Daniel 2: Part 5: The Natural Mind’s Pain and Search for Identity Leads to Dissociation
It has been quite a while since I have posted anything on Daniel. If you have not read the other posts about Daniel, what this article says may be difficult to understand. However, I will give a brief explanation of what has transpired previously to help with understanding, and then give a brief overview of successive chapters leading up to chapter 12 where this person living in the end times shines like the brightness of the firmament and like the stars forever and ever.
In my study of every verse in the book of Daniel from the standpoint of inner spiritual realities, I have seen that Daniel is a type of a person living in the end times who will come into the full stature of the Lord Jesus Christ ready to rule and reign with him. I have viewed Nebuchadnezzar as a type of our natural mind and Daniel as a type of our spiritual mind. At first the natural mind is in control (Nebuchadnezzar ruled over Daniel), but gradually he learns that Daniel (the spiritual mind) has the wisdom he seeks and more and more the natural mind turns to the spiritual mind for instruction.
Therefore, the first four chapters of the book of Daniel are about the natural mind’s search for identity and its gradual reliance on the spiritual mind that eventually results in the natural mind coming into purity and wisdom, but not without a deep experience of suffering that brings it to the conclusion that God is all in all and no other god could possibly compare to him.
Along the way to perfection, the book of Daniel reveals that the sin nature in the human mind will be removed (Belshazzar) and later it will be removed from the physical body. The various kings represent the mind in different stages of development on its way to the fullness of Christ.
Chapter 11 of Daniel is about the battle between two kings—the king of the north (shame that rules in an abuse survivor) and the king of the south who represents the assault of Satan through satanic ritual abuse. My book Spiritual Warfare in Satanic Ritual Abuse examines every verse in Daniel 11 giving great spiritual insights into the nature and activity of demons and Satanists in their attempts to rule the world using little children and innocent people as fodder given to Satan in return for power to grab what they want. However, as seen in the last few verses of Chapter 11, the Antichrist is defeated and God ultimately rules through his people as seen in Daniel Chapter 12.
It is most interesting to me that this study reveals that after a certain level of maturity is gained by individuals in the church, they ultimately must confront and defeat Satan, not only in their own life, but also in their neighbor’s life and in their community, before entering into the glory of God as seen in Chapter 12.
To my mind, the satanic ritual abuse ministry in any form is the greatest assault against Satan the church can take, but sadly few Christians know about it or want to know about it. The evil perpetrated on our children in our schools today is because Christians have not taken a stand against it. Let’s face it—the church has been marginalized because it has been fearful and resistant to SRA ministry and therefore has compromised its inherent power in Christ to confront this dark realm.
My 30 years of ministry to satanically ritually abused persons has been of immense value to me personally in that I have seen God in a way I could not have seen him otherwise. I have seen through survivors of this abuse how the demonic realm works and how weak it is when confronted with the power of Jesus Christ wielded through one of his servants. It has brought the scriptures to life for me and brought me much closer to Christ.
With all this being said, hopefully the continuation of this series of articles, which I intend to post more regularly, will be of great interest and encouragement to all who read them.
Dan 2:8 The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me.
With verse eight, we begin to see the natural mind’s desperation as he wrestles with this issue of identity. These next few verses will show his frustration and anger as they begin to build in him to the point he decides to dissociate.
(Dissociation is a psychological term meaning a split in the conscious process in which a group of mental activities breaks away from the mainstream of consciousness and functions as a separate unit as though belonging to another person.)
The following needs to be seen in the context of the former verses of chapters 1 and 2 of Daniel thus far. This is all taking place within the natural mind (in type seen as king Nebuchadnezzar. All characters represent his thoughts).
Dan 2:8 The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me.”
The natural mind thinks, I can’t continue on in this way any longer (gain the time). I just don’t know who I am. No matter how hard I try, I still don’t know who I am (the thing is gone from me).
I have seen this kind of frustration in people who suffer from childhood emotional abuse. One man in particular comes to mind. He did everything he could to get just a little approval from his father. No matter what he did, his father ignored him. This young man excelled in school and had an important role in a school artistic production. His father refused to come to the performance. He went out for football thinking then his father would approve of him. His dad came to one game and left before half time. The only time his father spoke to him was to correct him in a tone of voice that exhibited disdain and disgust. His mother never said or did anything to help him with identity either. There were times when he thought he could not continue any longer. Once when he was out in the garage alone, he took a tool and started deliberately cutting the palm of his hand. The physical pain helped him get his mind off his emotional pain of having no sense of identity. Nothing was said to him to help him feel he was valuable or loved. His parents thought love meant that you pay the bills, fix the meals and make sure he gets where he needs to be on time.
As this person desperately searches for some way to know he is valued and loved, his thoughts of what to do intensify. Keep in mind that the king’s conversation with the Chaldeans is the natural mind’s thoughts interspersed with thoughts from demons that seem like his own thoughts. He is mulling things over in his mind. Finally he thinks, if I can’t find any way of having an identity, I’ll have to lie and scheme to make one up. Let’s look at this verse.
Dan 2:9 (1) But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, (2) till the time be changed: (3) therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can show me the interpretation thereof.” (Numbers in parentheses added to aid in below interpretation.)
(1) No one is telling me what I need to hear…that I exist and I am unique, special, important and loved. No one seems to care about me; therefore it looks like I’m going to have to make something up myself. However to do that would be to lie and be corrupt.
(2) I would only do this for a period of time until someone can help me. (This is rationalizing to justify doing something dishonest. He thinks it would be all right to do this because it would only be until someone can help him find his identity.)
(3) Please someone help me know who I am. Tell me that my life is worth something and that I am special.
The person in whom this desperate search for identity is continuing is a Christian. We know this because he has Daniel within. He has a spiritual mind that is in relationship with God, but the natural mind is not in communication with that part of himself at this time. As a Christian he knows it is wrong to do something false to form an identity, but as his desperation increases, he is beginning to justify doing so.
Have you ever exaggerated a little to make something sound better than it really was? I think all of us have at some time or other. For example, the pastor who is struggling with a small church, when asked by another pastor with a large church how many people were in church last Sunday might say, We had almost a hundred last Sunday, (when in reality there were 85 in attendance). Or how about the teenager when asked about his grades last semester answers, I practically got straight A’s. Actually, he got two A’s and two B’s but his desire to be admired so he can feel he is valuable is so strong, he lies.
In verse 10 (seen below), the thoughts coming from the demons are driving this person into deeper despair. He has come to the conclusion now that no one on earth will ever affirm his identity. (If you have just joined this study, Chaldeans are demons according to the meaning of their name and their activities are presented in Hab. 1.)
Dan 2:10 – The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can show the king’s matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.”
Many people have found themselves in just such a situation. In their search to be affirmed in their identity, they have looked to their father, mother, siblings, teachers, peers…all the people in their life to tell them they are valuable, and no one has done so. They even tried to excel in certain endeavors so others would notice and give them praise and affirmation. One woman made straight A’s in high school and was even in the National Honor Society, but her father gave her no affirmation at all. He always found something about her to criticize. Her feelings of rejection were so powerful others picked up on them and rejected her also. Even her own mother never conveyed love or acceptance to her. In her desperation she escaped into books and led a vicarious life in fiction. Even as the Chaldeans said to the king in this verse, there was no one on earth who cared enough to affirm her in her identity.
Hopelessness is now descending like a shroud over this person who so desperately wants to know he is valued and loved. He has tried everything to find his identity, and no one has helped him. The demons (that he perceives to be his own thoughts) have told him that no human being on earth can help him. In this next verse it gets even worse.
Dan 2:11 – And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.”
Telling the natural mind that his problem is a rare thing only makes him feel worse. He thinks he is the only person on earth who has this problem. In his ignorance he looks at people around him and thinks they all feel good about themselves. They seem so self-assured and successful, how could they understand what he is feeling? He feels isolated and alone.
This is where demons always try to take us…into isolation and loneliness. They tell us we are inferior and no one would want to be with us. Persons struggling with identity problems will sometimes withdraw from others and spend as much time alone as possible. All our technology makes it easy for people to withdraw. It is so easy to spend our leisure time relaxing in front of the TV or computer… or for the younger set, video games. How unlike the “olden days” when people played participatory games, read to each other and enjoyed doing things together. There may come a day of reckoning, however, if our electricity is ever interrupted for a long period of time. Should we have to cope without our electronic gadgets, many of us would have to come face to face with ourselves, something we have been avoiding at all costs.
Getting back to the second part of our verse…now the demons are saying that only the gods can help him. Notice they do not acknowledge the one true God. Demons would never suggest that we consult Almighty God, the Lord Jesus Christ about anything! This dilemma is taking place in a Christian in the end times who is not mature at this point. His spiritual mind has been purified and is in communion with God behind the veil of his flesh. Now his natural mind is struggling with the issue of identity. We saw in Chapter One of Daniel that this issue has been settled for the spiritual mind. Now the natural mind must come into maturity, and maturity always translates out as knowing who we are in Christ. Knowing our self in Christ and knowing God go hand in hand. One doesn’t happen without the other.
Maturity will only come as we pray and spend time alone with God. Obviously, this natural mind has not done this. He has been facing his terrible dilemma in his own strength and calling for help from others around him. This is so typical of the immature Christian. Instead of going to God for help, we turn to others and our own devices. God will not allow us to find our identity in this way. He uses this problem to draw us unto himself so he can enjoy relationship with us as we allow him to be our Father. God longs to tell us who we are and lavish his love upon us.
To be continued…