How Naming the Demons Work

In ‘Hellboy: Darkness Calls’ by Mike Mignola and Duncan Fregredo, Igor Weldon Bromhead invokes the demonic Ilsa Haupstein, binding her to his command. Knowing that name gives him power over her. I used to be fascinated by the concept how naming the evil is able bring about control of the named. Here is how it can work…

Imagine the Buddha-to-be facing his inner demons under the Bodhi-Tree-to-be [as it is named the tree of enlightenment (Bodhi) only after one becomes a Buddha under it]… Imagine him feeling sloth and torpor arising in the midst of his meditation. Using the light of mindfulness, he sees sloth and torpor as it is, which is, by analogy, collectively one of the ten armies of Mara, the evil one. In his mind, he names sloth and torpor as so, recognising them as they are.

Because of this clear awareness of sloth and torpor, these defilements become disempowered. That is, when there is mindfulness, sloth and torpor cannot control one. In fact, Right Mindfulness is the antithesis of all defilements. It inhibits them from growing, and diminishes them in the light of understanding- till they cease – provided that there is enough continual mindfulness. Spiritual enemies that are clearly discerned will be conquered – not unlike Sun Tzu’s concept of ‘Know your enemies, know yourself – a hundred battles fought, a hundred battles won.’ This is how consciously ‘naming the demons’ work! Seems magical, but is totally logical.

Related Articles:

Naming Rumpelstiltskin
Sympathy for the ‘Devil’
Video Depiction of how the Buddha-to-be Conquered Mara


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