Casting Out Demons

We must all at times have seen something or heard something that circumstances assured us shouldn’t be there or should not have happened. One that has occurred to me a few times is that I step into my house and see someone standing in the shadows who shouldn’t be there. My heart speeds up, and for moments I am frozen. Then with relief I see it is a coat hung on a door. All the fear drains away and my heart slows down again. Or it could be a sound of something or someone in the house when you are not expecting anyone, or can’t understand what the sound means. Whatever it is, until you understand the cause – recognising the coat on the door for instance – your whole body and emotions respond as if it is a reality. What you believe to be real is responded to completely as if it IS real.
African and Australian tribesmen died because they believed the local witch-doctor had cursed them. The demon that killed them was not outside them, but in them. The demons that throw a person down are not in any of the external events but in their belief that they are a failure, unloved and unlovable.
For millennia shamans, witch-doctors, priests and witches, and now the medical fraternity, have tried to cast out these demons in one way or another. If we are to live free of them, free to really express our potential and meet change and opportunity with the best we are, we need to rid ourselves of those demons. And don’t for a moment think you are free of them. They lurk in shadows. They hide even in the positive things you believe about yourself; for they feed on beliefs as well as doubts. Their very energy is the stuff of thoughts and emotions.
Recently I sat with a woman, Beth, while she explored her usually unconscious feelings and beliefs. Our unconscious dream action often portrays such inner feelings as an object or person, and in her exploration Beth met the Devil. When we dared to face and closely look at this image of evil, what she discovered was that her ancestors had lived in times of great persecution. Being people who had questioning minds, they wondered whether the persecution was in fact justified. Maybe there was something about them that was inferior and detestable.


the devil

Those self-doubts, and the negative feelings that arose from them, created an open door for what has been called the Devil – destructive emotions and urges, negative comparisons, and feelings of being an outsider. Once this is understood it is easy to see other things that leave a door open for evil to enter. They are childhood trauma or abuse, the attitudes, and standards we often pick up – rather like infections – from others around us, and the cultural attitudes we live amidst. When this ‘devil’ enters us it can lead to self-criticism, the denial of one’s own talents and ‘light’, and in bad cases, crime, murder and the infliction of child abuse and trauma.


Knowing this, we can see that much advertising attempts to call these demons into action – Are wrinkles making you look old? – Can you no longer make love like you used to? – Lacking energy, zest, confidence, take this fantastic new formula – What will happen if you die leaving your loved ones uncared for? – What is holding you back – why not completely change your life by signing on this $2000 guaranteed three day course? Defeat ageing, get rich, have fantastic sex, leave failure behind – you know the story. But what the adverts are reaching are the beliefs or feelings that you are ageing, you no longer or never did have fantastic sex, you are childless or a failure. They are grabbing hold of the imagination already working in us that tells us we are doomed, failures, unloved and lonely.
Another factor in this imprisonment is that many of us believe there is no difference between our body and who we are. If we look awful then it means we are an awful or unattractive person. Along with that it is almost impossible for most of us to gain any distance between what we feel and who we believe we are. We feel a failure – we are a failure. We feel inferior – we are inferior. Others of us have been told things as a child – you idiot, can’t you get anything right; you? – never amount to anything, etc. That stuff sticks, and if we believe it we are trapped by it and live it. It all becomes a habit. If we are to find our way out of its clutches we need a new habit, a new way of dealing with it.

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