Voices Inside

1. Consciousness appears as the hesitation to act. Man pauses. His conscience has begun to speak.
4. Where once conscience was the provenance of parental instruction and the values of the small community, today´s voices of conscience are more often institutional: school, media, the State. These institutions provide conscience with its vocabulary, encouraging an allegiance to vast economic and social systems; to make of him a citizen, a hard-working and productive member of a society.
5. Conscience imposes upon man through language, critiquing and transforming his instincts from inside. It is through the arguments and coercions of conscience that a man´s instincts are slowly eroded and socialized, brought into line with the collective. Conscience is the corrective to instinct, it circumscribes its limits.
9. The privileging of the word and logic has resulted in a devaluation of instinct, for instinct is without voice or argument. Instinct cannot defend or justify itself. It cannot reason or rationalize. It can neither be explained nor ignored. Instinct can only be acted upon, or painfully suppressed by conscience.
17. Rationalization, as the uneasy reconciliation between conscience and instinct, is the most exquisite of human self-deceptions.
20. Action directed by instinct is play. Action directed by conscience is work. While work is that which a man is compelled by others to do, play is done entirely for himself, to the satisfaction of his instincts. Play is childish, amateurish, always joyful, neither hopeful or hopeless, often bungling and unproductive, and frequently the consequence of an obsession.
29. The genius of the outlaw, the great artist and the saint is that he acts unconsciously, unconstrained by conscience. There is nothing conscientious or workman-like about him. Whether praised as a great man or condemned as a fool, he is only his instincts at play.


  1. Anonymous13.10.14

    fucking fantastic. thank you for this Monday wisdom.

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