Taught by the heav'nly Muse to venture down
The dark descent, and up to reascend...”
THIS OLD SERPENT
It is my personal belief that the potential for both sides of any dichotomy exist within each of us individually, and that we choose which aspect of the polarity we manifest. Many of us are undoubtedly furious with religion for its monstrous societal control whilst still being attracted to its stories that have rightly or wrongly helped to shape our inner worlds.
When I was a child I sensed that the Eden story was somehow a powerful and disturbing idea, and while not fully understanding its symbolism, I felt that eating the forbidden fruit was the only logical thing for Eve to do. To my young mind it seemed Adam and Eve were prisoners in the garden; that they were owned by a god (whatever a god was) who thought of them as slaves, or worse, as pets. I was secretly glad they ate the apple. This interpretation of the Eden myth is entirely my own, based on a vague childlike intuition that I was not being told the unvarnished truth. I simply did not believe in the existence of the cold, joyless God that seemed implied by the story. Because a slave who feels joy will soon take pleasure in questioning such an authority, will not fear death or the whip, and will eventually rise up and take back his or her sovereignty.
THE EXORCISM OF US
Questioning authority is usually far more terrifying than we're willing to readily admit. Not simply because it is frightening to question tradition, custom or those with power, but because we are aware on some level just how familiar we are with servitude. We are comfortable with it because we have been engaging in variations on that general theme for most of recorded human history. It's easy to tell ourselves that enslavement of varying kinds are simply the prices paid for life in our world. Part of us is aware that we might feel strangely bereft without the presence of a governing patriarch, at least for a brief time, regardless of how monstrous or controlling he was. It's things like this that stay our hand when we flirt with the idea of attempting to take back our sovereignty on a spiritual and psychological level. Most people claim to enjoy change, but are afraid of it when it rears its head. Things that truly question or threaten the status quo tend to get vilified as satanic, heretical and blasphemous.
Our modern society is deeply schizoid. But it is more than that. In my opinion we are collectively suffering from some terrible malady that could be likened to demonic possession. We are clearly exalted beings in some way, capable of art and magick and wisdom and compassion - the highest beauty. And yet we are also fallen creatures capable of unholy depths of depravity, filth and spiritual sickness. I would suggest that this schizoid Jekyll & Hyde psychology is perhaps the result of the human race possessing two minds, two forms of consciousness. The first is our true exalted nature; our creative, divine spark. The second is a nature that was given to us somehow; placed within us and retrofitted to appear native to the species -- a predator psychology. But not the mindset of any earthly predator. I'm talking about a consciousness so dark and labyrinthine that it seems, for all intents and purposes, alien. Or, to put a finer point on it, the parasite mind of the Archon. We needn't take this concept literally though. I'm simply using it to elucidate the complexities of our human experience.
Symbolically at least, demonic possession is a useful analogy. But we must take this analogy further. Possession has and is being used by religious fundamentalists as an excuse for all kinds of cruelty and abuse, most of it visited upon innocent children. I'm taking about a far more subtle form of possession -- the possession by fundamentalism itself, of all kinds. To label a particular group or individual as satanic or demonic or unholy is a tried and tested way to wage war in our world. The Abrahamic religions do it all the time -- fundamentalist Christians and Jews and Muslims all hating each other, despite their beliefs all being variations on the same basic theme; that of monarchical monotheism. And a particularly virulent, abrasive kind at that. Liars come in many forms, and not all of them are fork-tongued and serpentine. In fact, most of them come dressed in the raiments of our religious, scientific and political priesthoods. Like all good colonists, they have given us their minds. We must take back our psychological and spiritual sovereignty at all costs, or they will call us demons whilst they themselves defile every single sacred thing. We must become exorcists ourselves, not of others but of our own imaginations. What is at stake is the very fate of Heaven and Earth.