Why we need to scan our consciousness regularly

by June 24, 2020

When somebody is canned from their job, that means they are dismissed, often unceremoniously. Our conscience is our inner watchdog that sometimes gets canned, even without our awareness. 

Our conscience’s job is to alert us whenever we attempt to do something wrong and to applaud us when we try to do something right. If we don’t carefully process our action, then we end up acting wrongly, sometimes discreetly and sometimes brazenly. When we get angry at a subordinate on making a mistake or when we chastise our child on being untidy, that could be out of genuine concern for others. But that could also be because of our own insecurity about not being competent or effective. 

When our actions arise from our own insecurity, they make us lose our sense of perspective. If we give in to such anger once, twice, thrice, then eventually we might find ourselves giving in to a disproportionate explosion as a reaction to a minor provocation. If our conscience is still active, we might regret that explosion. Otherwise, if the repeated past minor expressions of anger have deadened our conscience, we might justify our angry explosion and thus essentially our conscience will get canned. It won’t be able to do anything because by giving in repeatedly to the lower forces of illusion, we have let our conscience become numbed and dumbed. And once our conscience is canned, we will do wrongs nonchalantly, even horrendously. 

How can we prevent our conscience from being canned? By learning to regularly scan our consciousness. Through such inner vigilance, we will be able to detect the forces of desire and anger as they start rising and learn to tolerate them, thereby progressing toward spiritual realization and satisfaction (Bhagavad-gita 05.23). 

One-sentence summary:

If our consciousness is not scanned, our conscience will get canned.

Think it over:

  • How might our conscience get canned?
  • How can scanning our consciousness protect our conscience?
  • How can we scan our consciousness regularly?


05.23: Before giving up this present body, if one is able to tolerate the urges of the material senses and check the force of desire and anger, he is well situated and is happy in this world.

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