Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Skye

Mystic saints and their demons

Recommended Posts

If you read an article like this The battle for souls -The mystic saints vs. the demons - the demons are considered to be real, and most of the mystic saints seem to have had these sort of battles. 

Is it possible that they are experiencing a level of reality generally unseen, or can it all be explained by psychology? The answer makes a lot of difference in how we go about our lives. 

I'm torn between the two views, and just wondered what others might have to say on the issue. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Skye said:

If you read an article like this The battle for souls -The mystic saints vs. the demons - the demons are considered to be real, and most of the mystic saints seem to have had these sort of battles. 

Is it possible that they are experiencing a level of reality generally unseen, or can it all be explained by psychology? The answer makes a lot of difference in how we go about our lives. 

I'm torn between the two views, and just wondered what others might have to say on the issue. 

 

These things are real, but I think it takes a saint to not give up when it gets this bad.  

This is mostly inexplicable by psychology or psychiatry.  You will find many people who will make vague, dismissive excuses for why these things did not happen, but never an elucidated explanation.  

Challenging these reports requires a positive disproof.  They cannot be simply waived off because the auditor is uncomfortable or ignorant of the subject matter.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't buy belief in such creatures or that mystics are meant to battle demons. 

I don't look to psychology (this is not my field) but such a 'reality' is at odds with my theology, my understanding of "God" in relation with man. I do allow there might be other beings in other universes but the idea of a dualism with a power in opposition to God does not resonate. I accept a very human understanding for what is called the demonic: an action taken by man or woman takes on a life of its own and causes more damage than ever intended or envision by the human being who 'initiated' the action.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, thormas said:

I don't buy belief in such creatures or that mystics are meant to battle demons. 

I don't look to psychology (this is not my field) but such a 'reality' is at odds with my theology, my understanding of "God" in relation with man. I do allow there might be other beings in other universes but the idea of a dualism with a power in opposition to God does not resonate. I accept a very human understanding for what is called the demonic: an action taken by man or woman takes on a life of its own and causes more damage than ever intended or envision by the human being who 'initiated' the action.

The OP was not do you believe, but do you believe it is possible.  With extensive eyewitness reports throughout history, one must be either retain an open mind or positively disprove the reports.  Evidence stands unless positively disproven, but conclusions do not need to be drawn.

My wife and her coworker personally witnessed an apparent demonic possession of a child on night shift in a hospital.  A 5 yr old white girl from an athiest family was about 5 days into an evaluation for epilepsy.  She would scream and beat herself in the head during seizures.

The girl reported an imaginary friend named Sam who was small, dressed in a suit, smelled bad and always had dirt on his face.  Sam wanted the girl to go 'home' with him, Sam's home being a hole in the ground.

My wife and her co-worker prayed over her one night and the girl's 5 yr voice dropped into a deep male register and cursed them out, then began speaking in Latin.  My wife has taken three years of Latin but could only identify the language.  

The girl relaxed, fell asleep and was discharged two days later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, it is possible. While i do not understand it I have been around long enough to see things that might suggest such.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Burl said:

The OP was not do you believe, but do you believe it is possible.  With extensive eyewitness reports throughout history, one must be either retain an open mind or positively disprove the reports.  Evidence stands unless positively disproven, but conclusions do not need to be drawn.

My wife and her coworker personally witnessed an apparent demonic possession of a child on night shift in a hospital.  A 5 yr old white girl from an athiest family was about 5 days into an evaluation for epilepsy.  She would scream and beat herself in the head during seizures.

The girl reported an imaginary friend named Sam who was small, dressed in a suit, smelled bad and always had dirt on his face.  Sam wanted the girl to go 'home' with him, Sam's home being a hole in the ground.

My wife and her co-worker prayed over her one night and the girl's 5 yr voice dropped into a deep male register and cursed them out, then began speaking in Latin.  My wife has taken three years of Latin but could only identify the language.  

The girl relaxed, fell asleep and was discharged two days later.

No, I do not believe it is possible. Nor do I accept your premise that any who disbelieve have the burden of proof. There is 'evidence' i.e. eyewitnesses (and supposedly not just one or two) who report that images of Jesus are in a piece of toast or on some wall. My open mind has concluded that there is no 'evidence,' no reality to these reports (except in the eye of the beholder). 

The girl's case is tragic but I would guess that not all those on the case would attribute this to demons. Plus, although an innocent, demons would typically go after those 'closely' associated with God, their mortal enemy. An atheist by definition does not believe in their mortal enemy, so why bother? Of course I don't buy any of this.

Edited by thormas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, thormas said:

No, I do not believe it is possible. Nor do I accept your premise that any who disbelieve have the burden of proof. There is 'evidence' i.e. eyewitnesses (and supposedly not just one or two) who report that images of Jesus are in a piece of toast or on some wall. My open mind has concluded that there is no 'evidence,' no reality to these reports (except in the eye of the beholder). 

The girl's case is tragic but I would guess that not all those on the case would attribute this to demons. Plus, although an innocent, demons would typically go after those 'closely' associated with God, their mortal enemy. An atheist by definition does not believe in their mortal enemy, so why bother? Of course I don't buy any of this.

You are conflating disbelief (which is fine; insufficient evidence) with a firmly held belief in the impossibility of anything which contradicts your personal dogma.

Always leave room for the fact that your personal dogma may be incorrect, and that it too may be grounded in insufficient evidence.  Particularly if it consists mainly of your own thoughts.

BTW, I had my wife repeat this account to me just before I posted it so I could be sure the details were correct.  This event occurred.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Burl said:

You are conflating disbelief (which is fine; insufficient evidence) with a firmly held belief in the impossibility of anything which contradicts your personal dogma.

Always leave room for the fact that your personal dogma may be incorrect, and that it too may be grounded in insufficient evidence.  Particularly if it consists mainly of your own thoughts.

BTW, I had my wife repeat this account to me just before I posted it so I could be sure the details were correct.  This event occurred.

Burl,

I am simply stating that I disbelief (because of my personal dogma (i.e. belief) and because there is no possibility of evidence) the firmly held belief of others in demons (which fits into their personal dogma/belief).

I have a firmly held belief that God IS but there is no evidence and to tell others that theirs is the burden of proof, that they must 'positively disproof' that which is beyond proof (but believed and experienced by some) is absurd on its face. Merely because people have an experience and say, "Demons" is no more proof than one who, when "marveling at the beauty and intricacy of nature," says (and experiences) "God."

I always leave room that I'm wrong (and my position is hardly my "own thoughts") but there is no sufficient evidence of demons. I have no doubt the event occurred, I disbelief that demons were behind it.

Edited by thormas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Skye, Burl and Joseph,

Although I don't believe in demon possession as it has been put forth here, I am curious about your view of God that fits in with your (possible) acceptance and belief in demons and the like.

For me, a panentheist, for whom God is not a (supreme) being, but the very ground of being, I don't accept (i.e. believe in) the dualism of another power or powers (for example, Satan) that is at war with God (that which is not a being) and carries out that war with possession of both innocent and sinful human beings. I don't accept traditional notions of incarnation (I understand incarnation differently) nor do I accept a demon taking over a human (which seems a play on incarnation wherein the demon takes on or possesses flesh).

How are there individual demons possessing particular individual men and women if there is not a 'person' (God) who would be the reason for their rebellion and war (the traditional understanding)? How does a demon battle the ground of being?

If any of you are a traditional theist, although I don't believe in demons, I get (to some degree) your acceptance of demons who oppose God.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thomas,

I,  like you,  also can be seen as a panentheist and don't see demons as being in opposition to God or as other powers in a war against God. In my view, demons can be seen as perhaps what we might consider as negative energy fields not unlike the conditioned field we consider our physical body and mind but vibrating at a frequency that is not physically perceived by your physical eyes to be considered a normal conditioned human. This is not a traditional understanding but i have personally perceived such in the spirit so to speak.

In my experience most people are asleep to their ground of being and merely acting out their conditioning here. To that person  or persons their brain and unconsciousness make them more susceptible to this demonic influence or negative energy field that you don't see with your eyes  but can be perceived as if seen. If people are more conscious of their ground of being they would have a 'higher' level of consciousness at least at that point in time, that  negates a personal influence of negativity and  allow them the power or faith to raise the frequency surrounding themselves and others to repel demons. I have both seen and experienced this.

Joseph

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, thormas said:

Skye, Burl and Joseph,

Although I don't believe in demon possession as it has been put forth here, I am curious about your view of God that fits in with your (possible) acceptance and belief in demons and the like.

For me, a panentheist, for whom God is not a (supreme) being, but the very ground of being, I don't accept (i.e. believe in) the dualism of another power or powers (for example, Satan) that is at war with God (that which is not a being) and carries out that war with possession of both innocent and sinful human beings. I don't accept traditional notions of incarnation (I understand incarnation differently) nor do I accept a demon taking over a human (which seems a play on incarnation wherein the demon takes on or possesses flesh).

How are there individual demons possessing particular individual men and women if there is not a 'person' (God) who would be the reason for their rebellion and war (the traditional understanding)? How does a demon battle the ground of being?

If any of you are a traditional theist, although I don't believe in demons, I get (to some degree) your acceptance of demons who oppose God.

 

I am a panentheist (the NT biblical theism) who believes in God's heavenly council, demons, angels, Nephilim, witches, ghosts, succubui, ifrit, djinn and other created material and non-material lifeforms. I do not necessarily accept the folkloric evidence as veridical, but that is the most efficient way to discuss these things.

The diversity of life on earth demonstrates God's love of variety, and I don't see why the unseen realm should be less complex.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, JosephM said:

Thomas,

I,  like you,  also can be seen as a panentheist and don't see demons as being in opposition to God or as other powers in a war against God. In my view, demons can be seen as perhaps what we might consider as negative energy fields not unlike the conditioned field we consider our physical body and mind but vibrating at a frequency that is not physically perceived by your physical eyes to be considered a normal conditioned human. This is not a traditional understanding but i have personally perceived such in the spirit so to speak.

In my experience most people are asleep to their ground of being and merely acting out their conditioning here. To that person  or persons their brain and unconsciousness make them more susceptible to this demonic influence or negative energy field that you don't see with your eyes  but can be perceived as if seen. If people are more conscious of their ground of being they would have a 'higher' level of consciousness at least at that point in time, that  negates a personal influence of negativity and  allow them the power or faith to raise the frequency surrounding themselves and others to repel demons. I have both seen and experienced this.

Joseph

Interesting and thanks, Joseph.

So, if negative energy fields (not something I'm familiar with or have read about), then not individual demons trying to capture man in their battle with God? Or, simply, not demons at all -  as traditionally understood.

I get being asleep to the ground of being - actually, perhaps our normal state until we wake to Being - although I know of many who are not aware or do not really care about this as they are concerned and fulfilled with the task (and joy) of living - and there seemingly is no susceptibility to negative energy. 

Food for thought.........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Burl said:

I am a panentheist (the NT biblical theism) who believes in God's heavenly council, demons, angels, Nephilim, witches, ghosts, succubui, ifrit, djinn and other created material and non-material lifeforms. I do not necessarily accept the folkloric evidence as veridical, but that is the most efficient way to discuss these things.

The diversity of life on earth demonstrates God's love of variety, and I don't see why the unseen realm should be less complex.

Ok, thanks. I don't get this kind of panentheism (NT biblical theism??) and certainly don't believe in all these creatures or creations but interesting comment on the folklore being the most efficient (if not the most accurate??) way to discuss. 

I get the variety argument but although some creatures that are seen can harm or kill man, that is not their purpose. Whereas, traditionally, demons are specifically intend on harming, possessing humans to beat God. So, for God to create with this specific intend make no sense given God's creation of (and purpose for) the seen world.

Edited by thormas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, thormas said:

Ok, thanks. I don't get this kind of panentheism (NT biblical theism??).

Acts 17:26-28 English Standard Version (ESV)

26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for

“‘In him we live and move and have our being’;

Expand into Paul's analogy of us as parts of the body of Christ.  Reduce to our existence as a system of individual but connected cells and biological microflora.  

Quote

I get the variety argument but although some creatures that are seen can harm or kill man, that is not their purpose. Whereas, traditionally, demons are specifically intend on harming, possessing humans to beat God. So, for God to create with this specific intend make no sense given God's creation of (and purpose for) the seen world.

It's entertaining when you become more literal in interpretation than me :lol:.  You know God's purpose for creating the seen world? :huh:  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Burl said:

Acts 17:26-28 English Standard Version (ESV)

26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for

“‘In him we live and move and have our being’;

Expand into Paul's analogy of us as parts of the body of Christ.  Reduce to our existence as a system of individual but connected cells and biological microflora.  

It's entertaining when you become more literal in interpretation than me :lol:.  You know God's purpose for creating the seen world? :huh:  

Still don't see this as panentheism: to read what is written, we have God creating, or in panentheistic terms we have the ground of being and the 'creation' of beings (humanity and the created world). Plus we do have a henotheism (which recognizes and names other gods/demons/etc.) which 'evolves' or eventually gives way to a (true) monotheism. And panentheism is monotheism. 

We are 'parts' of the body of Christ and/or we have our being in Being. I still see gods and demons, angels and the rest as part of a henotheistic world view that Christianity moves beyond.

What Christian doesn't know (based on faith) the purpose of God? That's an easy one :+}

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, thormas said:

Still don't see this as panentheism: to read what is written, we have God creating, or in panentheistic terms we have the ground of being and the 'creation' of beings (humanity and the created world). Plus we do have a henotheism (which recognizes and names other gods/demons/etc.) which 'evolves' or eventually gives way to a (true) monotheism. And panentheism is monotheism. 

We are 'parts' of the body of Christ and/or we have our being in Being. I still see gods and demons, angels and the rest as part of a henotheistic world view that Christianity moves beyond.

What Christian doesn't know (based on faith) the purpose of God? That's an easy one :+}

Panentheism is a belief that we exist completely within the theistic God.  Like fish which exist within water.  

The existence of other created beings is not henotheistic. I'm not sure henotheism ever actually existed.  It seems to be a wiggle word employed when people want to guess that monotheism developed out of polytheism.

I can't say I know the reason God created the seen world.  The reason for creating mosquitos is something I find particularly troublesome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Burl said:

Panentheism is a belief that we exist completely within the theistic God.  Like fish which exist within water.  

The existence of other created beings is not henotheistic. I'm not sure henotheism ever actually existed.  It seems to be a wiggle word employed when people want to guess that monotheism developed out of polytheism.

I can't say I know the reason God created the seen world.  The reason for creating mosquitos is something I find particularly troublesome.

I basically agree with your take on panentheism although I have no need to modify God with the term theistic. 

Their existence (if indeed they do exist) is not henotheistic, rather the idea of many or other gods and demons is henotheistic and a step in religious evolution to true monotheism. Similar to a biblical world view, it is not 'our' contemporary view. And, indeed, if anything, monotheism (at the very least) developed alongside of polytheism and if other gods and demons are posited (as they are), we have henotheism (the God of Israel exists alongside of other gods in the bible).

God's purpose for us is easier to understand than the existence of mosquitos (perhaps when he was resting on the Sabbath they snuck into being).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, thormas said:

I basically agree with your take on panentheism although I have no need to modify God with the term theistic. 

Their existence (if indeed they do exist) is not henotheistic, rather the idea of many or other gods and demons is henotheistic and a step in religious evolution to true monotheism. Similar to a biblical world view, it is not 'our' contemporary view. And, indeed, if anything, monotheism (at the very least) developed alongside of polytheism and if other gods and demons are posited (as they are), we have henotheism (the God of Israel exists alongside of other gods in the bible).

God's purpose for us is easier to understand than the existence of mosquitos (perhaps when he was resting on the Sabbath they snuck into being).

Theistic is not a modifier, it is part of the word. Panen-THEISTIC.  A specific type of theism.

I think most religions are prophetic revolutions, not gradualist evolutions.  Akenaton, Buddha, Muhummad, Zoroaster, Moses, Jesus - all were severe deviations from the status quo.  I do not know of a henotheistic religion.  I think somebody made that one up for a dissertation.

Demons, Bodhisatvas, angels &c should not be classed with gods.  They refer to non-material, but god created beings.

As for the mosquitos, they suck.  Thank God for autumn.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Burl said:

Theistic is not a modifier, it is part of the word. Panen-THEISTIC.  A specific type of theism.

I think most religions are prophetic revolutions, not gradualist evolutions.  Akenaton, Buddha, Muhummad, Zoroaster, Moses, Jesus - all were severe deviations from the status quo.  I do not know of a henotheistic religion.  I think somebody made that one up for a dissertation.

Demons, Bodhisatvas, angels &c should not be classed with gods.  They refer to non-material, but god created beings.

As for the mosquitos, they suck.  Thank God for autumn.

I get your point for panentheism but a modifier makes a minor change or adjustment, so to say panentheism means we exist in a theistic God, modifies or changes (one's understanding of) panentheism - which although containing the word theism, suggests something different than the external, supreme being who intervenes via miracles in creation.  Now, if someone modifies what they mean by theism, as Macquarie does (Dialectical theism) then it is, as Macquarie says, another name for panentheism. Given the typical understanding of theism (above), panentheism presents a different take on God. 

Well, as Paula Fredriksen says in her book on Paul, "in antiquity, "monotheism" is a species of polytheism." It seems evident that there is an evolution in religious thought but, again, I also get the idea of prophetic revolutions. Probably not an either/or. However, Jesus was not a "severe deviation" from Judaism.

Concerning 'other divine entities' Augustine in the City of God says, the difference is how they are named: "Christians call these gods 'demons'; Pagans call these demons, gods."

Edited by thormas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

theism has two general meanings …. pertaining to a god (any flavour thereof) and pertaining to a personal god. 

It is the context that allows us to differentiate between the two. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, thormas said:

Interesting and thanks, Joseph.

So, if negative energy fields (not something I'm familiar with or have read about), then not individual demons trying to capture man in their battle with God? Or, simply, not demons at all -  as traditionally understood.

I get being asleep to the ground of being - actually, perhaps our normal state until we wake to Being - although I know of many who are not aware or do not really care about this as they are concerned and fulfilled with the task (and joy) of living - and there seemingly is no susceptibility to negative energy. 

Food for thought.........

In my view,

Your body is an energy field.

One does not need words or to be fluent in religion or concepts to be awake to Being. The joy of living comes from Being and needs no understanding nor need for questions.

Joseph

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JosephM said:

One does not need words or to be fluent in religion or concepts to be awake to Being. The joy of living comes from Being and needs no understanding nor need for questions.

The ability to speak is not necessary but self-consciousness is essential to knowing (which involves words) of Reality.; such knowing has the capacity to deepen living. I agree that fluency in religion or fluency in concepts is unnecessary but, just as the Word in Genesis or John, wakes us to Being, so to words waken and deepen the life of being.

There is something special, even something new, when Reality says of itself, when asked, "I AM."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×