QA241 QUESTION: Just before I separated from my former wife about seven years ago, I had strong urges from time to time to kill my children, about ages four and six, which I felt might possibly get out of control. I was very frightened of these impulses. I went into bioenergetics therapy and these impulses gradually reduced in intensity and duration. I was finally able to spend time with them without such thoughts and urges rising up. For several years now, I’ve not felt them. I believe my relation with my children as a result of my efforts, therapy, and the Path is improving in the sense of giving more love, of getting more response, of feeling more rightness about it.

I used to visit them in their mother’s house every day. I decided to change that schedule for a variety of reasons, but primarily because of the present age of the children – now fourteen and twelve – and the inappropriateness of such visits. I have not seen my daughter for several weeks and I saw her unexpectedly last Sunday. She was very unusually affectionate and loving. I had good feelings towards her and I also felt rather embarrassed. And for a minute and a bit thereafter, the feeling that I wanted to kill her came back. I would like your help to understand why these feelings came back, what they mean, how I might rid myself of them, and control them if they ever should return?

ANSWER: My answer to you, my friend, is the following. These feelings stem from a condition where you as an infant have picked up very strong demands on the part of your parents. And you could not handle these demands. Of course, you did not understand they were such. These demands were the irrational demands of the infant in your mother, perhaps less in your father, or in a different way. But they were certainly very strongly in your mother.

This is not a conscious experience and could never be a conscious experience, for it is entirely an exchange on a subliminal level. Now, this experience is a result of a very strong reaction you have in your soul substance – you were born with it, you came into this life with it – about demands.

When demands are being made on you, something clicks shut, shuts off. I do not know whether you can connect with this. Are you aware at all of your reaction to demands? {Somewhat, yes} Demands mean to you that you are absolutely obligated to fulfill them, that you have no way of even quite comprehending what the demand is, and you become more than confused – terrified. A demand has the power to terrify you.

And that is the reason you have these strong reactions. You want to hit out at something that is incomprehensible and threatening. And if I may make a suggestion here that you, perhaps in your group, go through this experience and allow yourself awareness of these irrational reactions in you, that perhaps your peers in the group come at you with demands, very strong demands. And let yourself experience what happens.

As you go through the actual experience of these strong emotions, what they evoke in you, you will also understand your reactions that you judge yourself so harshly for. These reactions do not indicate your badness or that you really wanted to kill your children. It is an entirely emotional, irrational response to something you have brought with you and that you do not understand.

As you experience it more fully and allow the experience in the group situation, you will then slowly, but surely understand what a demand is and how it can be coped with, and that there is no need to be terrified of it. It is unreasonable to feel that.

This is the key or the clue you now need, so that you do not control your reactions but rather encourage them under the right conditions, in circumstances where you can well afford to not control them. For controlling them would only push them away, as you surely know, so that they will come up again when you least expect them.

For example, when you had a very good exchange with your daughter and good, loving feelings were exchanged, you immediately felt – probably not on a conscious level – now you have to do things you do not want to do in order to justify her feelings of love. Can you connect at all with what I said?

QUESTION: I can connect the logic of it. I can feel the fright. I can’t connect that with the particular impulse.

ANSWER: Well, if you can allow the fright to come out more strongly and you can examine the meaning of the fright, you will understand that fright sometimes creates murderous impulses. There’s a very natural sequence – if the fright and the confusion are strong enough, they create the feeling of “I do not know what to do, I can’t handle it.”

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