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Real Conscience

The object of the Work is to awaken Real Conscience, also known in the Work as buried conscience because it is unknown and unavailable to us – submerged under all that is acquired in us. It is said that the Work can take the place of Real Conscience as the latter is slowly awakened. Here are three of the many descriptions in the Commentaries of Real Conscience and its extraordinary possibilities for us.


“[The] beginning of Real Conscience can change one’s life. It is the birth in you of something quite new, and though its action is very gentle it is absolutely authentic and you know and you recognize its authority. This is the beginning of awakening from sleep. This conscience knows nothing about your being an Englishman or a Chinese or a rich or a poor man. It is the same in everybody once it is awakened. It is nothing to do with customs you have acquired, the schools you went to, the professions you follow, or the social position you hold. For it you do not exist as a personality. The Work teaches that this Real Conscience which is always the same lies buried in everyone and that the Work awakens it eventually. This conscience serves the Work. It leads to contact with higher centers.”

– Maurice Nicoll, Commentaries, “The Doctrine of ‘I’s, II,” Feb. 3, 1945, Vol. 2, p. 609-610


“If we had Real Conscience the whole world could unite and all police, law, war, military control, and so on, would cease, because Real Conscience, which is buried in all of us, is one and the same, and if all people had Real Conscience they would understand one another and speak one common tongue, one common language. In this Work we try to study a language that will bring us together, that we can all understand, and its object is to awaken Real Conscience.”

– Maurice Nicoll, Commentaries, “Commentary on Acquired Conscience,” Feb. 17, 1945, Vol. 2, pp. 619-626


“If you observe different moments of your lives, after a time you catch a glimpse of yourself over a period, all together – that is, your consciousness of yourself increases. But first you must try to observe everything in yourself at a given moment – the emotional state, thoughts, sensations, intentions, posture, movements, tone of voice, facial expression and so on. All these must be photographed together. This is full observation and from this begin three things: (1) a new memory of oneself, (2) a complete change in the conception one previously had of oneself, (3) the development of inner taste in regard to the quality of what one is observing internally. … The more you understand the Work, the more it is arranged rightly in your mind and its meaning seen, the more does it pass into Real Conscience. It is sometimes said that if we had Real Conscience the work would be unnecessary for we would know it already.

– Maurice Nicoll, Commentaries, “Concept of Conscience in the Work,” Jul. 16, 1941, Vol. 1, p. 41


  • Inner taste can be said to be the faint beginning of Real Conscience, because it is something that recognizes the quality of one’s inner state.” (Maurice Nicoll, Commentaries, “Concept of Conscience in the Work,” Jul. 16, 1941, Vol. 1, p. 41)
  • “[The] awakening of Real Conscience undermines the personality little by little, and first of all attacks or makes uneasy the false personality and all these pretenses and façades and external appearances that we spend so much force on keeping up until the Work begins to dissolve us.” (Maurice Nicoll, Commentaries, “Commentary on Acquired Conscience in the Work,” Feb. 17, 1945, Vol. 1, p. 621)
  • Real Love springs from Real Conscience. (see Maurice Nicoll, Commentaries, “Commentary on Acquired Conscience in the Work,” Feb. 17, 1945, Vol. 2, p. 622)