Little Bastard Demon

JERRY HYDE defies categorization – Psychotherapist, coach, guide, mentor. He’s trained in Tantra, been buried alive, fasted in the wilderness for days; his most apt calling card would readPsycho-Therapeutic Shamanic Coaching Guru. Though he’s been working therapeutically for over 18 years now, Jerry’s not a distant blank screen analyst who conforms to any particular approach or system; he works from the ‘ledge beyond the ledge.’ In short, he’s Gonzo.

Gonzo therapy is an irreverent and left-field approach with an emphasis on celebrating and revealing latent creativity.

Based in London, Jerry’s international clientele is made up almost entirely from people in the arts. Jerry also runs Vision Quest Retreats. For the most adventurous amongst you: The next one is in Wales this July. His first book, Play From Your Fucking Heart, is due out in 2014.

Creative Therapy for Creative People: www.jerryhyde.co.uk


In his monthly column TRUTH AT ALL COSTS, Jerry encourages you to question, to challenge, to live creatively on your terms, to go Gonzo.



“I realized that I was afraid to really, really try something, 100%, because I had never reached true failure.”

Trent Reznor

“Everybody got the demon in the sphere, o.k.? The demon lives in the sphere. It feeds on the biomass, collects, processes, fabricates. It uses your weapons, your shields. Only the vicious survive. We’re all told we’re no good pieces of nano from the time we could breed. After a while, you kinda become bad. But, you know, after Dawson, we were gonna quit killing. The old clan took it outta us. I guess, Wayne, you just gotta hold that nano in your hands and then everything becomes clear like it did to me that first time. And, what’s that Mickey? Heck man, I’m a natural born killer…

You know, the only thing that kills the demon… is love.”

Mickey Knox.


(It has been suggested that I use the F word too much in my writing.  So, just to prove I can rise to a challenge with grace and flexibility, I shall attempt to refrain from using that particular expletive throughout this piece)


Okay, I’m gonna give it to you straight – the single greatest threat to creativity, to your creativity, is…


You and that little bastard demon that lives in your head, that little bastard demon that you entertain every time you have a brave thought, a flash of inspiration, a moment of genius…

“ Just who – the flip – do you think you are?  With these big ideas?  These pathetic notions?  Get back in your box, in your place… no one wants to know about you…”   

See – once upon a time, before you learned to listen to the demon bastard, before you learned that you were shit, you were a pure untarnished bud waiting to blossom; a blank canvas uncluttered by self-loathing or fear – as a child you delighted in your own genius as you clenched and unclenched your tiny fist before your eyes in wonder at the fleshy mechanical perfection that was the miracle that was you.

Before you were told that you were bad.

Before you learned the searing heat of humiliation and shame, before you learned to shrink in the face of hostile opinion, dogma and judgement, before you were programmed to be small and worthless by your family, your peers, your teachers, by billboards and magazines and marketing and religion who’s sole purpose was to control and exploit you through fear.

Before all that, you existed in what the great Armenian mystic Gurdjieff called your essence.

The nectar of pure you-ness.

Oh, and before we go any further let me just clear up that eternal mystery that has plagued so many artists and thinkers, er… right NOW.

Ladies and Gentlemen – the source of all of your creativity, the fountain of your innate genius, the root of your brilliance is…

Your essence.

THAT is where it all comes from

“It took me four years to paint like Raphael,” Picasso said.  “But a lifetime to paint like a child,” and THAT is because, like the rest of us, he’d been badly FUCKED – sorry, sorry, sorry, I tried Goddamn it… he’d been badly FUCKED by the world he’d inhabited and it took him, Picasso, that long to return to his source.

Now, if, like Picasso, you’re European, I’m guessing the only thing you hate more than yourself is Americans right?  But hold on – no, no, no hear me out – there are good things about America, and indeed Americans, there really are, and I don’t just mean Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Bob Dylan, Billie Holiday, Mark Twain, Johnny Cash, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ernest Hemingway, Bonnie Raitt, Lou Reed, Abraham Lincoln, Allen Ginsberg, Butch Cassidy, Hunter Thompson, Annie Leibovitz, Muhammad Ali, Lennie Bruce, William Burroughs, Martin Luther King Jr, Diane Arbus, Bill Hicks, Louis Armstrong, Gil Scott-Heron, Muddy Waters, Patti Smith, Jesse Owens, Marilyn Manson, Otis Redding, Jack Kerouac, Rosa Parks and Jimi fucking Hendrix to name  a few, but the fact that they celebrate success?  The fact that they encourage success.  Yeah?  If you’re from this side of the pond chances are you’re ashamed of your success, you go to great lengths to hide it, you view Americans as ostentatious or crass.

In America…

Success has been legalised.

See – they got this dream in America, this dream that encourages people to ‘go for it’ (that’s American for… for… oh – there is no English equivalent.  Think… the opposite of Dunkirk.)  But this dream they got says that everyone can be a success, everyone – deserves a chance, and what’s more, if things don’t work out, they deserve a second chance.  And a third.

But I’ll tell you summink, in the nineteen years I’ve been working with people I’ve yet to meet someone who identifies themselves as successful.  It’s always somewhere in the future (and less commonly, but occasionally, in the past), a time when certain achievements have been accomplished, when a bank balance is at a certain level, a family created, an award received, but never now.

Because very few of us are ever good enough.

For the little bastard demon.

Thing is, you’re stuck with him, we all are, you ingested yours a long time ago and he or she ain’t going away.

I had a great conversation with a friend recently.  He’s one of the most gifted people I’ve ever met, at the top of his game, a true genius, a mystic – and I don’t use those words lightly.

But… his fear, his biggest fear, is that if he reveals the fullness of his mystical genius to the world (he’s not, I should add, American), people will think that he’s – his words, not mine

A cunt.

This discussion took place, not for the first time, amongst a group of very dear friends who of course leapt to his defence, singing his praises and showering him with love.  Quite rightly too.

But I thought I’d try a different approach…

“The thing is…” I said.  “The thing is… you really are a cunt.  You’re… a cunt.”

He looked taken aback.

I continued.

“Not only are you a cunt – you’ve had nasty thoughts, hurt and offended people, behaved in ways that many people would think is ‘wrong’ – but you’re all cunts, each and every one of you in this room, are all cunts, and what’s more… so am I.  Get over yourselves – who says you’re supposed to be nice all the time, perfect, appropriate?  Everybody’s a bit of a cunt sometimes, big deal, own it and then you can stop worrying that people will find out who you really are

Come out of the closet.


Your inner cunt”.

See – although you’re stuck with the little demon bastard, if you own your inner cunt, your weakness, your failings, your shadow, if you can own it without shame, that’s the crucial bit, own it without shame in the knowledge that everyone is flawed, everyone is imperfect… that demon will have nothing to cling to, no fuel, no energy.  Self-love is a much-misunderstood term.  It doesn’t mean only loving the fact that you’re really artistic and quite sensitive and that you subscribe to Avaaz – it means loving all that you are, darkness and all.  You do that and you starve the demon of the self-hatred it so needs to flourish and it will wither away to nothing, leaving you to bask in your essence and free to realise your full creative potential.

So, next time you’re feeling low, worthless, impotent, haunted, talentless, empty… remember the mantra:

This train don’t stop in cuntsville.







Published: April 22nd, 2014

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