Why You Should Master Your Demon: A Preview of Season 29
Every human being has a fundamental flaw. A weakness derived from deep within their psyche, this flaw is an ever-present reminder of the limitations of their humanity. In these circles we call it the “Demon function” — the last function in our cognitive stack of awareness. It carries our hatred, bitterness, and desire for vengeance. But it also carries a deep fountain of meaning for anyone brave and wise enough to venture through its darkness.
As the head of the Superego, the Demon leads the charge in a lifelong coup against the Ego, seeking to replace it. The drive of the Demon and the Superego can be seen as a Luciferian myth, where they are trying to become king over the Hero and Ego.
It may be tempting to see the Demon as an annoying weed to be plucked out in an otherwise abundant garden; and some may wish the Demon didn’t exist at all. But, like all the pieces of our psyche, the Demon is there for a reason.
If what Carl Jung said is true, that “No tree . . . can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell,” then exploring the Demon is an essential tool to help those roots grow. The doorway of our hatred, the most challenging doorway in all our minds, holds the path to vast treasures or ultimate destruction. But you must choose one, there is no opting out on this journey.
The Demon is not transformed through one moment of clarity or one act of redemption, but rather through continual struggle. The Demon holds the key to the ultimate direction in our lives, and within its mystery lies more than darkness.
The Demon is More Than Hatred
It is a common misconception that the Demon is only a source of hatred. The Demon, almost paradoxically, is the source of our happiness too. You may have heard Chase say that the Subconscious is the source of our happiness. While this is true, a deeper analysis will reveal why that source of happiness is shared with the Demon.
The Demon is connected directly with the most vulnerable part of our psyche: the Inferior. The Inferior is the doorway to the Subconscious. When we move past the fear that the Inferior invokes in us, our insecurity becomes confidence when our Inferior goes Aspirational. Nothing gives us more happiness than this process.
But it is the Demon that provides our Inferior with the very thing it needs to grow strong. Think about it: our Demon is always the same function that our Inferior seeks out. If we can discern through the Demon’s lies and allow it to say what it actually wants to, the Demon will bring happiness by strengthening our Inferior and stabilizing our Subconscious.
The Limits of Truth and Goodness
It is tempting to see the Demon as a thorn that needs picking, or a cloud of darkness that would dissipate if only it had light. From this temptation we often point to the pursuit of truth or goodness to offset the Demon. If only we could see the absolute truth, or do the absolute good, then we would be free of our hatred.
But if we try to bolt from our darkness by ignoring it, and shoot up to heaven to escape it, our roots will not grow deep enough for the journey. Furthermore, those who opt for this approach fail to ask a vital question:
How do we actually know what the absolute good and the absolute truth are?
Humans are fallible creatures by nature who are limited by the powers of their own psyches. Moments of divine insight and rare flashes of supernatural clarity aside, any attempt to grab onto the absolute good and true will be imperfect. Truth and goodness are not the highest pursuits of the human being.
If you struggle with this realization like I do, consider the following argument. Think of the greatest atrocities ever committed. For some a caricature of evil appears, perhaps an axe wielding barbarian with blood-soaked teeth, or a heartless oligarch sentencing untold numbers of people to death with no remorse. However, if we look carefully, we are much more likely to find villains of deep complexity.
The leaders of genocides or participants in historical movements that led to heinous killings usually have one thing in common: those who committed these atrocities were convinced they were right.
They were convinced that THEY had access to the ABSOLUTE TRUTH and the ABSOLUTE GOOD. In many cases, they also thought they were the only ones who had that access. They became absolute judges of virtue. But afterwards, time and time again history judges them, and we can all see how wrong they were really were — no matter how big the empire or how fervent their followers were.
Chase has made the argument that to claim one has access to the absolute good or absolute truth is equivalent to playing God. We can see this represented in the heights of the Enlightenment, which gave birth to the idea that pure rationalism could be the guiding principle for moral and ethical living. While it gave us a fast track to “progress”, it also gave us more fuel for our pride. The thought, I know the truth! became a more common trap for all to fall into.
Evil grows rampantly when humility is lost. To become an absolute judge of truth and goodness is to declare ourselves God. A quick analysis of the Luciferian myth will show us how that act plays out.
While goodness and truth are meaningful pursuits, they should not make up the totality of our meaning, and they should not be our top priority because we are unable to comprehend them in fullness. If we turn inward to our own psyches with this realization in hand, we begin to understand the limitations of these pursuits.
Who are we to think we are strong enough to decipher the traps of the Devil with our fragmented conceptions of what is “true” and “good”? Furthermore, we begin to see that one of the reasons we are unable to perceive pure goodness and certain truth is because of the Demon. Its essential nature is to twist and misrepresent. We should take the Demon more seriously.
The Necessity of Wisdom
The Demon is a liar. Like Lucifer, it uses deception and guile to achieve its goals. But why does it lie? It lies because it wants to be used. It wants to have its words considered and its voice heard. A mature use of the Demon does not take its voice away. The Demon exists to make us better.
While it can be used for our betterment, there is no denying its sheer destructive potential. So how do we unlock the power that the Demon has and use it correctly? How do we make the Demon more than a force for destruction in our lives? How do we fight it? Are we even supposed to fight? These are the exact questions that season 29 answers, for every Demon function. But, because you came this far, we will give you a little peek.
Yes, it is true that love and hate are what the Demon trades in — much like fear and courage in the Inferior. It is true that the Demon begins bitter and hateful, thus plotting us for an eventual course for destruction if we do nothing. It is also true that the Demon is a master of deceit, partly because it knows how to manipulate our deepest vulnerability through its connection with the Inferior. The Demon takes its hatred of being trapped out on the external world, and keeps its contempt for the ego internally.
So, the Demon is powerful, hateful, and knows how to manipulate us where we are most vulnerable? Check. Then what is left for us to use, if fragmented goodness and truth cannot transform it?
There is one thing. The texts of history tell us that it is more precious than gold, silver, or crowned jewels. Chase claims that it is “the most valuable substance in the cosmos.” Ladies and gentlemen, that is wisdom. Wisdom cuts through the lies of the Demon and is willing to listen to what the Demon really has to say. Wisdom informs us that it is unwise to shun the Demon to the depths and suppress it.
Wisdom reveals to us that the Demon is necessary.
Furthermore, the Demon is unavoidable. There is no outrunning it because it’s part of us. When we face it head on, we realize that the main reason it acts the way it does is because it has been treated poorly. If we give it space, it will help us grow tremendously. Would you rather have the most powerful function in your entire psyche with you or against you?
Know thyself. The quote that rises to the surface again and again in this space is relevant once more. It holds the key to the beginning of the journey to wisdom. This is one of the main components that Chase’s life’s work is dedicated to: so that each of us can grow acquainted with ourselves at a level that artists pursue. Wisdom teaches us how to make a home with ourselves, even the dark places within ourselves. Perhaps especially within those dark places.
The Demon is the Path to Love
The battle between the Superego and the rest of the psyche will define you in the most fundamental way. Like every gateway, the Demon gives us two paths forward: the path to hatred or love.
Accessing the Demon chaotically subject’s us to its hatred, pushing us further into darkness. But accessing it in an orderly manner empowers us with its capacity for love.
If we do nothing, and try to ignore the darkness within us, then the Demon will be placed in a pressure cooker, and it will only be a matter of time before that darkness bursts out, all the more powerful for our inattentiveness of it. Pacifism is no option in the battle for you soul. We have to engage with the Demon if we want to recruit its power as a force for love.
If you would like to join us for this deep dive exploration into mastering the source of our darkness and taking part in this vital journey of self-discovery, then join us with the Journeyman Membership as Chase explores how you can master your Demon function, and learn how to secure a measure of the most valuable substance in the universe for yourself.