Sadhguru. As a kid, a portrait of Kannappa Nayanar began crumbling morality and Nirvana Shatakam (Vairagya) has further catalyzed the crumbling. Your words and your grace will soon end the traces of morality that is taking a few last breadths.

2 years 5 months ago

Thanks for the crystal distinction between the subtle and gross aspect of consciousness Sadhguru. However, I have a question about saying that India didn't have a moral code, if so then why still many segments of the society proclaim manu smriti as the apex of society's moral. I agree as you say morality restricts one's spiritual path but to me it seems most of the customs and rituals we do today are tied up around such moral codes.

4 years 7 months ago

Absolute Sadguru. You are awesome

2 years 4 months ago

The results of any actions are a combination of many things. You are seeing such things because, because of your past Karmas not just this birth but from all you previous lifetimes, specially when you see these things are not at all in you control and not because of you doing . The arrows have already left the bow. They will create situations for you in this life times. All you need to do is patiently wait uncheck one by one from the Karma list. Be happy that the you Karma list is getting shorter each day. Soon as the list becomes zero rest of the life will be very peaceful.

4 years 7 months ago

Pranams, Sadguru
Yes I have understood the difference between "Morality and Concience".All along I thought Good Morality means Good Concience. And you have aptly clarified that Morality differs from person to person according to time and situation. Thank you very much for your explanation.

4 years 7 months ago

I liked Sadhgur words " India is a culture without morality. There are no morals carved in stone to tell you, “This is what you do and this is what you don’t do.” ".

4 years 7 months ago

Humanity is such a phenomenal thing that we should introduce it to students...we always educate students on morality but we never talk about humanity and consciousness....it's high time we begin. Thank you sadhguru...!

4 years 7 months ago

Beautifully explained by the Master. Anything that's forced to humanity , will eventually become a practice of pretending when years pass by. 'If your humanity was alive and active every moment of your life, it wouldn’t be necessary for somebody to tell you to behave this way or that way' - perfect.

4 years 6 months ago

What is about the mass rapes in India? What is wrong with indian men?? Do they need consciousness or conscience? Do they exert sexual assault as a source of creation..? To destroy "the grand temple(s)"..?? ! Regards Tina

3 years 10 months ago

"To stir up this humanity, we set up three fundamentals." This must happen shambho

3 years 10 months ago

Shambho...shambho....shambho...shambho...