SOCIAL PSYCHOSIS – III

It is quite ironical that the alliance of Russia with the most powerful terrorist in the present world known as Bashar al-Assad has succumbed the millions of lives in the span of just a few months to days.

To one’s amazement, it was not well covered by the media, neither was acknowledged, noticed, considered and realised by the world altogether. The consequences amongst the victims appear initially on a biological level; the hunger, thirst, need for clothing and shelter; which completely unaddressed reach to the psychological level and surface out as frustration, anger, helplessness and in the long term these components acquire the form of revenge. The revenge manifests itself through different forms. Responses/forms are mostly showed where there are pockets of opportunities, loose security measures and unsupervised backgrounds. The expressions of opportunity-based-revenge have put the lives of perpetrators, non-perpetrators, innocents and victims all at great risk.

_67330684_1541462141The root of response is less focused as much as the response itself. This attitude has caused the world to see the “whole” picture in thin slices and off course separately or one can just say in a snapshot. The snapshot portrayal of the whole situation has incited snap judgments, snap decisions, impulsive hatred and quick opinions.

The outcome is the world with divided poles: US vs THEM.

The media, word-of-mouth, debates and for-and-against arguments by the time all would reinforce the energy at the extreme ends. The division would be deepened further, hatred and anarchy will be flared up and in between this many parallel courses of action will be introduced with time.

1) Muslims with a-political and a-religious concerns will have difficulty in their foreign interactions, travellings, achieving career goals in life etc. due to the politico-religious barriers. This will ignite anger within them partly on the policy-makers sand largely on the radicals present within their conforming belief system.
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2) This will be reflected by their ignorance of the rights of trampled, deprived and victimised sufferers on their side. The sheer neglect by the people of similar faith would fill the affectee to assume a more polarised position, which means more disgust, ferocity and fanatic approach towards the world including their own brothers and sisters in faith.

3) The distance between the two poles would further facilitate the air of misconception, doubt and disdain towards each other.

4) The absence of real knowledge regarding the root-cause of the situation can introduce the whole new system with one side entirely possessed by “higher-beings” and the other side with “lower-beings”. This difference in mindsets would be considered by the “lower-beings” as humiliating and tragic. These feeling would fill the gaps with viciousness and chaos.

The world is undoubtedly entering into a new realm where the advancement, progression, digitalization have made it a better place than ever. But the same world has reached the lowest level of humanity with brutal lawlessness, racism, despotism, and abuse of power, greed and cruelty.

Last but not the least, with the Trump being a president of America and Angela Merkel being an unlikable figure; I must say we are in for more surprises!

LACUNAE PERIOD

The tale of crisis, self-image, and ego

Instant feedbacks, prompt responses and supportive structures in one’s working or personal space are the ideal attitudes because it helps one to work effectively and avoid low self-esteem fallouts. This can be really appreciated when the lacunae period arrives.

LACUNAE PERIOD

What is the lacunae period? It is a period where a person is not able to receive the above-mentioned behaviors from the surrounding and left alone to judge their own position. A person tends to fill the void with the preconceived notions, judgment, and templates about a self.

SELF-IMAGE

If the person has a habit of negative self-talking and blaming oneself chronically then he or she would do the same in the lacunae period to fill the gaps between the expectations and performance. Negative self-judgment would discourage them further which would affect their performance subsequently.

The lacunae period in those who try to stay optimistic would not harm much as due to the positive self-image inside, they try to replace these lacunae with the reassurance and self-help cognitive strategies. The positive self-image is comprised upon robust resourcefulness, happiness, strong and contended relationships, independence and trust.

The term resourcefulness is defined by positive interpersonal experiences and achievements on collective and individual grounds. All these factors substantiate one’s persona to deal with strange, unpredicted and difficult situations.

Lacunae period is an inevitable event of life, either in a personal setting or professional environment. It is hard to stay strong and competent under stressful, unsupportive or in hostile setups for long. In these critical situations, personal substance contributes a lot to keep oneself strong enough to trust his/her decisions, judgment and perceptions.

EGO

The substantial ego is well-equipped to deal with such crisis as it has to come up with mature and strong defense mechanisms. The coping tactics are defined by the precise balance between the pleasure-driven body (id) and principle-driven body (superego). The equilibrium is easy to establish but difficult to maintain for the long term. The viable bridge is built upon the sustained harmony between these two bodies. The upheaval in the internal or external environment may destabilize its steadiness. The guards to prevent such conditions are almost always on alert. The subtle maladaptation in habits, thinking, perception, interests and activities may disintegrate it.

The ego is a basic functional unit of a human psyche which works to resolve conflicts and comes forth with the compatible solutions. The stronger the ego earlier will be the resolution with more workable plans.

The model of human actualization has largely depended on awareness of ego, its strength, and deficiencies, its role in decision, failures and achievements and the contributing factors of sustainability and stability. the extent of our self-knowledge towards all these measures would rescue the ego from the crisis and helps it functioning amid pitfalls and setbacks too.

SOCIAL PSYCHOSIS – II

Seeing the brutality of a human being in a current age, one can sense the urge to dig out the reasons behind the factors, which overturn one’s nature to become vultures and cold-blooded human in order to pursue their goals.

Not to be surprised but various psychosocial reasons lie behind it. Naming the most gruesome political groups, rebellion schisms and radical factions, which have jeopardized people’s lives for decades and paralysed their societies to its deepest cores and instigated the seeds of learned helplessness within the very soul of each individual.

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Lack of personal, social and religious identity-

This is true in reference to:

1) Underprivileged mothering; where mothers may be poorly educated to impart the social, religious or ethical knowledge or they might be busy to do so (due to poverty)

2) Deprived financial resources to get education

3) Little religious understanding to defend or identify oneself

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Insignificant social attachment –

The above factor comes into play when a child is in impoverished condition physically and mentally. The dissatisfaction that arises from the lap of shattered dreams and unseen goals can easily indulge one to look for foreign objectives in order to internalize their identities, which has never been there before.

The excitement, which is brought by the new face, lures one to swiftly detach from the previous void self and gets into the new one.

Extreme terror –

Extreme nature of plundering, terror, chaos and social disarray renders one to idealise death over the devalued state of a life. In the same way, stark poverty can lead to the similar mental status.

Fantasy, the coping –

The utter embitterment of life unconsciously dissociates one from the dark realities in order to avoid the pain caused by it. The use of immature coping strategy mostly surfaces out to maintain the self-equilibrium, namely fantasy. The use of fantasy predisposes one to quickly trust other beliefs about life, death, hereafter and build up to goals upon others beliefs. Here, we can use the example of radical religiopolitical parties that consider beautiful houris would be rewarded to murderers, those who kill people from different faiths.

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Propaganda –

The constant reverberation (by media, specific groups, influential resources of information and contact) about others (target) as evil, filthy, deprecating, toxic and harmful; and belittling their lives, values and importance to none help proponents influence their victims to attack the target with little or no remorse and to consider their treatment to enemies as justified.

Eid …! What Eid?

This blood stained Ramadan has left all of us in pain, sorrow, anger and loss. The wave of terror, which has travelled from Orlando and passed through turkey, Bangladesh, Dhaka and eventually the heart of a Muslim center, city of Medina is mind-boggling and heart-wrenching for all of us. We as a bearer of such situations throughout years from last many decades look forward to occasions like Eid, where we can celebrate and pour out the frustration, anger and sadness by celebrating, sharing and enjoying the feast and moment. The pre-Eid series of terror, killings and assassinations deprive us of the joy of such events.

We Muslims as a nation, are in middle of a double-edged sword, where on one hand we are losing our dearest brothers, sisters and beloved ones due to Daesh and ISIS brutal impact and plotting, and on the other hand; we are facing career hindrances, movement to safer areas and lifetime opportunities due to stricter immigration policies, restricted resources and limited avenues of exploration. These groups (Daesh or ISIS, TTP and Taliban) claimed to be Muslims and by no means any single measure taken by them seems to be in line with the teachings of Islam.

In this era of confusion where a common Muslim facing racism, humiliation and bigotry, is paralyzed with the emotion of helplessness when we are killed, attacked, condemned and harmed by the same people with whom we are said to have strong ties.

It is very hard to survive as a Muslim today. The teachings of prophet Muhammad (PBUH), which include compassion, harmony, justice and humility, have become myths. People under the intense and constant influence of media, out of ignorance and due to poor knowledge hardly believe that these components are the basic tenets of Islam, which clearly illustrate and mention that ‘there is no force in religion’.

The destruction and havoc run by few individuals have attracted the media and centralised people to think that these groups are representatives of Islam and their values are Islamic values. This is the most painful thought and feeling for a Muslim in this era.

When these groups put up the Quranic verses out of context and propagate the message of terror and brutality forward, it sabotages the whole structure of Islamic teaching. For a Muslim, it is the most painful moment to have.

The younger brains and hearts are entering into the conscious circle with perplexity, ambiguity and ill-defined ideas and thoughts regarding religion and identity. At one side, the world believes on a false picture being projected to them (by these deviant groups) and on the other side is the teaching and scripture where the message is totally different to what is projected and understood. This sheer incoherence is producing confusion, disharmony, agitation, anger and a feeling of being lost. Unfortunately, time and facts do not seem to resolve matters in future too.

The connection of transcendence

Roaming the world of sorrow and joy, we stay between two extensions throughout to decide, think, interact, create and flourish. One extension links us with outside world and another one links us with our inside.

These extensions are in active motion all the time when we interact, deal and mingle up with people around. Inner-connexion contains the mystic component. It guides and guards us throughout. The other tie with the outer world modifies itself according to the environmental demands and changes. It is supervised by our inner connexion and its quality. The quality of inner attachment is comprised upon our spiritual state where we feel ourselves with a Higher being and the quality of it.

The strengthening factors for the state-with-Higher-Being are piety, honesty and satisfaction, trust in God, self reliance and goodness.

The improvised quality of ones inner tie disables the intuitive capacity of a person for the specific course of actions in the outer world at time of challenges and hardship. This deprives a person from the essence of wisdom and clairvoyance. In such cases, when the inner link is malformed or poorly established then it becomes hard to provide guidance for the external code of actions.

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The stress of Rumi and other Mystics on the state-of-being-with-God was made to highlight its importance in terms of external world of action. The constant state of vigilance is required for maintaining the stability and to enrich the inner connexion.

 

Secured Corners of Faith – The Psychology of Intolerance

She sat next to me, working under my supervision on a project on the correlation between spirituality and mental health. I had been touched by her inquisitive mind and investigative stance on every subject, but today she surprised with prudent intellect.

She asked about my perspective on the fundamental tenets of religion. About the controversial verses and interpretation of a holy Book. Then she raised some arguments and challenged me. In my inability to answer her, I felt a rush of blood flow around my cheeks and ears for few seconds out of anger, but then becoming mindful about this state of rage, I tried to contain the feeling and took a deep breath.

n505985007_6085919_6548769I smiled and gulped my saliva down; faked interest in listening to her. I was partly successful in pretending, as she continued on her tirade of questions and arguments on religion’s essential elements. She left me with feedback that unlike other people, I have been quite tolerant in listening to these radical and agnostic concepts.

After she left, thousands of questions poured into my mind, which I had to answer to satisfy the satiety of reason and to quell the noise of judgment inside.

 

religious_intolerance_2__angelo_lopezWe always seek corners of deep-seated faith and keep them intense by different measures throughout such as joining religious meditation, spiritual contemplation, recitals, prayers, fasting, giving alms and through pilgrimage. We do it so that we stay mindful of our God all the time. Is this life-long strength not sufficient to introduce the layers of tolerance to listen or evaluate the idea of difference? Are the tenets of religion so weak that by listening to these opinions of radicalism, the damage to these dogmas can be anticipated? Or have we failed to acquire the higher levels of belief in attaining faith and tranquility through religious resources, which can be sufficient to fathom the approach of doubt or variance by other? This inadequate trust on a religion may be stemming from our ambivalent alliance with the Higher Being or due to our inaccurate attitude towards a religion.

imagesWhatever the case, by no means does it reflects the fragile state of any organized religion; but rather the failure of its bearer to understand the conflicting ends of a religion in the contextual aspects of relevant history. To comprehend the psychology of intolerance, one can surely look into the origins of insecurity one has on his or her belief. The hard work which is required to appreciate others’ views is simply a call towards better theological understanding of any creed, the work which sounds quite laborious, effortful task, which is why most people prefer to take the easier way out – they rebuff and deny this opportunity, and reject the chance to gain an insight into others’ cognition and reasoning. This leaves no ground for debate, discussion, negotiation and consideration. It is because of the fact that entertaining the thought of others disables them and is a direct reflection of their own ignorance on the subject, which is completely undesirable for their conscious acceptance.

In this way, the Intolerant chooses his path and gets engaged in trying to make it approvable, definite and holistic for the inquirer and on the other hand, it becomes easier for an inquirer to confirm the said argument out of repugnance to an extreme response. Here, the essence of intelligence and tolerance dissolves in the anguish of ego and obliviousness.

 

religious-20intolerance-pngThe existing culture of stereotypy reinforces the tradition of following the established norms rather than facilitating the out-of-box, radical, deviant or novel ideas in any form. This culture further introduces the polarization and extremism in opinions and approaches by avoiding the hard work of speculation, because further speculation would uncover the unknown facts and facets of the truth. Most people are not ready to question long-held beliefs. Their inability to look beyond what they already know alienates them from the search for deeper meaning and unusual, different answers.

THE CULTURE OF MOLESTATION AND A SOCIAL ATTITUDE

In a fit of despair, I closed her medical record file and looked out of my office window…

In the suburb of posh streets and houses where fully wrapped (burqa-clad) women were crossing streets, buying fruits from the vendor-persons, walking in parks with children. Some with open faces and others with a horizontal slit letting their eyes to see the world. In a bustle of transport services like buses, rickshaws and cars, (bearded) men were passing through, keeping their wrapped wives (/sisters) at a “significant distance” from others. A disheveled man with a prayer cap on his head in a midst of crowd, noise and smoke touched a girl passing from his side.

She got terrified; he touched her hips; lecherously looking at her body. No one saw this and the girl sped up her pace to get out from the area. Man kept watching her with a wide grin on his face, triumphantly!

She was not sure it was a deliberate attempt or a coincidence but his grin was more pronounced to let her know about the possibility of a former thought. She was asked by her mother to keep silent, not to share this with anyone in a family and also advised to take alternative route next time.

“Mama…!” she yelled.

“What?” Mama came from the kitchen in disarray.

“You know what! Bhaiyya [brother] is watching dirty scenes on a TV, I have just seen this”.

In a second she felt hot smash on her cheeks. Mama slapped her hardly.

“I have told you several times not to go to his room, still you try to get there, how should I restrict you?”

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This response was quite appalling for her. She started thinking “Is this my mistake to go to brother’s room to give him tea if he asks for it! Is it my mistake to pinpoint brother if he is wrong?”

Mother tightly covered her head with a scarf and leaned on her slightly, to look into her eyes, “You must sit opposite to Qari Sahib (Reciter) and only brother would sit with him. OK?” I nodded my head.

“And if he asks you to come close or touch you anywhere then you must call me”.

It was a dark night and somebody has pushed her hard. She fell on a ground, someone was crying, she immediately got up and turned on the lights. Her cousin was crying and gasping. She took her into arms and tried to console when her cousin threw her away; shouted vehemently “It was your brother. He is a rascal!”

She always had a hard time in understanding why her khala (aunt) stopped talking to her mother since that day. On asking, mother has always told her about cousin’s stories of harboring multiple affairs of sexual nature at college and in neighborhood area. They have never visited us since then.

She knows her cousin must be the bad girl as mother tells her.