Dostain Dostain

Aristotle’s formula for normal living


In corrida, the bull rider’s adrenaline runs high as he risks his life while mounted atop a bucking bull. An eagle’s eyes shine as it playfully chases its prey in the sky. A cheeta smiles as the target slips away from it.

A person of intellect cherishes the company of like-minded people where they can share ideas and seek mental pleasure. They, like people with some sort of addiction, seek for a situation for intellectual catharsis. In the contrast, someone with a closed mind and a limited understanding of the world, is like a well-programmed robot.

History does not only help us look through our past but also our future. Why and how the black people in America trumped in the Civil Rights Movement? How the short-statured Bengalis finally earned their freedom? How Nelson Mandela tackled the apartheid regime? How the sleepy Arabs stood like a lead wall in front of dynastic executives.

When the mental horizon of man widens and the neurons get to the maximum processing capacity, there is no limit to what a person can do. Putting bars on intellectual activities is like asking a young man, with countless androgen cells, to keep away from girls. Dreams and ideas hit men internally like a boxer’s punches to the punching bag.

Catharsis is a means to bring in psychic balance. When ideas are not allowed to come out, they don’t vanish. They keep burning in the mind and their continuous dumping and repressing radicalizes the thoughts. That is the reason the psychic imbalances give birth to a hostile environment. Parliaments, media and other collective systems of men are basically arrangements to provide an opportunity of catharsis. I believe it was not the suppression of socio-economic rights of the blacks or Bengalis that radicalized them. In fact, it was the subjugation of their right to catharsis.

Analyzing the European transformation reveals some interesting facts regarding the importance of catharsis. No socialist revolution swept Europe, despite being the birth place of Karl Marx, the host continent of Leon Trotsky and Vladimir Lenin and the epicenter of capitalist regimes. Agrarian economies like Russia, China, Vietnam, Cuba and others emerged as communists.

The European societies, after industrial revolution, ensured freedom of expression, the extended family transformed to nuclear family. Individuation and the quadrupling literacy matured the civil society. The purgation helped people to express their frustration and views. Finally, Europe became the center of democratic, feminist, social reformist and environmentalist movements. Contrary to this, the communist regimes with a highly centralized system, did not allow society to grow intellectually.

Powerlessness alienated them, and the ban on the freedom of expression slowed the pace of development. East and West Germany is an eye opening example.

Education and a healthy environment for mind tend to nourish a man’s upper storey. A mature brain produces a river of ideas. If blocked, it can cause flooding.

The best idea for the control of expression is to destroy all formal, informal and non formal education-related institutions. The libraries need to be replaced by profitable cattle farms and costly democratic parliament by a council of autocrats. However, these so called social institutions, if are very dear to the mankind of the 21st century, than let people express themselves through lingua or pen. These are means of catharsis which Aristotle believed is a prerequisite for normal living.

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Dostain Dostain writes on social issues. He conducts research on factors impeding human freedom and peace. He also writes fiction.

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