Moral Conduct. Conscience. Cultivation of one's life and virtues.

From the Son of Heaven down to the common people, all must regard cultivation of the personal life as the root or foundation. (...) When things are investigated, knowledge is extended; when knowledge is extended, the will becomes sincere; when the will is sincere, the mind is rectified; when the mind is rectified, the personal life is cultivated; when the personal life is cultivated, the family will be regulated; when the family is regulated, the state will be in order; and when the state is in order, there will be peace throughout the world. Confucius, quoted after Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.134.

Spare me the sound of your songs; I cannot endure the music of your lutes. But let justice roll on like a river, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. Prophet Amos, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.197.

With what shall I approach the Lord? (...) He has told you, O man, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you: only do justice and to love goodness, and to walk modestly with your God. Prophet Micah, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.198.

There are among the People of the Book some upright persons who all night long recite the revelations of God and worship Him; who believe in God and the Last Day; who enjoin justice and forbid evil and vie with each other in good works. These are righteous people: whatever good they do, its reward shall not be denied them. God knows the righteous. Quran, Medinan Sura 2, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.292.

Learn to be guided by your conscience, the divine discriminative power within you. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.123.

Whatever your conscience says, that is what you are. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.125.

What is conscience?
Aquinas - "it is a voice of the practical reason"
Kant - "conscience asks if what I do could become a norm for all"
Vatican II - "it is the most secret center and the sanctuary of man, where he dwells one on one with God, whose voice he can hear inside"
Tischner - "it is the voice of love; love, which either seeks itself, or defends itself, and which wants to be more perfect than it is"
small girls - "it is this silent voice inside, which tells you that mom is watching."
Tischner, Jozef, To Convince God, PP.91-93.

Freedom is about raising above your conditions, about becoming a sovereign, gaining autonomy. Conscience in a way is a talking freedom. Tischner, Jozef, To Convince God, P.100.

Conscience tells: "surrender to that, in which you are bigger than yourself." Tischner, Jozef, To Convince God, P.101.

The righteous see into the distant future and God crowns them with His own crown. Zohar. Quoted after: Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.56.

You are righteous when you feel more joy in cleaving to God than any material pleasure. Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760), quoted in: Michael Shire, The Jewish Prophet, P.81.

(...) virtue is a thing most delicately balanced, and if neglected it quickly turns into its opposite. St. Neilos the Ascetic (died around the year 430 CE), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.226.

It is a terrible thing when the force of habit holds us fast, not allowing us to rise to the state of virtue which we possessed initially. For habit leads to a set disposition, and this in turn becomes what may be called 'second nature'; and it is hard to shift and alter nature. St. Neilos the Ascetic (died around the year 430 CE), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.236.

Only God is good by nature, but with God's help man can become good through careful attention to his way of life. He transforms himself into what he is not when his soul, by devoting its attention to true delight, unites itself to God (...). St. Diadochos of Photiki (circa 400-486 CE), quoted in Philokalia, Vol. I., P.253.

Evil does not exist by nature, nor is any man naturally evil, for God made nothing that was not good. When in the desire of his heart someone conceives and gives form to what in reality has no existence, then what he desires begins to exist. We should therefore turn our attention away from the inclination to evil and concentrate it on the remembrance of God; for good, which exists by nature, is more powerful than our inclination to evil. The one has existence while the other has not, except when we give it existence through our actions. St. Diadochos of Photiki (circa 400-486 CE), quoted in Philokalia, Vol. I., P.253.

The conscience is a true teacher, and whoever listens to it will not stumble. St. Thalassios the Libyan (VI-VII Century C.E.), quoted in: (1981). The Philokalia. Vol. II., P.311.

See the related subjects: Holiness, Humbleness, Justice, Proper Life, Saints, Tolerance, Wisdom.

Last updated: 2007/03/30