2015 is coming to a close, and to me it was a year of attempted action, and a bubbling to the surface of neglected anxieties. This anxiety falsified my voice and often obscured my written word as I battled my hands and thoughts. A friend of mine had sent me a quote from Ernest Hemingway: “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” It encapsulated quite effectively to me the fear a struggling writer has when sitting in front of their keyboard (or typewriter, or pen and paper, or even standing with a finger dipped in wet paint). Not exclusive to writing, but common to all expression; even the prepared speaker stands before a crowd with his or her speech having been recited and memorized in mind – though a lingering anxiety tinges the blood and instills a fear of revealing the impromptu. A revealing combustion into spontaneity and passion which may force a light upon that which was previously concealed.
“But every speech is a kind of relief to the speaker’s “I,” and people who have the craving to speak before the whole world are very often the keepers of a great secret which they must conceal from the world and which they are imparting in this indirect way in homeopathic doses. Just as a dye that is dissolved in a large quantity of fluid is so completely lost that the naked eye can detect no trace of it, so do occasional particles of the great secret which must forever remain hidden find their way into the elocutionary torrent.”– Wilhelm Stekel, from the chapter Unpacking the Heart in Depths of the Soul.
Great anxiety lies in our struggles with our expression. This anxiety seems to be felt in two ways; with the good anxiety (fear of the bad) seeking salvation, and then the demonic (fear of the good) seeking seclusion or immediate action – often outwardly appearing as tragic, or in a heightened state as farcical. There is an undeniable anxiety when one seeks expansion in growth with our struggle to come to terms with, and to a knowledge of our strengths – to lift the veils off our delusions. We stagnate and intentionally put an end to progress with our wants of retreat from greatness so that only in the sparkle of our eye would one receive the hint of our coy deceit.
Søren Kierkegaard in The Concept of Anxiety – A Simple Psychologically Orienting Deliberation On The Dogmatic Issue Of Hereditary Sin had written: “The demonic is anxiety about the good. In innocence, freedom was not posited as freedom: its possibility was anxiety in the individual. In the demonic, the relation is reversed. Freedom is posited as unfreedom, because freedom is lost. Here again freedom’s possibility is anxiety. The difference is absolute, because freedom’s possibility appears in relation to unfreedom, which is the very opposite of innocence, which is a qualification disposed toward freedom.”
The battle with this anxiety is the birth of all great Philosophers. Quoting Friedrich Nietzsche: “Gradually it has become clear to me what every great philosophy so far has been – namely, the personal confession of its author and a kind of involuntary and unconscious memoir; also that the moral (or immoral) intentions in every philosophy constituted the real germ of life from which the whole plant had grown.”
Anxiety is inevitable with a great range of possibilities, as tomorrow ever holds the potential to betray our non-spiritual daily rituals and routines. Our lives could be handed over to a mercurial spirit which changes our presence in the world, and with it our presentation and understanding of ourselves. With this anxiety ever in question, we look to relieve ourselves of it within proper release and expression (looking to avoid a flash-in-the-pan burst of energy, or a demonic impulse of outwardly directed actions). We do this by creating art, and by absorbing the art of others. Wilhelm Stekel in Depths of the Soul wrote: “There are numbers of substitutes which are equivalent to a kind of confessing to oneself. These are art, reading the newspapers, music, literature, and, least but not last, the theatre.” (Hypnotic mediums which we allow to mirror ourselves as to find comfort, relation, and understanding in their expression and our participation in them).
It is this fear and anxiety which keeps us from penetrating the depths of the mysteries – and it is but a hint of this fear which makes the coward blind themselves with ignorance. The occultist however turns inward to themselves and peers into the hidden, the subconscious, and the darkness. In confronting their fears they bring to light their potential.
I’ll simply end this post in your company, left to ponder the potential buried at the core within each and every one of us. What glory is to be revealed in the conquest of our collective anxiety as it is defeated day by day. What secret realities await manifestation once spilled from enough pursed lips.
Lastly, some final words from Kierkegaard: “In common speech there is a very suggestive expression. It is said of a person, “He will not come out with it.” Inclosing reserve is precisely muteness. Language, the word, is precisely what saves, what saves the individual from the empty abstraction of inclosing reserve. Let x signify the demonic, the relation of freedom to it something outside x. The law for the manifestation of the demonic is that against its will it “comes out with it.” For language does indeed imply communication. A demoniac in the New Testament therefor says to Christ when he approaches: What have I to do with you, and he continues by suggesting that Christ has come to destroy him (anxiety about the good).”