DUALITY OF MIND
edited: Wednesday, April 16, 2003
By drsamreen shaikh
Posted: Wednesday, April 16, 2003
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Its ventilation of my mind again.What we are doing in our life,let us have a look over it.
Now it has become a common perception that after 9/11 attacks, the political, social and economic map of the world would see drastic restructuring. It is also true that the western media is controlling our minds along the line it demands, and we have ceased to think for ourselves. Labels are made now, we strive to fit into them whether they fit us or not. We do celebrate every festival, even if it does not conform to what we believe in, just to match the definition of tolerance.
How many of us ever stop to think why we are doing what we do. Or is it that the thinking has already been done for us? Is there a preset mould that we simply have to step into? And if so, who has made it?
Our lives, in themselves, seem to have a touch of artificiality and an illusory aspect to them. And this is not only in our own selves but also in the world that we have created around us. Take the example of our immediate world. Our rooms are scented, not with fresh air or flowers but artificial aerosol sprays that are harmful to our environment.
If the advertisers of coke tell us it’s the “real” thing, are we really desperate as to consume a can of chemicals for that? Where is the purity and naturalness in our lives? We are living in a world of illusions and myths where we allow multinationals to tell us what’s good for us.
To protect ourselves from reality, we have enclosed ourselves in isolated worlds and restricted our lives to matters only important to us. Sitting in our plush, comfortable, air-conditioned homes with every luxury within arm’s reach, how can we ever imagine squalor and unbelievable poverty, fathom hundreds of children dying in Afghanistan in one night and thousands in Iraq due to bombing and lack of food or medication?
The paradox of our times, it said, lies in our wider freeways but narrower viewpoints, in our taller buildings but shorter tempers. It’s a constant race to the top, to achieve the myths of success, popularity and material wealth.
But what about inner contentment? I thought attainment of that, too, fell in to the framework of success. But, alas! We have every material desire fulfilled, but our hearts and souls are empty. Mindlessly sucked into a commercial world, our sensual appetites are crammed with colour and sound until we are stupefied, alienated from reality and senselessly take in and are nurtured by whatever is fed to us.
Controlled by our most primitive desires, capitalism exploits our sexuality by using it to sell goods. Our opinions are painted for us through media outlets, until we cease to be independent thinkers. How many of us can lead our lives independent of modern technology, if only for a week?
How far will we go before everything starts crumbling? Or has it already begun? Despite having every amenity available to man, we are still suffering internal conflicts; suicides, murders and crime. Our human needs remain; we satiate our bodies with richest of foods, but we seem to ignore the fact that our souls need nourishment, too. It’s perhaps due to our over indulgence with the luxuries and comforts of this superficial world of passing fads and entertainment that we forget our true purpose in life.
What, then, is solution? We need to recognize ourselves and go deep inside our souls to find the answer. Peace within ourselves can be achieved when we recognize our purpose in life, meditation and worship what made man, not what man made.