Evil Spirits Devils & Demons

The world ancient people’s lived in was one filled with spirits and demons, gods and goddesses, good and evil forces.

The many intangibles they were surrounded by, the immense uncertainties they faced, were quite usefully called spirits – invisible/mysterious yet potent powers that could act upon one for good or ill.

Spirits were invisible forces that could influence you or kill you. Today we call these same invisible forces bacteria or viruses and have ways to deal with them. But unfortunately we have taken the word spirits too often to mean something evil can hurt us. We can see that in the past we were attacked by illness/ bad spirits, but today’s evil spirits we haven’t yet recognised as our own huge anxieties, illness creating fears, stresses, emotional disasters in love, as the great evils that are attacking us.

But this view should not be seen a superstitious or from ignorance. The words devil and spirit simply meant an unseen and powerful force. Before the invention of the microscope disease was in fact an ‘unseen force’ that could kill you. The devil was a destructive force and spirits could be helpful or destructive. We discovered that people could be helped or even healed by what we now call placebos. The magic rituals and amulets were just that.

Such misunderstandings arose about many such ancient beliefs. For example, not eating pork, the need to have the males circumcised and also the warning not to touch dead bodies. Today we have proof why these were all taboo subjects. The pork is or was very evident, for if pork were not cooked at a great temperature the bascteria and viruses within it caused great illnesses. So such taboos arose out of everyday observation as the other taboos.

Touching the dead or ill we understand now because nurses and doctors wear rubber gloves and masks as protection against the evil of disease.

That’s how serious we are about dealing with disease – fully protected in both directions – giving and receiving.

Many ‘religious’ beliefs were created by living close together in small communities were people could watch the whole lives of several generations, and there where those who were geniuses of there time and took note of things. Such information was passed on to those who wanted to learn and so it was seen what effects arose form certain behaviours. So circumcision arose because it was seen that less illness was experienced or transmitted by circumcised males. This was brought to a head in Africa where men were seen to pass AIDs on to their sexual partners, and it was seen that circumcised males were not doing it so much. So, African authorities set up centres for males to be circumcised to stop the spread of the disease.

Such folk wisdom was seen as so important because of its truth that it became holy.


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