Conscience describes both the process of ethical decision making itself and a person’s connection to and awareness of their ideas about what is good and right. Although conscience is sometimes seen as similar to a ‘gut instinct’, it’s more than that. It’s basically our ‘moral muscle’. It informs us of our values and principles and serves as the standard we use to judge whether or not our actions are ethical. Our conscience enables us to be ethically self-aware. In Ancient Greece, the entrance to the Delphic Oracle was emblazoned with the words “know thyself” – words which apparently inspired Socrates to spend his life seeking knowledge and wisdom. A conscience which is both well formed (shaped by education and experience) and well informed (aware of facts, evidence and so on) enables us to know ourselves and our world and act accordingly. The medieval philosopher Thomas Aquinas believed our conscience emerged from synderesis [sin-dee-ree-sis] – the ‘spark of conscience’. He literally meant the human mind’s ability to understand the world in moral terms. Conscience was the process by which a person brought the principles of synderesis into a practical situation through our decisions. This suggests there are basically two elements to conscience (and the related concepts different philosophers have used):ethical awareness and ethical decision making. Awareness speaks to our ability to recognise ethical values and principles. Decision making is about our ability to make practical decisions in light of those values and principles. Both these elements are crucial to living an ethical life. The idea of conscience not as an intuition or gut instinct but as a process of decision making is also present in the writings ofAristotle. He described phronesis [fro-nee-sis], the goodness of practical reason or the ability to evaluate a situation clearly so we would know how to act virtuously under the circumstances. Seeing conscience in this way is important because it teaches us ethics is not innate. It requires us to continuously work to understand our surroundings – to be well informed.
The Conscience Project
“I believe in Spinoza’s God, who reveals himself in the lawful Harmony of the World”. Albert Einstein
The Conscience Project encompasses the following elements:
THE GLOBAL CENTER OF CONSCIENCE
A Spiritual Center, not related to any particular religion or philosophy, which will radiate its harmonizing energy to a world badly out of sync.
The Cloak, with its lightly flowing folds in shining white marble, is the physical image of the spiritual Harmony between Man, Nature and all Created. Born with the heavenly melodies of Mozart, conceived in the constant presence of Michelangelo’s master works, inspired by the writings of Einstein’s genial spirit, I dedicate the Cloak to the Great Men and Women who have shaped human civilization with their creative and perceptive personalities.
The Center will include besides the Monumental Cloak
- The Chromatology Paintings with their explanation
- Photos and Videos on the Creation of the Cloak and its Conscience Message
During the preparatory stage of the Center a Touring Exhibition will project the concept in Major Museums world-wide, with a smaller Cloak in bronze replacing the Monument.
THE GLOBAL CONSCIENCE NET
A string of smaller Cloaks in bronze or marble, installed in symbolic locations around the World complements the large Cloak at its center, in order to allow everybody to live the Cloak’s message first hand. They are all visible on Google Maps or similar sites.
The first two Cloaks of the Network were installed 20 years ago in front of the Prague Mozart Opera and in front of Salzburg Cathedral. In Prague, the Cloak represents the Commander in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, who resurrected to avenge the misdeeds of Don Giovanni; in Salzburg it is a Pieta, the mother mourning her lost son, two situations intimately linked to our conscience.
Since then many other Cloaks have followed and more are to come. The most recent Cloak in polished bronze integrated the Permanent Collection of the National Museum of China in Beijing in November 2017.
EXHIBITIONS OF CONSCIENCE PAINTINGS AND SCULPTURES
Major annual exhibitions of sculptures, oil paintings and drawings, in Museums and other public institutions help to promote Anna Chromy’s peace and conscience message to the world.
The empty headscarves of the sculptures remind us of the energy of the Cloak contained in its void.
THE CHROMY AWARD AND OTHER EVENTS
Every year outstanding personalities, who exemplify the values represented by the Cloak receive this precious Award In the form of a small Cloak covered by a translucent pyramid. At global Events, like the Venice Biennale, Climate Summits a. o., floating or flying Cloaks in dimensions up to 20 meters remind the public and the media of the values represented by the Cloak.
THE WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA
www.annachromy.com is a comprehensive website featuring all of Anna Chromy’s artworks, exhibitions and other events, Public Sculptures installed all over the world, Chromy Award Laureates, and more.
The message of the Cloak and its day-to-day application is widely present on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube (with over 30 videos) a. o.
Small Cloaks for the home in different materials and sizes, in the national colors of the Nations of the world, “The Essence of Conscience”, the most exclusive scent ever developed, “Chronochromy”, integrating the voices of the innocent (children and animals) into an “Ode to Conscience”, and many other creative and educational products, will keep the Cloak and its message constantly in the public eye.