Wednesday 28 August 2013
Demon to tea
A couple of weeks ago with a little too much time on my hands one of my demons came to see me. I decided to really invite him in, to deliberately put myself in the place where we face each other; the place the button gets pressed. The result was a complex mixture of emotions resulting in a fairly deep depression. Fortunately I retained objectivity and knew that this was 'the black dog' and not some sustaining truth. The 'black dog' moved off on Friday. Depression it is said is anger spread thin. There certainly seemed to be truth in that this time; the emotional mix was grief, sadness, shame, anger, and confusion. And there is self loathing lurking in the roots of it. I believe in looking at my demons because I think they have something valuable to tell me. I know I have to 'invite them to tea'. The trouble is that they have such poor table manners and I don't always remember that the tea party can take longer than perhaps I'd reckoned on! The depression was just part of the party. This demon is a big one. It's complex and I can't see it all in one go. I also have a feeling that my relationship with it is at the level of my life force; the desire to have experience, to live, to be in the world. All demons are about our wanting our experience to be a certain way; the nature of samsara. But beyond little and/or unwholesome desires there is the very will to live. I believe we come out of unity in order that the very unity of which we are might see itself. This is my understanding of nirvana in samsara; that the two are one and the same. So, I notice I experience desires which seem to run very deep and although they may not be clear I feel they point to my reason for being in the world. It is as if some part of me is saying 'look closely; this is what you came here (into human form) for'. Now a demon tied up with this is guarding a treasure. Not a trinket or a toy but, I believe, a dharma gate and the path back to the market place. Could it be that the gift of this demon is to see the nature of the very will to live; the nature of birth and death? I've got shame around this demon; the shame is part of him. This is because I feel I've wasted time in my life through fear and perhaps (for me) worse, ignorance. I find it difficult to accept not knowing, being ignorant. This too is about fear. When triggers in everyday life get mixed up with feeling that I have in the past and/or still am in the present wasting my life I am looking at this demon. There are complex issues of feelings from the past which I believe were not fully felt at the time together with feelings about the present. This makes it difficult to know how much is historic and how much is contemporary. As ever with such things all one can do is to invite softening, keep breathing and gently hold the question 'what is it that wants to emerge?'. Not pushing away/repressing, not getting too caught up. But I have to say I don't find it easy to keep the master at home when big demons come to tea, even if they do get invited! Perhaps an interesting question is 'just who is it that invites them?'