Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fight when you have to, climb when you can

I found the right words again. I cannot read it often enough. So I quote it here.
It is from the book "Spiritual Warfare" by Jed McKenna, page 259 ff:
"Imagine you're climbing out of a dark sewer and some beast has its teeth sunk into your leg, making a lot of noise and tearing at you and weighing you down; a demon. Are you going to jump back down into the sewer and fight it? A lot of people think that's the answer, but why do that? It's tough to slay demons because they're symptoms, not causes, and even if you kill one, there are always more. What's next, a fight to the death with your obsesssive neatness? Pistols at dawn with your love of chocolate? The only real result of these little battles is that you haven't gone anywhere; you're still in the sewer. All you've really killed is time, and time is all you relly have. You haven't killed a demon, you've lost a piece of your life, and that means they've won; the part of you that's afraid to move forward has won. You have to ask yourself, what's your objective? To achieve mental equilibrium in a sewer or to climb out of it? To slay every little demon or to rise up out of the realms they inhabit? Don't laugh like it's obvious, everyone seeks solutions within the sewer rather than escape from it. Battling demons is the ultimate form of shadow boxing. You're just punching at an empty projection of yourself. For our purposes, if demons aren't demonizing you, then they don't exist; it's as simple as that."
"Sounds like a cop out," says Justin,"like a way of not dealing with your issues."
"Who agrees with Justin?" I ask the group, and many people nod or raise their hands.
"So do I," I agree, "it does sound like a cop out, but dealing with our issues is a real cop out. It's our way of avoiding the real war by engaging ourselves at the level of minor skirmishes. Who wouldn't prefer to struggle against their addiction to caffeine instead of their addiction to mindless conformity?"
They laugh.
"As we develop a subtler and more refined understanding of what a demon is, identifying them by what they do, not how they look, we begin to see that demons aren't limited to addictions and critical voices. It's not just negative attachments that hold us captive within ego's sphere, it's all attachments. The approach to life and spirituality where we decrease bad things like sins and addictions, and increase good things like love and compassion, never has and never will move anyone a single step in the direction of awakening."
........
"Demons keep us unfocused and distracted," I continue, " which is something the Spiritual Autolyses is very effective at cutting through. The need to deal with tormenting demons comes up again and again as we progress, so you have to know what to do as a matter of policy; keep climbing or jump down and fight? My advice: Fight when you have to, climb when you can. Futher is everything. Use the writing to keep yourself in thight focus and the demons will die from lack of attention."

Enough qouting.

1 comment:

Begin - writing, yoga, and more said...

Oh, Ursula, this is so very interesting. I just read a book this summer "Feeding Your Demons" which has a very different approach. I'll write about it when I have time to really say what I wish.

One thing I notice with Jed McKenna is that there is a lot of fight energy there, a lot of struggle, with the overarching metaphor of war. That works.
I wonder what other ways we could approach our need to come to terms with our lives and experiences?

Best to you - all the bakery and BF stuff sounds yummy!
Marie