The Unconscious Self

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

“What color do you like?”
“I prefer red.”
“But why do u like it? There must be some reason.”
“The only reason is that… THERE’S JUST NO REASON”

There comes many such moments in our life when ‘There’s just no reason’ behind some of our actions or thoughts. Yet we feel determined to carry them out. This is the point when our unconscious steps in our conscious world and leaves indelible marks on it.

Unconscious has a considerable effect on one’s way of life but the nature of the exact relation it has with the conscious self is mysterious. Also the fact that despite having seemingly conflicting nature one’s conscious and subconscious usually go together in an efficient way deepens this mystery further, thus making it more appealing for researches and study.

Life is a complete system and the process of living needs every component of that system to work in harmony. That is why we should not consider that the unconscious and the conscious do not supplement each other. Rather they move along together. It’s just that their way of moving on together can only be understood if Life is studied as a whole.

Lets for a while, consider personality as a factory comprising of two units. One contains all the machinery and is the production area. The other is the receiving zone, handling and delivering what has been produced in the production area.

Lot of hype and activity goes on in the unconscious part every moment. Whatever our senses witness and observe, it gets registered in the Unconscious for a long lasting time (unlike in the conscious). It is the place where new ideas are born. The kingdom of Unconscious is the site where energies collide and the reactant thoughts and ideas turn into new products, untouched by the conscious world. This is very much similar to the production area of the factory.

The conscious appear in as the receiving zone, acting on the ideas originally adopted, condensed and assembled in the unconscious self. However it does not mean that the activity of conscious is in any way inferior to that of the unconscious. Imagine how important it is in a factory to receive and handle the material from the production area efficiently and deliver it further responsibly!

For being able to express and comprehend one’s subconscious psyche properly, it is important to get in touch with it and to develop a strong communication between the conscious and the unconscious. Psychologists have come up with many researches and ideas regarding it, the prominent one being Freud’s emphasis on dreams and their relation with unconscious.

What I have observed in this respect is that the Aesthetics are the most powerful way to develop this communication. No matter which field of Art or at what level it is being pursued, one advantage it is going to give you is that it can take you closer to your own self.

Imagine giving a few color pencils and a small piece of paper to a child, and his drawing can reveal unto you how he perceives the many things going on in the very environment the child is living in. In fact at times his drawing can help you understand your own unconscious beliefs too.

Just like an individual, a nation also possesses life. Characters of a nation’s life also depend upon its unconscious and the conscious self. Aesthetics appears to be more important in this case when compared with the case of an individual, as now the canvas of life has got magnified immensely.

Writers, philosophers, painters, actors and musicians plays a very efficient role in bringing the masses closer to their unconscious that lies inside the depth of their national soul. Iqbal and Waheed Murad are just two names out of a whole population of people who brought to our conscious thoughts which were lingering in our subconscious.

Unconscious has been a mystery, not because Man has not put any effort in trying to reveal it, but because mystery is the costume unconscious prefers exposing itself in. Better respect its mystery. Also I think the study on unconscious self needs a method in which ‘Life’ prevails. In my view, Psychology needs to take a more aesthetic and less 'statistical' approach towards it.

Love and Sacrifice

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Love has a way of giving Man courage to do anything that is required of him on its path. When one is in Love every object seems to hold the reflection of one’s Beloved, every thought in one’s mind give birth to new possibilities and every action signifies a closer acquaintance with Love. This reflection, new possibilities and closer acquaintance leads Man towards the highest degree of Love, teaching him the traditions of Selflessness and Sacrifice.

Sacrificing one’s most dear thing can leave ever lasting impressions on one’s psyche. High degree of patience and zeal is needed for this act, without which it becomes impossible to carry out any form of Sacrifice.

We usually consider ourselves master of the things we have. At times it turns out to be the reverse. Soon after we take something in our possession, it starts influencing our thoughts and take control of our psyche. We can not think of ourselves living without that article. Only then we realize that we are no longer the masters but are being mastered by our possessions.

The tradition of Sacrifice can help us in this respect. Energy of Love gives us strength to practice control over our Self and the souls of our possessions too. Giving something away, without getting any personal benefit in return, results in a proportionate mixture of feelings consisting of Power and Humbleness. Power because we consider ourselves to have the ability to give away something hence has control over it, and humbleness because what we possess is not ours any longer.

Sacrifice can be for many causes. It can be for the Love of God, for the prosperity of one’s Nation or even for the nourishment of one’s own soul. Whatever is the reason to sacrifice something Love is the driving force behind it and Love is the end result of this practice. Love and Sacrifice go hand in hand. So if you Love anything or anyone never hesitate to sacrifice your most precious and valuable possessions for the sake of your Love.

On this note a very Happy Eid to all of you out there. May God bless us!

Pakistan Movement (1887 to 1947)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Here are my reflections on Khurram Ali Shafique's articles published in Dawn Friday Feature 'For a common Destiny'.

Seek Consensus (from 1887 to 1906)

(The complete article written by Khurram Shaffique Seek Consensus)

The representatives of 'the largest Muslim community in any one country' seemed to redefine a number of things for the coming times.

A new sense of Nation was developed, where every member of this National community enjoyed not only the right of choice and freedom of speech but was also heard and given equal importance.

The means through which the Nation was kept together were based on purely educational lines. In the sessions of the Conference Muslims from all over British India interacted with each other through 'poetry, lectures and debates' thus using Education in the most practical parametres for the Society to develop.

Even Religion found new dimensions in this one act of bringing the whole Nation together. And the most practical form of Relgious involvement for the development of any society in the present times was exhibited.

So can we say that this stage in the 'the present phase in the history of the development of Muslim thought in the subcontinent' was that of redefining different factors which had an effect on Muslim society and consequently on the Muslim thought? On these latest definitions was the building of Muslim thought to stand in the coming times. This redefinition aided in achieving the goal in 1906.

Think Long Term (from 1907 to 1926)

(The complete article written by Khurram Shaffique Think Long Term )

Without having the power to safeguard their own interests, a vaccum could envelope the newly found Muslim nationhood. It now seems that the definitions set earlier demanded the Nation to make a place for themselves in the country they lived in, from where they could experiment and spread their newly found ideals and hence develop their thoughts and line of action further.

Although general elections had yet not come still the masses who had attended the sessions of Educational conference were aware of the value of their thoughts in the Life of their Nation. Perhaps that was the reason they showed their concerns for the question of separate electorates.

And to achieve this goal they were ready to put in every effort they could (from supporting Non-cooperative movement to boycott the elections of 1922)

And I think Sir Syed's advice of not entering poilitics was for a nation which still had to 'seek consensus'. Without achieving this consensus there was every possibility of politics leading the Nation astray from achieving purposeful Unity. The Nation was now ready to take its political decisions in its own hands.

Rise Above yourself (from 1927 to 1947)

(The complete article written by Khurram Shaffique Rise Above Yourself)

At times giving space to varying and opposing views can give an impression that there is no Consensus or Unity existing.

As far as I think perhaps this led to the results of 1926 election when 'no single party had emerged as common leader of the entire Muslim community'.

But when the Muslims confronted a threat to their National Life, they showed the same Unity as in the last stage.

Selflessness, the next goal, demanded not the renouncing of one's thoughts but channelising them so that the whole Nation could get benefits by it.

Without achieving Consensus and developing a say in their own matters (as in the elections of 1926) Selflessness was imposible to attain and it served as a development of the Thoughts on the basis of definitions adopted nearly 60 years back.

From achieving Largest Consensus in History, to the historic turnout in the elections of 1926 and now developing a unique example of Selflessness, Muslims of India helped discover new depths in the Religion, new possibilities in politics and now they showed the world traits in Human character in their most fresh form (through Selflessness).

So from 1887 to 1947 Pakistan Movement was in a way a revolution of thoughts, of mode of action and finally the evolution of Man to the highest degree of character where selflessness and sacrifices shapes the form of the 'ideal human being' with ideal traits.