Exorcists to Our Own Emotional Demons - Without a Crucifix
Still Less Painful Than Extracting a Tooth
Every time that I happened to watch yet another movie with exorcism being the part of its theme, I couldn't but smile inside while recognizing a certain similarity between the protocol of it and what long time ago became my mental discipline.
Just like the alleged procedure of exorcism, so my mental discipline does not go "gentle" on those stubborn unconscious patterns of negative emotionalism. If anything, it certainly is not wasting time on "begging" them to leave us alone in our deserved peace.
Not without those official therapists protesting such radical measures, while they are known to practice more tactful approaches. What they would call "suppression", I call "kicking the butt of that unwanted emotional material"; and when they talk about a "traumatic past", I am talking about a "consciously effective present".
I admit, back in 70's I fell in love with Erhard Seminars Training, est for short, which was not beating around the bush, often "exorcising the attendants' demons" over a single weekend or two.
But this is not about est, or any similar therapeutic "strategy" - it's about a simple and often sufficient bunch of ideas which may serve as a wake up call to all those who are proverbially "sick-and-tired of being sick-and-tired".
Not Playing a Life-Coach - Merely Offering an Inspiration
Well, as I must have said in an article or two before, my idea of personal betterment is not about end results but a never ending process of discovering what more we can be. So, feeling good doesn't mean losing interest in feeling better than that.
Just like Lester Levenson said it in his autobiographical story: "When I got the taste of a piece of that pie, I wanted all of it." So goes my story. I can fall asleep in three minutes like a baby, and I am feeling quite detached from the global stupidity even while I may talk about it - having cultivated a good level of happiness without a need for "reasons" to be happy.
And yet, call me "creatively greedy" if you wish, but there is so much more of self exploring to be done, so many better models of experiencing and psycho-physical functioning to be pursued. In this spiritual quest to refine myself into a better human being, I don't see a better use of my retirement time than this working on myself.
So, there are traces of my demons still hiding here and there in my nature, and in a relativity of everything, I am still in the same boat with everyone else trying to give my life more sense, constantly competing with my yesteryear's model of me. Thus I wouldn't dare asking anyone to be "more like myself" - but rather to possibly inspire them to be more of themselves, by shaking off their own little demons, just like I am doing with mine.
"Let Your Food Be Your Medicine" - but Not Your Tranquilizer
In this pursuit I can't really tell if something "added" to my mental makeup has been that crucial part, or has it been something "subtracted from it". Indeed, so many times it intuitively seemed like I would have been just fine if I had done something less.
I have quit everything so far that looked like a chemical crutch or a food for my emotional demons. Long time ago I realized how, together with everyone else I knew, I was abusing my mouth and stomach, expecting from them to compensate for my mental laziness to produce genuine happiness.
I treated fridge as a source of my therapy, opening that magic door like some sort of a medicine chest, or better yet - a treasure chest, and there was always something in there for my boredom, my blues, anger, worry, or anything else from that lousy emotional repertoire.
When I finally had enough of it by spiritually outgrowing that cheap routine, I quit, over a period of time--cold turkey--my beloved several daily coffees, my cherished two packs of cigarettes, and my almost regular buddies, a six-pack of beer. You may call it any other names, but at every of those quitting I could sense those demons in me agonizing over their missing food.
When we stuff our stomach, it gets busy metabolizing, for which it steals the energy of our lousy emoting -- leaving us with that satiated, heavy, pleasant feeling. That's why we reach for food or drinks when we are not really hungry -- it tastes better than the taste of life. The mechanism of the physiological screw-up involved is much more complex than that, but we don't really care about it -- there is always a doctor around if we happen to overdose on stupidity.
A Word on What I Coined "Subjectness"
Now, let's shift our attention to that mental part of "exorcising" those stubborn demonic emotions which oftentimes can't even be defined as anything more specific - other than a persistent overall unhappiness with our life.
Of course, we could pin it to anything from our experience, whether generated in childhood or in later life, giving our shrink some material so that he can earn his fee. But humans are much more complex and as such unable to be squeezed into some theories.
So I reasoned long ago how "desperate times call for desperate measures", and those don't include any beating around the bush. Maybe that's how my little theory of "subjectness" got born - out of a need to find a knock-out punch for that club of demons of mine.
In short, subjectness boils down to a primordial pair of sensations - one of a force stemming out of our personal space: subjectness - giving us a feeling of subjects, doers; and objectness, a sensation of a force invading our personal space - making us feel as victims, or objects of an outside condition or activity.
The ratio between these two forces spells out the "voltage" of our will-power. Subjectness may be called gutsiness, if you wish, for it's that attitude of being in control of our life, with our conscious intent, our intuitive guidance, and our sovereign detachment from the suggestive influences coming from the herd, pardon, society.
Obviously, it's sharply opposite from "feeling possessed", whereas objectness is preferred inner environment for those demons to thrive in. Living in the shadow of all those impressive "entities", whether of our household, or earth, or heaven, means giving up our own power, surrendering to the unpredictable whims of the forces outside.
It also means succumbing mentally and intellectually to others' thinking, allowing us to get brainwashed, intimidated, and manipulated, like reactive robots with a programmed "automatic pilot" that soon becomes our identity.
Let us not deceive ourselves that those with apparently strong appearances are also those with predominant subjectness in their guts. Even that hero in the front line of a battlefield may be just a programmed toy of his political boss, allowing himself to be exposed to possibilities of having his freaking head blown off. Subjectness is life promoting, while cultivating happiness, health, harmony, and constructive relationships.
There must be some personal demons in every soldier making him to voluntarily enlist into the military. "Patriotism", and alike slogans just come as a handy excuse. Even that "gutsy" bank robber or a ruthless psychopath are only reactive machines, with many demons pushing them into irrational behavior - nothing to do with a conscious self-conduct of subjectness.
Born to Be Free
Being "possessed" is opposite to our very basic biological egoism with which we have to do our own breathing, sleeping, eating, and yes -- thinking and emoting. Those demons hurt us because they feel as "foreign bodies" within our nature.
It is in our default nature to think for ourselves, to follow our own intuition, not to be reactive robots with an untold complexity of learned knee-jerk reflexes. We even have the power to override our heredity, as the science is telling us these days with the new findings in epigenetics. We are actually so powerful that we should be a little scared of our own negative thoughts -- if we were conscious of what we are doing to ourselves on energy level of our bodily constitution.
Well, as I am just getting hot for telling you more, I know that at some point I'll have to leave you with your own thoughts. So, allow me to go a little ambitious and hope that with these few ideas a reader or two may have got inspired to start or to continue kicking the butt of those inner demons.
While insisting on feeling good, pretending, keeping their heads high, avoiding victim-like conversations filled with hate, criticism, and fear of future -- and by possibly modifying their food choices a bit, it's possible to do it in no time.
Don't forget, it's those very demons that are making us believe that "it's hard", or even "impossible". Don't fall for it. Don't fall for anyone's brainwashing -- let alone those inner discouraging voices of -- you know whom.
What might help in that process is remembering all those past new year's resolutions, those inner pleas of the soul that turned out to be just a laughing stock to our demons. You know, that very image of them laughing at me made me quit all those chemical crutches, resolute to use my head for my happiness, not my taste buds to give a better taste to life.
Everyone has their own wake up calls, and I hope to have added something to yours. Be well everyone.