Religion and ghosts
Posted 21 September 2010 - 10:01 AM
Posted 21 September 2010 - 11:39 AM
Posted 21 September 2010 - 08:24 PM
Posted 21 September 2010 - 08:40 PM
Posted 21 September 2010 - 08:44 PM
If it is a visiting spirit with a message or purpose it will leave of its own accord when the purpose is fulfilled. It is not stuck and needs no help crossing back over. If it got here, a means of return is also available.
If it is an interdemensional being, likely it is simply an observer. Again it will leave of its own accord when it is ready. For these three types of phenomena no priest or religious belief is going to make much difference. That leaves two areas where religious belief could have an effect.
The first of these two (type number four in causes for ghosts) is the case of hallucinations. If a person's belief structure is a certain manner then what they belief may alter what they perceive. In other words if you believe that standing on your head in the corner causes the spirits to leave, then by standing on your head you will convonce yourself they are gone when you perform the ritual.
The second is the purely religious aspect. Religion is based on faith, thus if you are dealing with a matter of faith (demons, etc.) then a religious approach may be needed. This seems to be the only time religion matters. Since true demonic attack is rare most will never encounter this. But consider from a Christian belief background we must have faith in Christ to actually drive out a demon. And then it is not us but Christ through us that drives it out.
In other words four of the five cases require no real religion to work. One works by our own belief system so that may appear (falsely) that any belief system is effective. Only in the rare case of a true demonic attack would religion be required to deal with it. And since these are the least common of all, maybe one out of thousands of cases, most are resolved using the rituals that some promote even though the Christian faith as outlined in scripture requires no icons or rituals to perform. Only one's faith in Christ, according to scripture.
And I should point out that Christianity does not require a certain prayer, holy water, blessings, medals, medalions, icons, crosses, or any other ritual to work. These all fall into the same area as item number four above. They work not because of any special power, but because the person believes they will work. i.e. stand on your head in the corner if that is what you believe will drive out the spirit.
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Posted 22 September 2010 - 12:11 AM
I'm not entirely sure how to stop a residual haunting. Residuals are a recording left during periods of extreme emotion or energy. They are not an entity in the tradition sense, are not sentient, and do not react to the modern world. A classic example of residuals are specters of soldiers playing out the same battle. Something generally triggers it to play (a phase of the moon, anniversary of the original event, or similar emotions / energies being present). Since it is energy, you could try objects which project a different frequency of energy and try cancel them out.
Poltergeists aren't entities in the traditional sense either. Poltergeists are often composed of the unbridled emotions of a teenager which manifest themselves through physical objects moving. You stop the poltergeist by teaching the teen to better process their emotions.
Because of my religious upbringing, I view most entities as spirits. Some are spirits of the deceased. Others are spirits of people not yet born. A few may even be demons (the spirits who followed Satan).
Spirits have personalities and moods. Very few are 100% evil. When you try to drive them out, it is a battle of will power. My beliefs bolster my faith in the priesthood I hold as an Elder in my sect. My faith tells me that acting in the name of Christ I can commands demons to leave. So strong is my faith that it bolsters my will power and force of mind so I am ready for the ensuing battle.
Do the spiritual and religious aspects of my attack matter to the spirit? Probably not directly. Spirits have their own religious beliefs (eg. we don't all automatically know the universal truth upon death) so a cross won't have power over them unless either the cross has power in your mind or theirs.
I have performed various exorcisms over the years. When battling what I determined to be a demon, I declare my priesthood authority. When I've determined the guest was a former inhabitant of the house, I don't mention religion at all; just gently command they leave if they don't agree to certain rules.
I didn't lose my mind - I have it backed up on a disk ... somewhere
Posted 22 September 2010 - 12:21 AM
It is not merely will power, though a strong will power is a channel through which the intention can be executed.
Posted 22 September 2010 - 01:30 AM
Caverat, I'd always believed that residual hauntings were a lot less common, looking back at my last few hunts there was a definite pattern in the activity, time it started, locations, what the activity was
LOL You just defined the working premise of magic, if you believe that the result will happen it will, now positive thought/attitude is a really powerful influence on action, you're decisive, confident, its a wonderful, powerful feeling
I agree that banishing a supernatural force is less an act of ritual and more an act of a divine acting through a human vessel, however, I do think certain sects of Christianity do use ritual...not that its necessarily a bad thing, there's a matter of comfort in the observation even if the average parishioner may not fully understand its significance.
Digressing a bit, I grew up in one of the compromise sects of Eastern Othdoxy/Catholicism that sprang up when the two churches excommunicated one another back in the...15th century I think it was, but masses were in Arabic and Greek with some English, but there was quite a few rituals during the liturgy
Thanks for clarifying that, Moon, I thought that's the direction you were going in but wanted to be certain
Posted 22 September 2010 - 01:37 AM
Posted 22 September 2010 - 02:51 AM
I know you have posed the question to Aloha, but before he replies, I thought I can chime in my view on the same, so perhaps he get a chance to answer my doubt as well.
From where I see things, devil is the exact adversary of God. Devil is otherwise called Satan. Demons are those entities those are "negative" or "harmful" in nature. From the stand point of most Eastern philosophies, we do not have a "satan" or "devil" as the central controller of negative forces because as we see and experience, demons are creation of God as well. It is upto each one of us, with the wise use of choice to harness the "good" power of God and overcome the "demonic'.
Posted 22 September 2010 - 09:09 AM
Posted 22 September 2010 - 10:37 AM
Edited by MoonChild, 22 September 2010 - 10:40 AM.
Posted 22 September 2010 - 01:22 PM
God is the supreme being, creator of all. As creator, God made everything including the angels which are Hi s second creation. the devil, satan comes into this as a created being who rebelled against God. (At one point satan was "second in command", so to speak, to God.) He and those angels who followed him were thrown out of heaven by God. Thus to answer your question if we simplify this to a heirarchial system, we have God as the supreme being; satan (devil) a created being under Him, and the demons (angels who are in league with satan) third in the chain. Satan and the demons are equal in that they are against God, but the demons have elected to serve satan, thus they are under him.
God gave satan dominion over the earth. Why this was done instead of God simply destroying him when He could is one of those unanswered questions we will have to wait to find out. Perhaps, and this is only conjecture , it is a matter of the respect God desires. Consider, if you were in God's place, and you created a sentiant being, would you rather it respected and worshipped you by its choice or would you simply want to "program" the response in? I would imagine a concious decision as much more worthy instead of a response such as an automaton might give. Maybe that is why God allows evil to exist alongside good, to give us the opportunity to make that choice.
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Posted 22 September 2010 - 01:25 PM
Perfect, that is what I believe as well.
Posted 22 September 2010 - 09:30 PM
Caverat, if I remember, Satan's, even as one of the Seraphim, purpose was to test the worthiness of man, he'd tempt, lure, deceive and he was very good at his job...rebellion against the Throne notwithstanding, he still fulfills his purpose
I agree, even going so far as to say that Adam's eviction from Eden was a fortunate fall. People need hardship in order to grow
Going back to your initial post, I've encountered spirits who more or less chose to remain here...I say more or less because while it wasn't a conscious choice, they were sort of trapped within their own mind, thinking if they moved on, Judgement would be waiting for them
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