MONOLOGUE WRITTEN BY CLYDE LEWIS
The other day, someone sent me a video of a bald guy rolling down the street on a skateboard, drinking Ocean Spray cranberry juice listening to Fleetwood Mac. I watched it and thought – I don’t get it.
I even asked what it was I was supposed to be watching.
Again, I didn’t get it.
Then I started noticing that the guy was doing interviews that he had received a new truck from Ocean Spray and that Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks were beside themselves because their song Dreams is climbing the charts again.
Still, I didn’t get it.
With over 46 million views and nearly 8 million likes, the nation was obsessed with a guy who calls himself “DoggFace 208.”
Still I didn’t get it.
Now there is something called the “Dreams Challenge” where people are encouraged to make Tik Tok Videos that are similar to this guy’s video.
This is when I started to get it – DoggFace208 – is literally the answer to our country’s state of mind and he just might be an unwitting exorcist in destroying a demon that the powers that be have worked so hard to create.
I may sound crazy but hear me out.
The brain, is nothing more than a three-pound slab of jello — tofu like tissue inside our skull, is recognized by scientists as the physical source of all that we call, the mind. If you are having a thought or experiencing an emotion, it’s because your brain has done something—specifically, electrical signals crackled along a whole bunch of neurons and those neurons handed off droplets of neurochemicals, like runners handing off a baton in a relay race.
Neuroscientists don’t object to you talking about the mind for casual conversation. But most insist that we not invoke the mind as if it is real, or distinct from the brain. They reject the notion that the mind has an existence independent of the brain.
But of course, some scientists are changing course and in the process this opens the door for exploring what can be called the paranormal and the ethereal world.
Now, mind you, science would rather not talk about affairs of the mind or the affairs of the soul—they leave that up to the shrinks and the clergy.
More times than not, when skeptics wish to weigh in on the paranormal they will often say that it is all in the mind when they are really thinking that has something to do with an unhealthy brain where the neurons are misfiring giving way to some schizophreniform event.
I most definitely know that the armchair skeptics have no degree in neurobiology but from my perspective, it seems completely natural to refer to the mind as an extension of our brain.
Experiences of the mind may not be as intertwined with our brain and science has been arguing this as they pursue their studies in panpsychism.
Panpsychism is the view that all things have a mind or a mind-like quality. It is the view that everything has consciousness and that it exists on a different plain than that of the brain.
The mind feels this way and the brain thinks of that, it is remembering one thing and the mind is dreaming of another thing. The brain tries to resolve some paranormal experience while the mind continues to assess if the experience was real or some hallucination.
But the big question is are the mind and brain the same thing? Science and philosophy seem to be pointing more and more to the idea that they’re not.
While the materialist view has always held that consciousness is only a byproduct of our physical firing neurons, there is far too much that is unexplainable under this paradigm. Things like near death experiences, out of body experiences, mystical experiences and paranormal experiences, for example, simply cannot be explained if we think of our consciousness as nothing more than the result of our physical brain matter.
The mind, after all, is generally regarded as synonymous with our thoughts, feelings, memories, and beliefs, and as the source of our behaviors. It’s not made of material, but we think of it as quite powerful, or even as who we are.
However, there are some of us out there that are under the impression that there has been some sort of demon – or demonic plague that has the entire nation in its grip.
For those of spiritual mind or for those who read their bibles there is a cloud of apocalyptic thinking that has permeated throughout the world and there are many who see it as the trials they must endure until salvation –while others see it as the demon that posits itself as a virus that enters the mind and influences people to do wicked things.
It is the demon that pushes leaders into becoming megalomaniacal dictators, it is the demon that possesses the young to destroy property and harm people. It is also the demon that breeds entropy –when many of us should somehow rise to the occasion and exorcise the demon that has us vexed.
The only problem is that many people have not identified this demon – they have not named it and while a majority of people will fall to the default action of Satanic Panic, there is actually a name for this demon.
“Acedia” – it is a condition and a name given by the early monks to describe what is known as The Noon Day Demon.
With some communities in rebooted lockdown conditions and movement restricted everywhere else, and Zoom meetings losing their novelty there are people that are now in the midst of their own self destruction.
We are not amused enough, entertained enough, informed enough.
Netflix can only release so many new series. The news seems worse every day, it is either the Hate Trump news network or the Love Trump News network. We compulsively doom scroll through Facebook.
We literally are distracted by social media, we are entertained by some guy on roller skates sipping Ocean Spray juice listening to a boring Fleetwood Mac song.
The reason is simple – the guy drinking the fruit juice and listening to Stevie Knicks represents “freedom.”
Something that many of us are yearning for – the ability to just break free from all of the restrictions.
And yet have a pile of books unread. We keep meaning to go outside but somehow never find the time. We’re bored, listless, afraid and uncertain. Instead of the fruit juice we grab the bottle, we pop the pills, we smoke our pot and we spend another Blursday wondering when this all will end.
This condition was called in the 5th century, a form of possession called Acedia, where the demons don’t wait to attack in the night, they attack you during the day.
John Cassian, a monk and theologian wrote in the early 5th century about an ancient Greek emotion called Acedia. A mind “seized” by this emotion is “horrified at where he is, disgusted with his room … It does not allow him to stay still in his cell or to devote any effort to reading”. He feels:
“Such bodily listlessness and yawning hunger as though he were worn by a long journey or a prolonged fast … Next he glances about and sighs that no one is coming to see him. Constantly in and out of his cell, he looks at the sun as if it were too slow in setting.
This sounds eerily familiar. Yet, the name that so aptly describes our current state has been lost to time and translation.
We are now a country possessed—we are so overcome by the demon that pushes us to sloth that we do not know what to do with ourselves.
Cassian and other early Christians called Acedia “the noonday demon”, and sometimes described it as a “train of thought”. Or a crazy train of thought as giving up indulgence leads you to the runaway train that can easily go off the cliff to despair. This demon is easily conjured. All it takes is ritualized no-touch torture and confinement.
Acedia arose directly out the spatial and social constrictions that a solitary monastic life necessitates. These conditions generate a strange combination of listlessness, undirected anxiety, and inability to concentrate. Together these make up the paradoxical emotion of acedia.
Evagrius of Pontus included acedia among the eight trains of thought that needed to be overcome by devout Christians. Among these, acedia was considered the most insidious. It attacked only after monks had conquered the sins of gluttony, fornication, avarice, sadness, anger, vainglory, and pride.
Acedia, of course, was replaced by Sloth. Sloth would then leave a person open for possession by the demon Belphegor. The palindromic prime number 1000000000000066600000000000001 is known as Belphegor’s prime, due to the significance of containing the number 666, on both sides enclosed by thirteen zeroes and a one.
An entire sequence of “palindromic Belphegor numbers” include the numbers 666 in their sequences. For example 16661, 1066601, 100666001, 10006660001 and so on and so on for a sequence of 13 zeroes– and the count would make anyone crazy. All of these numbers are palindromic and contain “666”, but only the first and last are prime.
Does this signal any clues as to what we are being ritualized into during this pandemic?
We are being ritualized into being possessed by the numeric 666 through Acedia.
Now, the pandemic and governmental responses to it create social conditions that approximate those of desert monks.
The mask wearing, social distancing and the lockdowns can be seen as a conjuring ritual that puts people into a state of Acedia.
Social distancing limits physical contact. Lockdown constricts physical space and movement. Working from home or having lost work entirely both upend routines and habits. In these conditions, perhaps it’s time to bring back the term.
However, it will be a hard sell to leaders that they are conjuring a demon called, Belphegor.
In addition to its traditional, spiritual meaning, demon possession can be a metaphor for a plague or mental illness that has us all in its grip. Small entities that we are unaware of enter into the minds of humans, making them feel helpless and trapped. Entities from the darker realm don’t have to show up snarling, drooling and growling with horned heads to be effective at rendering a human helpless. They can be as small as a tiny virus, entering its host and eating away at its ability to keep its sanity.
Some who are infected cower in fear, some die, and some kill. It is the great game of the universe and it is being permitted as we begin the path to self-annihilation.
Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, a noted psychiatrist, claims that we are seeing mental illness increase in the world at a faster rate, and he thinks that it has nothing to do with environment. He believes it has everything to do with an unknown virus that somehow has come through and is now increasing the rate of instability.
He and his colleagues suspect that such an unknown infectious agent is responsible for not only that increase, but possibly other biological factors as well, such as “changes in diet” and “exposure to toxins.” Growing population and urbanization allowed the infectious agent — a virus or parasite — to spread more rapidly.
Could we be seeing a possible viral infestation beyond that of COVID-19 that triggers each of us to manifest activity, and is it responsible for the reports or violence, despair and suicide?
Can our physical struggle with powers unseen be the will to fight against that which uses our life force as a tool for chaos? We see more and more people around us who have some cosmic rationale for accepting, as the simple nature of the world being locked down, and mistreated.
People who are now being kept from acting like a social and sane human being. We are becoming victims of satanic ritual abuse and in the process summoning a lesser known demon.
Good and evil have now blurred together, and those shades of gray continue to baffle even those who claim to know the mysteries of God or to understand the Devil. The mysteries remain mysteries.
Between the one’s and the zeros comes the great 666.
Are you getting the full picture now?
Acedia appears throughout monastic and other literature of the Middle Ages. It was a key part of the emotional vocabulary of the Byzantine Empire, and can be found in all sorts of lists of “passions” or, emotions in medical literature and lexicons, as well as theological treatises and sermons.
But it is barely used now.
This goes beyond satanic panic and pointing the finger at suspected devil worshipper in some half-baked militant right wing witch-hunt. This is evil on a grander scale.
This is a concerted effort to change the rules and encourage hopelessness for the promise of a reward from an evil technocracy.
The question you need to ask yourself is: which God is getting the adoration of our religious and government leaders if they continue to push their no touch torture for an invisible enemy that does not always kill those it touches?
It is time to recognize what is bringing us down and find peace with spirituality that edifies the soul and brings in the light to obliterate that noon day demon.
If you are not inclined to pray for your strength and your life is caught up between the differences between mind and brain – perhaps it is time to put some neuroplasticity into practice.
“Neuroplasticity” refers to your brain’s ability to restructure or rewire itself when it recognizes the need for adaption. In other words, it can continue developing and changing throughout life. For example, if brain trauma after a car accident affects your ability to speak, you haven’t necessarily lost this ability permanently. Therapy and rehabilitation can help your brain relearn this ability by repairing old pathways or creating new ones.
If you find yourself in a whirlwind of Acedia it is wise to no longer feed the demon of sloth. This is all temporary and you and only you can make the choice as to who you want to follow.
Experts believe the negative thought patterns that occur with depression, for example, could result from interrupted or impaired neuroplasticity processes. Exercises that promote positive neuroplasticity, then, may help “rewrite” these patterns to improve well-being.
Rewiring your brain might sound pretty complicated, but it’s absolutely something you can do at home.
In a world where people are blinded by Acedia, a man on a skateboard drinking cranberry juice listening to Fleetwood Mac is king. He may just be one of the most powerful exorcists that is out there. A man that casts out the demon of sloth by example.
It is certainly a strange time to be alive.