Mind over body

Mind over body

There are times when people become addicted to habits that can debilitate one physically and mentally.

More often than not they get enslaved to the evil even before they realise it. They compromise on their values and self respect to fulfill their cravings.

They yield to their yearnings despite being counseled or reprimanded because their body will experience dreadful withdrawal symptoms when its hankering is not pacified.

Even without their knowing, they begin shunning societal norms and embrace solitude.

If an addict of evil habits has to be weaned away from the quagmire, he has to understand the difference between his mind and body and use them judiciously to gain self control.

Jalaluddin Rumi suggested a solution using the metaphor of a well known romantic tale of Leila and Majnun in his tales from Mathanwi.

Once the legendary Majnun set out to meet his heartthrob Leila riding on a camel across the desert.

He used to guide the camel in a certain direction and then lapse into daydreaming about his lady love.

The camel which sensed that its rider had no control over her would take her own counsel and would proceed in the direction of the village in which her young one was left behind.

Majnun would come out of his reverie and realise that he was proceeding in the wrong route. Then he would guide the camel back to the correct path.

Once he was satisfied that the camel was moving in the right direction, he would lapse into the world of Leila.

The camel would obey his master initially and then go about on her own when she was not directed.

This cycle of events was repeated several times over a span of three months.

One fine day, Majnun jumped out of the camel and cried out, “This camel is my undoing!”
Then he jumped down from the camel and continued on foot, singing to himself,
 “My camel’s desire is behind me; my own desire lies ahead:
Truly! She and I are at odds and can agree no more.”  
If one gives in indefinitely to all kinds of whims and fancies, sooner or later it will lead them into the bottomless pit of decadence.

Vulnerability could overcome the victim irreversibly. Though professional medical and psychiatric help is available these days, the affected person should consciously decide to overcome the setbacks.

The person should realise that his or her body and mind should be first sensitised to the benefits of simple living and high thinking and then synchronized to lead a healthy and harmonious life.

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