Mystified by the misty skies

When you’re not grounded your understanding is superficial and partial. You act on an incomplete will which leads to limitations and fragmentations.

You can’t expect to find a stability in mid-flight that wasn’t present at liftoff.

Comatose woke people


Power is never taken, always extracted.


I’m talking about authentic power. The power to move people’s hearts with words, the power to pierce through thick curtains of despondence – that can’t be achieved. It only follows from the mightiest battle one will ever witness, either as a debased loser or a weary hero: the battle for self-actualization.

Many try to achieve that power through inauthentic means. They are under the wrong impression that self-actualization manifests equally for everyone; outspoken, intellectual, activitist, fist in the air, a la Che Guevara/ Malcolm X aesthetics.

While that archetype is sure invigorating to witness or learn about, it’s not what self-actualization means, any more than someone who appears to be religious is necessarily truly pious.

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Rediscovering Ramadaan#3

ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ

This is the Book (the Qur’ân), whereof there is no doubt, a guidance to those who are Al-Muttaqûn [the pious and righteous person

(Al-baqarah 2:2)

Every word in the Qur’aan bears profound meanings and is not random or spontaneous. Since this is the month when the Qur’aan came down and the month where Allaah says ( in the translation)

O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqûn (the pious)

(Al-baqarah 2:183)

How do these ayat link? How does one gain taqwa through this month?  And what exactly is taqwa?  And does taqwa precede guidance?

Taqwa is a difficult word to translate to English. Many translate it to mean fearing Allaah, but that is missing the point by a huge margin. Fearing Allaah is a byproduct of taqwa but the meaning is greater than that. The most apt translation that I can think of is mindfulness. Mindfulness is a state of mind where the individual is removed from one’s feelings, thoughts and external events. Where the individual has an internal island protecting oneself from everything that Allaah dislikes.

So having taqwa is the foundation for receiving guidance.

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A Heroine’s Journey

badassery

The title is a play on Joseph Campbell’s monomyth The Hero with a Thousand Faces. It’s been brilliantly depicted through an INFJs perspective here.

It’s very painful. I don’t know how to explain what’s happening other than through an analogy; it feels like I’m giving birth whilst having my skin ripped. Everything I’ve grown attached to and used as a crutch has been dissolved and I feel like I’m falling into a dark pit where annihilation awaits me. All my abandonment issues and repressed pain come out of the woodworks now that I have nothing to suppress them with,and it’s all too painful. Physically painful. In all my years in this heroine’s journey, I have never known a greater pain. And I think it’s because the very last part of my false self is dying. Ego death they call it. I feel nauseous, and a strong wish to just die. But then I realize I don’t really want to die, and that past suicidal thoughts and attempts have been desperate attempts at abandonment. I always jump ship before anyone can abandon me. Always. I have a knack for seeing when someone’s turning on me, growing sick of me. I sneak out like a thief in the night. They’ll never know what hit them.

In a way, that’s what I used to do to myself when it got overbearing. But I’m sensing a fundamental change; a separate identity from the one in pain has emerged, so the pain is compartmentalized. I can feel that what’s dying in me isn’t me. I don’t know how to explain it.

Now I know why most will never undergo this transformation. Why unconsciousness is so alluring. Why people prefer to be comatose.

Not only is everything I’ve grown accustomed to dissolving in the light of consciousness and maturity, but my true self is emerging.

Mothers, is this how giving birth feels like? Excruciating pain and being torn apart to give way to another life. I think I’ll opt for adoption.

It’s my fault. I have this morbid curiosity. I keep prying into my unconscious, when it nudges content my way either through dreams, intuition, or crossing paths with others.

If my soul was a person, it’d be covered in tattoos, be a chainsmoker, pierced all over, but a really kind person. LOL

I just turned 26 this month. I haven’t had time to pause and reflect on all the shit that my unconscious has thrown in my path. It’s like a videogame. I choose to go to the next level, and the next, and the next. I can’t stop. Like, in the past, I’d be lying on the floor, with blood in my mouth,and pills in my system and the first thing that crosses my mind is to analyze my suicide attempt. I.keep.attracting.lessons. No wonder I couldn’t hack school; I’m enrolled in an intensive crash course in life!

Simplicity is the most difficult thing in life. It involves searching,sifting,choosing,discarding. I feel that the more pain and metamorphosis I undergo, the more child-like I become. You’d expect that with everything’s that happened that I’d become more cautious and closed-off. Nope. I laugh at the silliest things, I’m very naive in that I can’t conjure the evils of others, I give and trust unconditionally, and I believe everything’s possible. But I’m also very fearless when it comes to standing up for what I believe in, in asserting my own truths. Maybe it’s my fearlessness that allows me to be child-like? Because I don’t have to watch my back?

 

The unconscious is not a demoniacal monster, but a natural entity which, as far as moral sense, aesthetic taste, and intellectual judgement go, is completely neutral. It only becomes dangerous when our conscious attitude to it is hopelessly wrong. To the degree that we repress it, its danger increases. But the moment the patient begins to assimilate contents that were previously unconscious, its danger diminishes. The dissociation of personality, the anxious division of the day-time and the night-time sides of the psyche, cease with progressive assimilation.

— C.G. Jung (The Essential Jung: Selected Writings)

But if we understand anything of the unconscious, we know that it cannot be swallowed. We also know that it is dangerous to suppress it, because the unconscious is life and this life turns against us if suppressed, as happens in neurosis. Conscious and unconscious do not make a whole when one of them is suppressed and injured by the other. If they must contend, at least let it be a fair fight with equal rights on both sides. Both are aspects of life. Consciousness should defend its reason and protect itself, and the chaotic life of the unconscious should be given the chance of having its way too – as much of it as we can stand. This means open conflict and open collaboration at once. That, evidently, is the way human life should be. It is the old game of hammer and anvil: between them the patient iron is forged into an indestructible whole, an ‘individual.’ This, roughly, is what I mean by the individuation process.

— C.G. Jung

Shadows

image

When I feel overwhelmed – which is often- I like to be in complete darkness and silence. I switch the displays on both my laptop and phone to black. I turn off the lights and sit down, rocking myself gently.

I live in two worlds and I’m in constant tug-of-war between the two. But I’m always leaning towards my inner world, my refuge.

My sensory system is extremely sensitive and everything around me is amplified. I hear, feel,smell,see everything all at once, with nothing being relegated to the background, which is what would happen in a normal sensory system.

I learnt very early on to create an inner world where I wasn’t constantly barraged by noise and people. A place where I could muse and focus on the things that I wanted. This world became all the more elaborate, while I remained aloof to the outside world.

She’s extremely shy, teachers would tell my mum. She doesn’t talk much. I was selectively mute until I reached puberty. There was nothing that hindered me per se. But I had to choose between my inner universe and playing with snotty kids. So I’d take to myself and observe the world from afar.

Most of my memories are of the ground and people’s shoes, and the sky. I didn’t like looking at people. I still don’t. But I’ve found that the reason isn’t because I fear people’s gaze or anything – but I think in pictures, not words. It’s difficult for me to focus unless I write it down, or visualize it in my head. I do that when I read something astonishing in a book or article; I look away and ruminate on this new piece of knowledge, as if I’m filing it away somewhere in my brain. So the same thing happens with people – I can’t focus and look them in the eye simultaneously. Something has got to give. I look down as I listen intensely to what is being said, and not simply waiting for my turn. I ask many follow-up questions and seemingly irrelevant information like the colour of the car that almost hit her, or how tall he was at the time of the story, or exactly how long ago ‘long ago’ is? I keep an intricate network of information in the form of images, like a gigantic vision board. And as I’m painting this image of a certain incident that someone is telling me, I need enough details to fit it into the overall pattern, algorithm of said vision board. Until I have a complete understanding of a piece of information, I’ll put it in the back burner. Sometimes I mull over an issue or question for years before I take a stance on it.
If it’s light hearted banter, then I’m not so particular about it.

Over the years, the images on my inner vision board have grown elaborate and since I use a certain algorithm before I paint the image, everything is interconnected. Many a times, I only need to know the gist of a topic before I’m well-acquainted with it. Likewise, i never really employ rote learning, so I either remember something in detail by taking a mental screen shot of sorts, or I disregard it completely.

I still remember the birthdays of my classmates from 6th grade, and the thoughts I had when I was 3 and the scary dream I had when I was 5. My earliest memory is from when I was 2, and I know this actually happened because my parents weren’t aware of it. I was with a nanny as my mum had her hands full with the twins who were a couple of months. I remember what I wore, the weather, and the miniature police car I was playing with.

Likewise, if I’m asked a question that I’m not familiar with, I’m still able to answer correctly based on the search algorithms that underpin all that I know.

Because the world is not made for my ilk, I’ve had to program my own softwares (values, principles, etc.) and create every step that I put my foot on. I’m constantly fumbling in the dark and I have no comfort zone. This is extremely taxing and although the reward is my emancipation, it’s a heavy burden to bear. I get easily overwhelmed. One misstep, and I get buried under the weight of my consciousness which is potentially fatal. My mind is like a wild horse that I need to tame and control, or else it’ll throw me off and stomp me to death.

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