Chapter 1: Seven Valleys
This conscience has nothing to do with the ordinary conscience that you have - that is borrowed. So you can have it and still it does not hurt; it does not give pain so real that you can be transformed through it. You only know so-so what is right, and you go on doing the wrong, you go on doing whatsoever you want to do. Your knowledge of the right does not create any difference in you. You know that anger is bad but you remain angry. On the one hand you know that anger is bad, on the other hand there is no problem, you continue to be angry. On the one hand you know that possessiveness is not good, and on the other hand you go on hoarding, you go on possessing - not only things but you even start possessing persons. You possess your wife, your husband, your children - as if they are things, as if they can be possessed. You destroy through your possessiveness, and you know it is wrong.
This borrowed conscience does not help, it simply burdens you. With the first valley crossed, your own conscience arises. Now you know exactly what is wrong and it becomes impossible to do otherwise. This is the point where the Socratic dictum becomes meaningful - that “Knowledge is virtue.”
Now the negative part of the valley of repentance.. The negative part is that you may become too worried about the guilt concerning the past - that you have done this wrong and that wrong, and you have been doing millions of wrongs. You have been unconscious here for so long that if you start counting all of that, it will create a kind of morbidness. You will become so guilty that, rather than growing. you will fall into great darkness.
So if guilt arises and you become morbid and you become too troubled by the past, you will remain in the second valley. You will not be able to surpass it. If the past becomes too important, then naturally you will be continuously crying and weeping and beating your chest and saying, “What wrong I have been doing!”
The positive part is that you should become concerned with the future, not with the past. Yes, you have noted that you have been wrong, but that was natural because you were unconscious. So there is no need to feel guilty. How could one be right when one was unconscious? You have taken note of it - that your whole past has been wrong - but it does not create a burden on your chest. You take note of it. That taking note helps you because you will not be able to do it again - you are finished with it. You feel sad that you have been hurting so many people in so many ways, but you feel joyous also, simultaneously, because now it will not happen any more. You are freed from past and guilt! You don’t become concerned about it, you become concerned about the future, the new opening.
Now you have your own conscience; now the future is going to be totally different, qualitatively different, radically different. You will be thrilled with the adventure. Now you have your own conscience, and your conscience will never allow you to do wrong again. It is not that you will have to control - when the real conscience has arisen there is no need to control, no need to discipline. The right becomes the natural thing. Then the easy is the right and the right is the easy.
In fact, once the conscience has arisen in you, if you want to do wrong you will have to make great effort to do it. And even then there is not much possibility of succeeding.