De-condition your mind, introspect | The Sunday Guardian | 20th May 2012 | Page 12
The chapter entitled Al-Isra (The Night Journey) of the Quran points out a problem — that of mindset — which is common to all men and women: "Say to them, 'Everyone acts in his own way and only your Lord knows best who is rightly guided'" (17:84).
Acting in one's own way, that is, according to one's own mindset, is a psychological phenomenon. It stems from a set of attitudes or fixed ideas that vary from one individual to another and are often difficult to change.
The human mindset, according to which all men and women think, is conditioned by the social environment. But this mindset does not provide a set of moral standards. Only God Almighty can do that. It is the duty of every man and woman to examine his or her mindset when he reaches maturity. Then he or she must discover the norms that are approved of by God and try to come to terms with the standards set by their Maker.
This process can be called the de-conditioning of conditioned minds. It is this de-conditioning from which one's intellectual journey begins. It is the first duty of every human being to examine his conditioned mind, to scrutinise it by intensive introspection, and then to correct his way of thinking.
Without undergoing the process of de-conditioning, one is bound to live by one's own suppositions. De-conditioning purifies the mind. De-conditioning makes each human being aware of the Creation Plan of God, of the laws of nature and of the external realities that have remained hidden from one's mind because of conditioning.
It is this intellectual process that guarantees right thinking and right action as well as right planning in this world. Without de-conditioning our minds, we are unable to understand the truth beyond our mental ambit.