5/2 Welcome to the Conscience and Total Wholeness!

In this post, as we continue with our theme on the 7 parts to your personality, we leave the category of the Human Spirit and venture into the realm of the Human Conscience.  We gave you a brief intro to the conscience when we began this blog.  We now want to expand this very important part of who you are and how we help our Conscience to gain Total Wholeness too.

Remember, so far we have covered the logical rational world of the Mind and then onto the Will, the part that carries out the decisions of the whole ‘Boardroom’.  We then covered a category called ‘the Human Spirit’.  As we discovered, we are a spirit being, who lives in a body and has a soul. We have seen how all BR members need to be renewed to relate to Father God and thus be able to enter into Total Wholeness.

We have been using the term ‘The Boardroom’ as an example of how these 7 parts of our personality function together – in harmony or disharmony.  We now venture into the territory of ‘right and wrong’, of where we find our sense of justice and what is correct and ‘allowable’.

A.  SO WHAT DO WE MEAN BY THE CONSCIENCE?

Today we look at one of the most delicate – or often the biggest bully of the members of your personality – the Conscience.  It is a God given ‘tool’ that makes us feel ‘uneasy’ when we fall short of what we think is right or wrong.  It is also the part that seems to condemn us when we miss the mark of God’s holiness.  As we shall see, the conscience can also get dirty, become damaged or for some people, not work at all.

In order to understand what this member of your personality does, we need to is just what is the conscience?  How does it operate?  To answer these questions, we must distinguish our conscience from our mind, our heart and our will.

We need to know how to recognise when our conscience is having problems and how to adjust our conscience to our Creator’s requirements.  As the precious gift that it is, we need to know how to look after it.  The conscience can be most useful in our walk of holiness.

B.  SO WHAT IS THE CONSCIENCE?

1. The word Conscience comes from the Latin ‘con’ meaning ‘with’.  ‘Scientia’ comes from ‘knowledge’.   So to the Latin interpretation, Conscience means ‘with knowledge’, or knowing oneself at a deeper level through the sense of right and wrong.

The Greek word for “conscience” is found more than thirty times in the New Testament—suneidēsis, which also literally means “co-knowledge”. Conscience is knowledge together with oneself.

2.  From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: 

“Conscience is an aptitude, faculty, that distinguishes right from wrong. Moral judgment may derive from values or norms (principles and rules). In psychological terms conscience is often described as leading to feelings of remorse when a human commits actions that go against his/her moral values and to feelings of rectitude or integrity when actions conform to such norms.[1]

3.  Others define the Conscience as:

a.  “Religious views of conscience usually see it as linked to a morality inherent in all humans, to a beneficent universe and/or to divinity.”  (Wikipedia)

b. Some show the Conscience as that little voice inside us that tells us what is right and what is wrong…….like the cartoon character Jiminy Cricket reminding Pinocchio  … or the devil on one shoulder and an angel on another, both telling you what to do.

c.  Still others talk the Conscience as the conditioning that reminds us to behave, or conform to what we are taught or have learned through  experience as right or appropriate.  It’s that nagging feeling when we have stepped over the line of what is ‘right behaviour’, feeling guilty and ashamed because we believe we have done the wrong thing.

d.  Dr. Freud had another view.  He came up with the concept of ‘superego’ as part of the structure of our personality.   In his view, we are tossed by the ‘id’ – the drives based on following pleasure – and ‘ego’ with its pull towards the conscious physical world.

Basically, this ‘superego’ his word for conscience, doing things you do because you were always told this is how it should be done by other people.  He believed it we could get rid of this ‘moral voice’ and guilt than people would be happier.

C.  WHAT THE CONSCIENCE DOES

1.  What conscience does is pretty clear.

The Walt Disney images we have of conscience-at-work are, strangely enough, pretty accurate.  Remember the character, Jiminy Cricket?  Pinocchio tells the Cricket that his ambition in life is to “eat, drink, sleep and amuse myself, and to lead a vagabond life from morning to night”.

This prompts an outburst of weighty moralising by the Cricket who informs the puppet that: “As a rule, all those who follow that trade end almost always either in a hospital or in prison”.  Jiminy represents the Conscience guidance for the wooden boy Pinocchio.

2.  Your Conscience aims to speak in ways that guide you away from what is wrong,  usually with feelings of condemnation, shame, guilt, and so on.  According to the Bible, it also helps us do what is right – Romans 2:15, 2 Corinthians 1:12.  It make us aware of sin – 2 Samuel 24:10, Acts 2:37, 1 Corinthians 8:7.

We may rationalize that feeling of guilt, trying to justify ourselves in our own minds, but a violated conscience will not be easily convinced. Multitudes today respond to their conscience by attempting to suppress it, overrule it, or silence it.

However, what conscience really does is deeper than the cartoons we see.   Some see it as a beacon of wisdom, a guide or yet totally ambivalent all at once.  As we shall see as we continue to look at the question of Conscience, it is above all a personal phenomenon. How can it really, then, be reliable? It’s the million-dollar question.

Join us in our next post as we separate what the Conscience is NOT as a way of gaining a deeper understanding of what job the Conscience has in your Boardroom, your personality.

Susanne Fengler, Blog Author

www.totalwholeness.mentorsnotebook.com/blog

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