Thursday, May 25, 2006

One way to sleep better

There is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience.
- French proverb

Proverbs are like parables, myths, legands and folk tales, they explain a truth about life.

This proverb says that you can sleep the best when your conscience is clear. Since conscience is a learned element of character and qualities of character (aka virtues) are not often purposefully taught to children in western countries in recent times, it's left for us to make do with our own experience on this matter.

Conscience is like a sack we carry around with us on our back. Into that sack we put memories of everything we did wrong, every time we cheated, every time we hurt someone needlessly, every time we told a "white lie" (not to save someone's feelings but to relieve ourselves of having to explain the truth). That sack gets heavier as we put more into it.

Some people put things into their conscience sack that don't belong. That's because others tell them they have committed some wrong that they really have not. False guilt.

Some people put nothing into their conscience sacks. They become sociopaths, people who do things without regard for who they may hurt in the process.

Yet all of this is unnecessary, as the proverb says. Following The Golden Rule (which exists in some form in every culture) will keep our conscience free from burden. Doing good also relieves the burden we have accumulated in the past.

When it comes to The Golden Rule, we have two choices. We can set an example or we can follow someone else's example. Too many people choose the latter, only to find their conscience sack filling up. They can't sleep and they don't know why.

Sleep disorders result from several causes. One of those causes, a burdensome conscience sack, no doctor can cure.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problem,' striving to help everyone sleep better, for good reason.
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