Description: Body, soul, spirit: the conscience and intuition
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE?
How do Conscience and Intuition Operate?
by Ernest O’Neill
We’re talking about the inner heart of our personality, that is, our spirit. We’re talking about that because
we’re trying to deal with the general question, “What is the meaning of life?” That is, what is the purpose of
us all being here? Why do you exist? In connection with that question, we’ve looked into the origin of life.
In the early days, you remember, we talked about the evidence of order and design in our universe that
suggested that it was reasonable to believe that there is an intelligent, personal mind behind the universe.
Then, we examined the life of that remarkable person called Jesus, who lived in the first century of our era;
examined His historicity and especially the ways in which He differed from the rest of us human beings in His
ability to destroy death and to come back from being dead, and His ability to heal sicknesses and to overcome
the powers of nature. We concluded after some long examination, which you are welcome to follow in cassettes
of those earlier programs this year, (and if you write to us, we can send them to you), we concluded that He
was, in fact, the unique Son of the Creator of our universe.
So we began to examine His explanation of why we were here. We found, He said we were here, because our
Creator wanted us for a love relationship with Himself. That’s why He made us like Himself. He made us capable
of the same things as He is capable of, except that in our case, they are finite capabilities, rather than
infinite. But that’s the reason He put us here on earth with certain abilities that nobody else has, to begin
to develop His world according to His will.
In the process of this, His spirit and His life would begin to make us like Himself in our inner character as
well as our outward capacities, so that we would be able to join Him in the complete infinite development of
the universe after this life was over on the earth.
So we have come to the point where we’ve begun to look to His plan for the way our personalities were meant to
operate. We saw that He created us on three levels: on a physical level, on a psychological (or mental and
emotional level) and the one that we’ve been starting to deal with in detail, the spirit level. The spirit is
the part of you that is you, yourself. It is the heart of your own being. It is the very essence of you.
It is you when you are uncompelled by any external, financial, or social or emotional worry or anxiety. It is
you, yourself. It is in your spirit that you are able to contact God, the Creator. Actually, what we were
saying last day, you remember, was that it is in moments of extreme danger or threat of death, or in the
presence of the death of someone that you love very much, that you somehow become yourself. It’s in those
moments that you are closest, you know, to having any contact with what you would regard as the Supreme Being,
or the depths of reality.
It is when you are yourself, when you are really yourself. It’s in your spirit that you get into contact with
God. What we’ve completed last day saying was that your spirit, of course, can contact all kinds of other
spirits besides the Spirit of God. There are other spirits in the universe, and there is really a fallen angel
called Satan, who has sent his own spirits (by God’s permission, admittedly) so as to check out our freedom of
will and our ability to choose. There is an evil spirit called Satan and there are evil spirits who work under
Many of the so-called experiences of Transcendental Meditation or the experiences of re-incarnation, or many
of the experiences of the bluff sects that abound in our modern world, or of the eastern religions are simply
experiences of contact with the elemental spirits of the universe, who behave and disguise themselves as
angels of light who pretend to us that they are God.
So, you do have to watch. You may say, “Oh my spirit…that’s when I’m really myself. I’m just being my real
self.” You have deteriorated tremendously from what the Creator made you in the beginning. Because of the fall
of mankind out of any relationship with God at the beginning of the world’s existence, we are all monsters of
selfishness and of desire for our own will.
If you decide, “Oh, I’ll just be my real self”, then you will just be that miserable Hyde who conceals himself
under that respectable Dr. Jekyll on the outside. It’s not enough to be your real self and let it all hang out
and that will get me into contact with God. No. Your spirit is your real self, but it takes a work of God in
your own life in order to set your real self free so that you can actually be what He made you to be.
Much of the error that we run into today in our experimentation with religion is that we try to get into
contact with God by our own power and our own ability and our own determination. We end up with human
religions of all kinds and mixtures of psychology and spirit and psychic experience that only bring more
confusion into our lives rather than a likeness to God Himself.
So, your spirit is the only part of you that can contact God. One of the elements of your spirit is that it’s
the real you. But we need to see that the regeneration, or the rebirth, of that real you takes a work that God
alone has done in His Son, Jesus and that He’s able to make this work real in you in order for that real you
to come forth.
If you try to drag it forth by your own power and your own ability, you usually end up with a monstrosity that
is mixed up in a combination of Eastern religions and psychic, spiritualistic experiences. They just
complicate life and make you one of those strange characters that are not nearly as human as the realistic
Jesus of Nazareth was.
Your spirit is the part of you that communes with God and it is connected up with being really yourself. Now,
another part of your spirit is your conscience. Your conscience is, strictly speaking, not part of your soul
or psychological make-up, but it is part of your spirit. Actually, it is the part of your spirit that is
probably most alive.
Most of us are aware that we have consciences. Now, the conscience, strictly speaking, as we said several days
ago, is the part of us that makes us want to live up to the best that we know. But actually, it makes us live
up to the best that we know from God Himself. It is not the part of us that has a whole set of standards and
morals. That usually is stored in the memory of our intellects.
The conscience is the part of us that urges us to live up to the best that we know. So, if we’re cannibals, of
course we live up to the best that we know as cannibals. If we are western sophisticates, we live up to the
best that we know as western sophisticates.(cid:9)The conscience is always making us live up to the best that we
know. On top of that, it is a kind of gyro-compass that is constantly drawing us towards reality and towards
the Creator of the universe.
Often, if we followed our conscience, we would be drawn much nearer to a relationship with God than if we
followed all the formulae that we store into our minds and all the habits that we try to impregnate our
emotions with. So, our conscience makes us want to live up to the best that we know. Know where?
That brings us to the third function of our spirits, which is our intuition. Intuition is that part of us that
just knows what we should do. It receives odd, intermittent signals from the Creator of the universe by which
He tries to keep us on track. You have a unique life, and He has a unique program for your life. He is always
trying to get you onto that. It’s through the intuition of your spirit that he gives you the sense, “I should
be this”, or “I should be that.” Your conscience judges you in the light of that intuition.
It’s always trying to get you to live up to the intuition that you have received from God Himself. You don’t
need me to tell you that your life is driven usually by anything but that. Your life is driven by all kinds of
desires to please other people, all kinds of desires that society and the media have filled you with to be
successful financially or professionally, all kinds of desires connected with emotional and physical
fulfillment that drive you.
Most of us are driven men and women. We are not men and women who are guided by our intuition that is judged
by our conscience because of our lack of relationship of communion with God. We are usually little robots that
are pulled this way and that by the external pressures of our lives. Often, little puppets, pulled about by
all kinds of strings. Let’s talk a little more tomorrow about the way we were really meant to live.