I harbour a minor deity. I regard him without trying. I have overcome his malevolence many times but on a weak day he makes his home with me. He survives prayer. I’m not sure about fasting–but I think he would feed on it. No, in my experience only humour and humility exorcise him.
If I could trust him to give me true answers I should care to interview him:
- I would ask him why self-exaggeration is alluring.
- I would ask him why a flush of indignation rises within him when a dish is added late to a stack of dirty dishes it is his turn to do.
- I would ask why he feels threatened when a friend or acquaintance succeeds at a task he feels suited to.
- I would want to know why he suffers at the thought of being overlooked.
- I would want to know why he takes such care to present himself and is never satisfied at the result.
- I would want to know why he has agonized even a gathering of friends, and has felt the need to brush up on some popular idea that is currently circulating before he goes.
- I want to know why he so quickly feels sorry for himself when reflecting on his youth.
- I would ask him about all his fantasies of fame, and the sometime fantasies of a different sort of life.
- I would ask him why he clings to all this death. How, when given an everyday epiphany it is accompanied by the thought that he will die.
- I would ask why he has felt that every happy thought deserves to be punished. Why he has thought the world to be evil and that it conspires, even as God watches on, to thwart any shivers of hope.
- I would ask why he is enticed to view his world with a mix of superstition and fatalism.
Well, at the expense of all minor malevolent deities, here’s to far more humour and humility in our world. Grow Mercy and start with yourself.