"First, there is the psychological conscience, which is better called consciousness. It reports to us the actions we perform. It is aware of them, and through them it is aware of itself. Second, there is our moral conscience, which tells us not only that we act, and how we act, but how well we act. It judges the value of our acts. The psychological and moral consciences are both faculties of the intelligence. They are two kinds of awareness of ourselves telling us what we really are."
~ Thomas Merton, Nul N'est Une Ile (No Man is an Island)
Taking a bold look at the big picture of real life- of reality- can remind us of our joys and consolations, and can also reveal that which is injurious and incorrigible. Nonetheless, the renewal of realistic perspective is the strong medicine that will help carry a person to the other side of despair and grief. Like prospectors who seek precious gems in mountains, while foraging through clay and rock and dirt, the stouthearted and diligent will discover the reflectant colors that shine out from the Pearls of Great Price.
When the contrast is struck enough times, between what is genuine and what is fool's gold, it becomes easier to distinguish all the love and cherished intention that surrounds me, from the impetuousness of intolerant rejection. Not enough of us know that ill will produces ill consequences. At times we are forced to accept the verdict of reducto ad absurdum, but there is still never a reason to resort to it ourselves.