When you are in the Devil’s house, you will know it
by Peter Stern
Chapter 1: Knowing yourself… and where you are
When you are in the Devil’s house, you will know it. There is no doubt.
There are no telltale signs posted, but there is no doubt where you are and you are woefully alone. Your preceding life is a faint glimmer and the house is dark… pitch black, so that you may not even see your own thoughts or recall who you are.
You are in the present only. A thought from your past is noticed as a rapid glance, as quick as an express freight train blurs by a local station. You see it, or you think you see it. You don’t dare turn your head for a look back because you are in the Devil’s house and he is playing with your head. He wants to see what you’ve got inside… what you are made of and what is left that he can toy with.
That you lost control is evident when you bump into a phantom table or trip over the edge of an imagined rug. Just keep searching because there has to be a way out before you lose any hope or recall. Where are your loved ones? Did you ever have any loved ones… a wife, a lover, children, a best friend? The Devil doesn’t care. You are his. You may lose everything. You must find your way or you will be his forever.
You can’t see him but you know the Devil is all around you. You can feel him. There is no hiding. You are in his house, perhaps to pay for some transgression in your past, or it may simply be that he’s been watching you and wants to see if you can handle yourself… alone in his blind house.
Your eyes adjust somewhat to the darkness, or what the Devil wants you to see. It may be nothing or it could be crammed with symbolic pieces to test what you are and where you will go next. How much can you handle? Time is lost. It is an hour, or a day. It slips by unnoticed, or it crawls along like a tiny snail in the sand until you scream with frustration.
You are in his house. How did you get here? How long are you staying? Are you sitting or standing? How do you get out of here? Questions floating by are lost in space. There are lots of questions, but no answers. You don’t care. You just want out, but you are not going anywhere because the Devil is in charge and it’s his house. He knows where everything is and what everything means. You have to make sense of it… enough to escape. He knows you are trying. He’s played at it before with an endless progression of wretched, frightened souls… and now you are one of them. How are you doing?
You don’t know yet and to make things worse… you have been drugged. The clouds in your mind haze over your thoughts and you are trying to see through them, but it’s tough because the Devil wants it to be. The doubts are forming, as you move on.
Chapter 2: Wading through the Devil’s swamp
Shaking your mind from the cob webs isn’t easy. Is this a dream or reality? You don’t know, but you have no time to think about it. You stagger past your options as you stumbled through your life. Try to make sense of what is. Grab onto something. There is no stability. No apparent safe place. It is lost, much as you are now. Exhausted and scared, you finally fall down where you are to sleep, a brief escape from consciousness, a respite from feeling and making decisions. It doesn’t last.
You awaken, stressed. Has it been an hour or a day? Time is lost, as lost as you are for the moment. After all, you are in the Devil’s house. Lost souls float by now and then. Some stop to speak, others glide along some obscure path that is hidden in the darkness, just like the one you are on, searching. You try not to stop or be deterred by all of it. Sometimes you succeed.
You must keep faith in God, Yourself and Love to make it through the darkness and the maze of clutter. The dark house seems endless. These are the tools you must use against the Devil and his house. Little else matters.
Frequently, you doubt yourself. Your mind may not be your own. It’s easy to get paranoid. Your thoughts may scatter and your actions reactionary. You keep juggling what you can. Whatever may happen, you are in it for the long haul. You are in and out of consciousness. The drugs carry you along, even when you are missing. Your reality is a dream and the illusions are your reality. The Devil’s house is a mixed bag of nuts that you must sort through, usually without thinking and more often with a price to pay. You must struggle through it.
Chapter 3: You are what you are… and you are lost.
Hard to tell… are you awake or asleep? In many ways it doesn’t matter. The struggle knows no time. You need to buy a map of the place, but you have no money on you and there is no map anyway. Bearings! You need to find them, but there are no signs or stars to follow. You are on your own. You strain in the darkness to see, to make some sense of it. The Devil has you in his clutches and you are alone, scared and lost. He is chuckling at your dilemma, but you can’t hear him.
Periodically, he sends some disciples to ask you questions that you don’t understand. You try your best to respond and to ask some questions of your own, but the answers are not what you are looking for and the clouds remain. You force yourself to plod on.
The sounds you hear are varied. The whirs and clicks of machinery distort your mind and progress. Sounds are of a toy train moving along some tracks and also there is some sort of clicking or ticking, much like a clock. Whatever they may be, they are hidden from your view and after stopping for a minute or a day, you move on. You realize the sounds are to get your attention and to divert your thoughts. So you try not listening too long, but just enough to keep you safe from any potential danger. After all, you are in the Devil’s house and you are very lost and confused. Still, you hang on to your faith in God, Yourself and Love because they are the only way you can hold onto your life and find a way out of this hell you are in. It continues…