siding with my angels

what ghouls - July 30, 2013m
 

“If my devils are to leave me, I am afraid my angels will take flight as well.”

With those words, the great poet Rainer Maria Rilke rejected psychoanalysis.

The words of his refusal certainly have a long echo.  I hear that quote repeated all the time, these days.

But I don’t agree with the quote, except in this sense: I believe our angels and devils are connected…

As my dreams have taught me: every negative aspect or energy has its positive side.  And every positive aspect has its negative.

Our angels and devils aren’t just connected, they’re twins.

So, in the process of change, I never actually ever lose my devils.  I just flip each coin, each aspect, to its opposite side—to the positive, to the angel…

…and then try to keep it from flipping back again.

It’s a painful process, but the result is: I create less pain in my life for myself, and for those around me.

Perhaps Rilke believed that, without his pain, without his suffering, he wouldn’t be driven to such heights of creativity…

To those who fear the same, I say: don’t worry, no matter how much you change, I think you’ll always be able to find enough pain, enough conflict…

…if not within you, then out there, in the world: enough suffering, enough injustice, enough cruelty.

As for myself, I know I will always have devils, of one type or another…

But in dealing with them, I will create ever more angels for myself…ever more peace for myself…

…and in that way, at least, create a little more peace in the world.

With all this in mind, I hope we won’t include that line from Rilke in our new mythology…

Instead, with much modesty, I’d like to offer the poem below.  If its lines seem a little too meager, perhaps we can at least adopt the feeling and thought:
 

THEIR GRIEF IS MINE

My gods have promised
to stop being
such demons

if I can become
a brighter
human being…

I swear I’m trying
to speed the change–

I can no longer bear
their weeping.
 

© 2013, Michael R. Patton
dreaming steps

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About Michael Patton

I am a poet, novelist, essayist, cartoonist, graphic artist, peace miller, new mythologist, and fledgling world citizen.... I grew up in Northwest Arkansas and have lived and worked all over the United States.... I'm self-taught, for the most part--which is like searching for the right door in the dark. It's an on-going process.... I don't want to write MY story, I want OUR story, so that's what I'm studying: the human story: past, present, future, in its many aspects--including the spiritual. I'm proceeding at a slow crawl.... I don't see the inner world and outer world as separate. By learning about myself, I learn about others, I learn about my world.... Conversely, as I struggle to understand what I see OUT THERE, I learn about myself.... But to be clear: I don't claim any special understanding. I'm still purblind, still only half-awake.... After frustrating experience with the publisher of my first novel, I've published on my own, beginning with e-books, with plans to move into print and audio. Even video.... Along with a second novel, I've now published eight books of poetry. Each poetry book focuses on a theme. For instance, the collection GLORIOUS TEDIOUS TRANSFORMATION is about the slow difficult wonderful process of change.... In that book, as with all my work, I try to be accessible to a general audience, while also striving to achieve a certain literary quality.
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