28. May 2013 · Comments Off on The Crusher · Categories: N. Staying Alive, The Beast · Tags:

Dr. Lowen asks me why I have come to him.

What is the matter with me that I find myself in this situation?  I need to know.

Good, he says.  Now we can begin.


Dr. Lowen looks intently at my face.  He has been working on my facial muscles.

Someone terrorized you.   It happened a long time ago, when you were vulnerable.

He makes a malevolent, devilish face at me.


Mephistopheles Faust


No, I say.  That is Mephistopheles.   He is the one that made the deal with Faust.  He is not my demon.  My demon is the one who sits on your chest.


Nightmare engraving Thomas Burke

The Nightmare, engraving after John Fuseli, 1783 by Thomas Burke

In this famous painting an ugly demon squats on a young woman’s chest.   It is facing her.   My demon has its back to me.  It is faceless, anonymous and heavy as a stone wall.

I cannot breathe.  I cannot move.

You think that you are going to die.

I don’t know.

Yes, you are dying.   You can’t move.  You can’t breathe.  If you stop breathing you die.   You are terrified to death.   To death!



Final Figure, oil on canvas, 1990 by Neil Grayson


I don’t want to die.  I shake to my bones.  My body remembers.

It’s okay.  It’s over.  You are safe here.

What do you do when you can’t move?

I pray to the Holy Spirit.

Who is the Holy Spirit?

Love.  The Holy Spirit is the spirit of love.

Then suddenly I can move again.

Dr. Lowen calls himself a secular humanist.  He has had thousands of psychiatric patients, many of them Christians.   Still, his grasp of Christian symbols surprises me.

Then what do you do?

I believe in love.   I look for something to love.  There is always something.

You think that if you do everything well and please everyone they will like you.

I know that some people will never like me.   But I don’t do it for them.  I do my best because that has always brought me good things.  Eventually, things always work out.

That is what kept you there.   It is an illusion.

But there is a darker side.

You are defiant.  They cannot break you.  We will see how you were colluding.


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