THE ART OF DECONDITIONING

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Soulveda

According to the German philosopher, Nietzsche, the secret of bringing a developed man into existence lies in self-thinking. But in my opinion, that is a half-truth. The whole truth is that the secret of producing a developed man lies in anti-self-thinking. The reason for this is that everyone lives in some society or the other. This society continually exercises formative influences on his mind, until finally his thinking becomes totally conditioned by those influences.

The American psychologist, JB Watson, wrongly took the man conditioned in this way to be a real man, but he was an artificial rather than a real man.

The process of spiritual or intellectual development begins with the de-conditioning of this conditioned mind. The more one de-conditions the mind, the more one will gain in spiritual or intellectual development. The truth is that everyone is born spiritual. But, after birth, he lives in a society, which continues to condition him. Spirituality makes it possible to erase this conditioning and allows the individual to revert to the natural state in which he was born. Another name for this is the de-conditioning of the mind.

In this respect, the human mind can be likened to an onion. In the centre of the onion, initially, there is a small kernel or the natural state of the mind. Then layers start forming, one upon the other over this inner kernel. This process continues until the inner kernel is totally covered with external layers. Now, apparently, layers alone are visible. The kernel is completely covered and remains invisible. To find the kernel of the onion, all the external layers have to be removed. Similarly, all the conditioning has to be removed in order to restore the natural man to his pristine nature. This process of de-conditioning is similar to the removal of the onion’s layers. The whole concept of spiritual science is highlighted by this example.

How can de-conditioning take place? There is only one simple formula: ‘learn to say, “I was wrong.” Many times in our lives we are confronted with situations in which we realise that we were wrong in our thoughts, speech or actions. But we do not have the courage to say that we were wrong. This stops our de-conditioning process. It is only by openly saying that we were wrong and accepting the truth that our de-conditioning continues and we can go back to our nature and intellectually develop ourselves.

The individual, to regain his spiritual character, has, therefore, to de-condition himself through a superior intellectual process, which will necessitate his mental de-conditioning. And it is spirituality that makes it possible to de-condition the individual, so that he may revert to the natural state in which he was born. Only then will he be of a divine character.