Jan 29, 2009

On the Nature of Demons

When I was a young teenager, I had a series of dreams that were all the same. I had a sword, and I had to hack my way through a relentless horde of demons! It was like a video game, except I had never seen such a game, they didn't exist back then. Every night was the same, fighting and slaying, I would wake up in a sweat! Until finally one night I killed them all - just a rather large pile of demon bodies around me. I never dreamed of demons (at least not those kind) again.

In hindsight, the biggest demon I ever slew was my fear of being a faggot. I mean, I was raised a white upper middle-class boy by Republican, Presbyterian stock. I went to church. I believed it. I was supposed to marry Tassie, the Holy Grail of sorority girls. She was beautiful and yet chaste, smart but not overly so, and she was always dressed like her mother read The Preppy Handbook like the bible. And her daddy was rich. My whole life was laid out before me.

Until I met Randy and I kissed his rough, whiskered face and felt his strong lips and his thick tongue that wrestled with my own for dominance, and I realized... nothing was better than that... not even Tassie and all her fringe benefits.

I think once or twice Tassie came over to my parent's place - on the lake. It felt all very privileged and such - the lakefront property declaring the value of my inheritance to any interested parties. My Sol Cat catamaran was parked on the dock, and oddly enough, the mast fell down (victim of a faulty stay) on the very day Tassie visited. Maybe the Solar gods weren't so hot on Tassie either.

The great irony is that as soon as I slew this demon and began to tell others that I was gay, I was called "demon-possessed". I guess demons don't like being outed.


tommy said...

I'm not even gay (just more in touch with my "feminine" aspect than other dudes, I've been told) and I've had to deal with people being homophobic towards me a few times. Not sure what that says about me. Maybe they are closeted and think I'm attractive?

FilmNoir23 said...

Doesn't that say more about the "Christians" you've been surrounded by than anything about you?

James Ratte said...

The availble stock has made me non-sexual, celibacy is very easy.

Much Love though

Michael said...

Hi all, thanks for commenting.

Tommy, I'd say you are probably accurate. If Kinsey was right, most people are bi to some degree (we gay only types are quite rare) and most guys are fine with that and no big deal. But the church makes it a big deal, and then we get all kinds of internalized homophobia that leaches out in all kinds of ways.

In a way, I was "born again" by LEAVING the family church and its rigid ideas about morality. It's really only been the past five years or so that I've taken a second look at the bible and Christian myths and I see all kinds of veiled homosexuality going on.

Conversely, I find many "Christians" like George Bush or the Pope to be profoundly immoral.



Devin said...

Michael-reading your blog always brings back such memories! I not only read it for the synchromysticism but also for your other thoughts-I also dated girls throughout the HS years-in my heart I knew the worm was never going to turn so to speak-I was only ever pegged as a 'faggot' when my abysmal efforts in Phys Ed were noticed-when I came into this world I was a lively and inquisitive child-when the world began its process of making hamburger out of me-as it does with so many of us-straight or gay-I almost became a living ghost and tremendously shy-oddly enough my HS years comparitively were very happy ones-especially compared to many other gay men-for I had discovered the great capitalist super medication-booze! This of course later turned into a series of heartaches in later years that I will always regret-I have such an OCD-addictive personality anyway and I will always struggle with various addictions I think-best as always to you and Varen! thanks also for putting so much of your heart and experiences into your blog!

Christopher Knowles said...

Demons are just other people's gods.

As to the church, I think Ted Haggard is the rule, not the exception. Which is the reason for the hysteria.

Anadæ said...

Nowadays, though, the former St Marks Baths, long ago shut down, is a three stories tall Kim's, perfect to suit the immediate New York University & East Village environs for all your indie music, fanzine, and fringe DVD needs.

The also closed Club Baths Chain, mere blocks away, First Ave @ East 2nd St, had a much different logo than the appropriated Boris Vallejo poster for its competitor, a satyr. Pansexuality y'all?

Have a great Candlemas/Imbolc/Fassnacht, however you celebrate,
Anadæ ( :-)}

Michael said...

Devin, I always appreciate your coming around and commenting, and Anadae, thanks for the Bath house rundown. I think it's interesting that "The Secret Gospel of Mark" is alleged to contain a reference to Jesus and homo sex - which is why I guess it had to be kept a secret!? The Saint was the other notorious NYC club.

Christopher - I was musing how the Catholic church designed the perfect gay recruiting scheme: Make having babies and marriage sacred, make gay sex a sin, and then make it a sin for priests to marry! I think plenty of young gay nobles did the math...

Cheers, Michael

Jaspal said...

I did suffer a lot of bullying at school, and plenty of racism here in the land of "multiculturalism" and "tolerance" that we call England. Now that I look back on it, with plenty of "why didn't I just kick the crap out of those people?", which any other Sikh would do, I think that what I have experienced in life is for a reason, and I am the person I am today because of those experiences, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I've met plenty of gay people during the years and I always find them quite charming and nice. There is something about that hermaphrodite state that I think takes us back to what humanity was always about, love and understanding, before one of our ribs got removed and Pandora’s box was opened.

I saw The Prophecy yesterday, Gabriel leading the second war and doubting Thomas trying to stop him, with the dark soul planed in Mary. The Angels were without gender, as they are in most movies. Like in Constantine, Gabriel is the bad guy. Also strange to see “Return of King” Viggo playing Lucifer, return of Shiva? I wanted to ask what you made of this film, and whether you concur that Lucifer and Gabriel are one in the same person, being the most beloved and sharing that all seeing third eye.

Also Shiva is without gender or birth, like Lucifer he was the first creation, and like him he brings light and destroys illusions.

Michael said...

Hi Jaspal, I haven't seen the film, but just read the wiki notes on it. The war between the angels has been a long time fascination of mine. I tend to find these kinds of movies that are so explicitly about End Times and Revelation to be very dark and the end result is actually a reduction of faith in the audience - so I question the agenda...?

Shiva as Lucifer is thought provoking, I don't know much about Gabriel or the myths surrounding him, so I won't comment on that.

Thanks for a great comment!


Esperanto Grrl said...

In psychology, the appearance of monsters in dreams means a fear of a personal characteristic you don't like in yourself, so you deal with it by externalizing it into a form "outside" yourself, an "other" that you're afraid of.

Most people are able to live with their bad traits and incorporate them into themselves. Children are usually just developing a sense of self, so they have dreams about monsters more than adults do. (This is also why so-called "multiple personality disorder," or the inability to integrate sides of a whole together, are almost always related to childhood trauma).

As a psych grad student, I've always felt that religion had the same relationship with psychology that alchemy had to chemistry and astrology with astronomy.

This is especially obvious with things like Tibetan "Diamond Path" Buddhism, where the way to defeat "demons" is to acknowledge they're a part of you and use their powers to help.

Also, it doesn't surprise me that you stopped having the demon-killing dreams when you came out.

Finally...Mikey, you had a yacht? An inheritance? Has it occurred to you that if there are secret, shadowy conspiracies of powerful, rich people, you'd probably be in on it? :-)

Michael said...

Hi EG - thanks for commenting. One of my favorite Jungians (Paul Levy) wrote a great book about George Bush being the personification of America's fear of it's own demons, such as racism, Islam, running out of oil, etc. The way he describes it, GWB was like a manifested demon of the collective subconscious, which I think is a fabulous way of looking at things.

But yea, dealing with internalized homophobia is a big "dragon-slayer" moment for a gay teenager. As far as conspiracies go, they are a reflection of corporate (group, not company) subconscious fears, which may or may not act themselves out on the world stage - I find them fascinating grist for self (and global) examination.

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