Sunday, February 14, 2010

dancing with demons

In psychology, I believe, the establishment will tell you that a person in the throes of an hallucination is every bit as convinced by that hallucination as another person might be convinced by his or her reality -- a more recognizable or agreed-upon or 'sane' reality.

A man who is convinced that a piece of rope is a venomous viper is thoroughly convinced. Maybe I've got this wrong from the psychology point of view, but it sounds about right. And I certainly admire the shrink who can help to bring the rope back to life for the one hallucinating -- who can help to make life more manageable and less threatening.

Who would not wish to eradicate that which poses a danger or a fright? Or, if eradication proved impossible, who would not wish to learn at least to dance with his demons?

I never did learn to dance very well. Never did get over the glass-is-half-empty, you-don't-deserve-it formatting. And it's too late now. Others will have to do better. I certainly hope they will...that they will not settle for compromises or half-measures.

Someone once suggested that suffering, in the sense that Buddhists use the term, is little more than resistance to pain. Resistance ... the unwillingness or self-serving incapacity to dance.

My resistance consists in this: I still long to dance with my demons. It is just one of my demons: "Hey Adam, didn't you get the memo? -- white men can't dance!"

Resistance ... yes, I can play the spiritual-endeavor card ... run through the paces of experience cum reflection -- ask "what demons?" and "who creates demons?" and "whose resistance is this?" -- but it's too late now. I'm tired and I'm no longer impressed. If the rope is a snake, the rope is a snake. Let someone else lay out good money and energy to recognize ropes.

I never did learn to dance with my demons.

But maybe that's pretty good dancing.

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