- Education and Science
How to Kill Demons
His Demons Haunted Him!
How often have you read that phrase? His demons haunted him! It meant that there was some incident or many incidents in his past that he could not let go for some reason. They ate at him and, through the years, as a consequence, his life went downhill. He never recovered. Bad things kept happening. It was as if there was some curse hanging over his head and nothing he did would make the demons go away.
Examples of Being Haunted
I have a friend whose partner broke up with her seven years ago. He wanted her to stop smoking and she refused to. She firmly believed in the law of attraction and positive thinking. She believed (and still does) that neither smoking nor drinking could harm her because whatever she believed was true. She maintained that her belief made it true.
Many people who have given up smoking or who do not smoke find the taste and odour of smoking repulsive.
My friend was absolutely convinced that he would return to her because they were meant to be together. She believed it. How could it not be true?
It’s been seven years. She drinks and smokes to oblivion. She is heavily depressed. Her bitterness and hatred grow with new accusations. She cannot let go. Her health has deteriorated.
She is also the most entertaining person I have ever met in my life - amazingly kind, as well. I miss her.
Probably my best friend in the whole world, and the one I trust the most is an evangelical Christian. I am an atheist. We completely disagree. She also believes that the hidden government is putting thoughts into her brain. I believe she is schitzophrenic. We disagree vehemently and some nasty things have been said because I cannot live with her denial. Yet, if I won a couple of million, I would sign over a million to her without a thought. She has her demons; I have had mine.
Yet another longstanding childhood friend, a satsangi, was distraught when her husband passed. She firmly believed that because she had met him (and waited all that time) that they would have a long life together. She could not understand why he had passed in his 60s. It haunted her for years.
For years I was haunted myself – unable to figure out why it was that despite working hard, trying my best at all things, I was unable to find a partner or earn sufficient money to be able to survive. Bad things were always happening to me. It didn’t matter what I did or how much I prayed or believed in the law of attraction or believed in positive thinking – bad things continued to happen to me.
Why Do Demons Haunt Some People?
In some people, there is a predisposition in the brain to not let things go when they are not understood or cannot be resolved. So, in order for the thoughts to stop going round and round, they have to either be resolved or an understanding and acceptance of why they happened had to be reached.
People who are haunted by events of the past or who cannot resolve a current conflict appear to have the following common denominators.
- The event cannot be understood in terms of the person’s world view. There is a conflict between the worldview and reality. This is not easily resolved because most people' sense of self is founded upon their belief system.
- The problem cannot be resolved (cannot find a job, a partner, lose weight, etc.) despite numerous efforts over a long period of time.
How I Stopped Being Haunted!
Somewhere in my mid-50s, I let go my belief in God, the law of attraction, and other mysticism. I started turning to hard science. I got diagnosed with a learning disability, and in time, realized that I was autistic after some professionals in the health industry started mentioning it (high functioning – Aspergers).
Only 19% of people who have Asperger’s Syndrome hold down a job. It’s virtually impossible to do so as a result of the poor social skills. High-functioning autistics are problematic in that they can do the job (probably better than most people), but because there appears to be nothing wrong with them, people misunderstand their communication style as obnoxious, rude, and/or aggressive.
Suddenly a lot of things began to make sense to me. It wasn’t easy. That was a decade ago, and while I am no longer haunted, I have had to make peace with the fact that there will never be a partner for me in life, that I am totally useless in social situations, that no amount of prayer or positive thinking will change the situation, and that I’m probably going to be on an extremely limited budget for the rest of my life. Unless, of course, I strike it lucky with some of my writing.
Today, I am no longer haunted, and I increasingly smile. More importantly, I can look at the issues caused by Asperger’s and find a way of working around them. It’s not easy, but it’s doable, and over a period of time, my life has improved.
How to Work with Cause and Effect
“Everything happens for a reason.” That reason is that each action leads to an event, and each event can lead to another action.
An example might be an earthquake that happens in a city with a million people.
Buildings fall down. People die and/or are injured.
The reason that these things happened wasn’t because there was some mighty plan that would lead to something better in the future or teach someone something. The earthquake happened as a result of pressure building between two tectonic plates. The earth shakes violently so buildings fall down. People are caught in the buildings and, because, the human body is somewhat fragile and cannot withstand a building falling on top of them, they either die or are injured.
These are very understandable reasons.
So, let’s go back to the example of my friend and my housemate.
Cause and Effect in Everyday Lives
When people are haunted by thoughts that will not leave them, and when their lives continue to go downhill as a consequence, there are very real reasons for that happening. There is nothing supernatural about the situation.
When there is conflict between a worldview and reality, the situation cannot be resolved or understood.
If one firmly believes that what one believes is real, that’s going to increasingly conflict with daily events. Because my friend refuses to believe that something as simple as smoking and drinking can cause a rift in her relationship, she continues to search for the reason of the split. She cannot let it go because her belief system will not allow her to accept the reality.
Many people cannnot resolve their demons because something they believe is at odds with reality.
When I was haunted, my belief system was in conflict with reality. I believed that God would answer my prayers and show me what I was doing wrongly so that I could fix it. It was never revealed to me. It was only after giving up (some 30 years of wrong belief) my world view and seeking answers in science (reality) that the answers came. Once I knew what the issues were, I was able to resolve a lot of the problems. I am no longer haunted.
Would you give up your belief system in order to come to terms with your demons?
Reality is not easy when it is unpleasant.
I can vouch for that. Probably a great many people can.
When bad things happen and there is great loss, or when people have to live with extreme difficulty, there are no easy answers and there are no easy solutions.
However, it is a step in the right direction to begin to look at what is real and what is a belief. “Faith’ is not a good thing when it counters understanding and prevents closure. Some of the answers might be difficult to live with, but acceptance does eventually come if one is prepared to deal with facts.
© 2017 Tessa Schlesinger