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"Self-Exorcism" Done on Our Inner Demons

Val is a life-long student of unexplored human potential and many challenges that self-honesty throws at us on that path.


Less Painful than Extracting a Tooth

While my movie watching taste has changed since, there was a time when I saw as entertaining those spooky movies which might have exorcism in them being performed.

And then I would, smilingly, recognize a certain similarity between that merciless ridding of inner demons -- and what my own mental disciplining felt like.

No cross was used in the procedure of scaring those crazy demons out of my personal space -- it was my sheer will replacing it. A will backed up by realization that there must have been a better emotional repertoire somewhere available in me.

Well, at the time in question, I couldn't really say that I was emotionally messed up, but my spiritual quest of exploring my unused potential, with all that shitload of books read, simply acted as a push for that "better" in me.

So, somewhat similar to the alleged procedure of that exorcism, I didn't go one bit "gentle" on those stubborn patterns of negative emotionalism. If anything, I didn't waste my time on any equivalent to "begging" them to leave.

In short, it surely wouldn't have won an applause from shrinks, who are known to go way more tactful in their prescribed approaches. So, what they might have recognized as an "act of conscious suppression", I called "kicking the ass of unwanted emotional material". And when they talk about the significance of the "past trauma", I talk about the glory of a "consciously effective present".

At this point, I might as well admit how I got greatly inspired by then popular Erhard Seminar Training, or "est" for short, that was not known for anything like beating around the bush, while transforming lives of the attendants in matter of a weekend or two.

But this is not about est, or any other of the popular self-help modalities; it's about a bunch of simple, yet effective ideas, which, put into practice, can kick the ass of those inner demons sabotaging our peace of mind.


Not Playing a "Life Coach" -- Merely Offering an Inspiration

As I have hinted earlier, my own mental discipline was not about any final goals, but meant to become a life-long process of warding off all assaults on our peace of mind, while forever searching for those better, and better models of psycho-physical functioning.

My own results would sound like a shitload of shameless bragging, but just suffice it to say that at this age of 77 I can fall asleep in 3 minutes even if I lay down on a hard floor and surrounded by noise. And I haven't seen any doctors, used any prescription or over the counter meds in the last 15 years so so.

So, damn it, I must have done "something" good with all this "self- exorcising".

Well, there is a good dose of humbleness in all this, probably heavily inspired in the past by my practicing some principles of zen-Buddhism (not becoming a Buddhist in the process).

Among others, getting rid of ego and its false importance ever since meant a lot to me. Thus, it's relevant here to be mentioned, because, by exorcising those inner demons, we are not to attain any "superiority status" over others. Indeed, there is no competitive bone in me; if competing with my yesteryear self doesn't count.

It's a never ending process of discovering what else we could be -- so, feeling good doesn't mean losing interest in feeling better.

Well, I just don't see any more fulfilling way of spending my retirement than by working on myself.

That includes this emotional detachment from the world's stupidity, even while I am writing about it in my many articles -- more in a cool sense of "diagnosing", not bitching about it.

So, here I go sharing some of it with you, not pretending to be a life-coach or to talk from some high pedestal of a smart ass. Simply sharing, that's all.


"Letting Your Food Be Your Medicine" -- but Not Your Tranquilizer

In this pursuit I can't really tell if anything "added" to my mental makeup played an important part, but much more likely, it was something that was "subtracted" from my life's routines.

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 I had been abusing my mouth, stomach, and lungs, expecting from them to compensate for my mental laziness to produce genuine happiness.

I treated fridge as a medicine chest, or better yet -- a treasure chest, as there was always something in there for my boredom, my blues, anger, worry, or anything else from that crappy emotional repertoire.

So when I finally had enough of it, by spiritually outgrowing that cheap routine, I quit, one by one over a period of time -- cold turkey -- my beloved several daily coffees, my cherished two packs of cigarettes, and my much mournable buddy a six-pack of beer.

Never tasted any again ever since, never got tempted. Actually, after quitting coffee, my wife was shocked seeing me making coffee for her the very next morning; just like my drinking buddies were shocked to see me serving them beer or wine without placing one more glass for myself on the table.

I also stopped bribing those demons with heavy meals to leave me alone. Namely, as we get stuffed, our body starts using enormous amounts of available energy for metabolizing, stealing much of that energy from our emotions, so that we are enjoying that feeling of heaviness and satisfaction.

My fridge suddenly got half empty, my body mass went down -- not even to mention a great victory in a battle with my inner demons.

Albeit, a won battle doesn't mean a won war. The main part still had to be done in the head.


"Subjectness", My Own Little Creation in Fight with Inner Demons

Now, let's shift our attention to that mental part of self-exorcising of those inner demonic emotions, which oftentimes can'r even be defined as anything specific, other than a persistent emotional crappiness.

Of course, if we really wanted to, we could play shrinks and pin it to anything back there in the past that carries an emotional charge of a trauma.

But we won't go there, because in my mental apothecary" our past has no significance whatsoever.

Actually, quite the opposite, it's all about a conscious staying in the present and not allowing our demons to keep replaying the soap opera of the past in our nervous system.

With such realizations, well enforced by the early mentioned Erhard Seminars Training, I intuitively came up with something that I named "Subjectness".

Now, struggling to make it as simple and as practical as possible, while avoiding much theory, here is the unavoidable nutshell of it.

I see this primordial, basic pair of sensations in our energy system -- one of a force stemming out from our personal space, which I called subjectness , and which gives us a sense of subjects, proactive doers in our life, with will power, gutsiness, intuitive guidance and intent.

And then I see the opposite sensation of a force as if invading our personal space, which I called "objectness", giving us a sense of being objects of outside conditions or events, in its higher intensity making us feel like helpless victims. That's where I saw those demons feeding on that sense of objectness.

(I may write a whole article on subjectness in a near future).

It became a fun insisting on the idea that I should "DO" my emoting, rather than let it "happen to me".

It added a new dimension to the whole of my mental dynamics, making me create a new purpose in life marked with something like a personal sovereignty, or de-hypnotizing from the suggestive assaults by the society.

I suddenly realized that I could consciously choose my life-promoting beliefs, my attitudinal advantages, my daily thoughts and emotions -- by staying as a subject, a doer, in each here-and-now.

In terms of "exorcism", that meant not being "possessed" anymore by a random and chaotic suggestive inputs coming from the world's drama, daily news, others' complaints and -- yes, their displays of their own objectness.


"Nothing Succeeds Like Success" -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Now, just like it was with my quitting all chemical crutches, those demons didn't take it well when I started showing them who was going to be the director of the rest of the show.

They kicked and screamed, feeding me thoughts of self-doubt, feeding me ideas about my being crazy to try "being something different than the familar-me" -- even giving me some physical discomforts, at times resembling flu symptoms.

Then I realized why people always quit their transformation efforts too soon -- because the old self won't give up so easily its staying in charge. Those crazy defensive and reactive ego-strategies, stemming from what I called "objectness" make us believe that staying the same is the only way to survive.

So, instead of persisting in an almost effortless conscious choosing, we allow the whole thing to become an inner conflict between two tendencies -- and every inner conflict spells objectness, or something "being done unto us".

We cannot become happy by "struggling for happiness", only by allowing it to be in a free impetus of our feeling of subjects, doers in our life. Just like I quit cold-turkey my sweet poisons back there -- not by struggling with myself, but by allowing myself the new sense of freedom.

Non-smokers don't bother thinking "what is the life without cigarettes like" -- and I was in an instant business of imitating a non-smoker's attitude.

And that's exactly how I went about defeating those inner demons -- not by struggling with them, but by mobilizing the imagined picture of how a happy-me would feel.

And when I am evoking that bliss at will, I don't try hard to remove everything that is not bliss, but by simply "DOING" my bliss.

And when I am falling asleep in 3 minutes or less, I simply scan through my emotional files until I find "what sleepiness feels like", and then I "DO what sleeping is about".

Well, I don't know how better to describe it all, although I know that there are always better ways to do everything. So, just try to settle for this version until I think of that "better" one. I hope at least some of you may have found something in this post that felt like an inspiration.

© 2021 Val Karas

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