The crisis between spirituality and social maladjustment – recommended readings

Shaykh Mendes said, The Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam learnt from other cultures, if there is wisdom, and we can do this too. We can even learn things from people who are not Muslims. Sayyidina Ali (ra) said, “Even if the wisdom is from people who worship idols, we can still learn from them.”

Below are three articles I came across and would like to share with you guys, just as what the title says (to be honest this has been in my draft for months).

1. Ecstasy in depression

In this article, it talks about a girl who shares her story of her delusional meditative experiences which she failed to see was actually her symptoms of mental disorders, such as dissociation and the experience of extreme highs and lows in bipolar disorder. A sudden plunge of depression that halted her progress in life for years made her aware of the truth, which made her eventually sought for help. On her spiritual journey though, she then met a lady who told her to contemplate that pain is bliss.

Reminded me of what Rumi said;

 After then she found her wisdom, that to have true control in her state is to be in equanimity. In which reliance in God even through pain is to perform your duty without attachment, remaining equal to success or failure.

And how her story is alike to what Carl Jung, a psychologist, said, I’d like to share his quote, “Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness’s of other people. There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely. Your visions will become clear only when you look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”

2. Confidence comes from within and three other myths that are making you more insecure

For this next article,

I hope my sharing enables you guys to see what I see. Although it’s true that a spiritual path refines us by killing our ego and our lower desires in order to take that step further in regards to our spirituality, but do not neglect our mental or emotional health by ignoring the psychological aspects of it. To what extend does khalwa in loneliness can be seen as it turning into Schizoid personality disorder? And how does tafakkur (reflection), as here I’d like to emphasise on co-reflection, social interactions, with one another helps to mitigate negative self talk when it gets out of control. How can we change our belief from thinking that we or the people around us are inadequate for life, into taking the practical steps to help improve our and their perspectives and situations. Encouraging confidence instead. Just like Ivan Pavlov’s theory, reinforce healthy thoughts and behaviours by removing negative stimulus such as perfectionism and thus fear of failure.

3. Crossing the divide: How to examine conflict from the inside out

“Tell me. Tell me your hurt. Tell me your pain. Tell me what you suppress. Tell me what was left undone. Tell me how it still bothers you. You’re not being vulnerable, and I know it hurts you. Talk to me.”

Your judgements about the world, your beliefs, your expectations are an accumulation of your experiences from the age of 18 and below. If you don’t become aware of this social conditioning, then you end up repeating these same patterns with different people across your life and then you wonder “why this keeps happening to me?”. And if this takes its course in an important union such as marriage, it may very well destroy intimacy and this leads to the many divorce we see today.

For those who weren’t encouraged to be truthful and vulnerable in their early environment, having to face with rejections, aggressions or criticism demolishes one’s articulation and communication skills as adults. In what way can we encourage our children and our spouses to communicate authentically? Communication takes more than what lies on the superficial. How many of us still lives with the crippling anxiety that lies underneath when we choose to just sweep it all under the rug. Do we take the time to be more patient and understanding of the underlying factors hidden behind the exasperation of not being heard?

When war turns into an ego issue, we forget that such a blessed union is meant to be seen with the eye of spiritual growth. Our intimacy and vulnerability with God when we raise our hands to make dua to spill all our brokenness has embrace us with spiritual openings. The same can be done when we lay out our truth with our relationships and if is the recipient, be receptive towards them with a loving, compassionate disposition. Such is God’s prescription to acquiring the staying power necessary for genuine intimacy.

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