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Know Your Psyche

"When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life you have a million reasons to smile"… Anonymous

Post by MUFTI JAMEEL FAROOQ on Sunday, April 16, 2023

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It’s been many years since I first heard of Francis Bacon, the father of the English essay. I’d be dead honest in saying that his essays can turn an infidel to fidelity, although it is a secondary question that whatever he says on paper and enunciates has never appeared in the application of his life. A good deceit in friendship has beautifully projected the parameters and scales of friendship in his sage essay ‘Of Friendship'. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve been his admirer, an aficionado who would treat his essay as the ultimate truth. However, I still have faith in him. One must be his devotee, not for the fibs that he depicts in his art but for his aphorisms and the technique that he has been commended for—aphoristic style.


I guess not much, but only a few would be acquainted with the fact that Francis Bacon was the cheapest of all when it comes to friendship and maintaining its integrity; he made a handsome sinkhole against his best friend to make his fortune in the Royal Court. You may call him bloody witty, who was cunningly too crafty, since it takes nerve to lock lips and make the masses follow what you disbelieve and consider untrue. So he was the father of English essays, Francis Bacon for you, who charmingly, in his essay ‘Of Truth, shouts, "A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure." The man knew that what he portrays is nothing but white lies and whoppers.


A student of mine often says to me, "It’s easier to say than to do." But then again, I have all my faith in saying that words do have the power to break you into pieces or to stir you from your slumber and act as a catalyst for your passion so that you can do something different and worthwhile in life. They say, "You are the outcome of many things—your family background, your milieu, your company (friend circle), and what you read. When I read romantic poetry, be it that of Ahmad Faraz, Jaun Elia, Galib, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Amjid Islam Amjid, Rahman Rahi, Mehjoor, or my favourite of all, Abdul Ahad Azad, I turn pensive and forlorn, for the poetry I’m discussing has been written in a state of dejection, fragmentation, and rejection in love and thus has the power to transmit only those vibes into me—that’s why broken hearts fall prey to the sad songs of Arijit and Atif and seek tranquility; fools they are. So after reading the above poets, who turn me broody, I shift to Dr. Alama Iqbal’s poetry and some life-infusing quotes and quotations because I know my mind is mug; it consents to what it observes and what it reads. So beware of whom you are friends with, whom you listen to most, and whom you idolize, for you are unconsciously imitating and becoming the carbon copy of that person or object, especially during your formative years, because during those years you consider the person whom you hero-worship as the paragon of perfection given your amateur and inexperienced self.



The purpose behind this write-up is to tell you the bitter truth behind the counseling sessions that are taking the rounds these days, and every Tom, Dick, and Harry suggest to every second person that, in case he/she feels low, he/she must go to the counselor for counseling sessions so that he/she may feel better. I’d not negate here that a counselor doesn’t have the power of his professional knowledge and skills to change the mindset of that person given he/she has studied his subject and has amassed a good knowledge about the same via which he/she counsels the patient—some breathing techniques, some mantle exercises, and some worksheets; or, for some, they prescribe medicine for a time being so that the patient's mind may stop over thinking; which is also a technique they use to make the mind of the patient habitual to shun the over thinking process, you may relate it to conditioning theory as well. I’m sure you would ask me, how does it work? Here is the answer: A person whose milieu in one way or another disturbs him and disorders him acutely internally: what would you as a layman suggest him to do? Should he/she be in that same atmosphere, be mentally strong, and bear whatever people hurl at him? I guess, No!


No, he/she can never be strong this way; if he or she turns out to be a sensitive one, then no sooner will he or she be seen in the asylum with other patients. What is the best advice that the said person should adhere to? He or she has to leave the place soon for a certain period of time in order to surge his mental know-hows and self-reliance and be strong enough to bear what people hurl at him, for continuous hammering on any object damages it and damages it badly. Remember it, and remember it forever. During the formative years, a child builds his faith upon whatever he sees and whatever he is told, which is why he or she can never get away from the convictions and patterns that his or her particular family follows.


You might have read or heard that before Virat Kohli came back to his performance, he’d taken a break—I reckon for a month—and was away from gossip and media glaze. He did it so because he had to go deep into introspection to start again believing that he was the best; had he not done so, he’d have never resumed his form and would not have been able to score the gigantic runs or a maiden T20 century vs. Afghanistan, last year, 2022. So a break is important so that you emerge like a dragon.


While concluding, I’d mention that there is no person in the entire world, no matter how affluent he/she be or how strong that be, who does not fall prey to low vibes, who does not shed tears of sorrow and remorse, but the only difference is they know where to do it and where not.


Case study: If these counselors, who amuse you with their knowledge and skills and on whom you rely, turn out to be free from anxiety, unease, and other technical terms, I will bow before you, but they know it’s just a wave that shall pass with time and patience.


I personally feel low at times; I cry, I weep, and sometimes negative vibes engulf me and bring hopelessness and nihilism into me. But I believe in myself and stay strong, for it is only I who can change my state and emerge again victorious. I keep nattering then, "When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life you have a million reasons to smile." Soon the state changes, and I smile again.


(The author is a regular columnist for the RK. Email: muftijameel97@gmail.com//)

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