One of the most intimate things one can know about another is the nature of the demons that tempt them. We are the sum total of our vices; they move us, encourage us, seduce us, push us to the brink and then drag us back. To know the true nature of another person’s demons is to know their soul… and thereby, know the way in which to control them.
Our vices are the things that seek to tempt us from our true desires. We desire a life of security, but are tempted to waste our resources on unnecessary pursuits. We desire a life of love, but are tempted by the promise of new lust. We desire a life of happiness, but are tempted by the darkness of human nature. We fear greatness, so we sought solace in mediocrity. We succumb to weakness because we dreaded the result from breaking out of the pack. We wallow in hidden self-loathing because we allowed ourselves to be ashamed of our dreams. The temptation of the easy life of stagnation far outweighed the potential of the struggle to the dream, so we left the path, in search of something new.
The emergence of a person’s inner demons is simply their soul’s response to fear. Sometimes it’s subtle, sometimes it’s strikingly obvious, but it’s always a self-fulfilling prophecy. Fear moves us, both forwards and backwards, but it doesn’t have to control us. It is not the path, only a particular way of taking the path. We create our own destiny, simply by knowing what we want, and then by making the choice to go after that thing. The choice between desire and temptation is one of the most defining factors of human nature. Do you choose your soul’s desire, and thereby the potential to fail, or do you choose your soul’s temptation, and thereby the promise of success? Temptation can feed your soul like a parasite, hollowing you from the inside out until there’s nothing left. It’s addictive, this vice that promises a small reprieve from the struggle of daily living. You take your dose, one day at a time, promising yourself that it’s the last time, until you realize it hurts to even think about existing without feeding your temptation.
Temptation drowned out desire. Your demons took hold of your dreams and hollowed them out, replacing them with fleeting bursts of pleasure, and you didn’t even see it coming. You could barely tell the difference between your temptation and your desire; you only saw your own fear. The ability to know the true nature of one’s own demons is to truly know one’s own soul; to know what truly feeds your soul, puts you on the path to your desire, and keeps that path clear. You don’t fulfill your desires by ignoring your temptations; that’s impossible. You fulfill your desires by knowing your demons intimately, looking them directly in their eyes, and then rejecting them.
I see you… and you will not control me.