Demons to Daemons
Last weekend, I picked up a book that was on my wishlist for over 2 years- Feeding Your Demons by Lama Tsultrim Allione.
Though I am only halfway through the book, I already sense a transformation in my thinking and perspective towards demons that have occupied my mind over the last decade.
Demons have often got a bad rep, both in mythology and modern society.
People battle different forms of demons every day. Fear, anger, addictions, anxiety, depression, self-hatred, jealousy are just a few such demons.
Often, the advice is to fight your demons or slay your dragons to emerge victorious in the end. However, while there are success stories, many continue to suffer despite the best tries.
In the book, Lama offers a radical way of thinking about demons. Demons are not evil or ugly monsters like we tend to personify them.
In fact, they are often repressed and disowned parts of ourselves. In Western psychology, the parallel is the idea of “shadow” selves by Carl Jung.
The key is not to fight them because the more we fight them, the stronger they become.
The key is to give them what they need consciously, through a Tibetan meditation practice called Chöd– a 5 step process of feeding your demons.
While I will reserve my judgement about the technique till I find a way to practice it, this idea is intriguing.
I was surprised to discover that the word “demon” comes from the Greek word, “daemon” which literally means the guiding spirit. In fact, such was the impact of this realization that I almost had tears in my eyes when I just thought about it for a few minutes.
Lama explains that the “dameon” turned into “demon” due to multiple interpretations over the years. It has resulted in not only the “otherization” of our internal demons but also the “otherization” of people who are different from us.
This happens when we project our demons onto others. Lama says this is what often results in extreme polarization we see in the world (that seems to be becoming more common every passing year).
What if there is a way in which everyone could begin to transform their individual demons to transform the collective demons of hatred and extremism?
What if there is a way in which we can own the disowned parts of ourselves to become whole again and leave a better world for future generations?
What if there is a way in which we can discover the treasure of authenticity and our true potential that lies behind those demons?
Of course, the technique of Chod or feeding demons might not be one right way to do all of the above.
Everyone might resonate with different things but the purpose remains the same.
And this is my wish and hope for you and myself in the new year.
May you find the strength and courage to see your “demons” as “daemons” and transform them into your allies and guiding lights as they were meant to be!
This was all from me, this last week of 2021!
I hope you are safe and healthy. Have a great time with your family and friends over the weekend to welcome the new year! 🙂
I will see you in 2022!
Until next time
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