Eduaction, Ethics, Humanity, Philosophy, Religion, Self development, Symbolism, Wisdom

The SOUL


Soul

I had been trying to find the exact meaning of soul and/or spirit and what I have found is an ambiguous meaning attached to both the words. At times, I found that the two words have been used interchangeably.

So instead of getting into the nitty gritty of exact meaning of the two words under consideration, I am using the word soul to express my thoughts in the blog rather then getting my audience confused with the jargon.

The reason why I want to make use of the word soul for this blog is that I have read the word ‘soul searching’ quite often but never spirit searching. And since my current blog is more about exploring ‘self’ through soul searching, so it is more appropriate to use the word soul for the title of my blog.

The moment body of a baby gets soul, all the metabolic functions are activated inside the body. In quite a few management related training, specially on ‘Change’, quite a few trainers (humorously) quote the example of an uncomfortable baby in diaper by saying that in the entire universe, only a baby wholeheartedly accepts change (changing diaper). As the baby grows and comes out into the world, mother’s top priority is to keep the baby clean and baby by nature is more uncomfortable when he pees or poops. This practice of keeping the body clean continues by all sane humans till the end of their life.

Recently my elder brother died and since his entire family was outside the country, so his dead  body was kept into the cold storage for a day. Upon asking the reason why it was kept into the cold storage, I came to know that, the dead body, if kept in open, it starts stinking within hours, as it decomposes.

At that very moment, the idea to write this blog clicked my mind. What I conclude from the concept just shared is, by nature the soul is pure. The moment it enters the body, it tries to keep the body clean from all kind of filth. The moment we (humans) accumulate pee and/or poop, it has to be excreted out of the body, even the fart cannot remain inside the body, else we become uncomfortable. Here the distinction of human is made because animals don’t have to wait to get rid of their poop or pee, they do so wherever they are without being careful about keeping themselves away from the filth.

When we die and the soul gets out of our body, the body either has to be buried or cremated or has to be kept in cold storage, if the descendants want it to be preserved for long period of time, so that it does not stink. What an amazing concept, we seldom care about looking at the nature of soul, which is pure and free from filth and stinking and where ever it goes or rests, it keeps it (our body) pure and filth free as well.

The sweat (having bad odor) is also excreted out of the body, but it remains on the body and causes uncomfortable feeling. So, if we are able to take shower immediately, we do so, else we have deodorants and perfumes to keep the body smell good, but keeping the soul good is more important then the body, as the body will be buried, but the soul will last forever.

I have added this question after I received a comment from one of my friend Sulaiman Dawood.   “Soul keeps the body alive and does not clean”.

To make my point clear let me tell you that there is a difference between ‘ME’ and ‘MY’. I have MY hands, eyes, ears, legs tongue, heart etc. but I am wondering to know where is ME.

I have eyes, can they see if I close them? I have ears, can they listen, if I don’t want to? I have hands, can they work, if I don’t ask them to, and the list goes on…

It is ME who asks MY eyes to see, it is ME who asks MY ears to listen, it is ME who asks MY hands to work and the list goes on…

ME is my soul and MY is my body. My body is useless, if I don’t have soul, because it is my soul, which has the power to govern my body.

So for any reason, if we have yet not tried to keep our soul (by virtue of the power it has to govern the body) as pure as it was in the beginning, it is time for us to re-think and make it as pure as possible, by continuously reflecting through soul searching and acquiring wisdom.

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Listen to the sound of SOUL.

Sajjad Hussain

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Eduaction, Humanity, Leadership, Symbolism, Wisdom

Villain Heroes


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Courtesy

Kids are a wonderful gift of God, but are we taking enough care to look after the ‘gift’ the way we are expected to? The featured pic, if taken on the face value, would make you laugh, I also laughed in the first place, but then I asked myself, is it something to laugh at or ponder as to why the naked kid is hanging with the hand pump, who made him do this in the first place? Who is to be held responsible for the plight of this poor kid?

Over my life time, I have never seen a movie, wherein a villain is portrayed as hero, except for few exceptions, where hero is a villain (but in those movies also he is actually doing good things (utilitarian ethics), so a hero is one who does the right thing always) as he is shown doing good things or rising against the rulers for the rights of the poor people around him.

The chequered history of Pakistan is either marred by the autocratic dictatorial regime or semi dictatorial civilian governments over the last 60 plus years during which time, both the dictators and civilians have proclaimed that they are fighting for the rights of the down trodden, but unfortunately the reality is contrary to their claim.

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A primary school in Sadiqabad, Punjab, Pakistan

(Temperature in summers soars up to 50 degrees, and the place is usually without electricity during these times and basic facilities are not existing since ages)

This is what they (Villain Heroes) have done so far, and continue to do, to the future generation of Pakistan over the years, yet they continue to be labelled as leaders in their own right.

The economic situation of the country has gone from bad to worse, security of the state, as well as, its citizens is at its lowest ebb, and Pakistan is internationally declared a failed state as its economy is in dire straits, and high security state due to terrorist activities being the norm, and the Western countries have to issue travel advisory to their citizens, travelling to Pakistan .

The rampant corruption in the corridors of power has shattered the confidence of foreign investors, which has ultimately led the ruling elite to stretch the begging bowl to the World Bank and IMF to avoid default on balance of payment position and to be called banana republic.

The very fabric of the society at large has been deteriorated to such an extent that the divide between haves and havenots is increasing at an alarming rate, thus creating chaos and unrest in the society.

Even the basic health and education is not extended to the lower and lower middle class and civic amenities are slowly being reduced to rubble, masses are kept ignorant of their legitimate rights through illiteracy, which is making the so called ruling elite a messiah for all their (peoples) shortcomings and that is one of the reasons why, we see a huge crowd gathering at the reception of some ‘mega project’ inauguration and the ‘Villains’ of the society (the ruling elite) rise to the podium as ‘Heroes’.

Keeping in view the dismal political situation of Pakistan, especially in the wake of 9/11, I came up with this quote of mine:

“In sham democracies, Villains are Heroes”  

Sajjad Hussain

Eduaction, Humanity, Philosophy, Religion, Symbolism, Wisdom

Ailment


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I have been through traumatic situation all through my adolescent years, whose remnants still haunt me even after 30 years of pain and suffering. I tried to find the reason and I did get it. Though I had to pay a huge price for this ailment, but one thing I have come to realize is that every thing happens for a reason, and after having gone through this trauma, I got a chance to ponder and found the meaning of life.

Over these years I have seen people suffering from various ailments for one reason or the other. If we keep thinking about their (sufferings) causes, we will come to realize the fact that there is always a reason behind all the sufferings and hence scientists start working to find the cure and ultimately they get it through research to assuage the sufferings of the ailing humanity.

Are we justified in thinking that the cure was existing before it was explored, if yes then why in the first place we were unable to find it, why did we need to go through the pain and suffering before it could be found.

HE created the ‘suffering & pain’ and HE created the ‘cure’, but didn’t tell us “HOW”, CQUN1zcWwAAZUiF

because HE wanted us to explore it ourselves, so that we can understand HIM (fully, having absolute power) through critical thinking and scientific reasoning and not because some self proclaimed custodian of religion has asked us to know HIM and obey HIM.

Sajjad Hussain

Eduaction, Ethics, Humanity, Leadership, Motivation, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Self development, Symbolism, Wisdom

Coercion


PublicSchool

As a teacher, I tell my students that I am here to tell you the ‘Why, What, When, Where, and for Who/Whom (5 Ws) about the subject(s), I am teaching. As far as How (1 H) is concerned, I leave it unto you to decide, how to do, what you have been taught.

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Then I came across the following quote by Peter Hitchens.

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I live in a society, where free thinking is considered a taboo, and pupil and the masses, are forced to think the way, their ‘masters’ ask them to think. (For more on it, read my blog: Think Before You Are Thought).

creativeBy telling the students how to do, are we not killing their creative pursuits?

It is said that all the living beings are born free, but that’s not true, as we all are born out of our own will. Does that mean, that we have the right to live our lives, the way we want to live?

On a broader canvas, yes, but unfortunately that’s not the case. Whether, we like it or not, we are some how or the other, forced to live, as our ‘elders’ want us to live. We develop certain biases, for or against, people around us.

These biases compel us all, to be coercive in our approach, towards the ‘born free’. Even the strong proponents of free will and free thinking people, at times, are coercive to the core, to impose their will on those, who are under their influence, by virtue of their age, gender, culture, social norms, class, race, color, creed, and status etc.

The fight for survival, in this coercive society, ripe with the forces unleashed on the free thinking people, will continue till the D-day. Chances are, that the people on both sides of the divide will keep fighting among themselves and within their own selves, as at times, they also have a tendency of being coercive as described above.

I on my part, keep thinking, if I am approaching my students with that same liberty of free thinking or coercion. This approach has developed in me (to some extent), a sense of tolerance towards my wards.

But to induce this same approach (a daunting task) in my students to inculcate tolerance among them, would it not be considered ‘coercion’?

Sajjad Hussain

 

 

 

Humanity, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Symbolism, Writings

Sacrifice


“No offence to my readers in US or else where in the world”

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Picture Courtesy

The drama unfolded shortly after Mr. Bush appeared at a news conference in Baghdad with Prime Minister Nuri Kamal Al-Maliki to highlight the newly adopted security agreement between the United States and Iraq. The agreement includes a commitment to withdraw all American forces by the end of 2011.

The Iraqi journalist, Muntader al-Zaidi, 28, a correspondent for Al Baghdadia, an independent Iraqi television station, stood up about 12 feet from Mr. Bush and shouted in Arabic: “This is a gift from the Iraqis; this is the farewell kiss, you dog!” He then threw a shoe at Mr. Bush, who ducked and narrowly avoided it.

As stunned security agents and guards, officials and journalists watched, Mr. Zaidi then threw his other shoe, shouting in Arabic, “This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq!” That shoe also narrowly missed Mr. Bush as Prime Minister Maliki stuck a hand in front of the president’s face to help shield him.

Mr. Maliki’s security agents jumped on the man, wrestled him to the floor and hustled him out of the room. They kicked him and beat him until “he was crying like a woman,” said Mohammed Taher, a reporter for Afaq, a television station owned by the Dawa Party, which is led by Mr. Maliki. Mr. Zaidi was then detained on unspecified charges.

When I read this story first time, it flashed before my eyes, as a usual news item. My curiosity to make analogies made me wondered to observe the striking resemblance of the incident with the ritual of ‘Rami Jamarat’ during Hajj (Muslims’ Pilgrimage).

Watch this video to understand the write up below:

Jamarat is a Hajj ritual that involves stoning the three pillars that represent the devil (shaytan in Arabic). As part of this Hajj ritual, the pilgrims throw small pebbles at those three structures in the city of Mina. Pilgrims collect these pebbles at Muzadlifa. These pebbles can also be collected in the city of Mina, East of Makkah.

The historical significance of Jamarat ritual hails from Prophet Ibraheem when the devil appeared to him three times. At each of the appearances, Angel Jibraeel (Gabriel) told Prophet Ibraheem (Abraham) to pelt the devil. Thus, the basis of the significance of the ritual.

All three Jamarat pillars represent the shaytan and represent the three times that Prophet Ibraheem was seduced by the devil when he was going to sacrifice Ismail. At each of the three times, the Angel asked him to rid of the temptation by throwing pebbles at the devil.

Once the pilgrims are done with stoning the devil, they return to their camps and slay animals as sacrifice, on face it appears as a ritual to complete the pilgrimage, but in essence this ritual has an ethical connotation, as depicted above. “Mr. Maliki’s security agents jumped on the man, wrestled him to the floor and hustled him out of the room. They kicked him and beat him until “he was crying like a woman,” said Mohammed Taher, a reporter for Afaq, a television station owned by the Dawa Party, which is led by Mr. Maliki. Mr. Zaidi was then detained on unspecified charges.”

Whenever you will rise against the oppressor in favor of the oppressed, you will have to give sacrifice in terms of bodily harm or even at times in the form of your life, as was done by Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS) (progeny of Prophet Muhammad PBUH) on 10th Moharram 61 Hijri (Muslim calendar).

So, whenever you will rise for the cause of humanity, you must get ready to face the wrath of the so called ruling elite, who on the face, portray themselves as the champions of democracy and humanity (equally valid across all the nations of the world).

Sajjad Hussain