Rein In and Train the Horse

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Apply the power of reason, learn great thoughts and expand the capacity to think and feel. This is how you grow your mind. Value its unmatched power.

By Aqeel A. Ansari

The human is one of the many life forms that inhabit the planet earth, but he exists as a special life form. Unlike all other life forms, he is not a creation of matter alone. He exists as some combination of body and soul; body is made of matter whereas soul is made of spirit which we cannot see. The human body is similar to other life forms, for they all exist with sense organs, which is the source of instinctive power. The instinctive power resides in the brain, which functions naturally like a computer to alert the body of imminent danger. The purpose of instinctive power is to protect the material body from harm or injury. The body seeks pleasure and avoids pain. It has needs that it must fulfill for its sustenance and growth. In addition to its needs, it also invents desires for material things. While it is able to create infinite desires, the body has a finite life span. It ages and dies; disease and accident may explain early death. Guard against harmful or perilous acts of body so that the brain can exercise its instinctive power effectively.
The human soul resides in the body. The body is designed to give the soul natural existence similar to how other natural living beings exist. The body enables soul, and the soul is who the human is, to live in and experience Nature. This is why the human sweats for the means of living (food, clothing and shelter, for example), as does a natural being for survival and a healthy body. You prefer your soul to dwell in a healthy body. What happens to the soul when the body dies? The soul does not belong to the world of matter. You may perceive it as an alien that comes from the unseen world of spirit. Obviously, soul returns to where it comes from upon death of the body. In other words, soul outlives body after the human lives his natural existence on planet earth.
Recall that an instinctive power exists to protect the body. How does the human protect his soul? The soul has sense organs of its own similar to sense organs of the body. The spiritual sense organs can also see and hear, for example. Close your eyes and you can see people you have met or observe events you have experienced. The mind has the capacity to recreate from memory images of your past experiences. You can even see things your imagination creates with your eyes closed. The spiritual sense organs reside in mind and the mind resides in the soul. The mind has the mental capacity to think and feel. You discover in the capacity to feel hope or despair, love or hate, dignity or prejudice, satisfaction or misery. Your feeling may relate to you, fellow humans, other life forms or even non-life creations. In fact, the capacity to feel is what makes us human.
The capacity of the mind to think makes you a thinking being. The thinking mind uses knowledge that it creates or learns with the help of sense organs of body. You are able to reason with knowledge in order to deal with ongoing challenges of life. This is how your mind empowers you to become an intelligent being. If you do not use the power of mind to reason with facts, prejudice infects your mind. When you form an opinion without due consideration of facts, you have a prejudiced opinion. Prejudice biases thinking. Guard against the mental disease of prejudice and learn to reason with facts in order to grow a healthy mind and hence a healthy soul.
What is the cause of prejudice? We find the cause in the body-soul conflict. The body seeks pleasure in material things, but soul has no interest in material things except to fulfill the needs of body for a healthy body. The soul, on the other hand, seeks hope, love, dignity and satisfaction while it avoids despair, hate, prejudice and misery. It wants to live in peace and harmony. Imagine your body is a horse and your soul a rider. Obviously, the rider determines where the horse goes. If you let the body go after never ending desires, you practically hand over the reins to the horse; it will take you where it wants to go. This is why the majority lives in despair and misery harboring hate and prejudice. It is then reasonable to argue that you need to rein in and train your horse.
Apply the power of reason, learn great thoughts and expand the capacity to think and feel. This is how you grow your mind. Value its unmatched power; it is a great resource and it is at your command. Take full advantage of it to facilitate your striving without the fear of depleting the resource. Utilize the power of mind, strive wholeheartedly and give your soul what it wants, and remember the soul is who you are.
We will continue with the ideas of empowerment in the next column.
(The writer can be reached at [email protected])