Friday, January 06, 2006

"Devil," "Evil Spirits," and "Possession"


"Evil spirits" are superstitions from ancient times used to describe, and to try to understand, what we today call "mental forces in the unconscious mind." There are a number of things that can go wrong with neurochemistry, neuroanatomy, and the overall structure of the brain. In very rare cases, a person can suppress or repress for many years all that she believes to be negative or harmful. After many years, all the forcenergy of these thoughts explodes like a mental volcano. By extreme repression ("swallowing" all negative thoughts), one can, in time, create even structural damage to the brain. Then, in compensation for such ruthless repression, the character becomes not only evil, but "super evil." In psychology, this is called "compensation."

It happens, but more mildly, to all of us. If we try to restrict our minds too much, try to be "only supergood all the time," we put into a pressure-cooker our lower nature. We neglect and deny it. Then, it comes to life suddenly, in uncontrolled thoughts, and even compulsive behaviors.

When this becomes truly extreme, it becomes a serious mental disorder, disease, or dysfunction. When it happens repeatedly, and gains much power over decades, it results in a longlasting altered state that was called, in the Dark Ages, "possession." The idea behind this illusion is, "I could never be that bad; so, someone else must be taking over my mind." In the Dark Ages, everything from eclipses to plagues was blamed on "evil spirits." This was just a prescientific "catch-all" that was used to "explain" anything, or everything, that seemed the least bit mysterious. And, of course, in that misty and obscure time, nothing was known about brain-structure.

What is the solution? First, we must recognize that we all have a lower nature. It can be sleazy or smarmy. But, because it is natural, we cannot help ourselves by denying that it even exists. Indeed, to deny a part of the self is a sickness of the mind.

So, we need to accept the less-positive aspects of our selves, including especially the sexual, and learn to see, and accept, them as natural and normal. Then, we must embrace them as friends or teachers. Loving the "uglier" parts of ourselves is an absolutely indispensable aspect of selflove. And, as always, Love is the answer.

When we love the lower nature as natural, it loses all its power against us. Your resistance gives it power. This is why Jesus said, "Resist not evil." We do not want to resist it, but to "oppose" it; this means to become its opposite.

When it begins to lose power, it weakens until it is but a tiny spark, not a huge bonfire! Then, when it has been weakened and "conquered" by Love, it is no longer a dominant master. For Jesus said that you can serve only one master. If we make Love our master, and love everything within us, we can "love away" the less-desirable parts of our mind or

As truth thrives on this Love, so illusion-- vanity, hatred, violence, bigotry, unhealthy sexuality, and many more lower aspects-- thrive on fear. So, we must not indulge in fear. Fear is Love's conceptual opposite, for Love has no real opposite. In the mystical perspective, God is Love. So, the "devil" is not a person, but is the quality of fear. And "evil spirits" are just a part of superstitious mythology created to support the idea of a "devil" who is a "person."

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