The Demon Within & Without

We all like to think of ourselves as nice people. And almost every time that’s true. We are nice people. By default, i.e.

Nice is an inherited; nay, an imposed definition of how we should be. We all live that. We smile at our neighbours, we thank people and we say sorry for things we would rather not be apologetic about. We serve a social contract, as we should, if we are to live in society.

Then, as the day ends, we close our doors, say our sweet goodnight, and we are alone. Are we?

Unrevealing as they are, we face our demons. Nothing social about them. They are as personal as it gets. We close our eyes, we toss & turn, we read badly written books, we take medication, we ignore them; them the demons.

A friend recently told me of beings in a temple. These unseen beings clamour and cling to you when you visit a Shiva temple. Ganas, they are called. The reason why you do not leave a temple just after you have worshipped the deity, is that these Ganas envelope you. So, you stay, and allow them to find other victims. Demons, in Sanatan construction, they have multiple incarnations. There’s the Rakshasa, the Asura, the Daitya, and other forms.

2550: Temple Art

But let’s exit the forms of a demon. Let’s not consider the kinds of the demons; their role in mythology and their accrued (and eventually corrupted) meaning. Let’s make it personal, but let’s keep the context alive. My own demon, or demons. There came a time when demons became friends. We embraced them will-fully. At the time, we had no idea that there are good demons and bad demons. But demons they were. The good, the bad, and the ugly were eventually defined. And while those that we embraced lived alongside, we qualified them, even if we did not discard them.

A new day dawned.

We had to hide our demons. Slowly and surely, all that was good about the demons was systematically eradicated. We had to take extra care in hiding our demons. Without a thought of the nature of the demons, they were relegated to the bad. Demons became demons.

Our sense of bad is directly related to our sense of good. Unfortunately our sense of good is so shallow, that our sense of bad is equally shallow. What’s good; what’s bad, is a borrowed ethic.

I have my own demons. I love them, I hate them, at times. Just like you. Yes, those same demons, that we ignore; not fear; ignore. We have to fight all our demons. Those that we do not want in our lives, we have to vanquish. The other’s, we have to tell them: leave. Demons aren’t attached to us; we are attached to demons.

Some demons, spend so much time with you, they seem to become friends. But they aren’t. They are just companions-for-long. That’s different from friends. Friends happily stay away from you for years; it does not matter. But if a companion stays away from you for a few hours, you despair.

Not all demons are demons. One of these days, we will see ourself in a mirror.

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