What am I Doing ?

MANAS JOURNAL / April 13, 2023

The rediscovery of an authentic human conscience has practical consequence. First, we must
listen. It may be that the most important task that will bring meaning is to listen to our
conscience. We act as humans only if we act because we have decided to and not because we are
driven to it or because we are afraid of punishment. It is true that commandments and laws
threaten punishment; but as long as we live according to them automatically, we have ruled
ourselves out as persons, as selves. The Ten Commandments are among the best guidelines we
have, but routine obedience is not enough.
As Frankl states, “In an age when the Ten Commandments seem to lose their unconditional
validity, we have to learn more than ever to listen to the ten thousand commandments arising
from the ten thousand unique situations of which life consists; in order to understand the tens of
thousands of unique meanings offered by the tens of thousands of moments that make up our
It seems suitable to add that we also need to outgrow the Ten Commandments—that is, to have
consciences active enough to render them unnecessary; and an advantage in this would be that
there are numerous relationships which call for moral decision on which the Commandments
don't have much or anything to say. Then doing what we please may seem permitted.
From Manas Journal Vol. 37 no. 5

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