Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Withdrawal Is No Syndrome

Withdrawal is a great spiritual experience. Especially when you wanted something really badly. Withdrawal: would it constitute defeat? Or is it acceptance of the fact that it is in the best interst of all to withdraws. Sceptics would call withdrawal: dil ko behlane ke liye Ghalib ye khayal bhi achha hai(this thought is good to placate +explicate+manipulate heart after something unpleasant).

Ego sends wrong messages. Superego complicates the situation further. 16th century Spanish poet, Miguel De Cervantes said what I want to hear: “To withdraw is not to run away, and to stay is no wise action, when there's more reason to fear than to hope.” It is a difficult act. Some say withdrawal is great strategy: lose battles to win a war.

At a more spiritual plain, withdrawal is acceptance of reality. The reality that you seek was never yours; will never be realised. And to accept that simple fact is the first step towards withdrawal. The reason in you beckons: don’t give up, you have conceded defeat even before the battle is started. But, then, you have to tell the reason in you something reasonable: there is no battle to be won or lost. The issue here is: is it a cause to fight for? Or there is a need to take flight? Or is it just the inherent need to keep mind occupied with something compelling in this world that is punctuated by long phases of boredom and satiation.

Withdrawal is also about being witness to one’s own self. The problem starts when we participate in the games people play, we play, as an ardent player. To be fair we even do not know that games are being played, or lets put it like this, involuntary worldly games we play. Detached people have the ability to understand the larger picture, that is they can look at situations from a standpoint that is not their own subjective calling.

Even if you have something great to offer to others, and you feel it can do wonders, it is still conditioned upon whether the one or many offered needs it or not? Even if s/he needs it, does s/he want it? It has to be mutual. Or there cannot be anything. Withdrawal is not an option, but sometimes a solution, in such unilateral situations.

Some disagree. Like for instance Steven Brust, an American fantasy and science fiction author argues: “The struggle is always worthwhile, if the end be worthwhile and the means honourable; foreknowledge of defeat is not sufficient reason to withdraw from the contest.” But he is put a couple of conditions, which is subjective, and open to interpretation. ‘If the end is worthwhile’ is akin to saying that the end is desirable in quantifiable terms, but many a times you cannot put a figure or worth to desire, some desires are worth more than the life itself, Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi Ki Har Khwaish Pe Dam Nikle (thousands such desires I carry, each fatal to realise), so I really don’t have a worthwhile understanding of what is worth in this constantly changing world, where emotions have become a liability to carry. Really, I am unable to put worth to my desire. But still I argue, that despite having desire as intense as it can get, and more worthwhile than anything else present in the world, it should pass the test of mutual compatibility or partnership. There are certain things that you cannot just snatch forcefully from people: like cooperation, friendship, love, and more. It comes with mutual consent or it was never there.

The second qualification is the ‘honourable means'. So lets look at the spectrum of 'means' available towards achieving ends: from genocide and homicide to pleading and persuasion. Americans bombed Afganistan for 9/11 has ushered a ways and means debate in the rest of the world, as Muslim community sulks. The word ‘honourable’ is so subjective. A uniformed army regular kills someone dubbed as 'enemy' is a matter of honour, and when an armed mercenary does the same to his perceived enemy, in the same manner, is called sinister affront to humanity. But the two acts are the same.

I am for withdrawal, rather than getting killed for some false sense of honour or victory, in the process, subjugating or tormenting others. Withdrawal, where there is no mutual acceptance, is the best policy. It is about acceptance of reality as it is. It is also about being tolerant. It is also about being spiritually strong to make a conscious decision not to react (though withdrawal itself is a reaction). It is about drawing a line somewhere, before it is too late. It is also about not being self-consumed and self-seeking. It is about not giving in to your emotional surges that make you do unreasonable at the cost of others.

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