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vanir
01-06-2010, 04:44 PM
A spin off from a thread in Alto.

One of the things I find curious is an admitedly anecdotally existential theme that secular christians tend to sit on the fence about this issue, the clergy or the many I've spoken to notably regard it as allegorical at most (including Baptist pastors, Catholic/Orthodoxy and Anglican clergy but not necessarily Uniting ministers and other evangelical sects), whilst on the whole it is mostly the layman nonsecular followers who tend to believe in this sort of thing as a literal reality.
For example most exorcisms I've read details of (often legal cases of criminal abuse or manslaughter), which as was mentioned in the previous thread by JesusIsGonnaOwnSatan is actually surprisingly common (not the proved nature of possession, but the number of exorcisms still performed in developed nations these days as far as news articles go), are performed not by members of established and traditional clergy but avid nonsecular believers or members of sectarian Christian culture.

In one case in country Victoria several years ago which sticks in mind, a family was charged with torture and abuse for beating, disfiguring and hospitalising a teenage girl with the claim she was "possessed" and camcorder footage of "holy water burning her skin" shown on a national current affairs program. However since her skin responded to the colourless liquid much as it would to a powerful alkali or acid, like a strong bleach naturally it must be legally assumed this was the liquid used as "holy water."

In another case in country Victoria in the papers a young girl was beaten to death, the family charged with manslaughter (murder would be more appropriate imho, since manslaughter under Commonwealth law is a much lesser charge compared to in the US with wrist slapping penalties by comparison to murder or malicious/criminal behaviour resulting in death).

Quite recently (2004 irrc) in Belarus a spate of "exorcisms" were reported in their local media, some involving the beating deaths of the young victims (I like to keep up on affairs in Eastern Europe).


What I find noteworthy is theological investigation of historical Christianity finds that it contains or otherwise absorbs a wide variety of pagan influences throughout its evolution, from early beginnings intertwined with classical Greek education (Platoism and the divine human soul primarily, which is not a historical Hebrew belief according to scripture), to the many pagan traditions absorbed to facilitate the Christianisation of various cultures of the Dark Ages and early Mediaeval period.

Roughly speaking it would appear to me at least many of the modern denominations were directly the result of regional pagan influences forming subcultures or sects within the Christian umbrella (the Protestant movement, which was a political matter aside).

One notable point is that daemonology, or the belief in possession and of angelic beings at work finds its earliest Judeo-Christian roots in kabbala, later pagan influences and inclusions aside. Although this is a relatively unpopular sect within the Hebrew faith unrecognised by most, from clergy to layman.


So what do you think, allegory or actual?

jonathan7
01-06-2010, 09:48 PM
A spin off from a thread in Alto.

One of the things I find curious is an admitedly anecdotally existential theme that secular christians tend to sit on the fence about this issue

I'm not a "secular Christian" but I do sit on the fence; I fit the general description and definition of a Christian, I go to Church each week if keep appearances somehow defines ones faith. Regardless there is not enough evidence for me to make much of a conclusion so I shall continue to sit on the fence.

the clergy or the many I've spoken to notably regard it as allegorical at most (including Baptist pastors, Catholic/Orthodoxy and Anglican clergy but not necessarily Uniting ministers and other evangelical sects), whilst on the whole it is mostly the layman nonsecular followers who tend to believe in this sort of thing as a literal reality.

At least in my experience all of the above have very different view an cannot be lumped together, further more given the Vatican has it's own Exorcism department I cannot think that they think it a literal reality rather than allegorical. The last time I did any research on the subject was 2006, the Roman Catholic Church has it's own branch to investigate demon possessions and IIRC they performed around 500 Exorcisms in 2006, that particular information was in an article in the Sunday Times.

So what do you think, allegory or actual?

Not enough evidence to say.

Well, there are a lot of references to demon possession in the Bible. Do a search (http://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=demon+possessed&x=0&y=0). Seriously, its stuffed with examples.

The following (as this is a predominantly "non-Christian" forum) presumes you accept Gospel accounts;

The demons reported in the Gospels, could for example be mental health issues and Jesus had healed. The use of the word demon, could be to describe phenomena the ancient world had yet to understand, as such it had been branded as "super-natural". Demons are rarely mentioned before or after the Gospels (where they are mentioned more than anywhere else). Generally the Old Testament references to them include individuals sacrificing people to the demons (off the top of my head Psalm 106 has an example of this).

There are various explanations for this.

Here in layman terms are just two, though there are ALOT of theological schools on this, but I don't at this point wish in the discussion wish to talk technical theology.

One Christian line states that the demons occurred only during Jesus time on earth and there is nothing similar happening now.

Another is that Jesus was much more sensitive to such things, and that believers with the gift of the Holy Spirit are more sensitive to such things now.

It would be my observation the Bible does give specific commands to go and cast out demons, for example that is specifically given to the twelve in Mark 3:14-15. The Apostle Paul also states in Ephesians 6:12 that our battle is against the "Spiritual forces of evil". It should also be noted in some of the Great Commission verses given in the Gospels Jesus says to drive demons out in his name; one such example is found in Mark 16:14-18.

As for statistics, i don't know if there are formal ones, but who hasn't heard of demon possessions?

Who hasn't heard of Fairies, Vampires, Santa Calus and the Yeti, does that mean they exist?

I am skeptical to the human haunting stuff because i don't recall there being anything about it in the Bible, while it holds many accounts of demonic activity.

There are an awful lot of different school's explaining the interpretation of demons in the Bible. I sit on the fence with regards demonic possession until I have some evidence to suppose it his currently happening, instead of here-say of it happening to a friend of a friend.

And afaik, according to the Bible, humans are sent to a temporary place until the end where everyone gets herded off at the end. I can't remember anything about us being allowed to run around after death causing havoc. But then again, i could be wrong.

This is again a very controversial subject in Christianity in which there are many different schools. Typically, I would observe you consider yourself an "Evangelical" in my experience Evangelicals as a whole do not usually believe in an intermediary place. Even within the Bible I don't think there is enough information to make such a conclusion, though some of my Catholic friends would say they think purgatory a logical necessity. Again I personally won't speculate on matters with which I do not have enough data to draw any conclusions.

Finally let us revisit something;

Well, there are a lot of references to demon possession in the Bible. Do a search (http://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=demon+possessed&x=0&y=0). Seriously, its stuffed with examples.

Seriously? I know...

No condescension then you say that? Yet you assume I'm unaware of the subject your whole tone seems that I should be the one researching this and not you. For the record, I teach and write Bible studies, do seminars on the Bible and am asked to perform debates (on Christianity, Philosophy and Science). However even if I am not a Christian, the assumption I don't know the Bible would be unwise, considering many atheist friends of mine know the Bible far better than Many Christians. However I say this just to say I know my Bible, am not particularly amused with assertions that I should look up things simply for asking non-usual questions.

Jae Onasi
01-06-2010, 10:43 PM
Catholics certainly consider it real, or they wouldn't have priests training in exorcisms. I have not seen evidence of it personally, but I've heard enough accounts from very close friends who've played around with it thinking it was benign and discovered otherwise.

Some of the accounts in the Bible look like mental illness to me--they didn't have the diagnosis 'schizophrenia' or 'bipolar disorder' 2000 years ago. However, some of the Bible examples are pretty clear in describing how and what happened when people were possessed, and what was done to exorcise those demons.

The important thing to remember is that God is sovereign over these creatures, whether you view it as real or allegory.

Q
01-07-2010, 04:12 AM
A couple of thoughts/hypotheses/brain droppings on the matter:

If demons do exist in this universe, then they would have to abide by the laws of physics like everything else that exists in this universe. This means that, first and foremost, they would have to be composed of some form of electromagnetic energy, and, because they are non-corporeal, they would most likely exist at a relatively long wavelength when compared to matter, which has an extremely short wavelength. They would essentially have to be some sort of energy-based life-form. Though limited by the laws of physics, existing as energy with no mass would still allow them to do extraordinary things like travel at the speed of light (giving them a virtual omnipresence here on Earth), pass through solid objects (including people) and read and even manipulate our thoughts (which are electromagnetic impulses).

Now, if it existed, what would such a being look like? Would it have a body like ours? Probably not. Remember what it would most likely be composed of: electromagnetic energy with a wavelength longer than that of matter, like gamma, visible light or even radio. So, what form does that take? A self-similar continuous wave.

Qui-Gon Glenn
01-07-2010, 06:56 AM
Wow Q, that was serious. Never seen a conceptualization of demon folk as potentially real, and then explained in dazzling science speak. Glad you dropped that!

At OP: Allegory. Of course, I am a little biased on the matter.

Jedi_Man
01-07-2010, 08:14 AM
I'm inclined to believe actual. While I've never actually experienced something like this (my sister aside *cough*teenage girls*cough*), I do believe that something like this could and has happened. While it's not the 'Paranormal State" or the "ghost hunters international" idea that I follow, I think that the demons are spritual beings, actual fallen angels, looking to be a menace. If someone where to have died in my house (along time ago, yes) and a demon came back as a freakin look a like,(ie: burned/stabbed/wet from drowning, something to show there death) people would eventually find out the history of the house and assume it to be the spirit of the kid. The demon then 'role plays' as the kid until such a time when it has a hold on someone. To possess them. WHy they like to posess people is beyond me. TO get rid of them it's simply a 'Dear God, remove this demon' and then a 'The Power Of Christ Compels You!! (with holy water throwing and crucifix tossing antics and all)' but, noooo. People go off and by books, invite sayonces (spell check?) and spiritualist, which would only goad the creature on.
At least, i think so. I'm a teen, i've been proven wronga before.

mur'phon
01-07-2010, 08:15 AM
I'm obviously skeptical to the whole demons existing thing, however, possession is one of the more frightening aspects of some religions/denominations because it allows for the complete dehumanizing of a person which is next to impossible for said person to defend against.

And because I'm lazy and Monty Python is awesome, burning a witch (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yp_l5ntikaU)

Note: I'm not saying possession is this huge titanic problem given that it probably kills or seriously harms less people than defective chairs.

Q: I guess that means I'll have to make a lot of "warning, demon emitter" signs for the sake of my religious friends :P

J7: I'm fairly certain the religious are in the majority here (like just about everywhere else), and non-religious are simply more used to having to defend their non belief, and thus are more visible.

Q
01-07-2010, 03:22 PM
Wow Q, that was serious. Never seen a conceptualization of demon folk as potentially real, and then explained in dazzling science speak. Glad you dropped that!
I thought that it was worth pointing out that, as far as I know, not only is their existence scientifically possible, it is no more improbable than ours.

Ping
01-07-2010, 08:54 PM
I do believe in spirits and ghosts, but I don't believe in demons in the Christian sense. I consider demons just to be ghosts with a mean personality. I don't believe in possession, either.

@Evil Q: Love that explanation of yours. ;)

Q
01-07-2010, 09:29 PM
Q: I guess that means I'll have to make a lot of "warning, demon emitter" signs for the sake of my religious friends :P
Heh, I haven't even gotten to what I think the possible emitters could be yet. :p

JesusIsGonnaOwnSatan
01-08-2010, 12:15 AM
Roughly speaking it would appear to me at least many of the modern denominations were directly the result of regional pagan influences forming subcultures or sects within the Christian umbrella (the Protestant movement, which was a political matter aside).
Ive heard of this before, but not that much. Can you give some specific examples?
The demons reported in the Gospels, could for example be mental health issues and Jesus had healed. The use of the word demon, could be to describe phenomena the ancient world had yet to understand, as such it had been branded as "super-natural". Demons are rarely mentioned before or after the Gospels (where they are mentioned more than anywhere else). Generally the Old Testament references to them include individuals sacrificing people to the demons (off the top of my head Psalm 106 has an example of this).
Hmm, i have never heard of that. Personally, it has never even occurred to me, that demons in the Bible could be anything else other than demons.

But... mental illness? What sort of mental illness
gives superhuman strength? Communicates with its 'healer' and plead for its existence? Is able to completely leave one person and jump to another person or animal? :confused:

Who hasn't heard of Fairies, Vampires, Santa Calus and the Yeti, does that mean they exist?
I concede; that was an argument fail.

There are an awful lot of different school's explaining the interpretation of demons in the Bible.
I can understand that for their origin or their nature, but for their existence as demons?
This is again a very controversial subject in Christianity in which there are many different schools.
It seems that nothing isn't...
Typically, I would observe you consider yourself an "Evangelical" in my experience Evangelicals as a whole do not usually believe in an intermediary place.
Technically, i go to an evangelical church. But personally, i don't know what i am. What i said was a personal observation, and not a typical representation of my church, or denomination.
Even within the Bible I don't think there is enough information to make such a conclusion, though some of my Catholic friends would say they think purgatory a logical necessity. Again I personally won't speculate on matters with which I do not have enough data to draw any conclusions.

Perhaps there isnt. But Daniel 12:2-3 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel+12&version=NIV) is one instance i just stumbled across.
But as you said, lets not go into that.

No condescension then you say that? Yet you assume I'm unaware of the subject your whole tone seems that I should be the one researching this and not you. For the record, I teach and write Bible studies, do seminars on the Bible and am asked to perform debates (on Christianity, Philosophy and Science). However even if I am not a Christian, the assumption I don't know the Bible would be unwise, considering many atheist friends of mine know the Bible far better than Many Christians. However I say this just to say I know my Bible, am not particularly amused with assertions that I should look up things simply for asking non-usual questions.
In what little interaction we have had, i have indeed picked up that you do know the Bible (but not to the extent which you have specified). So i thought why would you, who knows your Bible, ask a question like that? I sensed a trap.

You seem to acknowledge that it was indeed a strange question you asked, and you imply that you were going somewhere with it. I have explained why i said what i said. Could you explain to me what you were intending with that question?

But I will believe you if you say i'm over-reading this.

vanir
01-08-2010, 01:28 AM
Well as for myself, in all plain honesty my own experience and intellectual self are completely at odds on the matter.

Historical perspective and traditionalism are extremely important considerations when dealing with dogmatic contentions, I find. Some Jewish friends and various clergy I've spoken at length with offered insight in the way we tend to have religious dogma handed to us these days, regardless if we're arguing against it or for it. Often people don't seem to notice the language used to describe the world was presented entirely differently in ages past. So the word "demon" didn't mean a cartoonish creature with horns and a tail, that could only come from popular media, but around the 6th century BC for example the word meant a mental illness, or a primordeal maliciousness, or whatever. Word association was entirely different to what it is now, so when we say, "Oh demons, that's just being silly," well it's not necessarily because saying Bipolar or ADHD in many cases means precisely the same thing, with the same relative associations, connotations and stigma.

To an extent the words have changed but not what they describe. Except that some camps assert mental illnesses are largely genetic variation and thus incurable, where demonic possession can be cured completely, which is handy since either is a cut and dry case of patient distress, the distress you're not stuck with "controlled by medication" for the rest of your life has got to be the preferred one yes?

Of course then on the other hand you do have the delusional, whom are simply told something exists and so determine to have experienced it. Any popular movement is full of this.

Certainly the point of fictionalisations such as the Exorcism of Emily Rose are based upon cases which were argued (in this one, in the courtroom), that it didn't matter whether or not the possession was legitimately literal, but what was more important was what the patient believed and wherein lay the most effective course with any reasonable chance of an acceptable conclusion. In the case of anyone so very distressed by whatever condition, imagined or real, that they are prepared to contend the possibility of spiritual possession, one might think extreme measures could be justified assuming informed consent and a generally law abiding approach.


So my next question would of course be, assuming generally lawful behaviour is involved, would it make any difference if spiritual possession and exorcism ritual were allegory or actual?

Q
01-08-2010, 08:26 PM
I'd say that it would. If merely allegorical, it would only be a threat to the "possessed". If actual, it's a threat to everyone.

Web Rider
01-09-2010, 12:45 AM
So my next question would of course be, assuming generally lawful behaviour is involved, would it make any difference if spiritual possession and exorcism ritual were allegory or actual?

If "demonic possession" truly existed, and as multifarious as demonic possession can apparently appear as, it would pose a major threat to society. Assuming there is only a "religious" test of demonic possession, then it could be used as an explanation for fueling anti-government fears, for why your child is autistic, or why homosexuality exists. And considering that exorcism rituals by nature often less than humane, I think we'd be looking at a dangerous precedent of solving problems by waterboarding people in holy-water instead of looking for actual medical diagnoses.

Darth Avlectus
01-09-2010, 02:00 AM
I think my bathroom is posessed, people always flee it really quickly after I've used it for some strange reason. :dev10:

Samuel Dravis
01-09-2010, 02:58 AM
A couple of thoughts/hypotheses/brain droppings on the matter:

If demons do exist in this universe, then they would have to abide by the laws of physics like everything else that exists in this universe. This means that, first and foremost, they would have to be composed of some form of electromagnetic energy, and, because they are non-corporeal, they would most likely exist at a relatively long wavelength when compared to matter, which has an extremely short wavelength. They would essentially have to be some sort of energy-based life-form. Though limited by the laws of physics, existing as energy with no mass would still allow them to do extraordinary things like travel at the speed of light (giving them a virtual omnipresence here on Earth), pass through solid objects (including people) and read and even manipulate our thoughts (which are electromagnetic impulses).

Now, if it existed, what would such a being look like? Would it have a body like ours? Probably not. Remember what it would most likely be composed of: electromagnetic energy with a wavelength longer than that of matter, like gamma, visible light or even radio. So, what form does that take? A self-similar continuous wave.On the other hand, keeping those pesky demons outta ya would be a simple enough proposition: just get a signal jammer or live inside a faraday cage. :p

That actually sounds like a really fun to read scifi book.

Q
01-09-2010, 04:16 AM
Now you know why some people wear tinfoil hats. :D

It would take a sophisticated jammer indeed to jam an intelligent signal, though. Also, what if people are the ones emitting the signals in the first place?

vanir
01-09-2010, 06:04 AM
I'd say that it would. If merely allegorical, it would only be a threat to the "possessed". If actual, it's a threat to everyone.

And yet this argument doesn't hold true, in practise. It is of proxy, the reality is inverse.

Consider the threat of mental illness. It can strike at anyone, yes? Given relative conditions (environment or otherwise) any individual is prone to shell shock, clinical depression, onto serious behavioural disorders and there is no discrimination for victims. Once biochemical imbalance is established the development into full behavioural disorder is elementary. Mental illness is somewhat counter-intuitive in medical nomenclature, it happens because of a healthy working brain, not a physical aberration (although the neo-Eugenics camp still assert genetic variance but this is a contention rather than correlated findings).

Ergo incarcerate a sane person in an insane institution and you will drive them insane. Foster a healthy child in a household of sociopaths and you are likely to get a sociopathic teen, etc.

Yet among many of the secular religious it appears there is a claim that one cannot be subject to possession if they are devout in their faith and worship. Hence it is only a threat to those whom stray, or fail to belong. Plus it is a notably curable condition, as Jae points out.


I have a new question, how is it exactly that we treat sufferers of severe mental illness (such as crippling behavioural disorder) differently to traditional views of the possessed?

Would it be much of a surprise to note sanitoriums (mental institutions) began within the church as a kind of subdivision of hospitals (which also developed to their modern form largely within the church)?

An interesting thing, the modern psychiatric institute (now mental health centre) was in the late 19th century largely governed by religious dogma. The first dramatic shift in theory was psychotherapy (hailed/derided at the time as "the religion of the 20th century).
But did it really change much in the end, did psychiatric doctrine perhaps settle back into comfortable intuition, I mean they don't start claiming your Bipolar was caused by fantasies about your mother do they?

jonathan7
01-11-2010, 01:51 AM
But... mental illness? What sort of mental illness

Schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder are two examples.

gives superhuman strength?

There are various documented cases of individuals with mental illness showing "superhuman" stength and "superhuman" immunity to pain.

Communicates with its 'healer' and plead for its existence?

Multiple personality disorder can have such effects.

Is able to completely leave one person and jump to another person or animal? :confused:

Well, here it depends by what you mean jump, and remember you have a human being attempting to interpret events they may well not understand, as such descriptions could also be interesting. That isn't necessarily a explanation; but imagine an ancient Egyptian attempting to describe an average city scene from today.


I can understand that for their origin or their nature, but for their existence as demons?

Lets say what you call a pencil I call a burger; does that change the elements properties. As such for arguments sakejust because Luke called a mental health issue a "demon" does not actually mean it is a demon, he was putting a word to a phenomena he didn't understand.

It seems that nothing isn't...

That has something to do with the religious and Golden Cows.

Technically, i go to an evangelical church. But personally, i don't know what i am. What i said was a personal observation, and not a typical representation of my church, or denomination.

Fair enough

In what little interaction we have had, i have indeed picked up that you do know the Bible (but not to the extent which you have specified). So i thought why would you, who knows your Bible, ask a question like that? I sensed a trap.

Why not? Your somewhat paranoid if your expecting traps from me, generally if I can, I will ask questions to provoke thought, if I think it would benefit an individual to think upon the asked question.

You seem to acknowledge that it was indeed a strange question you asked, and you imply that you were going somewhere with it. I have explained why i said what i said. Could you explain to me what you were intending with that question?

What is the purpose of a question? I often ask questions I have my own answers to. What is the job of a teacher Is the job of a teacher, to get an individual to think what the teacher thinks. Or is it to get the individual thinking for themselves?

But I will believe you if you say i'm over-reading this.

I think you paranoid if your somehow thinking I wish you ill, my main point is all through this discussion, people state I believe this, but then either don't give reasons for why they believe that, or do not give reasonable reasons for why they believe what they do. You believe certain things of demons based on a particular interpretation of the Bible; the Bible also talks of a 6 headed dragon, should we take that literally? That the Bible talks of demons, I don't think is enough to suppose they are active today, indeed it seems to me most talk about demons is pure speculation, based on an individuals pre-existing ideas and has no basis in fact, evidence or deductive reasoning, but is all based on here-say and superstition. As such why do you believe what you believe?

JesusIsGonnaOwnSatan
01-13-2010, 03:44 AM
So my next question would of course be, assuming generally lawful behaviour is involved, would it make any difference if spiritual possession and exorcism ritual were allegory or actual?

If no laws are broken, then no, i don't think it would matter. It would just be an extension of religious freedom.
I have a new question, how is it exactly that we treat sufferers of severe mental illness (such as crippling behavioural disorder) differently to traditional views of the possessed?

Because the views are just that - traditional. Because there a a *lot* of people who believe that demons are not allegorical, and are actively or passively exerting the influence of the idea.
Schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder are two examples.

There are various documented cases of individuals with mental illness showing "superhuman" stength and "superhuman" immunity to pain.

Multiple personality disorder can have such effects.

You're arguments make sense, but i think i'll have to look into this more to fully believe that it was not evil spirits in the Gospels. ;)
Well, here it depends by what you mean jump, and remember you have a human being attempting to interpret events they may well not understand, as such descriptions could also be interesting. That isn't necessarily a explanation; but imagine an ancient Egyptian attempting to describe an average city scene from today.

By 'jump' I was referring to what happened to the demons known as Legion. Jesus allowed them to 'enter into' the herd of pigs nearby.
That has something to do with the religious and Golden Cows.

'Golden Cows'?
Why not? Your somewhat paranoid if your expecting traps from me, generally if I can, I will ask questions to provoke thought, if I think it would benefit an individual to think upon the asked question.

I think you paranoid if your somehow thinking I wish you ill,
I... think you're right. I think i am paranoid. I think its because, well, this is Kavar's Corner.
You believe certain things of demons based on a particular interpretation of the Bible; the Bible also talks of a 6 headed dragon, should we take that literally?
Revelation was indeed John describing his vision of modern era happenings in Biblical era language, but the Gospels were accounts real life. The Disciples went everywhere with Jesus, learning from Him. Their ideas and perceptions would be colored by how Jesus acted/felt about things - in this case, demons. Jesus would have known their exact nature. Don't you think He would have taught them, or at least alluded His [proper] understanding on the subject?

That the Bible talks of demons, I don't think is enough to suppose they are active today, indeed it seems to me most talk about demons is pure speculation, based on an individuals pre-existing ideas and has no basis in fact, evidence or deductive reasoning, but is all based on here-say and superstition. As such why do you believe what you believe?
...

Hear-say and superstition.

Im understanding what you're saying, but again, its not fully hit home yet. These are beliefs I've held (rational or irrational) for as long as i can remember. I have no grudge in letting them go, but its just not fully making sense yet.
As such, i am not 'arguing'; these are genuine questions:

Why wouldn't demons be active today? If anything, they should be more active, with more people messing around with the occult, more emotionally unstable (due to drugs or whatever - more easily influenced, assuming thats what demons do) , etc. Also, they only have a limited amount of time till their 'appointed time' comes along and the banhammer comes down on them all.

Also, what about the people who say they've had experiences with demons? Like my family friend who says he talked to a demon through a possessed person?
I think i'll contact him about it. Its been about 2 years since i heard it from him, maybe i'm remembering it wrong or something...

moda
01-13-2010, 02:21 PM
I myself am one of those who have sought to utilize demonology as a tool. It is a part of my life that will live in my nightmares till i finally leave this earth.

I am a roman catholic by denomination, though by practice am more of an agnostic, and while my religious dogma indicates the existence of demons, i thought it naught but a joke, till i sought to conjure one.

From what i understand ritualism is not the most important part, for in this process it is the will of the individual involved and the capricious nature of the entities you seek to conjure or control, that matters most of all.

while i am also a man of knowledge, and thus prepared to even suggest that the experiences i had in my attempts were born of my own mind, there is a part of me which knows, that no delusion can ever equal the sheer panic such an experience brings and inflicts upon you.

Q
01-16-2010, 12:35 AM
^Ah, the realization that it's actually happening here in "reality". Exhilarating, isn't it? This tells me that you've seen the results of your handiwork. What did it look like? Did you just see a distortion, like heat waves or gasoline fumes or could you make out detail? We both know that you could feel it, regardless of what you saw. Hopefully, you didn't just let it go on its merry way...

And no, I'm not baiting you. Though almost everyone else here will likely regard you as a kook, I assure you that I don't.

Samuel Dravis
01-16-2010, 02:36 AM
On a related note, a woman I know once dated a weirdo who was into demons, at least to some degree. Quite apart from that he was just a pothead loser. After she finally figured out he wasn't any good and dumped him, she claimed she felt an evil presence outside her window, possibly caused by a curse of some kind. I have no reason to disbelieve what she felt, but I also have no reason to think there was anything out of her window, as she got me to go check several times to "make sure." It appears I am good demon appeasement food...

Q
01-16-2010, 02:53 AM
My guess is that he, unless he was completely full of it, ate a lot of LSD.

Of course, he could have eaten a lot of LSD and still have been completely full of it.

Blix
01-16-2010, 03:20 AM
As an Agnostic with semi-Aethiest views, I find the amount of attention this phenomena gets (even today) amazing. I mean there were a lot of good theories popping up in physician's circles that demonic possession isn't real and that what they are dealing with is some kind of mental disorder (i.e. autism), I saw on a show or read somewhere that a lot of instances of a possessed or "haunted person" matched the symptoms of an epiletic seizure iirc. But then the priest comes in and confronts the demon possessing the person, reads a few pages from the bible, flicks some holy water and the demon is excised with a feeling of calm afterward.

It's funny because I don't necessarily believe in heaven/hell or god/satan (skeptical is a better word) but after watching stories that are so intense that tackles demonic possession makes me think: "If that could happen then maybe there IS a heaven & hell.

Of course demonic possession or any kind of spiritual interaction could be natural to the earth, as in demons/shadow people are left behind after-images of negative energy from bad people or bad/wicked events taking place (i.e. murder-suicide, torture camp, etc.)
the same can be said about Angels/orbs but in reverse: positive energy.

Not to ramble on or anything but while on the topic I wonder if everyone is familiar with the concept of the lifestream from Final Fantasy VII? In it an elder Indian says that when the people of the planet die they return to the planet, and are eventually reborn somewhere else as someone else. You could compare it to the Lion King's circle of life or the Bhuddist/Hindu belief of samsara or reincarnation. Anyway food for thought :)

Q
01-16-2010, 03:35 AM
My advice would be to stop using other people's accounts and find out for yourself.

People are full of it. Are you?

moda
01-16-2010, 04:30 AM
i saw no real distortion of reality, what i was saw was mostly hallucinogenic in nature, thing which could quite easily be products of the mind, hence why i am willing to concede that it is possible that i induced a hallucinogenic state in myself. on the same token however i will forever cautious with dabbling with such things. the fact that i saw metallic objects move around the room of their own accord not withstanding. it was all like one massive psychedelic trip, and no i wasnt on any mind altering substances at the time

Blix
01-16-2010, 04:35 AM
Everyone is "full of it" (different religions, different beliefs) and until we finally get an answer to the "meaning of life" and reach true-enlightenment thus ending our ignorance we will continue to be as you say: "full of it". I'm no exception, being an Agnostic that's leaning towards Aethism makes me just as "full of it" for my perception of religion, as it would make me ignorant for being a total Aethiest and claiming that rejecting (or sheltering yourself from) religion or any spirituality is absolutely right and everything else is absolutely wrong. Although i've always thought those that forced their perceptions/opinions on others to be "full of it".

Q
01-16-2010, 05:35 AM
i saw no real distortion of reality,
I'm not inferring that they were; I've seen far more detail than mere gasoline fumes, though. Far more...
what i was saw was mostly hallucinogenic in nature, thing which could quite easily be products of the mind, hence why i am willing to concede that it is possible that i induced a hallucinogenic state in myself.
But that wouldn't make them any less real, would it? OK, I'll just put it all out there for people to draw their own conclusions. From what I've been able to gather, demons require human "approval" to have any influence over this universe (that includes Satan; read Genesis). In other words, they need a human mind and brain to act as a "transmitter" for their specific signal. The brain would, of course, require detailed instructions to carry this out, however. Please keep in mind that I am of the belief that the entire universe is just an extremely complex, broad-spectrum electromagnetic transmission/signal/musical symphony, or merely the figment/composition of an an infinitely complex imagination.
on the same token however i will forever cautious with dabbling with such things. the fact that i saw metallic objects move around the room of their own accord not withstanding. it was all like one massive psychedelic trip, and no i wasnt on any mind altering substances at the time
In the end, I don't think that it matters. Not to me, at least. I am, after all, the final determinant of my own personal reality. For all I know, all of you are no more than figments of my imagination. In my imagination, though, both God and Satan do exist. Therefore, they exist in my reality.

moda
01-16-2010, 06:48 AM
reality is only the sum of the objective observations which give it form. physics tells us this in the form of Copenhagen interpretation.

well essentially

JesusIsGonnaOwnSatan
01-17-2010, 02:43 AM
I'm not inferring that they were; I've seen far more detail than mere gasoline fumes, though. Far more...

Can you elaborate?

purifier
01-17-2010, 03:27 AM
the fact that i saw metallic objects move around the room of their own accord not withstanding. it was all like one massive psychedelic trip, and no i wasnt on any mind altering substances at the time


Those metallic objects that you mentioned moda - were they spherical in nature?

And did they have some kind of luminosity coming from them?

moda
01-17-2010, 01:27 PM
nope they were quite honestly metal objects, nuts bolts screws a few nails... and i saw no real distortion of light, oh and a screw driver started floating.

Q
01-18-2010, 04:50 PM
Can you elaborate?
Now, if it existed, what would such a being look like? Would it have a body like ours? Probably not. Remember what it would most likely be composed of: electromagnetic energy with a wavelength longer than that of matter, like gamma, visible light or even radio. So, what form does that take? A self-similar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-similarity) continuous wave.
That's the best that I can do.

EDIT: Actually, it isn't, but I've dropped enough breadcrumbs.

Darth Avlectus
01-19-2010, 09:00 AM
I'm not so sure such a control by a disembodied entity is...feasible. Even if we do, to an extent act based upon forces external to us ans Nikola Tesla once theorized.

Still, astral projection or somesuch is being studied more and more as well as brain waves.

I always thought demons were that which we invented, like addictions, or personality flaws, or attitudes that are detrimental. Then again, the best trick the devil had was to convince you he didn't exist. :devsmoke:

it may manifest in the form of haunting memories that nag and tug beneath the surface.

As far as external beings...I don't really know what to make of that...I mean I suppose it is possible.

Background, for the record in case some of you didn't know: I'm one who does believe in something greater. I do call it/him/her God and I like what Christ stood for. However, some would say that I am contradicting myself if I only definitively believe in something higher--because though I presume, at the end of the day I also admit I may not know anything. Some Jewish influence, mostly though, raised unorthodox Christian; Spiritual but not religious. Martial arts is part of the regimen though in that, I confess I haven't done much of late.

Spiritual possession...something has you? going by asoutlined above: At some level you're okay with it--not to say you're happy by any stretch. Only if the shoe fits in which case that's even more difficult. If you want to get past it, you have to reject it on *all* levels. There can be no waver in your resolve, you must be absolute. Is this an easy thing? Not at all. Did I oversimplify it? Not at all. Just outlined the crux of it.

All this where there is correlation and in some cases causation. I'll clarify for anyone who needs it.

machievelli
01-19-2010, 03:30 PM
The primary thing is to define the terms. Is a demon a fallen angel or child of Lilith as the Gnostics and Christians claim? Could it be an entity which is merely alien enough that we cannot percieve of it?

As for detection and capture, this requires again definition. Another commented above that they had to obey the laws of physics, but that assumes we know them all. An alternate lifeform that lives off psychic energy has been suggested many times, but almost all of them assume it must take a physical form. As for capture, you would have to know what it is composed of, and find a way to block transmission on that level, like needing a solid barrel instead of a collander to pick up a gallon of water, or an air tight one to transport something in vacuum.

What do they want from us? Who knows. Perhaps the demons of Christian mythos exist, but if they do they have to have more reason to torment someone than merely because they can.

Q
05-29-2010, 08:19 AM
Can you elaborate?
That's the best that I can do.
EDIT: Actually, it isn't, but I've dropped enough breadcrumbs.
Okay, I guess that I haven't. I guess that I'm not finished.

I have already hypothesized earlier in this thread that the form that a demon would take in this universe would be that of a self-similar, continuous electromagnetic wave. So, what other things are self-similar? Well, Fractals (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractal) are self-similar, in that they repeat the same pattern in an increasing/decreasing value to infinity. Fractal images themselves are merely the plotting of a fractal equation on a three-dimensional graph. The pattern repeats itself over and over with an infinitely increasing and decreasing value, creating the same pattern on the graph; infinitely increasing and decreasing in size. Just so you know, though; we're not talking simple 2-D wave patterns on an oscilloscope, here, but a complex, repeating 3-D pattern.

So, if the hypothesis that I have put forth in this thread is even remotely correct, then a demon in the form of a self-similar, continuous electromagnetic wave would most likely look something like this (image is potentially disturbing):

Hint: Treat it like one of those 3-D pics that were all over the mall in the 1990s. Find the red eyes, just below the center of the image, above the white grin, then unfocus:
http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o268/qliveur/eqv401.png
Cool, huh? If you can't see it, that's not my problem. If it starts to breathe and fill up the room and ****, that's not my problem, either, but if it does, then that means that you're concentrating on it and that your brain is reproducing the pattern in brainwaves. Since the human brain is the most complex transceiver in existence, well, guess what you're really doing?
And you didn't even need to sacrifice the neighbor's cat to do it. http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o268/qliveur/emo-emot-smug.gif

Tehehe. :devsmoke:

Det. Bart Lasiter
05-29-2010, 10:43 AM
i'd rather just take a shot of shroom liquor and watch the exorcist

Q
06-01-2010, 06:41 PM
I always got far superior results from eating them whole, but whatever.

Take the shot, wait for it to kick in, then look at that fractal. I dare ya'. :p