The order of our new world today has organised our lives around work and has given us an economic system geared to exhaust humans to their limit. Now we need to work for longer hours with both men and women working together to make ends meet. Our material lives and struggles to amass more wealth and material for ourselves, for our children, for their children, and for God knows whom else, for as we intensely struggle to create and hoard wealth, it seems we are planning for eternity. Our lives today, with all our materialistic endeavours, remind me of all the gold and items buried with the Egyptian pharaohs to be used in the life after. In today’s day and age with everything being automised and we being so far off from our reality leads to much inner turmoil and unrest. Our lives of materialistic pursuits miss the very important holistic connection of mind, body and soul exactly what spirituality propagates. Our lives are spent in struggling at the very basic of the human level, trying to meet our survival needs. With the unrest, instability, increasing economic burdens and commercialism our entire lives are spent in trying to find a decent living for our children and ourselves. The sole purpose of educating them is so that they can find reasonable jobs and earn a living. We are so detached from our soul from our inner self and hence the increasing stress and depression. We are paying dearly to be organic from food to emotions, as we have dissociated ourselves from our internal roots. To feel that deep connection with us or with other human beings is a soul requirement. With more of perfect life standards coming in, pressure to look a certain way, filters, apps, tinder, more options, fear of being replaced, the increasing feeling of inadequacy due to rising competitions. The innate desire to feel unique, one of a kind, to have a legacy makes us struggle more at different levels. The desire to fall in love or be loved like no other, to be irreplaceable is what we crave for. We may be with people all day long but we necessarily don’t feel connected all the time. Deep connection comes with no judgment, empathy and by being true to oneself. This is a very basic soul need, which we all crave. Deep human emotion is the most valuable, precious and treasured trait, which is more powerful than anything else. Movies, poetry, theatre, art is all depiction of these emotions in different forms. Deep down we all want to feel, we are all spiritual and emotional beings. Boys in our society and culture are from a very young age taught that to be disconnected with one’s vulnerability is to be strong and they start wearing these cultural masks of bravery where they lose the power of sensitivity and detach themselves at a lot of levels. The pressure to be a certain way and our self-esteem based on those benchmarks and paradigms govern our complete life decisions and happiness. We are mental slaves of biases and Interjects, which we have absorbed. We are taught the superficial meaning of things. “Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens.” — Carl Jung. Spirituality enriches human experiences by giving an insight into the intangible and subtle while also providing a sensitivity of absorption and integration within the self In the olden days, there were several institutions meant to keep this holistic connection intact. There was the institution of khanqah involving a murshad who would keep this connection. In Quran humans have two dimensions zahir and batin, the art that deals with inward rectification and evolvement is known as Sufism. khanqah was the system that carries on with the ways of modification and improvement from inside which manifests in the outward eventually, under expertise of a spiritual person. Then there was our domestic system of elder men and women to initiate the young into adulthood while keeping this connection alive. Spirituality, which connects both transcendent and imminent, was better and more commonly understood and practiced. Spirituality enriches human experiences by giving an insight into the intangible and subtle while also providing a sensitivity of absorption and integration within the self, thus being an integral dimension of the self. In the absence of any of these systems, there was some element, a tool or institution was needed to bring back this holistic connection in our lives and that is where Psychotherapy becomes extremely relevant to our twenty first century lives. The purpose of therapy is to understand the self, our patterns, behaviours, the unconscious leading to self-exploration and growth. It is a process, which aims at the actualisation of an individual. For me spirituality and therapy go hand in hand. The concept of the therapist being a mirror through which the client can see and explore himself leading to actualisation is similar to the ideology of the mirror given by Rumi where you discover yourself. ”Let go of your worries and be completely clear-hearted, like the face of a mirror that contains no images. If you want a clear mirror, behold yourself and see the shameless truth, which the mirror reflects. If metal can be polished to a mirror-like finish, what polishing might the mirror of the heart require? Between the mirror and the heart is this single difference: the heart conceals secrets, while the mirror does not.” — Rumi For a long time, I was intrigued with what wisdom meant to me and I kept searching for answers everywhere, for me I found that true wisdom cannot come without understanding oneself. It has to start from within as our hell and heaven are all inside and without truly being connected to them we cannot experience life in its true essence. The awareness of both external and internal, the ability to feel, stay connected to ones feelings and experience the world outside by application of that knowledge. True wisdom comes not by waiting for change to happen outside not being a slave to externalities but bringing about a change in how we see the world and ourselves and that’s when the pieces of the puzzle start falling into their respective places. Your sickness is from you, but you do not perceive it and your remedy is within you, but you do not sense it. You presume you are a small entity, but within you is enfolded the entire Universe. You are indeed the evident book, by whose alphabet’s the hidden becomes manifest. Therefore you have no need to look beyond yourself. What you seek is within you, if only you reflect. — Imam Ali (AS) The writer is a therapist and a business development manager at Albakio Publishing. She can be reached at email@example.com Published in Daily Times, April 29th 2018.