In the silence of the, mind, the conscience, can hear the voice coming from the, superconscious, portion of the mind and can that reflect that wisdom into our, conscious mind, to be our guide. This is the action that will lead you to your highest and greatest good.
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LEONARD PERLMUTTER. Leonard is the founder and director of The American Meditation Institute in Averill Park, New York, and the originator of National Conscience Month. He studied under Swami Rama of the Himalayas whose lab studies at the Menninger Institute demonstrated that blood pressure, heart rate and the autonomic nervous system can be voluntarily controlled. These findings have become a cornerstone of the modern mind/body movement.
His recently released book YOUR CONSCIENCE: The Key to Unlock Limitless Wisdom and Creativity and Solve All of Life’s Challenges is a simple, logical introduction to how your mind works and the perfect entry point for anyone who wants to live a more fulfilling life simply by learning to depend on their conscience.
Looking outside ourselves for happiness is a useless pursuit, but where can we find the wisdom, we need to guide us through the trials in our lives? Leonard believes that we can receive all the guidance we need by trusting our, conscience.
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Developing your conscience during childhood
Myrna: How did you develop your, conscience? Can you share your personal story?
Leonard: My personal story, I guess, began when I was quite young, a little child. And it seemed that two principles guided my life at that time and true today. The first principle was always looked at life from a philosophical viewpoint. It’s just the way I saw the world immediately, philosophically. And the second principle that has directed me in practicality. I’m a practical fellow. Okay, and even a philosophy of life. Must have practical applications make life rewarding, and to take away the pain and the misery and the bondage, that are seen in the mists time in our world, the pandemic of its own.
Myrna: Okay, all right. Yeah. Were your problems solved by relying on your, conscience?
Leonard: There’s not one, problem, that cannot be solved by our, conscience. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, there are no problems. There are only situations. So, for me, even the word problem is a problem. Now, because language trigger us. Language can trigger us and they carry a heavy weight from the culture.
Change the word problem to situation
So, if we bring the word, problem, into our heart, and just feel the weight of it, I have a problem Oh, it’s very heavy. It’s very dark, and it seems to cover a creative capacity, and become intimidated. I become fearful and I worry, which even accelerates denigration of my creative capacity. So, I don’t use that word anymore. But I do I substitute a synonym, I say don’t say I have problems, I say I have a situation.
If you bring the word, situation, into your heart and just listen with your eyes, situation, is much lighter. Not that I’m not going to have to work resolving the, situation. But I’m a creative fellow, I’d like to tackle that. So, I’m much more optimistic and creative. I’m always watching words that says you have an emotional choice.
Myrna: I like your word, situation, I’ve learned to change the word, problem, to, challenges, but challenges is also still weightier than, situation.
Leonard: And so, too interesting, because problems, wherever we define that we start in the, mind. What do I mean by that? There’s conflict in our minds. There always has to be conflict outside our, mind. And that will be first and foremost in the body, but then, interpersonal relationships. So, working backwards from the, problem, which is outside of us by have a, problem, with you.
Problem, is now with you. It’s what I think about you. My mind created an eclipse of my awareness and I cannot really see you, I just see what’s in my, unconscious mind. I sift through those lenses. And so maybe I’m intimidated with you. Maybe I understand that you’re a podcast, personality and you have a following and oh my gosh, I’m intimidated by her. So, when I talk to Myrna I’m not really able to have a conversation with her until I deal with the fear then, and the worry that is in my, mind.
Leonard: Well, I believe that suffering is a choice. We all have pain, but suffering is exactly is your choice.
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Conscience one of the four functions of the mind
Myrna: Let’s touch on this word, conscience. Can you just explain how, conscience, and the mind works? You said mental problems or situations can be solved by relying on the, conscience, so let’s dive into this, conscience, so we can put you know some context or conversation.
Four functions of the mind
Leonard: Sure. First and foremost, the conscience is one of the four, functions of the mind. In early childhood, I’m sure that many of us had the experience, I know I did, that there always seemed to be different voices in our, mind. And as it turns out, there are four of them.
- There is the ego,
- The, senses,
- the, unconscious mind,
- and the, conscience.
So interesting, this was a game changer for me when I learned it was quite shocking. Every single choice that I have ever made in my life, in fact, any human being has made in their life, and every single choice that we will ever make, has been made the, conscience, because, the conscience, is the only function of the mind, that can make a decision. The other three functions of the mind the, ego, the, senses, and the, unconscious mind, cannot make a choice. They only act as advisors. And as advisors, they work all the time in a very determined way.
So, what does that mean? The, ego, senses and, unconscious mind, these advisors, these lobbyists in our, mind, they’re loud, they’re pushy, and are often wrong. Only the, conscience, has the ability alone to make the choice.
Myrna: How do we how do we get this, conscience? I understand that our, conscience, was put by God to distinguish between right and wrong. Is your, conscience, built up after you’re born?
The Ego, the senses and the unconscious mind
Leonard: The hardware of the, mind, is just like the, senses, and so can make two kinds of choices. The first kind of choice occurs when the, ego, senses, and, unconscious mind, are so unruly as they are with most people today. The, ego, senses, and, unconscious mind, are creating a tremendous amount of noise in our, mind, lobbying for their limited perspectives. Then the only way that the, conscience, can make a choice is simply to rubber stamp, the loudest voice it can hear.
We you know, the ego, the senses, and the, unconscious mind, are not always wrong. You need a, healthy ego, to have this conversation right now and make sense of it or to drive an automobile or a truck. We need a, healthy ego, to keep us alive. And that’s gratification. I love a delicious meal just like everybody else and I have a body so why shouldn’t I?
But a lot of times limited perspective of the, ego, senses, and even the, unconscious mind, create habit patterns that are faulty. And if they’re loud and pushy, the, ego, senses and, unconscious mind, are always worried that a saber-toothed Tiger is going to come around the next corner and that we have to fear for our lives. Then the, conscience, will simply rubber stamp loudest voice.
Myrna: Okay, so we rubber stamp the loudest voice in our, mind. So, the loudest voice is saying hey, you know what? I should feel something right there.
Leonard: Maybe I should have a second piece of apple pie.
Myrna: Exactly. You’re going to say get a second piece of apple pie, right? That’s not so much your, conscience, that’s just guilt, but let’s say that we want to steal something and you steal it and then your, conscience, is bothering you. Because you know you shouldn’t have done it. You know what I mean? So, what you’re saying is that you took it because the, ego, let’s choose that one. That’s really the one that’s telling you that you deserve it or something.
How to listen to your conscience
Leonard: That’s right. However, if we can learn to teach and parent, the ego, senses, and unconscious mind, and share their limited perspectives. Then when each of these three functions of the mind, these advisors after they finish presenting their perspective, sit down and be quiet. When the, mind, becomes quiet, the conscience, can make another kind choice.
Okay, now in this silence of the, mind, the conscience, can hear another voice coming from the, super conscious, portion of the mind. And can that reflect that, superconscious, wisdom into our, conscious mind, and that will tell the, conscience, to advise us. This is the action that will lead you for your highest and greatest good.
Myrna: Right? Well, that’s perfect because somewhere along the line I heard that we have five voices in our head, but I’ve never had anybody actually identify those voices. We just know that we have these voices. One of the things I want to circle back to was what you’re saying about, meditation, because this is where the, meditation, link comes in.
When you sit still and be quiet during, meditation, then you’re connecting to source, you’re connecting to your Higher Self, then you’re able to get instructions from your higher self. But normally I guess when you’re making a decision, a lot of times you right you just rubber stamp the highest noise.
The superconscious wisdom
Leonard: There’s another ingredient here and this is the need for culture. We are going so fast. Right now, we do not have time to sit quietly right so that the, conscience, can hear the, superconscious, wisdom and share it with us. We have to make a decision now. If it feels good, the advertisements say just do it.
Myrna: I talk a lot about, meditation, on the show. I’m reading the, meditation book, and it’s telling you that when you sit quietly, what basically happens is things starts to bubble up that you have pushed down, and once it bubbles up that means it is something you need to take care of. So now I’m hearing another reason to sit still is so you can, solve problems, because when you sit still your, conscience, gets to talk to you.
Leonard: That one pointed attention, training the mind, to be one pointed either on a mantra or the breath in, meditation, automatically creates a space between stimulus and response. That means that I am cultivating the skill of being detached. What does that mean? Just because a thought comes into my awareness, suggesting the desire for the second slice of apple pie. When I create a space between that stimulus of that snack and piece of apple pie and my ultimate decision, that space provides me what? Freedom to redirect my attention.
The, conscience, can then reflect, superconscious, wisdom tells me how my relationship should proceed with this desire for a second slice of apple pie. In, meditation, that one pointed attention creates a space between stimulus and response that provides me the freedom to check with my, conscience. And the more that I do that not only create a large resource of creativity coming from the, conscience, to solve all sorts of situations. But I also am continuously building the muscles of willpower to do what’s to be done, when it’s to be done and not to do what is not to be done. And when it is not to be done.
Get the conscience involved with every decision
Myrna; How can we reap instant benefits from employing our, conscience, in every decision that we make?
Leonard: That brings up a very important point to do with the, law of karma. That simply means that thoughts lead to action, action, which leads to consequence. Now, as we mentioned a few moments ago most of us feel that the consequence that we want to experience in every relationship is, happiness, to carry good health in body and mind. The question is, do we have a business for that?
I call it the, bridge of yoga. The, bridge of yoga, is a philosophical and a scientific bridge that encourages us 24/7 to base our outer actions thoughts, words and deeds, on the, superconscious wisdom, that is within us, that is us at the core of our being. And the more that I can employ that, bridge of yoga, we can call it anything, we can call it the bridge of Christianity, the bridge of Judaism, the bridge of Islam. You see, you can come up with your own name, but is the more that we base our outer actions. The wise good counsel the, conscience, we are continuously enabled, meekly fulfill the purpose of life without pain, misery or bondage.
Sowing and reaping begin with our thoughts, I can’t even raise my hand without first undertaking a thought. The mind moves first, the body just follows. So, what we want the bodies to take an action to bring about a consequence that will bring me, happiness, health and security. I better examine my thoughts.
Because not every thought is going to bring the, happiness, bring me security, or bring the health of the, conscience. If I counsel with the, conscience, and I can quiet the, ego, senses and, unconscious mind, after they make the presentation of their limited perspectives. The, conscience, will tell me what’s to be done.
Myrna: Tell us about your book “Your Conscience” why did you write it and what do you want readers to walk away with after writing after reading it?
Leonard: I wrote it during the first months of COVID. I was in quarantine and a teacher. I had people coming to the American meditation Institute where I teach. But they weren’t coming because everybody was in quarantine at the time. So how am I going to reach people? What do I have that I can give them?
People are in tremendous amount of pain and they don’t have the tools. This goes back to scouting. They don’t have the tools to be prepared for whatever life can throw them. What can I give them? I asked myself, I said, the most important thing I can give them is an understanding of the functions of the mind and how to coordinate them serve the, conscience. And so that’s why I wrote the book.
Myrna; What do you want them to walk away with?
Leonard: The only thing that I would like them to walk away with is not believe me. I don’t want anyone who can hear this, to believe a word I am saying. But I would appreciate it. I will support you if this is true. If you’re interested and willing to experiment with your own, conscience, in all sorts of situations, but make sure that they’re all easy at first.
You don’t want to just pick up 200 pounds thinking that you’re going to build muscles when you’ve never done any kind of exercise before. Start with one or two pounds and then three or four and then five and 10 pounds. And within a short time, you’ll be building some muscles without injuring yourself. So, if you’re interested at all, turn your entire life into a laboratory to experiment with your own, conscience, and see what happens. Train and love and parent, your, ego, senses, and, unconscious mind.
Myrna: How can readers pick up a copy of your book. What’s your social media handles if anyone wants to follows you? And of course, you are the director of the American meditation Institute’s you can also talk about that.
Leonard: Well, yes, I founded the American meditation Institute in 1996. And our website is www.Americanmeditation.org. On the homepage, you can see our foundation course which provides a full curriculum of everything that I’ve been discussing. There’s also on the homepage, a free link to a Sunday meditation every Sunday from 930 to 11am. Eastern time, you get a, free guided meditation, and a free date to discuss philosophical questions, just like Myrna and I have been discussing today. You also get a free recording.