Monday, July 2, 2012

A Demon Haunted World (or not)

Is a tittle of a book but it is also a world view some people have that I don’t. Some people see the world, literally, as a battle ground between the forces of good and evil, angels and demons. People like this hear demonic voices whispering to them. Everything wrong with everyone is cause by demons. Think Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis.
I have a friend who sees the world exactly like that. She sees herself as exceptionally sensitive to the spirit world, maybe she is. I cannot feel what she feels or live in her head. I kind of find this infuriating because this gives power to all the self-deluding charlatans claiming spiritual powers and it is the antithesis of how I live my life.

To me the existence of demons and angels and of this battle is irrelevant. I read a short story once. I cannot remember where or what it was called but it was about a boy who lived in a medieval world and in that world everyone else saw angels singing hallelujah to the Lord as the sun rose and people were healed, curse, helped, by magic spells. This was a disability that set him apart of the rest of the world and was seen as defective. He wondered things like: What makes the sun burn? What is the source of its fuel? The moon and the sun must have different fuel because they have different light? What is the moons fuel? It also turned out he had an advantage over all the others. Sure, he could not see the wonder they saw, he could not be blessed or healed by supernatural means but he was also immune to all spells, curses and supernatural devices.

I feel like him. I don’t see these demonic powers neither can they hurt me. I don’t feel demonic voices in my head. Not that I don’t want to live in this fantastical world full of wonder, I just don’t. I think I know why my friend believes so readily in these powers. She used to be consumed by guilt because thoughts popped in her head that did not go along with the beatitudes. She looked for answers and thought it was just her, defective her, and she was consumed by guilt. Then she realized it was demons and she was absolved of guilt and self-loathing and now she just tells them to be quiet and it works. 

I was just the same, thoughts that I did not want crowded my head, I was besieged by desires and I could not stop them and I was consumed by guilt. Then I realized that Jesus had not been only crucified for my past sins but my current sins and all my future sins. He forgave me so I forgave myself and realized that quilt was not necessary. Repentance did not have to follow intense guilt because forgiveness had already taken place. Acknowledgement and conviction was all that was necessary. My guilt left and so did all those desires and thoughts. My guilt made me obsess and now that was gone and so were uncontrolled thoughts. I was free and so was my mind. She accepted that demons were whispering to her and I accepted that I was forgiven. Both resulted in a feeling of freedom and control. We indeed are very different.

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