By Hwaa Irfan
Have you ever been in the situation whereby you have decided to do something, and then not do it, because…! We assume we are in complete control of all we do, we convince ourselves of that and yet sometimes we can want to do something and find we cannot, not because we are not able, but because at that moment we have responded to the greater call, whether that call is emotional, intellectual, physical, or social. The different parts of ourselves act against one another, proving that we are not in control as much as we would like to think!
Once an action is initiated it has to go through the process until one acknowledges that something is not in order, or until that mind loop comes full circle. Just as everything in creation exists according to the patterns/laws of nature, so does the way we think or not think. This is why niyyat, intentions in Islam, or so important because they formulate the beginning action. Scientists at the Massachusetts General Hospital have discovered that there is an underlying mathematical pattern to our preferences, so whatever preference is in motion, the pattern has to be completed to become a law, and the scientists have discovered proof of Relative Preference Theory, which requires further evidence.
Everything we do is based upon either a perceived memory or an actual memory, and through the lens of this experience, we color the world in which we live whether that experience actually happened or not! We have been raised on precepts of modern science, directly and/or indirectly to perceive our memory as being located in the brain, and therefore the brain the most important means of identifying who we are. Without memory, there is no relationship to build on, whether that relationship is with ourselves, others or the environment. But what if our choices, and who we are is not just our brain and our mind is not our brain? A victim of sexual abuse can obliterate memory of the experience in order to feel whole, and that memory can be triggered by a touch in some part of the body, which indicates the memory is not solely located in the brain, and that we do not simply forget because we choose to!
There has been much play on the idea in some films concerning memory and transplants i.e. that for instance if one receives a heart transplant, one inherits the memory of that donor. This storyline is not far from the truth! Memory is not peculiar to the human brain, but all living cells! The clearest example has proven indirectly through classical homeopathic remedies which simply put, consists of one drop of the mother tincture, added to 99 drops of pure alcohol. Then by repeatedly banging the container on a hard surface the remedy becomes completely absorbed/potentized and stronger. It has since then been proven that water molecules hold the memory of whatever has been added to it. Like water molecules, all cells hold memory.
Beginning with brain cells, nerve cells too hold memory. Permanent memory is maintained by the neurons, nerve cells, in the brain, and their ability to reorganize , and connect thus strengthening the memory. However, this is no split second process for it can take minutes or hours. Short term memory is held by the neurons themselves. In addition, memory is held at the synapses, where each neuron connects. This is quite logical when one thinks about it, otherwise how else do the forming cells that undergo continuous cell division in the fetus know how to form tissues, organs, lymphocytes, eyes, legs etc. There has to be a level of memory that other cells can recognize as being of like or unlike.
So, the brain is not the home of the experiential memory, but the memory of the body as a whole. This is affirmed by the fact that stem cells, despite “reprogramming” by man, retain characteristics of the cells from which they came from. So with all these processes going on in our body, how can we change our minds just like that!
In Islam, to initiate and complete a process of change takes 40 days/months/years.
• The Prophet Muhammed (SAW) was 40 years old when he became a prophet.
• Musa spent 40 days on Mount Sinai before receiving the 10 commandments
• Prophet Moses/Musa (AS), and the Jews traveled 40 years in the desert in order that they would forget their ways of the lower self, and be ready to take on the covenant with God.
• Prophet Jonah/Yunus (AS) was in a whales mouth for 40 days
• Forty was the number of days that Prophet Elias/Ilyas (AS) spent in the wilderness before God appeared to him in a cave on Mount Horeb
• Forty was the number of days that Prophet Isa/Jesus (AS) was tempted in the desert by Satan.
• Prophet Muhammed (SAW) prayed and fasted in the cave for 40 days.
• Muhammad Prophet Muhammed (SAW) then had 40 followers to spread the religion of Islam.
• The Great Flood took 40 years
• Prophet Jesus/Issa fasted in the wilderness for forty days
• Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib has narrated from Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) that one who memorizes and preserves forty hadith relating to their religious needs shall be raised by Allah as a learned scholar on the Day of Resurrection.
• Professor Joe Leigh Simpson of Obstetrics and Gynecology – North Western University in Chicago, has found that according to the Qur’an and the Sunnah that indeed in the first 40 days, an important process of embryogenesis does take place, i.e. all the bodily parts, and organs are formed.
• It takes 40 days to finalize an Islamic divorce in order to allow change of mind
• 40 days are allowed for bereavement in Islam, then one must return to the world.
A mind loop is a way of thinking, perceiving within a set framework. It has form, and energy, and to us it is real. When we get to the end of that loop, without any external influence, that loop is repeated, and keeps on repeating unless it is challenged. The intellect/the mind will go round and round a problem without finding a real solution, because the intellect along cannot help itself! On the level of vibrational healing, 40 days represents the end of a mind loop. To change the loop, one has to change the pattern, as the real change happens on the spiritual level, because it is able to get to the root of the problem as it is not confined by the boundaries of the mind. The seat of this change is to learn how to create, because in the process of creating, intuition, compassion, understanding, and harmony arises increasing connection with one’s self by letting go of the ego, or the nafs ammara the desiring self. We forget to live in the only place we have power, not in the past, not in the future, but in the present. We cannot change what has happened, if we recognize what really happened, but we can change how we relate to it, We cannot change what has not happened yet, with what we THINK will happen, because the future needs the present to exist. If we remain trapped in the same mind loop, this same mind loop will be our tomorrow – our future, so the answer is to change the mind loop, and to do that we have to know what is real from the affectation of the mind.
An immediate way to know what is real, and what is a part of the imagination is to remember that we came into this world on a breath. That breath is His spirit, which gave us the life we have chosen not to live. We have forgotten how to breathe from the diaphragm, and to our mind and body. When we hold onto to things not good for us, we forget to breathe. By doing some deep breathing exercises we release toxins in the body physical, and by-products of negative emotions, and remind the mind-body-spirit how to respond.
Breathe in on a count of 3, then hold, then breathe out on a count of three.
Say what you actually see around you
Breathe in on a count of 4, then hold, then breathe out on a count of 4.
- Say what you actually see around you
Breathe in on a count of 5, then hold, then breathe out on a count of 5, the number of choice.
- Say what you actually see around you
Now you are in the present reality!
If one can smile from the heart, not from the mouth, as in the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammed (SAW), as science as proved it does make a real difference, as the mind involves the heart!
Kim, B. et al for the Phenotype Genotype Project in Addiction and Mood Disorders (PGP). Recurrent, Robust and Scalable Patterns Underlie Human Approach and Avoidance. PLoS ONE, 2010; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010613
Islam and Science: 40 Days in the Womb http://www.islamawareness.net/Science/science_40days.html
Live Science. Single Brain Cell Can Hold a Memory http://www.livescience.com/health/090125-memory-cell.html
Science Daily. How the Brain Encodes Memories at a Cellular Level http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091223125125.htm
Polo, J et al. Cell Type of Origin Influences the Molecular and Functional Properties of Mouse Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells. Nature Biotechnology, 2010; DOI: 10.1038/nbt.1667
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