Personal Demons

I listened to a Keith Richards interview from March 2022 recently. He said something that I think is profound. It also might explain much in regard to our human struggle with personal demons.

Photo by Chris Otten

Everybody has struggles with demons. Traditionally, we consider demons bad. Keith’s take, a guy who’s been demonized himself: What if demons are neither bad nor good. Instead, they are simply a driving force.

This explains why I have times when I can’t stop creating, when I almost beg the muse to stop. It’s my personal demon driving me.

I’ve struggled with the entire concept of Christianity and religion the past few years. My history is as follows: preacher’s son, cult victim, rebel, church-goer, agnostic. And here’s one big reason why I’ve been doubting religion. It allows us to put the blame on others rather than taking responsibility for ourselves.

You’ve heard it, “The Devil made me do it,” and “God led me here.” Really? If you have a direct conversation with God and he talks back to you, you might consider a mental health evaluation.

Perhaps we can’t control our demons completely. When I am on a writing spree that I can’t seem to quit, it’s just what it is. But perhaps we can control what activities we allow our demons to actively be part of. I used to allow my demon to lead me to drink and abuse substances. Now, I allow it to drive my creative output.

You decide. Which is better? – dse

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Author: Dan Steven Erickson

Dan Steven Erickson is a great undiscovered American songwriter.