Metanoia – A note on burried conscience

Why should we work on our negative emotions? This is a
very good question to ask oneself in all inner sincerity, and here the
mind will help if the strength of the Work-ideas is beginning to form
a new mind which has a small will of its own. The Emotional Centre
is the seat of our ordinary will as it is and the negative part of the
Emotional Centre is especially so. The small Will from the change in
Mental Centre is not sufficient to control the will of the unredeemed
Emotional Centre for a long time. The will of the negative part of the
Emotional Centre coupled with the will of the physical body forms a
very powerful antagonist to the Will that is formed through the Work
in the emotional part of the Intellectual Centre. But although we
witness constantly our complete failure in controlling our negative
emotions, or, let us add, the will of the body, yet if the relationship to the
Work and the valuation of its ideas are strong enough, there remains
always in spite of constant defeats something in the background which
does not consent to all that is going on. I do not think I have mentioned
here, in connection with what the Work says that the knowledge of
the Work must become emotional, that the first place in which it can
become emotional is in the emotional part of the Intellectual Centre.
As I said, it is here that the new Will of the Work is formed first of all.
The problem then is the negative part of the Emotional Centre itself
in which exist ‘I’s that are very powerful and do everything they can
to fight every form of belief that we possess in regard to this Work.
Now if we had not got Buried Conscience the situation would be hopeless.
The negative ‘I’s in the Emotional Centre would always have the
victory. The secret is however that in the Emotional Centre there is
Buried Conscience and this is awakened by the emotional part of the
Intellectual Centre when the ideas of the Work have entered the mind
and become emotionally felt—not only as what is Truth but as what is
Good. This awakens the Buried Conscience in the Emotional Centre
itself. The Work teaches that Buried Conscience exists in everyone,
quite apart from acquired Conscience, which is a matter of local
upbringing. But for this Buried Conscience and the awakening of it
in the Emotional Centre through the new mind and its new Will, we
should indeed be in a hopeless position. But fortunately, as it is, every
emotional perception of the truth of the Work coming from the
Intellectual Centre arouses this Buried Conscience in the Emotional
Centre and then the Emotional Centre itself fights against its negative
emotions.
Now if you do not keep the Work strong in your mind and renew
it continually at least once a day, or at least often, if you do not rearrange everything in your mind at intervals so that you are thinking
from the channels of the Work and their connections, this awakening
of the Buried Conscience begins to cease and then you find yourself
alone. When you feel alone like this, you must think of the Work,
as, for example, go over what was said at the last meeting and refresh
your mind with it. This is a form of Self-Remembering in a practical
way and it will send a current of force to Buried Conscience in the
Emotional Centre which alone can cast out your devils. It is not as if
you do it, nor must you think that you can do it, but if you do what
you can do, then something will help you which is not you and which
you must never ascribe to yourself. We get into a bad state often because
we ascribe everything to ourselves, just as we ascribe our merit to
ourselves, just as we ascribe our good to ourselves, which means of
course that we inevitably ascribe our evil to ourselves. One must
ascribe neither good nor evil to oneself—otherwise one stands in the
way of one’s development. The Work is an instrument first of all—a
mental instrument—which must be used to put our thoughts in the
right order, to get things straight, and if we do this with the memory of
our past experience in the Work, this effort to re-arrange internally will
stimulate this Buried Conscience in the Emotional Centre which can
fight all negative emotions and cast out every devil in us. You cannot
overcome a negative emotion directly. It will only get stronger as a
rule. But you can through your mind, through arranging the Work in
your mind, touch the emotional part of the Intellectual Centre,
which in turn awakens the Buried Conscience which will attack by
itself the negative emotions. The power of Buried Conscience derives
from the Higher Emotional Centre. You must remember that the
Work teaches that Man was once in touch with Higher Centres but
went to sleep. He once knew what to do directly but now, in this state
of sleep, he can only get to where he was by indirect methods. All that
is left now is change of mind. Change of mind starts the whole possible
recovery. That is why Christ taught always μετάνοια change of mind,
as the first thing—not repentance, but change of mind. Unless the mind
changes, whereby the attitudes change, everyone will always be just
as he is, whatever effort he makes in the way of starvation, self-denial,
and so on. With the same attitude, a man will always remain the
same. As long as a man thinks in the same habitual way, he will remain
the same. The Work can actually teach a man to think in a new way,
I repeat, about himself, about others, and about the meaning of life.

With this change of mind his attitudes will inevitably change. If your
attitudes have not changed then you will not change and you can never
change. If, for example, your attitude is that you are a fully conscious
man and that you are a unity and you have a permanent Real ‘I’ and
an inflexible will and that you can do and so on, then these attitudes and
this way of thinking will fix you always in the same psychological place
as you are in and no new development is possible. But if your attitudes
change through new thinking, through the ideas of the Work, from
esoteric teaching, then you can change, because you will begin to
arouse Buried Conscience which cannot work in you as long as you have
all these false notions about yourself, about others, and about life, and
ascribe all to yourself. It is exactly this new thinking, this that
the Work can give us, that when emotionally felt arouses into activity
the Buried Conscience which then begins to help. So you will see how
important it is to keep the Work mentally living in oneself not only
by constant outer reminders of it but by your own deeper inner thinking
because, as you know, this Work is a rope let down that you have to
jump to catch hold of.

Psychological Commentaries vol.3, page 961-3 Dr. M. Nicoll

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