Tuesday, September 16, 2008


"Call us 'Legion' for we many"

(Sept.16, Here and Now) Not everyone, actually, quite few, will ever face them directly and have the opportunity to look them in the eye. Those that manage to stumble and crawl into a situation that permits such an encounter never walk away unscathed or satisfied. It is not possible to do so. That simple truth is the definition for and nature of such an encounter: none of the involved parties care to make eye contact with the others beneath the harsh, bright light of day. Nope. No way. That’s why these encounters occur in the dark of the night.

These are not casual acquaintances however; the participants are more familiar with each other and comfortable in the night. They have all shared hours; cumulatively years, with each other in the dark. They have shared intimacy of the most profound variety while existing in dread of each other; desperately hoping to avoid further contact. They are all detestable; no doubt can be entertained about that. But, absolutely, they are each products of the night. They embrace the darkness as a well worn cloak. They would have rare but tortured contact during idle moments.

There are two parties involved here: one is the individual, the soul and spirit of that person; the other parties may consist of multiple entities, they may be Legion for, they may be many. They are demons- demons from the past that will never relent, never cease to hound and haunt, never let you forget who they are, why they are yours and they will follow you to the grave: perhaps, beyond. Who knows?

Darkness is possessed of contrary properties to the initiated. It is as concealing as it is revealing. The absence of light allows truth to be obscure, hazy, very ill defined just as it can render it exposed unabashedly with a clarity that defies the absence of light in the temporal sense. Shame is not usually part of the night; shame is a habitual resident of daylight hours. The conscious mind provides fertile ground for shame. Memory fuels whatever it is that causes shame. So when shame steps from the shadows into the night, when the waking hours barriers between conscious, subconscious and unconscious no longer serve as partitions, there is serious business to be done. One can be awake to conduct this business but usually it initiates as the three levels of the mind merge during the natural nocturnal changing of the guard.

Some are able to, albeit, uneasily, sleep through the darkness while the select few may stare at infomercials while drinking desperately, waiting and sweating anticipating their companions arrival. While hoping a valve, gasket or some other biological structure will fail due to the self abuse that is alcoholism, they wait: they know all too well the rhythm of the night.

While circadian cycles and physiology might expect and induce sleep, the companions will not allow it. As one approaches a different state of altered consciousness - sleep - the companions arrive well rested, jovial and ready to engage. Even the fact of knowing they will recede by sun up, or simply vanish after they’ve had they’ve had their say for the time being, amused themselves at your expense, does not in any way reduce the dread they inspire. Once they arrive, they will consume the night. They will reach deep into the shared past and grasp at shards and jagged remnants, toss them mockingly on the floor and want to discuss them. There can be no choice in this: once confronted by them and the charred, damaged chunks of a broken past they roughly extract, from all your yesterdays there can be no looking away. This is their business. This is why they come knocking demanding entry which is impossible to refuse.

They visit not simply to be judge and jury in a never ending trial but to be regular guests arriving with mischievous smiles prior knowledge of every transgression, sin and act that would attract the attention of and permanently assign you a demon: prepared, perpetually, to prosecute. And that they do. They are in the possession of ironclad evidence, they know the witnesses for they were the witnesses. The demons are the jackals, you the slow moving antelope. There is no doubt who will win such a fight.

How many times does a soul need to plead guilty until they no longer receive these nocturnal intrusions, such rude awakenings in the night? How long until the jackals, your jackals tire of the game? The answer is never. Death is the only possible relief and that remains arguable.

By this stage of the jackal / antelope relationship that spans decades, familiarity does not breed contempt. How could it? Each is known too well by the other; odd as it may appear, they have developed a rapport. It may not always be “cordial”: both parties know their roles, why they find themselves together locked in such an odd psychical embrace. It’s a perverse variant of the “Stockholm Syndrome”.

Perhaps you are one among us who have seen them eye to eye, face to face and felt the chill of their stare, the mockery of their surety. Get to know them as well as possible. There never will be peaceful just an occasional reprieve. Maybe they vacation in Haddes. Or New Jersey.

TBC welcomes a new Cynyc, Gino G., a philosophical ethicist and defense attorney with The Palermo Associates Gino also serves as an Associate General Counsel in the Theoretical Security Philosophy Department of BronxWest Consulting.

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