Nothing is more important in learning to live well than to follow our conscience. Our conscience is one of the gifts we are given that ties us back to our previous lives. At its simplest, our conscience is the set of Divine Laws. Each human and human-like soul on whatever planet in the universe contains this same collection of universal behavior.
Starting with a primitive human existence, we have this in our minds. While ensconced on a primitive planet, we often totally ignore the suggestions and warning signs it supplies us. As we mature as souls and live in a more civilized era, we acquire techniques to rationalize away whatever good advice we receive and instead focus our energies in accumulating immediate satisfaction.
Like a lawyer who has been in the profession for many years, building up a law library, with cases examining each small detail and meaning of the law, as we mature, we too gather judgements on the many shades of grey in which to translate each episode. We gain wisdom, after numerous lives, on how to detect right from wrong and how to react in any given situation.
We “know” what is correct, but we still haven’t subjected ourselves to the discipline to act upon our knowledge in circumstances which could lead to our momentary discomfort.
To fully possess the will power to actually listen and act upon your conscience, takes a re-adjustment of your character and attitude. In the book Times of Health and Conscientiousness, by the spirit Joanna de Angelis, psychographed by Divaldo Franco, she introduces us to the types of humans in society:
“Careful studies of human behavior have shown that there are three biotypes representative of individuals in society.
The first biotype can be termed as codependent. It is made up of conditioned individuals, that is, those who set their goals according to circumstances other than their wishes. They do not experience the personal satisfaction that comes from striving for self-realization. Their aspirations are based on other people’s possibilities, on circumstances, and they claim that they can only be happy if they are loved, if they take this trip, of have that job, etc. Their lack of self-confidence disrupts their health, they are often susceptible to cancer, and they have a higher death rate than the other two biotypes.
The second biotype is made up of disgruntled individuals: those who are angry about life; those who are against it. They are unstable and irritable by nature, self-destructive, and live under the constant constriction of irascibility. They say they feel unfulfilled, that nothing goes right for them; hence, they take it out on themselves, everyone and everything else. They are easy prey for nervous disorders that chafe and make them even more miserable, casting them into the dungeons of exaltation, depression and direct or indirect suicide…
Amongst these are despots, warriors, criminals…
The third group consists of well-adjusted individuals: those who are self-realized, calm, confident. There are not very many of them, of course, and they differ greatly from members of the other two groups. These well-adjusted people are candidates for success in the activities to which they dedicate themselves. They are pleasant, sociable and encouraging. Their endeavors are positive and always aimed at the common good, the progress of all. Their leadership is enriching, creative and dignified. This group produces promoters of social development, examples of sacrifice, creative geniuses, seekers of the Truth…”[i]
A person is not born into one group or the other, their upbringing, their maturation, the effects of their past lives and their dedication to see themselves truthfully determine what type they are. And no one is locked into one category, each has the ability to grow to be a well-adjusted individual.
The central theme is that only a well-adjusted person has the capacity to attain a serene conscience. A co-dependent individual is unable to listen to their own set of rules. They are a slave to the rules imposed upon them. They follow the herd and find it difficult to pull away.
Leaving the rest of the group implies ostracism and withholding of the pleasures and comfort of groupthink. These people must first establish faith in themselves and not look for confirmation from the outside.
While a disgruntled individual constantly seeks others to blame. They are handicapped to the path to self-actualization until they examine their own actions, morality, and character.
Toward a Serene Conscience
Therefore, the first step toward a serene conscience is to have the confidence to actually listen to and obey your conscience. By doing so you will be swimming against the tide. You shall meet people who will actively attempt to steer you off the road to the light.
The spirit Joanna de Angelis tells us the damage that may occur when we don’t follow our conscience:
“Among all the inner scourges that torment humans, producing unnamable afflictions, the guilty conscience stands out.
It insidiously takes root and, like an acid, it corrodes the gears of the emotions, fostering the eruption of maddening inner conflicts.
Arising from psychological insecurity in judging one’s own actions, a guilty conscience opens an abyss between what has been done and what should not have been done, cruelly flogging those who suffer its dogged persecution.
Due to their own weakness, individuals allow themselves incorrect behaviors that appeal to their sensations, but as soon as these cease, they surrender to self-punitive regret, trying to correct their foolishness, and being immediately assailed by a guilty conscience.
Perversely, it punishes the offender inwardly, but it does not alter the course of the action’s consequences, nor does it make things right with the injured party. On the contrary, despite being an unforgiving creditor, it unconsciously arouses new desires, repeated behaviors, and ever-increasing punishment…
Self-punishment is an atavism of hypocritical religious moral and social behaviors, which do not hesitate to make the wrong recommendation; thus it must be eliminated thoroughly and immediately.”[ii]
When one goes against one’s conscience, it often results in more than just a single wrong to atone for, it sparks a reaction of events that further deteriorates forward progress. Joanna lays out the downward progression.
First we feel bad, we regret what we did, but we don’t rectify our transgression against the innocent party. That would entail embarrassment and loss of face. Instead, we agonize over our mistake, increasing our stress. We look for ways to atone, mostly by hurting ourselves in some manner – as if self-harm does anything for the person we maltreated.
Punishing ourselves for our transgressions does nothing to solve the problem. Constantly looking back and agonizing over the wrongs we may have made doesn’t remove the karma that must be paid or helps to remove the defect that allowed the error in the first place. Only introspection and a hard desire to never make that mistake again leads to the higher path.
Joanna de Angelis spells out what our plan should be when we feel we have committed a wrongful action:
“You cannot prevent or avoid what you have already done.
Once the arrow is released, it follows its trajectory.
Therefore, determine the effects and rectify them when negative.
If your action was reproachable, take measures to correct it as soon as you can.
If your attitude was the result of a personal conflict that does not correspond to what you believe or who you are, practice balance and stay vigilant.
Weak are all who consider themselves weak but do not put forth the effort to become strong.
If you excuse your mistake with self-punishment in order to appease the guilt, you will soon make it again.
Look at life as it is and your circumstances as they are.”[iii]
The spirit Joanna goes on to tell us to replace the negative thoughts with positive. Thoughts on how to serve others, how to improve yourself, or provide support for a family member or a friend. Most importantly, take yourself out of the spotlight and think what you can do to make a difference in the lives of those around you.
These nurturing emanations from your brain, serve to ward off others who are looking for validation of their own negative emotions and reinforce wiring your head to look for the light instead of the dark. When trouble occurs, think of others, not yourself. Calmly review the steps to solve the problem with honor and fairness. Whatever the price you pay, afterwards you will feel you have not only survived the episode, but grown because of it.
“Serenity is the cornerstone of the moral and spiritual constructs of the human being. Without serenity, accomplishments become very difficult. It results from right conduct and an equitable consciousness, both of which provide a realistic view of events and foster the identification of the goals in life worthy of the valuable investments of bodily existence.
In the frantic pursuit of pleasure, cultural treasures are wasted and are made servants of the lower, perturbing passions, with negative consequences. The more one enjoys pleasure, the greater the need to experience even more of it in order to renew the sensations that masquerade as emotions.
Serenity is the state of concurrence between duty and right, which harmonize for the individual’s benefit.”[iv]
Again, Joanna, in a few words, describes a complex process and a noble goal.
To fully comprehend the benefits of serenity we must ask: What is it like to live without serenity?
We all know the answer, for we all have lived without it. Unfortunately, most of us live our entire lives submerged in stress and disharmony. Life is a constant flow of looking back in regret and anger, desire for revenge against those who wronged you, and dreaming of escaping your current circumstances.
It is a state of hopefulness that things will get better, if you can achieve that certain job or object of your desire. It is a feeling of uneasiness, interspersed with a few moments of happiness or ecstasy, which are always fleeting. It is never having enough.
I read a very revealing study about money. It surveyed what level of wealth people thought would make them secure and happy. The consistent answer was twenty-five percent more! Whatever level of capital they had, a majority of the respondents believed that if they could just get a quarter more, they would achieve their goal.
Living with the desire for material wealth and the unremitting wish to gain more is like the donkey chasing the carrot, held over its head with a stick. The poor animal will never get there. And we humans, will never reach a state of happiness, because that little bit more will always be beyond our grasp.
One sees this all of the time. How many of us have looked at a successful person, who has, according to our desires, plenty of money in the bank. They could leave at any time. After all, if we had that kind of money we would quit tomorrow and retire to a beach house.
But would we, or would we be caught in the same trap. Think, if we suddenly found that pile of riches. Our attitude would change and then we would ratchet up our yearnings for that next level of life style. A house on the beach wouldn’t suffice, we would need a yacht too. And a crew of course.
Once your life is defined by a craving for more goods – it is hard to turn it off. It becomes the central theme in your life. Everything you do revolves or intersects with accumulating more. The status of your spiritual state becomes a remote afterthought. There is never any time to devote to other pursuits.
Turning off Looking for More
What happens when you end the longing for more, and drop your thoughts of righting the wrongs done to you by others? How would you feel if you were content with what you have? How relaxed would you be knowing that you are at peace with all of your colleagues, acquaintances and family?
Most of us would think, I would love it, but certain events must occur and certain people must apologize first. We would love that state, but it must be on our terms. No … it doesn’t. It only takes an alteration of your mindset.
Spiritism tells us that we are all on planet earth to learn. Some of us are more or less mature souls than others. Hence, for a certain portion of the population, they take what they can get and have no immediate regrets. They are immature souls, who steal, rob, seek revenge, plot, and spread misery and chaos wherever they reside. There is a long road of difficult lives ahead for this group.
Others are higher in the ladder of controlling themselves, but still lacking internalizing the Golden Rule. They are trying, they feel guilty when they know they did a wrong, but they are unable to resist the temptation to attain their most fervent desires. They have many lives of atonement ahead of them, but they are on the upward arc and they are usually improving, little by little, in each life.
Knowing this, understanding that we are all learning together, and that some can’t resist their primitive impulses, and, this is vital, comprehending that we too have acted in a like manner or worse, in a remote past life, provides us with the rational to take pity and forgive all trespasses against us. Just as Jesus told us to ask for forgiveness for our wrongs, we too, should forgive, as God forgives us, the wrongs of others.
In your new state of forgiveness also comes the knowledge that you don’t need to be the vehicle of teaching anyone else the lessons they should learn. The spirit realm will do this for you. Knowing that whoever has caused you harm, will themselves have to experience what they have done to you, will be done to them. The form and manner may be different, but the event to fully expose the hurt they committed is inescapable.
And, you need to realize that their act, because either nothing or very little is left to chance, against you, was done because of a past action on your part. Therefore, take pity on the poor soul committing an error that must be paid back and put into your mind that you yourself would not do the same to anyone else. Be thankful the lesson was delivered.
The same can be accomplished in relation to your material standing. No matter how rich, how poor, how destitute, how envious you feel at this moment; it can all disappear. Your feelings of want are in your mind. You long for a thing, not because of the object itself, but because of how you believe it will make you feel upon attainment.
Spiritism tells us that our life is on a predetermined path. A blueprint tailored for us to set the scene for us to learn the lessons we required. Our state of wealth, number of homes, cars, or lack off – should be viewed as learning materials. They are merely objects around us to facilitate our classroom experience.
In an elementary classroom, there are crayons, scissors, glue, paper, books, and puzzles that serve to stimulate the young pupils to acquire the knowledge the teacher is imparting to them. We are no different.
We live in a specific house, with a mortgage, for a specific reason. We have a new or beat-up old car for a specific reason. We are in our career, on an upward or downward path for a specific reason. It is all there to provide the surrounding scenery to enable us to accumulate new knowledge. Not facts and figures, but emotional wisdom. Events that are meant to shape our character and transform our personality … because what do you have when you discharge your physical body? Only yourself. And that is all you require in the spirit world.
Hence, take stock of what you have or don’t have and be at rest. Most likely, you are exactly where you are meant to be at this precise moment. Be at peace with it. Wear your material circumstances like a comfortable robe. Feel the warmth of the love from your spirit guides and recognize the great favor that has and is being done for you.
Attainment of Serenity
“With a serene conscience, one can face every situation with poise and never fall apart emotionally. Occurrences, people and existential phenomena are seen on their true levels of importance and do not become a cause of distress, no matter how bad they may seem.
Serene individuals are content because they have overcome attachments and detachments, illusions and desires, maintaining harmony in any situation. Balanced, they are not victims of extremes; they choose the middle path with firm, unwavering determination.”[v]
The peaks and valleys of life are always temporary. Avoid hubris and self-pity. Merely acknowledge the circumstances and analyze what you should have absorbed from that valuable lesson.
The spirit Joanna de Angelis presents the gift of a serene conscience as a human being at rest, at peace, at harmony with themselves, their surroundings, and their possessions. The certainty that God, Christ, and a band of spirits who watch over you, have your personal growth in mind at all times, serves to anchor you against all storms.
Bliss doesn’t come easy. It comes with practice. I still am not there. I let myself be buffeted by circumstances and by longings. But I have learned, to calm myself, to think that I should stay in the moment, in which the past is gone and the future is in the hands of my teachers. All I can do is to follow my conscience and try the best that I can. Realizing that the reason I am on earth is to do precisely what I am doing now.
My mission, which is the same for all of us on earth, is to remove my base and primitive characteristics and replace them with more noble aspirations. I realize I am a work in progress and I am certain that one life will not erase my predilection to pride and selfishness.
If I examine myself honestly, I have made progress in controlling my anger and envy. I forgive with ease, whereas before I would agonize, until a great span of time made me forget the original slight that disturbed me so greatly. I no longer thirst for riches, I accept what comes my way. Although, I find myself wanting that twenty-five percent more to make myself comfortable. But, it doesn’t bother me, I don’t lie awake at night worrying about changing my situation. I accept it, while striving to better myself, so if rewards come my way, they will come at the right time and through my effort.
Even beginning the pathway up the trail to a serene conscience has provided me with immense benefits. And I hope I am more pleasant to live with for my family and friends. I sincerely desire all of my readers to join me in my quest.
Learn more about the spirit world and our part within it. Read my book – the first in a series – about the bands of the spirit realm around us – Heaven and Below.
Then carry on and learn about who we are and will become as spirits and what type of logical universe we shall live in – read Spirits and the Spirit Universe.
Lastly, explore how we are guided by spirits and what is in store for us as we and the earth ascends. Read my book How we are Guided by Spirits.
[i] Franco, Divaldo, Times of Health and Conscientiousness, Leal Publisher, pp. 103-104
[ii] Franco, Divaldo, Times of Health and Conscientiousness, Leal Publisher, pp. 43-44
[iii] Franco, Divaldo, Times of Health and Conscientiousness, Leal Publisher, p. 44
[iv] Franco, Divaldo, Times of Health and Conscientiousness, Leal Publisher, p. 71
[v] Franco, Divaldo, Times of Health and Conscientiousness, Leal Publisher, pp. 71-72