Years later his parents removed themselves from the church. Their reasoning was that the church had started many mission groups that would “too heavily impose their beliefs on others.” Essentially they would go into communities, inform individuals that their spiritual practices were wrong, and then push them to convert to Christianity. It took me years to see the irony in this being their reasoning for leaving the Church, I mean hadn’t they been imposing the beliefs of the church on me for my entire life? I hadn’t even gotten a chance to discover what my own beliefs were, and in the process I had missed eleven years of Halloween based on the assumption that it was the “devil’s holiday”.
I thought I could walk away from all of that fear, that had obsessively routed itself into my being. For years I pushed away from anything that had any kind of spiritual resemblance. I consciously and spitefully disdained those who maintained a spiritual practice. Obviously those people were “so afraid of death, they needed a promise of the afterlife to keep them sane”. This became easier with drugs and alcohol which came into my life around the age of 13. I thought I had successfully gotten away from the grip of satan, how could I fear something that wasn’t real. But then when I was sixteen I met the Devil.
After a quick and intense battle with cancer my mother had recently died. It dramatically changed the course of my life.
We can talk about this later.
I would hardly attend class, but was often ushered out of the door each morning to at least try. On one particular morning the devil was waiting for me on the corner. He was a typical cartoonish image; red, horns, general aura of unpleasantness. It was wearing a leather jacket that was just a little too big, and smoking a cigar as the early hours of morning crept up onto its shoulders. It didn’t look at me. Just as everyone else on the corner it reserved its silent energy for waiting for the bus to arrive. Everyone seemed to take this thing for granted, and as I approached I remarked that I was not so much afraid as confused. When I had made my way to maybe a foot from the creature, a turn of the head transformed the creature to an overweight man in sunglasses.
Along with the strong urges of my therapist, and psychiatrist I admitted myself to a psychiatric ward later that week. Although this may have been a reemergence of my old fear I realize now that it was a watered down version of a horror that I had tried to eradicate from my being. The Devil was superficial, an apathetic bystander that could do me no more harm than the other pedestrians waiting for the bus. It wasn’t insidious, it wasn’t malicious, it was just present. The real devil I feared was something that grabbed out at me from my insides, using my body as a base of operations as it scouted out ways to infiltrate the rest of the universe. The real devil would make me see that deep down, I myself was that Evil primal being that I had feared all those years. This being came later.