basic view of conscience is manipulation by outside events, but the whole
concept of conscience has far deeper meanings.

There is
a trip-out device that masquerades under the name of conscience; different
things for different levels. It only works as well as the level that you are
at. If you consider yourself to be reasonably well-developed spiritual and
reasonably sophisticated, so is your conscience. Conscience is the thing that
should prevent you from performing a certain act, in the first place spiritual,
in the second place physical, which upsets too much of the equilibrium that
governs everything and everyone.

is not an invention of religion to keep the people in line; forget the stuff
about angels. It goes with the over-developed being. It is a cop-out device. If
you ignore it, nearly always someone else as well as yourself will pay for it.
Conscience changes like the weather, it changes with the period.

is there to protect the balance, the equilibrium of everything. Right and wrong
can be totally reversed in a comparatively short time. For instance, what
happened to Oscar Wilde would not happen nowadays. The way he was treated was
not a decision of conscience. Conscience is a matter of daring to use it. In
that case, prison governors and doctors, all supposed to be educated,
articulate men, refused to listen to their conscience, what they actually did
was not merely to make an individual’s imprisonment particularly horrific, it
was to perpetuate (a) a case in particular and (b) the penal system which left
by a long way the limits of punishment and rehabilitation and leapt straight
into the area of persecution. It is because no-one listened to their conscience
that such an unbalanced system lasted for so long.

question of crime and punishment is not really concerned with the individual
action, it is about the damage to society. It has got nothing to do with being
good or bad. It is a totally separate issue. Not everyone can add to society,
but everyone has the potential to make sure that they do not detract from it.
No-one asked ‘how much has this man damaged society?’ He was not judged on
that. If damage or otherwise to society is too big a canvas on which to paint
the actions of one man or a small group of men, ask yourself and allow this
question to be answered by your conscience: ‘has the quality of anyone’s life

article taken from the Dark Lily Journal No 5, Society of Dark Lily (London