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!

THE NEW LOW IN THE CULTURE

To no one’s utter surprise the social etiquette and interaction in Pakistan have achieved a new low in the holiest month of Ramadan. Not only the mockery that we see pre, peri- and post-iftar as well as seher is amazingly ridiculous for (few) people but quite shocking too. Why for few people? Because if most of the people are attending, watching and listening to such kind of broadcastings then they must be enjoying too. The new low is not only limited to the media genre but the local interaction and related communication that take place between groups and individuals is also a hallmark of intellectual scarcity which is increasing day by day.

The intellectual debates are merely utilised as ego-inflating tools rather than learning others views let alone respecting them. The rising trend to embellish and augment manifested aspects of life (dress, appearance, outlook, living standards) is another clue towards inner emptiness.

Rapidly deteriorating rates of literacy and intellectual insight among people are not only hazardous but also dangerous for the long-term survival of a society. The basic ingredients of rescue can be observed by abiding some common strategies, which have been followed by fallen nations to rescue their culture, traditions, values and morality.

Among those strategies, one is the need of education emergency, which is a crucial prerequisite. The overview of history is the indispensable aspect of one’s education to avoid common mistakes of survival in discriminated, prejudiced and disintegrated realms. The habit of reading and culture of innovation have to be propagated and inculcated in youngers’ minds to eliminate bias from their perspectives, opinions, and decisions.

The resources and avenues, which we have at this point, can we think to utilise them for incorporating or developing habits of learning and attaining knowledge for youngsters? The gossip-filled, mock-ridden TV shows can demonstrate, establish an environment of learning to its viewers through the quiz, competitions, debates and scholarly contests.

The sheer ignorance of our nation towards the learning aspect of younger minds and inefficient efforts to develop such environment will impact our future, society, system and generation in the most adverse way.

 

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.

SOCIAL PSYCHOSIS – a brewing oddity in the sane world

We are living in a strange world where the facts and the false figures are mixed together in a way that confuses the observer. Amidst of this turmoil, hassle and the struggle of survival, one feels it hard to disentangle him or herself from the shackles of routines, information mania and rampant digitalization of life.

The yearning of self-awareness and identification rises within from time to time. It can be taken as a call from the nature.

The diminishing perspective of the ethics, humanity, morality, love and sacrifice, honesty, empathy and respect reflects the downside of the better life quality.

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The raging zone of religiosity, which is prevailing under the politico-social umbrella, is a rebound effect of the power inequality. The zest to avail the serenity and comfort comes forth in a form of a drug-drive, nudity and the fervent efforts to facilitate Id(elementary) level of consciousness.

The proximity to ones own self for knowing the existential purpose and the meaning gets lost in the frame of misperception, misrepresentation, misinterpretation and internal bias secondary to the stereotyped beliefs. Both reluctance and a lack of time prevent minds to investigate about the origins, complexity and the convolutions of evidence but to track the pre-existential medium, idea and a thought. This attitude has further promoted the conventional impressions and worsened the existing picture.

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It has introduced more polarization, inequality and injustice. Polarity begets polarity. It has filled the deprived one with frustration and enthusiasm to take away the inaccessible opportunities by “all” means. This wild tussle has heightened the already-growing insecurity of the “blessed ones” (people with more than the basic survival requirements). Blessed ones are those who possess the authority on feeding the other side of the polarity.

We are in a sphere of time, which is following the pathway of Entropy. The core of a modern world is decomposing. It is modeling a behavior of the psychotic mind.

Can we call it a social psychosis?

A world, where children are confused, feeling the thirst of distinctiveness and individuality for stabilization. This has augmented the aggressive behaviors, which manifests itself through the violence, terror and abuse, which become a major channel of expression and existence now.

Here, at this point where grasping “the-happening” phenomena is a difficult task. Now, more often people try to disconnect from the routines to seek inner peace and voice through the outlets like yoga classes, meditation clubs and reading. Individuals write, reflect, pursue psychological help and often get into a therapy to re-frame the meaning and to make-a-sense-of-experience.

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On the other hand, people are also diverting towards wild escapes. The rising rates of suicide, addiction, risk-taking gratifications and despicable indulgencies; all these demonstrate the craziness which people acquire to set their lives, souls and minds free.

But free from what?

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This century is a fervent proponent of the freedom of speech, action and opinions. Then, why the restlessness has seized each one of us! We are trying to get rid from what? What is that which we all are seeking ruthlessly? Why we are re-shaping our identities, trying to find a place for selves in a mid of chaos and feeling it hard to listen to the inner solace.

There must be something very significant going on! There must be something we are missing on! Something is happening to us! I am unable to untangle the knot.

I am trying to comprehend all this too.