Conscience and Consciousness - Part 3 of 3
Do we think when we dream? Are they real, past or future experiences, or just a jumble puzzle for us to reconstruct? Do drugs enhance the processes of the mind or radically alter them? Is emotion really something we control, or does it control our freedom of thought and feeling? Is all mental illness a limitation on conscience and consciousness, or is it just so misunderstood that we are missing a learning opportunity of the brain's capacity? Do we act for others when we fail to think for ourselves? Why is there always a battle between good and evil, sharing and greed, love and hate, peace and war, and understanding and ignorance?
Whenever there has been a move towards, or a period of time in history when cultures tried, enlightenment, the negative forces of life seem to have reacted to counter that progressiveness. An easy example, and still relative today, is the turn of the 20th Century. It was a time of great advances in science, art, music, literature, cultural exchange, travel, growing civil rights, employment, industry and much more. It all seemed to come to a crashing halt when the First World War broke out, caused primarily by suspicion, paranoia, prejudice, greed, power grabbing and anarchy. It led to colossal loss of life, destruction of nations, economic ruin and political fracturing that all still have an effect on today's world.
Conscience and consciousness were out of whack and put on the back burner. Them and us became the norm, and still is. So the pursuit of higher thought has become an individual goal to a great extent. How ironic is it that a discussion of conscience and consciousness would include a conclusion that there are a multitude of beings on this planet, equally dependent upon each other, who, by the very nature of their cultural, economic, social, educational and political environment, are completely closed off from any free exercise of their own conscience and consciousness.
We live between the sublime and the ridiculous in so much of our every day. The great danger is not knowing this; not being aware, and making bad decisions based upon what we don't know. At the same time we can't know everything, but we can strive to.
When we open our minds, we open our hearts and we nourish our souls. We may not find the answers to all our questions, but we have the best chance to. In our relatively short lives there is a relatively short window for maximum consciousness. How healthy we keep our consciousness will dictate how balanced our conscience will be. When we are in balance, we can see others better, help others better, do more good, influence others, support change, appreciate what life gives us and really live more, and look at love and friendship in a better way. I suppose one way to think of it would be to say we should try to live the life of a poet; always seeking expression from a new perspective.
Music has always been my window onto my inner feelings, my consciousness, if you will, and I think if my soul could produce sound it would be a particular melody that has always touched and transported me. I think it sums up everything I have said here and I invite you for a listen.
It tis': "The Women of Ireland" an instrumental by The Chieftains, the theme song from the movie, Barry Lyndon.
Photo: White Lotus by Japa-Chang's, Japan