There are people with conscience trying to spiritualize commerce, and there are people without conscience trying to commercialize spirituality. A mediocre can hardly see the difference between the two, much less understand it. The difference, however, can easily be seen by a person with some intelligence. For, conscience is the blossoming of human intelligence. Mere intellectual knowledge can never give birth to the conscience in a human being.

Intellectual Knowledge is all logic. It knows only one language, that of mathematics – of gain and loss, of success and failure, of victory and defeat. It cannot understand any other language. As such, intellectual knowledge can never know love. It may have read about love. It may even be speaking of love based on such borrowed knowledge – but it can never feel love.

On the other extreme is your Emotion.
It knows only one language also – that of feelings. It has got nothing to do with logic. It can feel love but gets carried away by the upsurge of feelings….. In the process, love evaporates. Love touches it, touches its surface – but before such touch can bring about any transformation, the experience ends.

But, why love? Why are we talking about love? What is its connection with conscience? Aren’t we talking about conscience? Yes, we are talking about conscience – conscience that speaks the language of love. How can we know it, how can we interact with it, if we do not speak the same language?

It is the conscience in you, within you and within me that understands and speaks the language of love. Unfortunately, today not many of us speak the language. Therefore, we are unable to communicate with our conscience. We are unable to understand what it is trying to tell us. We have become strangers to ourselves. This is the root of all problems, of all the problems the world is facing today.

We are going too far……
First things first, let us try to sum up what we have been discussing so far…..Conscience is the blossoming of Intelligence. Intelligence is neither Intellectual Knowledge nor Emotion. So, what is this Intelligence? Can this question be answered? Yes, can – by someone who has attained to it – by a person of intelligence. It cannot be answered by someone who has not attained to it.

But, will a person of intelligence be willing to answer our question? The answer is “no”. No, a person of intelligence shall not answer our question. Answers cannot make us intelligent. They can, on the contrary, kill the very seed of intelligence within us.

An intelligent person, a person of intelligence will help us by making us question ourselves, “are we intelligent enough?” A person of intelligence helps us realize that we are not intelligent enough and encourages us to be one.

An intelligent person puts us on the path, on the road that leads to intelligence. An intelligent person makes us walk, makes us run, makes us fly, makes us cry and laugh our way to intelligence. He pushes us from behind; she pulls you from the front – until we learn to walk and run on our own – until we grow our own wings and fly by ourselves.

It is a gigantic task – a task that an intelligent person alone can possibly undertake. It is like making a lame walk or a dumb speak. It seems that Existence is ever on look for such intelligent persons to be entrusted with the task. Indeed, the history of mankind is no more than a running commentary on the lives of such intelligent persons. They are the makers of history. They make history.

How do they do it?
What is their secret? Their secret is The Secret of All Secrets – Love. That is the secret of their strength and power. That is their mission and vision. That is the language they speak. That is the road they tread. That is their way and their destination.

Allow the seed of Love within you sprout, and you will have already done your part to awaken your conscience. And, once your conscience is awakened – that is it, bingo! An awakened conscience will then lead you, lead your life. You cannot go stray, cannot go wrong again. After that point, it is only right, right, and right.

What can we do to ensure the sprouting of the seed of Love within us? By loving someone? By loving your neighbor or loving God? No, that comes after the seed has sprouted. That comes automatically, naturally. To ensure the sprouting of the seed of Love within us we have to fix our attention to the seed itself. We have to water it with care, and when it begins to sprout we have to nurture the little plant with more care.

Yes, it is “care”, “caring” that ensures the sprouting of the seed of Love within us. We must learn the Art of Caring. This art must be mastered in order to cultivate Love. Begin by caring for your “self”. When you care for yourself, you become egoistic. But, if you care for your “self”, you go beyond your ego. Caring for your “self” means caring for the “self” – and the “self” within you is not different from the “self” within me.

The Art of Caring teaches us to care, to be caring – to cultivate “caring” as a habit. It is not concerned with who you should be caring for, and who you should not be caring for. This art is not concerned with the object or the recipient of our care. It deals with the subject, I or you, who must develop or cultivate “caring” as a habit. And, the very art of caring. Indeed, at one point, even the subject is overshadowed by the very art of caring. And, it is then that the seed of Love within you begins to sprout and your conscience is awakened.

Care for your “self”, for the “self” in your body and the bodies of others. Care for the “self” that is in your mind and thoughts, in your emotions and feelings, and in the mind and thoughts, in the emotions and feelings of others. Fix your attention solely to this “self”, and watch the miracle of love happen!

“Commerce and Conscience” is the subject of this article, the subject of this discussion. Why should I care for conscience in commerce? There is no “should”, no “must” – no one is forcing me, compelling me to care for it. The caring simply happens, because I am a caring person. You care for morals in politics, because you are a caring person. We do not put any effort into it, it simply happens. Just like that, because of our caring nature.

We have said before: There are people with conscience trying to spiritualize commerce, and there are people without conscience trying to commercialize spirituality.

In fact, those with conscience “do not try” to spiritualize commerce.Spiritualization of commerce “happens” by their very presence in the field. They are just catalysts. A man of conscience, a woman with conscience cannot but spiritualize commerce.

One of our airliners lost its aircraft.
Their loss is small, negligible. It is ac-“count”-able, something that can be translated in figures. Consider the loss of the passengers – they are feared dead, all of them. Consider the loss of their immediate families, friends, and relatives. Consider the loss of this nation – more than 100 pairs of hands that could have been used to serve the country, more than 100 pairs of legs that could have sped up the work of nation building.

And, consider the “uncaring attitude” of the “owners” of the airliner. Ask them, how many times they or their families have traveled by the airline owned by them. I know for certain one person, one of the owners who I often see traveling by another airline. They never had any faith in their own airline. But, they wanted the whole nation to have faith in it and travel by it – this is commerce without conscience. This is what I call “uncaring” attitude. Persons with this kind of attitude can go on pilgrimage, can donate to whatever charitable cause for whatever reason, can worship several times a day – remain people without conscience. They have not known love. They are no better than animals that are attached to their immediate family members only.

Also consider the first ever mineral water processing company in the country….. So very easily they can sell their shares to a foreign company. Now, the water that is product of our own soil must be purchased by the very children of the soil from a foreign company. To keep our mouths shut, the company very shamelessly puts a label of “Halal” on each and every product. And there are institutions to bless such an act of shamelessness. Tell me, how can one “halal”-ize such an act of crime toward conscience?

Our people in the ministries, our representatives in the parliament, our dignitaries, our government and so called religious pundits – all are silent on such issues. Why? Because they do not care. As long as their egos are fed, their pockets are filled and positions are protected, preserved – what do they care about?

The other day I was eating in a food court.
I and my friends purposely chose a noodle kiosk for we thought the business was owned by an Indonesian, our own countryman. The Halal label prominently displayed somewhat strengthened our faith. Alas, we realized a bit late, that the ambiance was only to fool dumb folks like us. That small kiosk was owned by a foreigner, who came just before the kiosk closed for the day, to check on the business done during the day! Can’t we make and sell and eat our own noodles in this country? Do we care to ask, how is it that a foreigner can get a license to operate a small noodle kiosk in our food court? Can I, as an Indonesian, operate in a similar way in any foreign country?

Commerce without Conscience has been rampant in this country ever since some our countrymen sold the country to multinationals and foreign governments back in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Sometime back, we again sold our assets to them. Do we care? Does anyone care?

And, I promise to myself that I shall not cease to work until these ruthless sellers of my nation’s assets and resources are unveiled and my people are made aware of the crimes committed by them.

You find these criminals disguised as religious pundits bullying you that the Nation’s Fate is due to God’s Wrath. No, it is not due to God’s Wrath, it is due to our own doing. We have made our country like what it is now. Do not only blame those ruthless criminals, blame yourself too. Why have you been silent all these years?

No-one can stop me, unless I’m shot dead, unless I die. But, don’t you forget, it is just my body that shall die. My soul shall work ceaselessly until each and every man and woman and child, even the handicaps, the crippled and the retarded are made aware of their responsibility toward Ibu Pertiwi, Mother Indonesia.

I watch the dumb business-owners being used by the foreigners for their personal gain. They act like dogs, satisfied with the bones thrown to them. You are not dogs, realize your manhood, womanhood, your humanity and humanness.

Leave aside those brothers and sisters who are dumb, even our intellectuals are bought by outsiders. Some are bought with money, some with positions, and some with emotions. I care for you, my friend, so I write these lines. If you do not want to be remembered as traitors, then wake up. You cannot delay it for a single moment, the time is now. Wake up now, right now!

If your families and their needs can prompt you to betray the nation, the country – then shame on you – so, my friend, Wake Up!