No, really. That fact that here I am, a person, struggling to do good, and all the while, in this invisible world, there are demons gnawing on my soul, tempting me, offering me up delights that look good, but in the end harm me.
Is mental illness any more comforting than the idea of demons? I don’t know. Yes, there are medications people can use to treat mental illness, but from my experience, that only allows them a fighting chance against the demons gnawing on them. I treat my mental illness so I can fight the demons.
Lots of demons out there. Chocolate demons. They whisper, “Just have one brownie. Just one.” You say no, the brownie is full of trans fats, refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup–demons all! But the demon continues to whisper. Until you eat one. Five more later, you hate the demon. Dang demon, making me eat brownies.
Or the bed demons. “Don’t get up. It’s so early. Come back to bed. It’s so cozy. Your work can wait. Come back, come back, come back, to Mordor we will take you.” I go back to bed, then spend the rest of the day regretting it.
Better to blame demons than to blame my poor, human self, though in the end, most likely, it’s just my own poor self to blame. But I can use the idea of demons to manage the more wild aspects of my nature. When tempted, I can say, “Get thee behind me, Satan.”
I think that’s where the idea of evil and demons came from. Part of our natures are self-destructive. Why? I don’t know. I love cigars. Smoking is stupid. Expensive. Self-destructive.
No matter what kind of language you use, whether you call it being possessed by the Devil, addiction, mental illness, sloth, a genetic predisposition to smoke cigars, it all boils down to the same thing. Part of life is managing your demons, whipping them into shape, and striving to be better than your animal self. Because the animal self wants to eat, party, and sleep. And poop. We as human creatures, well, we have other needs. A sense of meaning, friendships, security from the cold wind blowin’, preparing for the future.
Demons are like the honey badger though, they don’t give a care.
Good luck out there. And be careful. Demons are everywhere!