The demons within

Halloween: The demons within

Demons don’t only exist in Halloween stories or scary movies. They can appear in all of us, stopping us from making progress in life. Until we accept them.

Halloween: The demons within
photo credit: Andrew . Walsh via photopin cc

‘In films such as Tightrope, Lethal Weapon, Angel Heart, and The Morning After, the detective himself became the psycho, suffering from a wide variety of modern maladies sexual obsession, suicidal impulse, traumatic amnesia, alcoholism. In these films the key to justice became the cop’s psychoanalysis of himself. Once the detective came to terms with his inner demons, apprehending the criminal was almost an afterthought.

This evolution was a telling statement about our changing society. Gone was the day when we could comfort ourselves with the notion that all the crazy people were locked up, while we sane people were safely outside the asylum walls. Few of us are so naive today. We know that, given a certain conjunction of events, we too could part company with reality. These Psycho-Thrillers spoke to this threat, to our realization that our toughest task in life is self-analysis as we try to fathom our humanity and bring peace to the wars within.’

Robert McKee. Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting

‘I don’t want to live surrounded by demons!’ Well, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you already are. And those demons will keep showing up, again and again, as soon as you start to take your life in a valued direction. Why so? Again, it all stems back to evolution. Remember, the mind of our ancestors had one overriding imperative: ‘Don’t get killed!’ And an important factor in not getting yourself killed is to get to know your environment. The better you know the terrain and the local wildlife then, obviously, the safer you are; whereas venturing into unknown territory exposes you to all sorts of exotic dangers. So if one of our ancestors decided to explore a new area, his mind would go into a state of red alert. ‘Look out!’ ‘Be careful!’ ‘Could be a crocodile in that pond or a leopard in the bushes!’ And thanks to evolution, our modern minds do the same, only far more extensively.

Thus, as soon as we start to do something new, our mind will start warning us: ‘You might fail’, ‘You might make a mistake’, ‘You might get rejected.’ It warns us with negative thoughts, with disturbing images or bad memories, and with uncomfortable feelings and sensations. And all too often we let these warnings stop us from taking our lives in the direction we really want.’

Russ Harris. The Happiness Trap.

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