In the  middle of the night…

I don’t want to write this. I want to be more advanced than I am. But here goes. I woke up this morning with an extreme case of self hatred, self loathing. I was a mistake. I was a loser, a taker, the trickster – I was a complete mess and certainly there was something completely and utterly wrong with me. There was a mistake. There was a chemical imbalance. People have given up on me because I gave up on them since the beginning of time. I had no friends. No one could possibly love me or even like me. If they knew all the craziness they are to leave me alone and rot in some forest. My decaying body at least could be of some benefit to the organisms deep beneath the soil. I have no real friends. People were tolerant of me and a few favorable things that they said were simply obvious ones not to be taken seriously. Everywhere I turned I saw the same negativity. Problem is I was believing in everything. I dropped out of certain groups. I was used up. I did what I thought was the best and now it’s time to die, to be left alone, to be mocked or managed or felt sorry about. I only had a little sense that I was off. Most of the “me” that was imagining and talking was cruel and matter-of-factly. Cruel as in you are worthless, you are a defeatist, you are cheap, you want to just keep taking and you will never be a “leaver” in the sense of author Daniel Quinn.

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You are losing your memory. You are totally afraid of dying. If anything you are good at convincing people of the good about you. And much more. At this point with the covers over my head I needed to do something. I sat up with the covers over my head and exerted as much energy to simply witness it and breathe. Witness and breathe while sitting on the edge of the bed at 4 a.m. taking a break from the voices or at least simply witnessing them. I knew enough of meditation and self work to know that I was in bad shape and yet maybe I would simply turn up the volume of witnessing it over the believing part of the words coming at me.

There was no magic bullet. Almost anything I tried I would give up. The dark forces were winning. I was no Jedi, no warrior. I was defeated and watching them eat away at my soul. Robert Anton Wilson often wrote about the soul eaters and here it was. Here was the battleground and I was given over to the lions and they were winning.

Witnessing could only do so much but I was willing to accept anything. Sitting up was a good step when that was not enough I started to pray. What a loaded word and enforced with so many misinterpretations and judgements. I didn’t care. I prayed to anyone who would or could listen.

I prayed to Rumi, to Buddha to Allah to God and to those who had come before me and to those who will come after me. I prayed to my deceased parents, to my sister who died early after being a mom to 2 children and who was my only and favorite sister. I even prayed to my teachers and pleaded for some kind of understanding and acceptance of who I was, what I had become and what darkness this was that was surrounding me and allowing a festival of soul eaters to do its work on my soul. I witnessed and prayed. The key I knew was my relationship. Relationships always brought out the darkness, the beginnings or continuing addictions for food, sex, chocolate, sugar, alcohol all legal substances of tastes, visuals and states.

They were all very tempting me, warning me yet taunting me to simply give up and time to do something drastic.

What was it going to be this time? Masturbate the energy away and fall asleep? The dark beer in the fridge was calling forth, the easy access to porn was also available and on and on. Wow, is this simply a peculiar bardo state that I or we entered haphazardly on our way to the 11th moon of Arcturus or Heaven or Hell or Canopus in Argos? What was my task in all of this? Give up, surrender and to who or to whom – who was it that was truly ruling us with so much negative energy circulating and subtly and covertly taking the best of us to simply give up.

I was still praying and sitting still on the edge of the bed fighting for my life. It was hellish and I wasn’t losing. If I had lost I wouldn’t be sitting up, someone or someone was helping, was nudging me to stay awake, to keep fighting for my life or whatever those words may convey.

In the mix of sitting up, witnessing as much as possible and battling those voices and forces a tiny thought emerged that I could simply step out of this total engagement of demonic forces and imagine what I could give and to whom… well it wasn’t that difficult to see what needs were around… the house that needed attention.

I got up, moved and did something, gave of myself, helped out, cleaned up, promoted someone’s event online, said a good word to someone … and I survived – all the drama of beating myself up which seemed and felt so real and visceral soon lost its power and prestige and surrendered to some tiny yet evocative effort to simply give to whoever needed it…..

– Bob Banner