Greetings from the Land of Enchantment: The Devil Inside

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Devil Inside

It's interesting the convergence of things. It's one of the reasons I used to read multiple books at a time--I loved the often profoundly sympatico convergences that happened between vastly different topics or genres.

I'm in the middle of a 40-day sadhana in which I read the Chandi di Vaar as well as doing 11 repetitions of the Tithe too pauri from Anand Sahib. Both are to protect and expel 'demons'. I began the practice as a way to protect my beloved and myself and to clear any obstacles. I've sense realized that the practice is for me--and my own healing.

The body holds memory; even though every cell in the body is replaced at some point (at least every 7 years if not every 48 hours, in some cases), the body still holds the story, or I should say the mind does. What happens if we drop the story? Would our bodies have an opportunity to completely renew? Or does the story run so deep--at the cellular and molecular level--that regardless of our conscious efforts to drop the pain and the past, the body holds on for dear life? I don't know the answer to that--but I do know that I have old stories held within me. Stories that were embedded in me as a child; stories that were implanted before I even had a language to be aware of them.

One such story is of 'the devil.' My mother and I still go around and around about this one (so apologies mom). But in my transformation process, I've realized that I'm carrying so much unnecessary shame and guilt. It's not that I haven't done things whose natural outcome is to feel shame or guilt. That's not the point. The point is that the notion of the devil inside, "the notorious devil-made-me-do-it" thinking creates a split within the psyche. Which is worse? To believe some force of evil generated negative actions in my life or take responsibility for it myself? Either way it's a hard pill to swallow; but if I take the responsibility myself, then I at least have an opportunity to resolve it. If it's some outside force, then what power do I have to change?

Another way of seeing this paradigm turns it completely on its head: God is the doer. Everything, whether we perceive it as 'good' or 'bad' is done by the one Doer--God--and is therefore a part of our path, our journey toward discovering our Self and the God within. This of course allows for no split in the psyche--but it does allow for a lot of compassion and grace and prayer that that force that's greater than ourselves can intervene and take our lives in a new direction.

And so I continue my process of expelling the demons--and it does feel like an exorcism in some cases! So, maybe you're right after all mom, maybe there is a devil inside. But if there is, it's only an idea that my mind accepted from my culture, retold in my subconscious, and continually renewed until I was ready to drop it and write a new story. A story of liberation and freedom and surrender and grace and all that is good. All things come from God and all things go to God.

May we expel our demons
and live in the light
of our ever renewed consciousness

May we drop the stories
and dwell in the moment
with an eye always on the prize

The illumined Self--Saibhang


At 12:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your article is somewhat complicated to understand the root of the cause. However, I would like to share my thoughts.

First of all, there is no devil sitting within us or outside who is controlling us. It's our own psychological process that has been tempered by our life experiences. In olden days, people had no expalnation to these kind of behaviors or feelings and the easy way to explain things was to blame it on the devil. History is the proof behind it, Where the priest of the past used to drill holes in the skull to pull the devil out of the brain.

Second, I do agree that God is a doer, but God NEVER gives pain or destroys life because he or she is the creater. Our karma's and actions we take currerntly have an affect on our future and as well as on our thought process.

I feel lot of pain in your writings, and it feels like that you have lot of guilt of your past actions. But remember that everyone in this world makes mistakes and we need to learn from those mistakes and move on. We need to accept our mistakes and then get up and remove the dirt by meditation and seva.

There is no point of killing ourselves because of past mistakes. God and Guru does not care about our past mistakes if we have learned from them. If we keep on dwelling upon them then we are throwing ourselves into hot fire which would be difficult to get out.

So, please don't be too hard on yourself. Even if one second of focused Naam is mediatated it will destroys all bad mistakes done in the past. Even in Guru Granth sahib, it is written about one prostitute who was awakened by a sadhu (saint) and then she gave up on her job and started mediatation and seva. At the end God and guru took her in their arms with love. NO JUDGEMENTS.

It is funny when people try to scare other people that you have made mistakes and God will punish you. God NEVER punishes because he/she wants his/her creation to be safe and loved. If we suffer pain its because of our actions and karmas. Our actions will bring pain into life sooner or later, it has nothing to do with God.

God is a protector of weak, shelterless, homeless, resented ones in the society.

Please if you think that you have problems with mood or depression or neurotic breakdown then see your doctor. We always think that medicine is BAD but its not true. Once our Neurotransmitters are normalized then slowly the medications can be tapered down to very small doses then eventually out of it.

Science is God's Gift to humanity. God gave us all the knowledge so that we could help the humanity.

Please don't waste your time dispelling devils because devil is our mind and nothing else. Good diet, excericiese, Naam japna, SEVA will help to create new patterns.

We need to accept that everyone make mistakes but our aim is to learn out of the history not to stick with it. Once you accept that mistakes were made then pray before God to help you since you are the daughter of that divine source. AFter the prayer then never look back. Just focus ahead. Do lot of SEVA.

Life is TOO SHORT, to be wasted in agony and pain.


At 1:07 PM, Blogger Sat Purkh Kaur Khalsa said...

Thank you for your comments G-ji. Well, the point of my essay was exactly that--to recognize that the 'devil' is only the mind. But you've restated it much more clearly perhaps.

It's also interesting to have reflected back to me the gravity of my situation. You're not the first to suggest medication at this point. But I've been there and done that in the past; not interested in going there again unless I really need to.

Naam simran. Jaap.

Blessings and here's to all of us getting clear of our own devils.

At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sat Purkh Khalsa ji,

Remember that every night has a new morning. A night never goes back to the previous night but it could repeat itself in the future. Same thing with ourselves. If we have made mistakes in the past then we cannot go back and fix them but we learn from it so it is not repeated again. Or at least not try to repeat same mistakes again.

Thats all about sikhi. After learning there will be a new morning, but life is like a roller coaster. If life had been very striaght forward then we would not be very different from animals who wander around for food and reproduce only. God wanted more from human beings. God wanted them to achieve very high levels of spirtuality.

You know that every GAME has it rules and if we play by the rules and play hard we may end up wininng a gold medal in the olympics. God has created a challenge before every human being and see who is the real champion.

But if we pray, do SEVA then that Game will seem very easy. EVen though we are tested over again and again. Sikhi is about accepting this challenge and surrendering oursleves to that constant source of energy.

You are a Khalsa. Acutally, you may not know but you have way more power than Durga maata. You are the divine source and you have every thing it takes to slay your demons (psyhce) and uplift others.

MAN TU JOT SAROOP HAI, TU APNA MOOL PACHAAN...... Oh mind you are a divine source of light recongize yourself that you are the part of that ulitmate source............

I would like to point out that I was depreesed for more than a year. My mood began to swing, lost interest, used to get tired every easily and so on and on. I thought that I will get out it myself but it did not help me. Then I went to see my family doc and he prescirbed some meds for two months. AFter 4 weeks I started to feel happy and became more productive. Instead of worry about the future I became more aware of my present and anxiety attacks came under control.

But I do respect your descsions. I hope I was near to you to help you out. But we are Guru Nanaks sangat (cyber)...



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