Prof. Nevzat Tarhan: “One who lost the meaning of their existence is a candidate for narcissism”

‘Existence Talk with President of Üsküdar University Prof. Nevzat Tarhan’ continues, which was held by Conscious of the Age Club with the support of Üsküdar University Health, Culture and Sport Department. This week’s topic was the title ‘Psychological Dimension of the Story of Prophet Yunus (Jonah). Tarhan evaluated narcissism as the fact that a person lives by forgetting the meaning of their existence and Tarhan underlined that anyone who lost the meaning of their existence is a candidate for narcissism.

Prayer of the Prophet Yunus is a great appeal”

Prof. Tarhan made remarks on psychological dimension of the story of Prophet Yunus by reading sections from Risale-i Nur in the Existence Talks programs this week. Firstly, Tarhan shared some remarks on the story of Prophet Yunus and then touched upon the importance of the prayer of Prophet Yunus. Tarhan said: “The Prophet Yunus’s appeal, prayer is one of the most determined prayers. It is a great appeal.  It is a prayer of respond to the greatest opportunity.  It is an opportunity for prayers to reach its reasons.  It is a touching prayer that becomes an opportunity to receive the related results for what you needed a prayer for.  Summary of Prophet Yunus’s story, he was thrown into sea. A big fish swallowed him. There is a heavy sea, it is dark and rough at night. He prays this appeal “La İlahe İlla Ente Sübhaneke İnni Küntü Minezzalimin” (There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.) in the most hopeless state.  This appeal was an immediate salvation for him. Before Prophet Yunus was thrown into the sea, he was inspired.  They are informed as if he does not amend, regenerate after 40 days, a calamity will happen to them.  On thirty ninth day, they cannot wait for one day longer. Prophet Yunus is being impatient and gets angry and upset. He thinks I was put in a situation as being a false prophet and then he gets on a ship. There was a tradition in the ship if there was a storm. They draw for someone to throw a person into sea. Just one person. If that person dies, they would sacrifice that person and, in that way, storm stops. Before the draw, Prophet Yunus says I am the sinner, throw me to the sea. I returned before waiting God’s message until the end. I made a great mistake and I tortured myself.  According to story, since he was thrown into the sea with that regret, he is saved from Dolphin. Well, in some stories is says dolphin or it says as whale like in Old Testament; however, the strongest story says it is dolphin. He gets away from it. He arrives at the beach. God protects him with a special tree until he gets better on the beach. Then, he says that his community amends. He gets shocked. He wanted to die as he thinks he was put in a situation of being a false prophet.”.

“One saying I killed the self, is riding the horse of the self”

Tarhan expressed that concepts that are described as good and bad object in psychology, are described as ‘nefs’ (self, human soul) in Islamic literature. Tarhan said: “When Prophet Yunus said ‘I became the ones who tortured their self.’. As you know, we all have a good and bad object inside according to psychology. What is the inner good object? Where does it leads to us? This hear is the good object and our nefs is the bad object. It is equivalented to inflict cruelty, oppress, being unfair. Even though he is a prophet, he sins. The quality of being prophet is that their sins are forgiven. Otherwise, they can also make mistakes, they are humans after all. Our Prophet says: ‘I am not a king, I am a human who grew with a dry piece of bread just like you.’. That is, here it is being human first and then being a prophet comes later. It is not that comfortable for a person to obtain something. It does not come without a test, that is, testing the nefs must be included at first.  If a person says I killed my nefs, it means they are riding the horse of nefs.  Aisha also says that if a person says I am one of the good ones, I means they are the one from bad ones. If a person says I am from the bad ones, it means they are the good. This is expressed as being between havf and reca (fear and hope). Being between Death, hope and fear… You should live with this emotion of being between hope and fear. Omer (the second Rashidun caliph) says one person will go to the hell and I am afraid that it would be me and one person will go to the heaven and I hope it would be me.  When a person is between hope and fear like this until their last breath, well, this is actually also like this in psychology. It is not possible for a person to say I am successful. Success is a total success and it will be apparent at the end of the life.  Obedience is a total obedience. It will be apparent at the end of the life, as well.  No one must say I am a good human being, one of the those who reached the salvation (ehl-i necat) or saint.”.

“Religious narcissism is a trickery”

Tarhan said: “If a person says there is no self, inner bad object, the equivalence of that person in psychology is narcissism. Saying ‘I do not make mistakes, I am good, I am saint’ is a religious narcissism. Now, a person with religious narcissism says that they are a saint. They ask for prayers from everyone and let them kiss their hands (as a sign of respect in Turkish culture) and this is a religious narcissism. No one must take this personally, however, if you see a religious leader like that, you must question it.  It is a religious narcissism, trickery. Do not deceive by their game because there are a lot of them in the market. This bad object gets bigger by the compliment and fed by applause. However, it is a trap to be fed by the applause of people, a trap of narcissism. Narcist people play a role of a humble person very well. When thought and emotion are fused into together, tangled with each other, thought comes to mind of humans. They think it as an emotion. They scare and say this is a blasphemy. That is, a thought appears inside or a feeling and thinks that they went astray. However, emotion and thought must be separated. That would be a fusion, otherwise. Thought and emotion are neighbors in the brain.  Thought and emotion are neighbors in human brain and even it is such a neighbor that when you say gunpowder, you think of explosion, right? Gunpowder connotates the feeling of explosion. There is a fusion of thought and emotion. Thought and emotion would be mixed and tangled with each other there. That’s why when we say nefs here, there is training your emotions, training your nefs. There is also training of thoughts. This is expressed as the cognitive side of it. Treatment is a cognitive treatment, however, there is no cognitive treatment without emotional treatment. When you treating the thought, you cannot manage the thought without treating the emotions because you cannot sustain the thoughts. When thought is influenced by the emotion, it becomes a belief. When you continue to that belief, it becomes a habit. When you continue with that habit, it transforms into personality after six months. At least six months. When you learn and develop a behavior, it needs at least six months to repeat that behavior to be permanent.”.

“Narcissism is a person living by forgetting the meaning of their existence”

Stating that “Narcissism is a person living by forgetting the meaning of their existence” Tarhan made highlighting remarks on the danger of narcissism. Tarhan said: “Yunus felts a great regret. He realized he deceived his nefs. First of all, there is a self-awareness. Secondly, there is regret. The regret was not enough and there is also praying for forgiveness. Penitence and praying for forgiveness are not the same thing. Penitence is being aware of it. Praying for forgiveness is to seek help, ask for forgiveness and to expect shelter from a power that knows it all, controls it all in a case like this. Yunus did both of them.  Normally, the stomach of that fish became like a submarine in that sea and the fish protected him.  Now, we are living a world like a simulation, we do not know the outside of the simulation. We do not know what is beyond the black hole.  We are in a simulation. Those who go to the black hole are lost. We cannot know beyond it. However, there is something after there. There is a universe other than matter. It says there might be a power that can control three of them. That indicates as absolute destiny of Allah.  We do not know what tomorrow will bring but we live as we will never die. Here it is underlined greatly of the worldism as in the meaning of secularism philosophy. The world is like we are in a heavy sea. We go through a test like this, just like Prophet Yunus. A wise person takes refuge to Allah in a case like this. They thank to Allah whenever they breath and for the things they have. They take refuge to Allah. A religious narcissism leads to see yourself a god on earth. There are prophet kings but there are god-kings on the earth. There are many Caesar, pharaohs but these are god-kings. They demand an obedience blindly as they claim that they are the shadow of the Creator on this earth, a representative. If a person wants obedience blindly, without questioning, that person has a religious narcissism. If they say it with a race mentality, they have an ethnic narcissism. If they say it with a patriotic mentality, they have a nationality narcissism. All of these are narcissism. That is why, narcissism is a person living by forgetting the meaning of their existence. One who lost the meaning of their existence is a candidate for narcissism. When meaning of life is lost, there is a possibility like this.”.

Üsküdar News Agency NA)