“I’m evil and now I’m being punished in hell” was my first thought. It burst out of me in a kind of a mad squawk. I could help thinking it – my mind just squawked it out all by itself. Almost like it wasn’t my thought at all. Like it was someone else’s thought. Then I realized that this thought wasn’t true at all. I was just feeling bad, that’s all. I was just having a bad day.
Anybody can have a bad day, I reasoned. It could happen to anyone – it doesn’t mean that I’m evil. It doesn’t mean that I’m being punished in hell. I kept on reasoning to myself in this way and after a while I started to feel better. I realized that I had just invented CBT. Realizing this reassured me. It gave me a shot of confidence in the arm. CBT was a clinical therapy. I knew then that with CBT I could prove to myself that I DEFINITELY wasn’t evil and the relief this gave me was enormous.
“I’m not evil, I’m not evil, I’m not evil”, I kept on thinking to myself and I was almost crying with both relief and vindication. My mind went into overdrive – “I’m not evil, I’m not evil, I’m not evil, I’m not evil, I’m not evil, I’m not evil…” it kept on repeating. My mind practically squawked the words out, like some kind of psychotic parrot. And then all of a sudden it came to me that my mind was mad and that it was lying to me. “My mind is mad and it’s lying to me” I thought in dismay and there was no relief in this at all. This was a bad thought, a pain-giving thought. It was an evil thought, I realized with horror.
I realized that if my mind was lying to me then this meant that I was evil after all. Completely evil. Irredeemably evil. This was such a terribly painful realization, particularly after I had just managed to convince myself – using CBT – that I WASN’T evil. The more I thought about it the more obvious it became that I was indeed evil. Why would someone keep on repeating in their head over and over again that they weren’t evil unless they actually were? There would be no need to do this. The only reason you would do this would be if you were evil and were trying to deny it. Which is probably what evil people always do..
It was after having had my face pushed right back into the shit like this (just when I thought that I had got free), and getting to feel very bad as a result, that I suddenly had the thought – “If my mind is mad and its lying to me then how do I know that it isn’t still lying to me when it tells me that I am evil?” The logic was obvious – “If my mind is a liar then it’s lying no matter what it says. If my mind’s a liar then it’s a liar. End of story. I shouldn’t believe what it says either way…”
This thought came as a tremendous relief. “My mind’s a liar, my mind’s a liar, my mind’s a liar…” I kept on thinking, full of both jubilation and vindication at having seen through my mind and its tricks like this. “My mind’s a liar, my mind’s a liar, my mind’s a liar, my mind’s a liar, my mind’s a liar…” I carried on saying to myself, the words squawking right out of me, over and over again, as if I was some kind of demented mad-in-the-head parrot. As if it wasn’t even me saying it at all.
Then I realized in horror that it was my mind telling me this and that my mind was in fact a liar and this realization dumped me right back in the shit again. I should never have trusted my mind, I realized then. That was my big mistake…