MAN AND HIS PSYCHOLOGICAL TENDANCIES (inclinations)
Human beings’ lives have ever been surrounded by a cocktail of worldly events, which considerably agitate and affect the psychic of the creatures that we are. In fact, man in his essence has always been in search of happiness and welfare believed to be cardinal to his existence. He also believes that gaining happiness and inner peace is dependent on certain values such as social ranks, wealth, knowledge, professional achievement, etc. Thus, man, henceforth inclined to his worldly wellbeing starts to challenge the nature by attempting all possible ways to achieve his dream. However, all his actions aimed at reaching his ambitions will not be without consequences to his psychological state.
Nowadays, the evolution of science and technology has not only created needs for humanity but also triggered in man a tremendous envy to satisfy those needs. Man thinks that happiness, traquility and mental peace cannot be obtained without the acquisition of material. Then, this strong belief makes him launch himself in an endless search of that need, thought to bring satisfaction, contentment and internal peace. On this highway of conquest and achievement man may or may not reach his destination. However, in this process it cannot be denied that he suffers a lot, mainly from psychological turmoils such as stress, depression, anxiety, etc. Yet one of the factors responsible for man’s psychological disturbance is known to be acquisitiveness. In reality, there are countless societies, where materialism is seen and regarded as common thought towards prosperity and self realisation. Consequently, the degree of anxiety, depression and stress can only be high in those societies. However, people in general tend to forget or do not even realise that no matter how many times they attempt they will not be able to satisfy all their endless greed.
Moreover, man’s anxiety, sorrow and other psychic troubles are caused by his own perception of the worldly life. In fact, some people think and firmly believe that all that counts in life are pleasures, amusement and acquiring material means. All they care for is how to enjoy this life. With such thinking, they, therefore attempt to achieve their desires by all means, and regardless of religious or social norms and restraints. But, when they fail in their attempts to reach their goals, they become frustrated, and as this situation goes on it ends up by affecting their psychological state. Then, these types of people are known to be deprived of religious faith. They even tend to refute the reality about religion. Paradoxically, these people who are self-desired oriented want to meet happiness and peace in their life without knowing the key to that sublime human inner tranquillity.
What is more, man’s sorrow and distress are incurred by their high level of expectations in terms of worldly affairs. Man set himself goals to reach without taking into consideration events that are not under his control, and that may occur anytime to cause his actions to fail. In this regards, Dr Marden(Orison Swett) sustains that the excess in the pursuit of material means leads to spiritual imbalance, which causes man’s soul to be oriented towards envy, hostility and violence known to be of materialistic conducts. In this respect, the following question is raised: can man be happy and have inner peace without religion?
We believe that man cannot live a happy and peaceful life without religion. In fact, religion is a way of life. It is actually the fact of believing in God, our Creator and the Originator of the whole world and its contents, Who teaches and recommend us the best way of living on earth. It is a guidance from the darkness to the light. So, following religion can only be for the benefit of human being. Talking about the tremendous benefits of religion Dale Carnegie, a famous psychologist revealed:
”religion gives me faith and courage. It relives from trepidation, anxiety, fear and alarm. It gives direction and goal to life. Religion completes my happiness to a great extent and bestows upon me an abundant peace. It helps me lead a calm and peaceful existence in the midst of the tempests of life” (Carnegie).
From this quotation, Carnegie emphasises the multitude benefits religion brings into a human being’s life for his salvation. Unlike material gains, he agrees that religion appears to be the only means for a man to attain not only a psychological tranquillity but also a better life on earth through its teachings and commandments.
In the same way, Islam (the universal religion) enjoins the heart of human towards everlasting happiness and the best way of life through an entire civilisation. The Qur’an, which is its revealed Book by God, is a complete guidance for mankind. It prevents man from following his desires and lusts that drive him to perdition towards happiness, inner peace and salvation in this life and in the Hereafter. In fact, Islam sets rules not to restrain man from enjoying the world’s bounties, but to stop him from pursuing these joys in an unrealistic, self-willed manner and greed in acquisitiveness for the sake of his own wellbeing. By this way, Islam shows man ways to fulfil his psychological needs by being modest and humble in the search of his materialistic and mundane gains. Besides, it recommends man to have a total control over his greed and actions. It also establishes principles as regard to what behaviour and attitude to be adopted when faced with any type of psychological issues in order to overcome it. That said, Islam regulates the human life by giving the believers ways that lead to a happy, saine, peaceful and a satisfactory self existence. According to Sayyid Musavi Lari,an Iranian scholar of the XXe century) although man should conquer wealth and other materialistic gains, he has to be in control in doing so in order not to jeopardise his psychological welfare.
On the whole, man’s psychological troubles are generally caused by his unmeasured envy to possess wealth and material means, which he believes are sources of happiness, inner peace and tranquillity. However, the eagerness to satisfy his unlimited and unrealistic goals has driven him to suffer from sorrows, depression and mental disorder. So, we have come to realise that the best way for man to overcome his psychological problems is to adopt and lead a spiritual life by embracing a religion. Islam is the religion by excellence, whose principles and commandments drive man towards satisfaction, happiness, peace and salvation in this world and in the hereafter.
Dale Carnegie: How to stop worrying and start living ,Great Britain 1948.
Dr Marden: Orison Swett)98-101