Conscience is a man's compass, and though the needle sometimes deviates, though one often perceives irregularities when directing one's course by it, one must still try to follow its direction.
--Vincent van Gogh, (1853-1890)
(92:2.6) Conscience, untaught by experience and unaided by reason, never has been, and never can be, a safe and unerring guide to human conduct. Conscience
is not a divine voice speaking to the human soul. It is merely the sum total of the moral and ethical content of the mores of any current stage
of existence; it simply represents the humanly conceived ideal of reaction in any given set of circumstances.
(100:1.5) Growth is also predicated on the discovery of selfhood accompanied by self-criticism—conscience, for conscience is really the criticism
of oneself by one's own value-habits, personal ideals.
(101:0.3) Religion, the conviction-faith of the personality, can always triumph over the superficially contradictory logic of despair born in the unbelieving
material mind. There really is a true and genuine inner voice, that "true light which lights every man who comes into the world." And this spirit
leading is distinct from the ethical prompting of human conscience.
(103:2.10) A misguided conscience can become responsible for much conflict, worry, sorrow, and no end of human unhappiness.
(110:5.1) Do not confuse and confound the mission and influence of the Adjuster with what is commonly called conscience; they are not directly related.
Conscience is a human and purely psychic reaction. It is not to be despised, but it is hardly the voice of God to the soul, which indeed the Adjuster's
would be if such a voice could be heard. Conscience, rightly, admonishes you to do right; but the Adjuster, in addition, endeavors to tell you
what truly is right; that is, when and as you are able to perceive the Monitor's leading.
Vincent Willem van Gogh was a Dutch Post-Impressionist painter who is among the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art.
In just over a decade he created approximately 2100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, most of them in the last two years of his life.
They include landscapes, still lifes, portraits and self-portraits, and are characterised by bold, symbolic colours, and dramatic, impulsive and
highly expressive brushwork that contributed to the foundations of modern art. He sold only one painting during his lifetime and became famous
after his suicide, aged 37, which followed years of poverty and mental illness.
Born into an upper-middle-class family, Van Gogh drew as a child and was serious, quiet and thoughtful, but showed signs of mental instability. As
a young man he worked as an art dealer, often travelling, but became depressed after he was transferred to London. He turned to religion, and spent
time as a missionary in southern Belgium. Later he drifted in ill-health and solitude. He was keenly aware of modernist trends in art and, while
back with his parents, took up painting in 1881. His younger brother, Theo, supported him financially, and the two of them kept up a long correspondence
Van Gogh's early works, mostly still lifes and depictions of peasant labourers, contain few signs of the vivid colour that distinguished
his later work. In 1886 he moved to Paris and discovered the French Impressionists. As his work developed he created a new approach to still lifes
and local landscapes. His paintings grew brighter in colour as he developed a style that became fully realised during his stay in Arles in the
south of France in 1888. He lived there in the Yellow House and, with the French artist Paul Gauguin, developed a concept of colour that symbolised
inner emotion. During this period he broadened his subject matter to include olive trees, cypresses, wheat fields and sunflowers.
Van Gogh suffered from psychotic episodes and delusions and, though he worried about his mental stability, he often neglected his
physical health, not eating properly and drinking heavily. His friendship with Gauguin came to an end after a violent encounter when he threatened
the Frenchman with a razor, and in a rage, cut off part of his own left ear. While in a psychiatric hospital in Saint-Rémy his condition stabilised,
leading to one of the more productive periods of his life. He moved to the Auberge Ravoux in Auvers-sur-Oise near Paris under the care of the homeopathic
doctor and artist, Paul Gachet. During this time, his brother Theo wrote that he could no longer support him financially. A few weeks later, on
27 July 1890, Van Gogh shot himself in the chest with a revolver. He died from his injuries two days later.
Considered a madman and a failure in his lifetime, Van Gogh exists in the public imagination as the quintessential misunderstood
genius, the artist "where discourses on madness and creativity converge." His reputation began to grow in the early 20th century as elements of
his painting style came to be incorporated by the Fauves and German Expressionists. He attained widespread critical, commercial and popular success
over the ensuing decades, and is remembered as an important but tragic painter, whose troubled personality typifies the romantic ideal of the tortured