National Conscience Month takes place annually in January. It aims to inspire people to value their conscience as a source of guidance for informed and rightful actions. National Conscience Month was established by Leonard Perlmutter, a.k.a Ram Lev, and Jenness Cortez Perlmutter, who also founded the American Meditation Institute in New York. The observance of the month aims at making people aware of the powers of their conscience. It encourages individuals to explore their thoughts and desires through their conscience.
History of National Conscience Month
The word ‘conscience’ has been derived from the Latin word ‘conscientia,’ which means “knowledge shared with others.” Today, the word refers to an internal awareness of a moral standard as well as a consciousness of our individual actions. Conscience may be defined as a mental process that depends on one’s moral philosophy or value system to elicit emotions and rational associations. Philosophically, conscience alludes to the human experience of a “gut feeling” about what ought to be morally right. There are many different definitions of conscience based on factors such as culture, religion, geographic location, and peer group.
The medieval Islamic scholars perceive the concept of conscience to be a component of ‘Nafs’ or ‘self’ which has three categories. The ‘Nafs Ammarah’ is the drive to freely indulge in gratifying passions; the ‘Nafs Lawammah’ is the conscience that directs one towards right or wrong; and the Nafs Mutmainnah is the self that achieves ultimate peace. In Persian medieval philosophy, conscience was closely linked to physical health. Medieval Christian intellectuals made a clear distinction between conscience as a rational faculty and an inner awareness. The well-known 13th-century philosopher, St. Thomas Aquinas, held conscience to be the application of moral knowledge to a particular case.
Modern philosophers built upon these theories and achieved new perspectives in this field. The famous philosopher Spinoza asserted that leading a life of peaceful conscience enhances our capacity to reason, which helps us become better in decision-making. Another philosopher, Hegel, argued that only through the right of “freedom of conscience” one is able to distinguish between rational and real. Thinkers since have explored these views and continue to do so.
National Conscience Month timeline
Al-Ghazali, a prominent philosopher and seer of Sunni Islam, categorizes conscience into three categories.
Italian priest, Aquinas, defines conscience as the “application of moral knowledge to a particular case.”
Spinoza gives a difficult definition of conscience — he states that consciousness is neither a faculty nor a quality exclusive to particular minds or ideas and does not have a degree.
Leading neurophilosopher, Patricia Churchland, in her book titled “Conscience,” states that mammals, including humans and other species like rats and monkeys, detect moral intuitions as a result of how our brains evolved during evolution.
National Conscience Month FAQs
Is conscience the same as morality?
It can be considered only as the foundation because morality is something that arises at an individual level and is something that conscience allows us to set.
Does everyone have a conscience?
Most people do have a conscience and a sense of morality. The latest research says that animals have a conscience too.
Can you have no conscience?
According to psychological researchers, sociopaths lack conscience. These individuals are unreliable, rash, and cannot set long-term goals for themselves.
How to Observe National Conscience Month
Learn about the concept
Over the centuries, conscience has been defined in several different ways. Try to understand the concept and what it means for you.
Understand your moral compass
Your sense of right and wrong is dictated by your conscience. It will be helpful to spend some time trying to understand your moral compass.
Meditation improves conscience. Meditate regularly to understand your conscience better.
5 Interesting Facts About Meditation
About 14% of American adults have tried meditation at least once and the practice of meditation has grown threefold since 2012.
About 200 to 300 million people across the globe meditate regularly.
Compared to men, women are more likely to meditate.
How old is meditation
According to the earliest accounts, it began approximately 5000 B.C.
The wellness industry
As per research by the Global Wellness Institute, the wellness industry is valued at about $4.5 trillion the world over.
Why National Conscience Month is Important
It makes one introspect
Leading a life directed by conscience requires self-awareness. National Conscience Month encourages us to introspect and develop self-awareness.
It promotes meditation
Meditation has copious benefits. National Conscience Month is a perfect opportunity to give it a try.
An opportunity to read philosophy
Many philosophers have had deep and interesting views about conscience. National Conscience Month is a good time to read up on these theories.
National Conscience Month dates