Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Making 'conscience' and 'consciousness' one

Some words in pairs invite joint consideration because they are so close in appearance and because they so strongly suggest new meanings by their proximate definitions.

“Experience” and “experiment,” “myth” “and “mystic” are two such pairs.

The other day I found myself meditating on the attraction between “conscience” and “consciousness.”

I felt an almost magnetic pull, but when “conscience” and “consciousness” neared, the polarity seemed to reverse, reach stasis and freeze their meanings in respectful, yet unfulfilled, proximity.

In the palpable space between “conscience” and “consciousness” emerged a new meaning. No word I know signifies that meaning (suggestions are welcomed!), but if you hold “conscience” and “consciousness” together simultaneously, you can feel it.

A power emerges between the two.

Out of my consideration came a notion that took the form of two questions:
Can we be fully conscious if our conscience hasn’t been engaged?

Can our conscience be fully engaged if we are not fully conscious?

“Conscience” and “consciousness” in full rely on each other.

Of course “fully” is impossible because there is always more. We are evolving as individuals and as a species. Our conscience and our consciousness are growing.  All existence is dynamic.

As a result of my meditation, I am certain growth of consciousness is informed by conscience; and the growth of conscience relies on a widening and deepening consciousness.

Perhaps conscience and consciousness are kept separate because they are represented by distinct words. Without a word that defines their attraction and, yes, their oneness, are we doomed to keeping them apart?

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