The Account of a Lifetime

May 8, 2011

The Second Demon: Kshawor

Filed under: demons,Reflections — xisor @ 3:35 am

Kshawor

I think this one’s actually pretty easy. Sometimes, in life, you feel yourself. Most of the time, in fact. If you don’t, I understand that to be a spot of an issue. Nevertheless, this Kshawor, as it is difficult to really analyse, except for the things it does, is a fiesty beast. More than that: it’s a binary beast. It either has you, or it’s long gone and untenable.

How would I know it? Looking back, particularly in the times closest to now (what we normally call the recent past, I’m given to understand) I identify the sensation by simply having gaps. Long gaps, usually, (i.e. not mere minutes/hours so contrasts to any points where I lose my temper, for instance) wherein I do almost nothing at all. Not ‘cease existing’ and bored myself up, but fritter the time away. Do nothing, uncaringly ignore plans and schedules I’m supposed to be keeping, half-arsedly attempt/say-I’ve-completed the things I do actually undertake. I imagine I’m probably a bit annoying when I’m in ‘that place’, but perhaps fortunately I’m suitable inactive/lacklustre enough to fly within people’s tolerance levels, to mix a metaphor or three.

Unfortunately, sometimes (indeed: a lot of the time) I’m actually required in my interactions to have sensibly, involved and not-lacklustre interactions with the rest of the world. That stress, that jarring confrontation between ‘I’m on malefic autopilot’ and ‘give me a damn answer/decision’ seems to cause Kshawor to flee. Unfortunately the trauma of its departure leaves the reasserted-me in a fine and awful position. Not only am I often then arguing a case which is patently absurd, I’ve also left whoever/whatever is nearby with good reasons for me-directed ire and often absolutely no sensible justification or accounting for things I’d have done/not-done-but-should-have prior to the moment reasserted-me finds myself in.

As you can hopefully see, it’s realising that you’ve been unwittingly, unintentionally or otherwise acting like a nob for no reason whatsoever, i.e. without intent or deliberation or forethought or any sense of ‘because it seemed like a good idea’.

And that’s a kinda crucial point in distinguishing Kshawor; I normally subscribe wholly to this nugget of Ambassador G’kar’s wisdom from Babylon 5:

Narns, Humans, Centauri… we all do what we do for the same reason: because it seems like a good idea at the time

The case in point: under Kshawor, it’s patently clear that the things I do aren’t based on any notion of ‘a good idea’; the Kshawor-me might say that, but check: there’ll be no conviction. Or not the sort you’d expect. (And yes, this does leave room for false-positives in the ‘check for Kshawor’ that are variously big enough to drive an ant or a bus, or a bus full of ants through.)

The Second Demon: Kshawor, the Mind Claimer

The demon henceforth described is subtle, it shies from conspicuous inactivity and thrives in aversion from excellence, it aspires to some malefic median. This median is orbited by many: the malingerer, the misanthrope, the recluse, the apathetic. The Mind Claimer permits those it has a hold upon to revert to these states, to become lazy in their dreams, to ignore their desires and hopes, it forces them away from any aspirations and ambition. Conversely, however, it pushes a trend. A dynamic, interactive trend which oscillates in a most convincing, almost natural manner: the trend of the vacant, the automatic, that of those whose souls are temporarily absent, whose minds wander elsewhere.

In many respects, those whose mind is displaying its presence will find themselves as if absent on reappearance, returned to their own mind with their own clarity and perspective…but with no vigour, no insight and no calm afforded by their sojourn. It steals away what peace and respite can be gained from simple existence and replaces it with a yawning gulf of void and writhing banality.

The demon preys on being left alone, left to its own devices. But it is canny, it knows it cannot persist with no contact, with no attempt at puppetry or mimicking the behaviour of its host. But it is a spirit-less mockery, a sham to which it supplies only the most basic attentions before it proceeds to feast on the passing time wasted by its host. Unlike the first demon, it doesn’t act on the basis that its host will return, there is no illusion or pretext entertained in its mind. This one is wholly focussed on the advantage offered by the disappearance of its host’s spirit, no drive, no focus can be entertained. Half-hearted words, mockeries of the real desire spew forth from the host when questioned; truths barely deserving of the name, flimsy and without conviction, yet sufficient to slip past the ears of those without scrutiny, without mind or prescience to seek out the demon.

Given the opportunity, the demon will instigate its host to withdraw from its plans, cutting off the prospect of being discovered, fashioning the host into a well-bedded husk, an armoured suit of comforting material with which the demon can continue to feed, turning the host into their own tomb and this tomb-of-the-self into an eternal convalescence for the demon, a comfort with which no escape is needed, no interaction required: merely the peace of a quiet existence, an existence forever denied to its host as nothing and no-one might now shock the demon from its above.

In truth, the demon can be tackled directly and swiftly. Exposure and high-level interactions, interactions which demand the presence-of-mind from its host. To allow too low-level interactions is to allow for automation, to allow for automation is to allow it to win. A lifeless, barren, empty existence for the host. Prodding it, even in the smallest of uncomfortable degrees might be enough to panic the demon, to abandon its grip and try for a more pleasing, less effortful feast. Embedded as the demon is, pushing past the inherent foggy-mindedness of the host is required to endanger the beast within. But yet, as soon as it flees, the host returns…filled with uncertainty, panic, dismay and often rage. To those with a mind to save the host, they may be severely dispirited to discover that the newly reasserted host can be more antagonistic and problematic than was the demon.

Regardless, the host’s sanity and humours can be restored, their will reinstated and their capacity for fighting towards a greater victory once again at the forefront of their minds. With the demon fled, after a time, the host will be themselves once more.

The demon’s name is Kshawor and it can be fought…


How to fight it?

I can think of a few ways. Constant challenge, enlisting the help of others, bringing them onside, updating them with the problems. It’s been an horrific trouble in the Xisor-household recently, escalating to full-blown shitstorm on Easter Sunday itself. The overwhelming ‘it’s happened again’ feeling is precisely that, overwhelming. Like an addiction, I suppose, one might well relapse into the ’embrace of the demon’, willingly shoving the fact of ‘knowing better’ out towards oblivion in an effort to shut yourself off from the problems that led you to inspect your surroundings. I know I do that, from time to time, it’s not unthinkable that other people do so too.

I imagine, though this is perhaps ‘going off the deepend’, that actually learning proper meditation might be a strong way to resolve this. A standard, regularly repeated ‘cleansing of the mind’ makes a mental-vacuum within which, when it’s boundaries are removed, the mad-rush of reality begins to assert itself in a flood of ideas and insight. The calm mind is capable of dealing with them. By pushing this demon out and allowing it entry again, perhaps one is actually able to recognise their weakness to  it, to pinpoint which activities are drawing its attention and how to conduct themselves suitably in response.

I dearly know I’d like that to be the case. Somehow, I can’t help but think it’d all be solved by simply asserting a proper sleeping pattern. Unfortunately, since that has been outwith my grasp for almost a decade now, I think I shall continue to pursue better options.

Who knows, one day I might just wake up and have found my sleeping pattern!

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