I saw a post some where on the social web recently about how one’s conscience (I assume they meant “conscience” and not “consciousness”) might be similar to or different from the soul (assuming you believe in that construct).
I do believe they have quite different purposes. One is about social structures and norms, the other about personal growth and immersion in experience. The conscience is, although partly innate (in an evolutionary biology sense), mostly learned—it’s your internal moral compass, the little “angel” on one shoulder that tells you the “right” thing to do based on what you’ve been taught about how to behave in society. I think it also has a more basic level of right/wrong that includes the Golden Rule, though. Reminds me of the Hierophant in my Tarot cards.
The soul is not the “devil” on the other shoulder. 😉 It is much, much more that that. It is the energetic essence of who you are when you are here in life on the planet, and it also continues after you die. This is my belief. I also believe that it is not inside of us, but we, as biological beings, are inside of it; it’s bigger than we are and extends into what folks call a person’s “aura.” It doesn’t really have a moral compass as such, for outside of life here on Earth among other humans, there is no right or wrong; these concepts are relative (sorry, they are) to how we choose to interpret our human biological experience. The soul is neutral, and quite happy to try almost anything.
Love and expansion of the soul into the world are its goals. All experience is its nourishment. It is both the Fool and the Universe in my Tarot cards, the beginning step into the world, and the union of all matter and energy at the end of the universe of time and space.
Listening to the whispers of both conscience and soul is useful in navigating a balanced (and fun!) life path, I think. Most of us, though, listen to the rules of society to the detriment of a full and deeply spiritual experience of life.
Have fun, but keep in mind that the soul’s desire for experience will often try to trump your ideas of right and wrong. It will be up to you to discern which to follow in any given moment, for free will trumps everything. 🙂