Mind and Soul

The entire plan is in the knowledge of God.

Some spiritualists believe that the mind directs, the brain executes, the con­science watches, and the soul mirrors life. Mind, con­science, and soul are intangibles. The brain is physical­ly quantifiable, not in its functions. This is life, part temporal and part mystic.

The mind is often turned to self-deception, con­cocting logic for the unjustifi­able, and ‘blindly believing what one wanted to believe’ (cogni­tive dissonance in psychology). The conscience, the watchdog, is lulled to sleep, and the soul is sold to the devil. Internal con­flicts find catharsis in the whim­sical. This state of mind is gen­erally considered flawed; for the powerful, it is God’s curse. It should concern them the most. God gives free choice to man. Every choice has a plan, a com­prehensive package of conse­quences, evil and good, struggle and comfort, ups and downs. The entire plan is in the knowl­edge of God. His knowledge de­termines the course. His will is bound to prevail. There is no room for presumptuousness. There is no use boasting or tempting fate. It is another di­mension of power dynamics.

God is One and is indivisible. He does not define a particular religion, cult, or sect. He does not belong to one single group. He is for everyone and every­thing He has created. His do­main has no bounds. There are only two groups for Him: good humans and imperfect humans. On attaining full maturity, hu­manity will also focus on these two broad categories without caring for the nomenclatures, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hin­dus, etc. This concept is funda­mental to any government, jus­tice, and leadership system. God is only positive. His path leads to light, which means good. Satan leads humans towards dark­ness or evil. God’s ways incul­cate humility, kindness, forgive­ness, patience, justice, tolerance, accommodation, and peace. Sa­tan signifies arrogance, vendet­ta, anger, intolerance, stubborn­ness, and high-handedness. A satanic regime can never en­dure. For the rulers, judges, the rich, and the powerful, these are the thumb rules, provided they have some sense of histo­ry. God eventually destroys op­pressors and tyrants and bur­ies them under heaps of shame and disgrace. 1971 has a pletho­ra of lessons. Refuge behind un­realistic parallels is no security against end disaster.

Repentance is the only course to salvation. The earlier, the bet­ter. Redemption lies in confes­sion. It is done in solitude, fac­ing God, admitting all the sins of transgression, arrogance, op­pression, and inhumanness. De­pendence on people is futile. De­pendence on foreign powers is not only unwise but also shame­ful. We have known our lead­ers rushing to foreign capitals for power at home. Some met temporary success to invite dis­grace eventually. Those who jet­tisoned their conscience out of the equation ultimately found it was becoming impossible by the day to satisfy the sadistic master entirely. The pattern has persist­ed over many decades, but the power-hungry monsters contin­ue to grope in darkness, search­ing for avenues that do not ex­ist. Recently, we saw another few making pilgrimages abroad without learning anything from the horrible end of their prede­cessors and elders. Greed brings disgrace, and blind greed brings total disgrace. Unfortunately, those enslaved by their greed have no space for shame, grace, a sense of honor, or fear of history.

Ours is the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The word Islam­ic has become redundant. The most vociferous proponents of Islam no longer adhere to it. They lie, cheat, indulge in cor­ruption, and are ready to make a deal with the tyrant. Religion has been commercialized as ‘Viagra’ of politics. The not-so-religious take an oath in the full blaze of the media and, when convenient, back out without remorse. Who can fault them when the religious bigwigs go scot-free on much bigger sins? The good, godly guys suffer from traditional mediocracy. Reckless murder of morality is not only a forte of politicians. Without exception, all other segments of society equally ex­cel in it. Remember Zia-ul-Haq, (Mard-e-Momin, Mard-e-Haq)? His promise of elections within 90 days could only materialize after his death, a mere 11 years.

An American retired gen­eral wrote that ‘understand­ing’ is an important character trait of generals. A correct ap­preciation of the situation in the battlefield’s noise, din, and fog is astounding; understand­ing is also essential in every other field of life. It is founded on facts, nurtured by cold log­ic, flexibility, and a free mind. Its antithesis is stubbornness, gullibility, and wishful thinking. The victims discover the truth when the tornado has already hit the shores, and there is no­where to run. The perpetrators of our national tragedies had to hang their heads in shame and take the abuse that they did not even deserve. Poor Yahya Khan is an example. The soul sur­vives on truth. The conscience speaks for the soul. When the soul is sold to the devil, the con­science dies. The mind, brain, conscience, and soul sink into total darkness. The man, the actual victim, is then doomed to an ignominious end. Bhut­to, Mujib, and Indra Gandhi fell victim to the same demon.

We are following a beaten path. Our quest for truth, as it seems, has yet to begin. The mind is in­active, the brain lethargic, the soul is thirsty, and the conscience confounded. We must get out of the darkness of the self and turn towards Light in real earnest. In it lies the deliverance.

Askari Raza Malik
The writer is a Retired Two Star of Pakistan Army and author of ‘Pakistan in Search of a Messiah’.

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