In his book “Writing in the Sand,” Thomas Moore talks about the difference between being possessed by “demonic forces,” which essentially means being overwhelmed by anti-life energy such as alcohol addiction, anger, jealousy, etc., and being self-possessed.
“Self-possession is not the same as self-control. You possess yourself when you are able to allow life to flow through you. You are not threatened, and you do not resist. You are a conduit for the uncertainties that life offers you. You possess yourself because you are not fighting the life that wants to be in you.” (page 82)
Letting go of one’s will and yet continuing to function on planet earth relates to the Taoist idea of “non-action,” where one does what is obviously required by the situation without trying to be clever and overthink things.
But this runs counter to what we are taught is responsible behavior. A caring adult will do what is required, but then keep doing, or at least worrying, pacing, fretting, talking, anything to demonstrate concern and to cover one’s bases, to be able to say, “I did everything humanly possible.” I guess this is being possessed by the demon of fear.
A self-possessed person, by Moore’s definition, would allow the life force to work through them to do what needed to be done, then presumably would allow the life force to move on to other things. There would be no clinging or wailing and gnashing of teeth.
And presumably the self-possessed person would not worry that anyone would think they hadn’t done enough. The judgment of others would not be part of the equation.
I’m not quite there yet.