The other day a man cursed me - up, down and sideways - with some of the most colorful expletives I've ever heard, for five minutes straight! In retrospect, I should have expected it - I had offered to get rid of his demons.
You might think that offering to help someone would always be welcomed, especially if they first request it. But no, not always. It's useful to be absolutely sure before you walk into such a potential mine field.
Last Friday, I was relaxing with my friend, Bobby, enjoying a delightful pale ale at a local restaurant. I was describing my upcoming event where I would show people how to clear out their energy centers to relieve stress and feel light, free and energized.
That was when Bobby's friend John walked up. Bobby introduced us and John seemed interested in the energy work that I was describing. As soon as Bobby walked over to talk to some other friends he recognized, John had my full attention.
John was a medium-sized man with a fluffy, white beard. He seemed very pleasant, but even in the dim light, I could see pain in his eyes. He asked what my event would do for him, if he were to attend. I told him it would get rid of discordant energies surrounding him and he would "bliss out."
That's when he leaned a little closer and asked, "How much would it cost to get rid of my demons?"
I said, "Twenty bucks. Just come on Wednesday and I'll make sure they're gone."
He said, "For 20 bucks, you can get rid of my demons?"
I nodded, "Yes." That's when he exploded. He told me there was no way I could get rid of his demons. That I was a quack, a charlatan and a thief, preying on gullible people.
I assumed that he had misunderstood me. I said, "I can get rid of your discordant energies, including your demons; but if you go back to thinking your negative thoughts, feeling your negative feelings and doing your negative acts, your demons will come back."
He ignored me and continued his expletive-filled tirade. While he paused for breath, I explained further, "Jesus healed lots of people. Do you remember what he would say afterwards? Go and sin no more."
I leaned closer to try and get him to focus on what I was saying, rather than sit back while he remained stuck in his anger. "Do you understand what he meant? It wasn't a moral judgment. He was just telling people that after he healed them, not to go back to doing the same unhealthy things that got them sick in the first place."
Reason was no longer working with John. His stream of colorful (and uncommon) curse words continued. I tried to agree with John. "You're right. I can't get rid of your demons."
He continued his rant. I came to a realization and decided to share it: "I can't get rid of your demons, because you're too attached to them."
What part of John's face that was not covered by his beard got even redder, while he continued screaming even louder, incoherently, and completely out of control. I did not sense any physical danger. John was not the type who beat people up - more likely, he was the type who got beaten up, which would add to his tales of woe and add to his list of demons he could complain about. Finally, I had enough. I said, "Forget it. My offer is withdrawn. Just continue on with your life, just as it is."
Before John could react, Bobby rushed over. He put his hand on John's shoulder and asked him several times to "calm down and relax," reminding him, "Ed is a very good friend of mine."As if a light switch was turned off, John abruptly stopped and apologized to me. I shook his hand and said, "Apology accepted."
Then John stepped back, took a deep breath and walked out the door. Bobby shrugged and said, "Underneath it all, he's actually a nice guy." And I realized, so is almost everyone "a nice person, underneath it all." It's only when we get attached to our own image of who we are that things can get off track.
It doesn't matter if that perceived image is one full of virtue or one filled with demons. If you threaten someone's self-image, he or she will rebel. And when you threaten to "take down" their self-image (by offering to rid a person of his demons, for example), you risk having that someone fight you for what they presume to be "who they are."
The point is that we are not our perceived demons or our perceived virtues. We are majestic spiritual beings living a human life. Ultimately, we are single points of awareness in the Oneness that is Reality. To identify with such superficial attributes is not in tune with our true nature and will lead to needless conflict.
But while we continue to grow, evolve and approach these higher states of consciousness, unless you're absolutely sure of a person's intention, as a word of caution, never offer to rid a man of his demons.