Prof. Nevzat Tarhan: “We must manage emotions in the triangle of spirit, heart and mind”

The topic of "Managing emotions in the triangle of spirit, heart and mind" was discussed this week in the "Psychological Conversations from Existence to the Search for Meaning" with President of Üsküdar University Prof. Nevzat Tarhan. Referring to the importance of emotion management, Tarhan indicated that people's feelings of hopelessness and pessimism come through the devil. Tarhan said, “The despair of a person is something that makes one be fooled by the devil. The devil quite easily fools a person who falls into despair and pessimism.”. Tarhan noted that hopeless and pessimistic feelings can be overcome by managing emotions in the triangle of spirit, heart and mind.

 “Pain, troubles and difficulties are part of growing up”

Pointing out that popular culture encourages humanity to live easily and simply, Tarhan emphasized that pain and troubles are a part of growing up. Stating that the effect of modernism spreading from individuals to society caused the destruction of the whole society, Tarhan said, "Evil spreads five times faster than goodness." Tarhan also added; “Modernism leads us to easy choices. Popular culture says travel, wander around, live your life and the moment. However, it is not living the moment, but it is to live in the moment. So, do what you want, break the chains, break the walls, live. Popular culture always recommends easy, pleasure-oriented things. However, an ideal person will aspire to difficult things in their personal development so that their future life will be easier, but if one aspires to easy things now, their life will become difficult in the future. You always chase after easy ways; the person cannot finish school. Pain, troubles, difficulties are part of growing up. A person does not grow up, and because a does not grow, their life becomes more difficult and waste themselves instead of getting easier. In such cases, the devil says live your life, the devil says you came to the world once. By just saying that, it is enough to drive a person astray. Forget it, let others think, live your own life, why do you think about those who died in the earthquake, the devil says. It is easy, you like it. With a cup of coffee in hand, one gives advice about earthquakes on social media. If a person goes and takes on responsibility, if one does something and sends it, if one supports AFAD and associations there, but one does nothing, a person just say words. That's what the devil is doing. It is not understood when it is small, but when it spreads to most of the society, the society sinks, the ship sinks. It should not be said that nothing can happen from one thing. Evil spreads five times faster than good. It has that effect. It has been tested in our brain too. Our brain responds to positive responses at a rate of three hundred milliseconds, but to negative responses after fifty milliseconds, or even six times as fast. Maybe we are six times more sensitive to negative emotions, but we do something positive six times later.”.

“Devil gives advice that disturbs the peace of the universe and leads astray”

Making evaluations in the context of types of physiciancy, Tarhan emphasized that the main medicine is to prevent the disease before a person gets sick. Tarhan said, “According to crime theory, primary protection is to raise awareness of crime in society. Secondary prevention is identifying risk groups. It is to determine which group is at risk and has the highest potential to commit crimes. Tertiary protection is also punishment and rehabilitation after the crime has been committed. By doing this, the Qur'an makes it primary protection. There are three types of medicine in medicine; curative medicine, preventive medicine and preventive medicine. In Texas, there is a famous physician who wrote a book at the age of ninety-odd, the name of his book is "How Not to Not Become a Patient of Heart Disease". After that, one and a half million copies were sold. A journalist was interviewing him, and he was asked if he had any regrets at the moment. He said ‘I have operated on about fifteen hundred people and helped them regain their health, but if I knew then, I would have written that book when I was thirty, not at the age of ninety, and I would have ensured that 1.5 million people did not have heart disease.' This is primary protection. Here, too, there is a growth effect not to disturb the peace of others so that people do not cause mischief, because it is sin. Sin is easy. These are very easy things. For example, stealing, you steal the money from the man's pocket, you play with an account, you take the world's money, it is so easy. The man has spent years to earn that money, now is this man not punished? Which system would not give a penalty for it? You are breaking the law of this universe. Even the fish in the sea would complain about it because they disrupt the harmony. So, in such cases, the devil is trying to lead people astray.”.

 “If a person has a mental shelter, one gets over the calamities easily”

Referring to the importance of seeing Allah as a mental shelter and taking refuge in Him in the face of calamities and tests, Tarhan said that there is the same balance in society as in the balance of good-evil in one's personal life. Tarhan stated: “People caught in calamity can overcome these calamities by taking refuge in Allah. For example, there has been a disaster of an earthquake, there is a fatality of disease, and the secret of forgiveness is a refuge, a shelter for people who are afflicted with this calamity. A refuge means a safe space. You are entering the safe space of Allah. You feel that you are not alone against sickness and calamities, so there is a power that is omnipotent, omniscient, and will-absolute, controlling everything. When that power sees me, feels even the memories in my heart, and says I am not alone, the person takes themselves to the safe area. We call it a mental shelter in psychology. A person says that if they have a mental shelter, then one relaxes. If one has a mental shelter, I surrender to him. The captain of the ship says they know the job, they are not restless, but they also express their state. If someone is doing something wrong inside the ship, it leads me astray, but I take refuge in you. If someone on the ship causes mischief, it means that you sit and watch, one says take refuge in Allah there. If you do not fix it as much as you can, he says take shelter in me. If the captain of the ship is negligent, if your situation is going wrong, he says take refuge in me, the captain of the universe ship. At that time, the spiritual good and evil in the world would rise to the sky. If there are many good deeds, God will help there. If bad things happen a lot, calamities would start to come to the society. There is the same thing in society as the balance of good and evil in a person's personal life.”.

“Fire and gunpowder are side by side in our brains”

Tarhan, who also shared about the characteristics of the devil and the different thoughts the devil gave to people highlighted the fact that different thoughts can come to people's minds, especially on religious issues, and this situation can turn into a 'religious obsession'. Tarhan said: “In Bediüzzaman Said Nursi's work; He says, ‘The most distinctive feature of the devil is that he connects the imagination with the description of unbelief to some sensitive and loyal hearted people.’.  Fire and gunpowder do not stand side by side outside, right, but in our brains, fire and gunpowder are side by side. When you say fire, you immediately remember gunpowder, or when you say gunpowder, you remember fire. Our brains are closely connected and opposites balance each other out. There is a 'possible universe’, and there is an 'actual universe'. This is also called modern logic. Bediüzzaman Said Nursi used modern logic a lot, there is a definition of logic made in the 1920s and he uses it a lot. We are in a building here in Istanbul, an earthquake is possible right now, but it is not likely. It is possible in the Maraş region, because there was a big earthquake a few weeks ago, and it may happen now. That's why people do not go inside, even if it is a new building, they stay in tents because it is possible but not possible, it is more probable than possible. However, when there is an earthquake, there are probability calculations for this, but in their brain, people say "possibility". There is blasphemy against Allah and bad thoughts against holy things, which is referred to as religious obsession. In fact, it is possible and not likely, it is not possible for such a thing to happen in terms of reasons, but it still seems to have happened to the person.”.

 “We must manage emotions in the triangle of spirit, heart and mind”

Noting that the feelings of hopelessness and pessimism come to people with the delusion of the devil, Tarhan mentioned that people who surrender to these feelings can only be saved by 'managing emotions in the triangle of spirit, heart and mind'. Tarhan said, “Ye’se, that is, falling into despair, is something that makes a person being fooled by the devil. The devil plays very easily with people who fall into despair and pessimism. When you are falling into Ye'se, the devil plays a lot with cowardly people. Desperate, hopeless, pessimistic and coward people are ruled with fear since they are ruled with fear, it sometimes influences ambitions. Managing emotions in the spirit, heart and mind triangle is very important here. The nafs (soul) says go, do this, the devil gives delusions to the mind. The devil has no sanction power, he only gives delusions, but our brain gains a material dimension as we think about it. Misgiving disrupts the paths in the brain, when the paths get deteriorated, there is no need for evil, the brain starts to produce automatically, then we are hospitalized and we do treatments that improve brain chemistry. In that case, there is no need for the devil anymore, in that case the brain gains a material dimension. The devil really exploits the weak side of people very well. That is why the greatest deceiver is the devil for those who fall ill, those who are in trouble, those who are in distress, the weak and the powerless. The devil knows their weak side and uses it. That's why I gave a TEDX presentation on this last year, titled ‘How do our minds go astray?’ How our mind goes astray, what kind of thought pattern comes to one's head, and the person makes the biggest lines of their life. The devil uses greed as well, including the ambition to heal someone who is sick.”.

 “Human has three kinds of reality in this world”

Stating that there are three types of perception of reality in the human brain, Tarhan pointed out that reality testing develops in children after the age of 5-6. Tarhan said “Man has three kinds of realities in this world. In the 'physical reality' we live in, fire burns, for example, if you touch the stove with your hand, it will burn. The other is 'imaginary reality.' You dream in imaginary reality, you go to space, you fix the world and you dream the dreams you want, and then when you wake up, you say it was a dream and you come back to your sense. Schizophrenics confuse dreams with reality, they dream, they fix the world with dreams, they come to the real world and say that I fixed this, I did that, I started this war, I prevented it. Then you are saying that this person has confused physical reality with imaginary reality. You say that these people did not operate the brain's reality test network. That person uses their brain incorrectly and cannot distinguish between reality and fantasy. A third reality is 'dream realism.' You wake up from a dream and you think there is a twilight, is it a dream or a reality? If it is good, you think it was a good dream, if it is bad, it is good that you woke up. We do a reality test and realize it. This breaks the reality test; the person confuses fantasy with reality. It is dangerous for children to watch movies alone until the age of 5-6 because they do not know the reality test. After the age of 5-6, the child gains the reality test, before that they mix the dream with the reality.”.


Üsküdar News Agency (ÜNA)