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Mind and the Conscience: The Science of Morality

The mind is the element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think, and to feel. This faculty of consciousness and thought is assisted by the conscience in making moral judgments and in distinguishing right from wrong. For those who are not familiar with the conscience, in the special case where you may be a serial killer, is the emotionally charged aspect of thought. To listen to your conscience, you only need to feel the emotion behind every thought that comes into your head. For instance, the way the thoughts are “spoken” in your head determine what emotional charge is emanating with it. The conscience functions as a referee, bringing harmony between the thoughts of our minds and the affections of our hearts in a precise way to enable us to love the things we learn and apply. Therefore, the peace of conscience is essential for the peace of mind to lead our life in relief and happiness, understanding the relationship between us.

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According to Adi Shankara in his work “Vekachudamani”, morally right action (characterized as humbly and compassionately performing the primary duty of good to others without expectation of material or spiritual reward), helps “purify the heart” and provide mental tranquility. This indirectly states that the conscience can probably be determined, with the subject learned or imprinted (like language) within us as part of the culture we follow which classifies and characterizes the numerous motivating acts that are noted for the public good. The acts for public good as a part of the concern for our friends and relatives, economic conditions, world conditions, and profession may bring peace to our minds, and at the same time can even take away the peace of mind once our conscience doesn’t exist due to lack of righteous, and obedient behavior. Essentially, your conscience is molded through the experiences that you have during your life.

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Tripped Out Fact: Even though we feel that our morals define the way we emote to a particular incident or experience, it is actually the other way around. Our emotions are essentially the backing behind our purpose of creating morals in the first place. Owing to the immense way in which emotions define our actions, morality is founded on the way we “feel”.

The problem is that the world of emotions is infinitely vast than we actually classify them to be. Due to this, our morality is based on what we perceive to be right or wrong while our emotions may be telling us something entirely different. Take the multiple cases where misplaced belief systems, like those of the people in political parties like the RSS, who tend to lash out at people by a system of morality which under scrutiny seems as petty as a child’s tantrum. This happens most often because the principles upon which peace of conscience is founded are either not understood or not adequately followed. Following these principles may lead us to feel more excited and exhilarated about what we’re coming to know, but unless we “will” these thoughts and affections into action, they will remain mere subjective experiences without benefiting the people around us. Hence, it’s up to us to let our conscience forge the thoughts and affections into strategies and decisions for action.

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Imagine a situation where you dive deep into the ocean of emotions inside you, without attributing any morals, beliefs, meanings, or characteristics to them. You act as a conduit for them to flow through them, feeling the immense energy surges in your body when you experience these emotions. Now, this is where your conscience gets confused. Imagine feeling an emotion that you cannot classify under sadness, happiness, anger or anything else. It is just a pure bodily reaction to our thoughts and hence, is a way for the body to assimilate and process the information. This is when your conscience can effectively rewire itself, attributing characteristics and meaning that is beyond morality and established belief systems.

This may seem fun and exciting, but can be a delicate process in itself. If you have the basics right, you can explore without fear and come out a stronger person with much more clarity in your head. Emotions and the conscience may seem like real guides when you learn to accept their depth, instead of just taking them at a superficial level. Activities like meditation and psychedelic exploration can help you rewire your conscience to such an extent that the definitions of morality that most of the world follows today will seem like a charade in a circus. For that, you will need to be still in the face of the emotional storm that is nigh!

Image Sources: [1], [2], [3]

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