One of the most relentless and ruthless descriptions of spiritual warfare ever penned by the great lion of truth, René Daumal.
“…May it break out and continue without truce! Now and again it takes fire, but never for long. At the first small hint of victory, I flatter myself that I’ve won, and I play the part of the generous victor and come to terms with the enemy. There are traitors in the house, but they have the look of friends and it would be so unpleasant to unmask them! They have their place in the chimney corner, their armchairs and their slippers; they come in when I’m drowsy, offering me a compliment, or a funny or exciting story, or flowers and goodies—sometimes a fine hat with feathers. They speak in the first person, and it’s my voice I think I’m hearing, my voice in which I’m speaking: “I am … , I know … , I wish …” But it’s all lies! Lies grafted on my flesh, abscesses screaming at me: “Don’t slaughter us, we’re of the same blood!”—pustules whining: “We are your greatest treasure, your only good feature; go on feeding us, it doesn’t cost all that much!”
And there are so many of them; and they are charming, they are pathetic, they are arrogant, they practice blackmail, they band together … but they are barbarians who respect nothing—nothing that is true, I mean, because they cringe in front of everything else and are tied in knots with respect. It’s thanks to their ideas that I wear my mask; they take possession of everything, including the keys to the costume wardrobe. They tell me: “We’ll dress you; how could you ever present yourself properly in the great world without us?” But oh! It would be better to go naked as a grub!
The only weapon I have against these armies is a very tiny sword, so little you can hardly see it with the naked eye; though, true enough, it is sharp as a razor and quite deadly. But it is really so small that I lose it from one minute to the next. I never know where I stuck it last; and when I find it again, it seems too heavy to carry and too clumsy to wield—my deadly little sword…”