In our time, stress is mentioned too often. What can be the main source of stress?
Sometimes we see appalling pictures in newspapers. They are mostly the pictures of poor and desperate North African people. Each one of them is like a live skeleton. There is almost no distance between the bones and the flesh. They shout with the state of theirs with all their strength: We are hungry; give us your helping hand.
Material hunger thus makes people so desperate, so weak, and so powerless. On the other hand, there are the restless mobs who have nearly no material problems but want to console themselves with amusement, debauchery, alcohol or drugs. Their problems are more intense than those previously mentioned are.
Soul is the sultan of the country of body. In the humans who are starving, the servant is weak while in the humans who are restless the sultan is miserable. The former, every possessor of conscience and fairness pities, shows mercy toward them; and the latter, every one reproaches and becomes their enemy. However, it is they who are in dire need of mercy and help; because they are both ill and they are against medicine notwithstanding. The healers should show utmost mercy and patience toward them. Only people of knowledge pity sinners. Abdulkadir Geylani.
It is not only these people that seek peace and bliss today. Almost everyone bears a scar of this wound. Therefore, we should first attempt to give lesson to our selves:
Why are we sometimes afflicted with psychological troubles, why do we get impatient and make our souls suffer with the feeling of being unable to do anything? We occupy ourselves with everything from our bodily health to economic situation, from our status in public to worldly desires; and when we do not solve these we become upset and uneasy.
Why do we go under the world rather than wander on it; and serve to the material that is supposed to serve us?
The situation of ours tires our souls and drains its strength. We cannot succeed in persevering against all these, because, as Bediüzzaman beautifully puts it, we distribute our strength of patience to the past and to the future; we no longer have strength in our patience toward the present and finally we are conquered by troubles and desperation.
When we go into the source of all these, we are faced with this mistake: We have mixed satisfaction of the self with contentment of the heart.
The one who sticks to the wrong way strains himself. This is the mistake that tires us, makes us suffer, and finally makes us desperate. The moment we abandon this mistake we will be heading for peace and bliss.
The self is fed with evils. And evils stain the heart, make the conscience uneasy, and disturb peace. This very vicious circle is the main source of stress and unease. The ones who cannot overcome this circle lose peace in their hearts and consciences more and more as they feed their selves. And they search for its remedy again in satisfying their selves.
Just a few examples:
The self supports meanness. It supposes that the more money it spares the more peaceful it will be. However, the heart and the conscience take relish in feeding the needy.
The self enjoys arrogance. Peace of the heart and the soul is, though, is with humility and modesty.
The self is fond of games and entertainment. However, the mind commands working and making efforts and finds peace with them.
Finally, the self is captivated by mortal and transitory material. The heart, though, is in love with the eternity. As is seen, all troubles stem from these clashes. And the human finds peace not by feeding his self-but by contenting his heart.
The divine cure of all kinds of depressions and unease:
Be aware that it is in the remembrance of and whole-hearted devotion to God that hearts find rest and contentment. (Ar-Rad Surah, 13:28)
Only the remembrance of God, i.e. mentioning him, can content the heart of the human who is in need of many a material and spiritual favor. Therefore, whatever man remembers except Him, it is a remembrance of the created; and whatever he loves other than Him, it is a love towards a mortal. It is because this superior heart is not satisfied with this inferior commodity that it always disturbs the unwary man. Therefore, what we call boredom, unease, despair, and stress is always the shouting of the greedy heart out of hunger and for fear of death.
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