The Conscience Within by Roy Masters – part 4 of 4Published June 8, 2019
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The Conscience Within by Roy Masters
part 4 of 4
The image you insist on having of yourself is a damnable thing. you wouldn’t need such a thing if you knew what it is to be whole. You’d be free of the agony of worrying about what people think of you. Don’t you worry about what people think of you? Hmmm? Well, you’re a fool.
Now look, I care about what people think of me. Don’t get me wrong. I’d like to have good ratings on my radio program. And I kind of know how to go about it, but I’d have to prostitute myself, as so many talk-show hosts do, by joking and helping people feel good about themselves by distracting them with entertainment, but I’d have to diminish myself to do it, and I don’t think I can.
If you look around you, you’ll see what people have to do to become popular–they have to stroke egos. The trouble is that people who stroke egos and make people feel good about themselves never offend you. And I don’t mean to offend you now. Don’t get me wrong–I don’t mean to offend you, but I think it’s time to put an end to the age of Ego Stoking. You are awash in a sea of strokers: girl friends, boy friends, drug dealers, entertainers–there’s no end to those who build a life of power on assuaging your guilt. Taking away your guilt so you can breathe easier out of the range of conscience, enabling you to live a little longer and become a little “wronger.”
As long as someone takes your guilt away, your unregenerate, imperial self lives a little longer and becomes a little “wronger,” you see, and the guilt grows, along with the need for pleasure. The need for approval is a slavish addiction to everything that serves the purpose of stroking your ego. That’s how you become a slave to sin. Forgive me for being a little scriptural, but that’s what it means to be born again in sin, enslaved in sin.
Religion is supposed to lead you to the real Self, the real redemption, but the churches haven’t done it. They, too, have found a way to stroke your ego and help to remove your guilt. And they call that salvation.
Well, if anything removes your guilt without returning you to the right relationship with God, out of the trap of guilt, whether it’s a friend, alcohol or drugs, entertainment–whatever gives you a sense of security–is playing a part in the evil of the world. That obviously includes some of the churches.
If a person feels guilty about drinking and goes to a psychiatrist who convinces him that he doesn’t have to feel guilty about it, and assures him that all that is wrong is the fact that he hasn’t accepted himself, he ends by continuing to drink, free of guilt and the consciousness of wrong-doing.
What you need is a self that flows from a true inner spiritual Self, rather than an outside facsimile. Such is the state of supreme virtue, the unfolding of an eternal Self, overcoming the inherited form of ego-boundedness. Be warned against a false image of your own sense of self-worth and goodness, for the intellect is capable of creating and maintaining as reality, any illusion of yourself–with the help of friends, of course. It’s somewhat like the computer of the starship Enterprise that constructs reality, always on command, surrounding the crew with what appears to be a genuine experience.
I’ve identified the problem: you are not whole, and the wholeness is something spiritual, something within you that you need to experience. You need that religious experience, not religious excitement. A huge chasm separates the two. Religious excitement is not religious experience. It just makes you feel religious by washing the guilt out of your brain. you feel better for a little while, but it builds up again, and back you go to boogy-woogy down the aisle, or whatever it is you do to feel better, but it cannot return you to wholeness. What you seek comes from stillness. Be still and know.
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