Issue 78 –
DISOWNED SELVES – Our Lost Heritage
Encountering the Demonic: Embracing Our Disowned Selves
Sally, a very loving, caring woman, provided us with a beautiful example of how demonic energies develop and how, at a certain point in the evolution of consciousness, the disowned energy pattern presents itself to us, insisting that we look at it however repugnant it may be. She had the following dream:
I dreamt I was the emissary of some emperor, making contact and hopefully arranging an alliance with the sultan of a large country in the Middle East. It was about 800 A.D. I was with the sultan and he decided to take me for a tour of his palace.
After seeing all the beautiful aspects of it-fountains, gardens, and so on-he took me to the dungeons and prisons to show me how he dealt with people who were criminals or wrongdoers. He was very impersonal about his treatment of these people and felt he was fair and equitable in his handling of their punishment. He showed me people being punished in the mildest manner, such as whipping for some minor infraction, to tortures and deaths by torture that ran the range from awful to revolting and ghastly! I, the messenger/emissary, was horrified and appalled at the sultan’s cold-blooded indifference to the suffering of the tortured and dying people.
He was proud of his system of punishments, feeling he was fairly assigning punishments. When I asked him how he could not be affected by the pain of his victims, he was surprised I should ask and just answered that human life was of small importance, and very expendable; that the lives of these people just didn’t matter.
I was shaken and revolted by his callous indifference to the incredibly horrible way he was torturing people to death. Then I woke up, feeling revolted, shaken, and appalled at the scenes of torture and dying, and terrified of the cold-blooded sultan I had just witnessed in my dream.
Sally was raised in a patriarchal family that was highly impersonal and rejected feelings. She made up her mind early in life that she would not be that way, and so she became the opposite-a totally loving and caring human being. Her impersonal qualities and negative feelings were buried. Throughout her life she encountered situations in which individuals embodying demonic energies attacked her. As we said earlier, what we disown, life brings to us, over and over again, until we can recognize the teaching within these repetitive, unpleasant life experiences.
In the dream, Sally’s unconscious brought this negated energy to her. She met the cruelty of the sultan-a man not merely cruel, but impersonally cruel. He was everything she had chosen not to be by identifying with her loving self. There is nothing wrong with being loving, but Sally was identified with this pattern to the exclusion of her instinctual heritage; she was trying to be a certain way at the expense of other feelings. This is like building a beautiful home on top of a rattlesnake pit: We are unaware of the snakes writhing beneath us until one day someone gets bitten, or we ourselves are poisoned.