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August 16, 2013

Demons and Demonology


A few months ago I read a book called Devils and Demonology: In the 21st Century by Katie Boyd. Boyd is a demonologist, although not the type you might be familiar with. Instead of being a priest or an ecclesiastical authority of any kind, Boyd is an occultist who works with people of various faiths, including Hindus and Buddhists. In the book she talks about demons, negative spirits or energies from a variety of faith systems, giving an interesting perspective on the subject. While not the best book about demonolgy or the occult, it was interesting and free since I checked it out from the library.


The book got me thinking about demons, which is interestingly enough a highly controversial subject. Demons and demonic activity mean different things to different people. The classic Christian view is that demons are non-human spirits that follow the devil and have an extreme hatred of humanity. Demons are prone to physically assaulting living humans, often scratching them until they draw blood. Demons are also known to possess the living fairly often, requiring an exorcism to get them out. A demon possessing your soul can put a person at high risk, both spiritually and physically. Another thing: demons are supposed to be smart and quite cunning, so getting rid of one can be tricky (or so I'm told). I'm sure I just enraged someone with my summary of demons, because like I said before it is a highly controversial subject.

I was raised Mormon and there is no room in the theology for non-human spirits. Instead, the Sons of Perdition occupy the station of Satan's right hand beings. They still torture the living and posses their bodies, but their spirits are human, son in a way they are like demons but they aren't. Other religions have their own beliefs on the subject, which is why I suspect the subject of demonology is so controversial.

I've personally had experiences with entities that would likely be classified as demons. If you've ever faced such a thing, you have little question in your mind about the existence of evil. Thankfully my experiences were rather brief, but I've talked to people who have attended "exorcisms" if that's what you want to call it, otherwise known as "castings out." Demons use fear and intimidation during such events, doing things that make it clear what is going on is paranormal and then making specific threats against each person present.

Obviously I don't subscribe to all of the traditional views on demons and demonology, not that I think they don't have some value. But I'm curious if any of you have had demonic experiences or what your beliefs on demons are. If you are concerned about posting something for everyone to see, feel free to send me an email instead.

9 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No, never had an experience. My views on demons as a Christian line up with what you wrote, although it's my understanding that demons are the other angels that fell with Lucifer when he was cast out of Heaven.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I suppose that the Catholic view of demons is that they are servants of Satan. I don't know if they're classified as other fallen angels or not. I've seen lots of different takes on demons in paranormal/fantasy novels.

Robin said...

Never had an experience - and I don't want to have one, thank you very much.

I suppose I do think of demons as being Other Worldly as opposed to being people. That isn't to say that I don't think pure evil exists in plain old people, because I do. I just wouldn't say it is demon energy. It is evil. Is there any other way to view serial killers and people who enjoy killing others??? Something is seriously wrong there. Evil.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I don't see demons as humans either. And a person who seems to be pure evil is most likely possessed by a demon.

Steven said...

Alex, I am familiar with such stories of demons being fallen angels.

Dianne, there are quite a few takes on demons both in fiction and by theologians and paranormal investigators. It's difficult if not impossible to keep track of all of them.

Robin, I know quite a few serial killers have tried to blame their activities on demonic possession. I do think man is capable of some truly horrific things all on his own, which is truly sickening!

Diane, quite a few people view demons as spirits of another race. I'm on the fence on that one, but that's just me.

randi lee said...

Personally, I feel that demons are symbols for our fear of the unknown and calamitous. Our minds need ways to wrap themselves around bad situations and that's where demons come in. There's relief in thinking, "Satan caused this," or "demons caused this." It puts the world in order. There's disorder in thinking, "I have no idea why this happened," which is harder for our minds to accept. Just my .02...

Steven said...

Randi, I would agree that many people attribute too much to demons instead of just accepting that people do horrible things, or that horrible things sometimes happen without supernatural intervention. It is very much a comfort thing.

VR Barkowski said...

I agree with, Randi. I think we do look for explanations for why humans do the heinous things they do. Demons provide an answer. It's indicative of the current cult of irresponsibility (blame the demon/it's always someone else's fault) that the Catholic Church is trying to recruit more exorcists.

I do believe there is true evil in this world, but I think it lives in the heart of man.

~VR Barkowski

Steven said...

VR, there's certainly some compelling academic research on the topic that agrees with your assessment. It is unsettling that we ourselves can be capable of some truly horrific, evil things.