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„INTRODUCTION TO AGNI YOGA“
Possession by evil Spirits
Ladies and Gentlemen,
today, I am afraid, we have to talk about a most disgusting subject. However, you must know what possession by evil spirits means. At the same time, you will learn a lot about the relationship between body and soul.
You need to know: Even more than to physical, you are exposed to spiritual attacks!
About occult murder: Invisible slayings are incomparably more numerous than the bloody ones. Out of hatred, out of ignorance, out of fear, men send poisoned arrows, the force of which is great. (Leaves of Morya’s Garden II, 315 )
Always keep in mind: You are constantly surrounded by beings from the Subtle World: By high ones, who support you lovingly, and by low ones, who are striving to harm you.
What should people do to protect themselves from such invisible corrupters? First of all, they should accept the constant proximity of these malicious neighbors. On the lower astral strata good feelings are rare, there is a prevailing envy toward everything that lives on Earth. (Supermundane, 261)
Pay attention whom you allow to approach you, who you literally attract to yourself by your thoughts, your words and your deeds!
The dark entities cling to every dark thought. Every thought is in a way a magnet that attracts whatever is similar to it. (Supermundane 350)
The Brotherhood itself suffers greatly from the light-mindedness of the inhabitants of Earth, who, instead of defending themselves against these harmful entities, attract them. The Thinker [Plato] taught, “Do not allow demons to approach you.” (Supermundane 261)
The accounts of the struggles of many saints (for example St. Anthony the Great) with demons reveal a profound truth. ("Saint Anthony tormented by demons")
Possession is one of the possible consequences of such attacks.
Possession– an Epidemic!
Konrad von Friesach „Jesus as Exorcist“
The ancient knowledge about possession is considered by most to be superstition. This proves the ignorance of today’s humanity in spiritual matters.
There are many accounts already in the Bible about how Jesus healed possessed people:
And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters. (Matthew 8, 28 ff)
Out language knows: Someone can be "not completely with himself", "besides himself", "not master in his own house" or "freaking out".
Today, this subject is more significant than ever: in fact, about half of humanity is in danger of possession!
Do not regard it as an exaggeration that almost half of the planet’s population is exposed to the danger of obsession. (Fiery World I, 185)
Have you noticed that there are many possessed people around? Attention needs to be paid to the unprecedented spread of possession, since doing so makes it possible to fight it. First of all one should understand with whom one is dealing, for to understand means to conquer. (Heart 266)
We may actually speak of an epidemic.
The physician should not be surprised to observe that the symptoms of obsession are assuming the proportions of an epidemic. They are far more numerous than the human mind imagines. (Fiery World I, 278)
Never before has this manifestation of mass obsession occurred. People commit millions of murders. Is it possible that no one realizes that this is a hotbed of obsession! (Fiery World II, 223)
Possessed men can be found in all areas of human life.
A complete science is contained in such observation. The physician is correct in wishing to visit not only insane asylums but also prisons. It would not be out of place to visit the stock exchange also, or the deck of a ship in time of danger. One can observe chronic, protracted or temporary symptoms. (Fiery World I, 278)
Many crimes are being committed under the influence of possession.
It must not be forgotten that many crimes are committed under the influence of obsession. Consequently such people need to be cured, and not punished. (Fiery World II, 86)
The sad truth is: Entire countries are being governed by possessed people!
Many countries are governed by madmen in the fullest meaning of the word. (Fiery World II, 223)
The Thinker said, “At times it happens that when we think we hear the voice of the Archontes [rulers in ancient Greece], it is instead some kind of ghosts speaking, who are fond of blood-drenched food.” (Supermundane, 550)
We must take up the fight against this epidemic.
You must not retreat, but rather join together in putting pressure on the possessed. The dark ones try to strengthen themselves through possession, but such methods cannot last very long, for it is precisely through possession that they bring on their own disintegration. (Heart 219)
What is Possession?
Matthias Grünewald, Isenheim Altar, „The Temptation of St. Anthony“
What is possession? Your body and your soul are two different beings. After birth, your Eternal Individuality requires about seven years in order to fully master and make use of its new physical vehicle. While you are sleeping, your soul moves out of your body and acts in its homeland, in the Subtle World.
After the death of the body, our Eternal Individuality is supposed to ascend to the spiritual world. However, there are earthbound souls who do not wish to leave the material plane. They prefer to continue to enjoy the physical pleasures offered down here.
It should be understood that many villainies are committed in order to placate some invisible evildoers. People usually call them demons, but it is simpler to call them dregs. However, a powerful demon is not needed for the development of obsession. Everyone on Earth with a criminal nature is driven to become an obsessor and thus feed his unsatisfied hatred. (Supermundane 550)
The entities of the lower strata are fed by earthly emanations, and are drawn toward the earthly sphere in an attempt to continue to commit evil. They need not be taught evil, they learned it while in the earthly state and continue to practice it intuitively, because goodness for them is meaningless. On Earth, the most insignificant, gloomy person can commit sufficient evil, and near him are the subtle entities that know all the delights of evil-doing. (Supermundane 434)
Such a lower soul withdraws from its own dead body and then tries to take possession of a foreign living body and to usurp it for its sinister purposes.
Of course, this other body has its own soul. The possessor (the occupier) is thus endeavouring to push back and as far as possible to push out of the foreign body the soul that lives in it. Possession is the terrible battle of two souls for one body.
The problem of possession should be approached scientifically. Two aspects of existence should be remembered. First—the continuity of life through different states. Second—the influence of the will of one being upon another. Thus, beings existing in subtle bodies of different levels can direct thoughts to those on Earth. You already know how much the lower spirits try to attach themselves to earthly emanations. (Agni Yoga 227)
We used to compare the body – the tool – with a donkey and the soul with the rider. In this picture, in the case of possession, two riders fight over one donkey. The sinister attacker literally sits "in the neck" of the victim and tries to knock him off the donkey. Or, to choose another picture, to drive him out of his earthly dwelling.
How ugly is the picture of the obsessing entity trying to expel the subtle vehicle from the body! There can be nothing more hideous than the spectacle of two subtle bodies disputing about one earthly shell. (Fiery World II, 417)
How does Possession arise?
Max Ernst „The Temptation of St. Anthony“
How does possession arise? A possessor can penetrate only if the victim's spiritual protective net (See Broadcasting “Psychic Energy”) is not impenetrable but offers cracks. The dark forces use every weakness. A solid protective net, on the other hand, does not permit the approach of lower astral beings.
You may also ask how to counter unwelcome visitors—only through vigilance of the spirit, not permitting them to contact your essence. Urusvati knows how these unwelcome guests have recoiled; it was not even necessary to drive them away, for they could not penetrate the protective net. Such natural protection is always the best, but for this, hardening of the spirit is required. (Supermundane 430)
The protective net is mainly fed by our own psychic energy. Therefore, a major cause of possession is lack of psychic energy.
The neglect of psychic energy is manifested as the source of many ailments. It can be said that not only bodily and psychic illnesses but obsessions depend entirely upon the state of psychic energy. A man who has lost immunity has also lost his store of psychic energy. The man who has violated moral equilibrium demonstrates thereby the dissoluteness of his psychic energy. Everyone knows that it is easier not to admit dissoluteness than afterwards to subdue the madness resulting therefrom. Everyone understands that the disorder of psychic energy is the birth of many miseries, both for oneself and for others. (AUM 599)
Another important cause of possession is weakness of the will, which generally attracts lower subtle beings.
By reason of relaxation of the will, control is weakened, and by this the attraction of various lower entities is increased. (Fiery World III, 309)
There are many people, who are called weak-willed; in fact, two wills weaken each other. (Fiery World I, 283)
If you are a healthy, strong person, you will not allow the predatory will of a hostile being from the astral world to take control of the body entrusted to you! You will defend yourself vigorously and fight with all your strength until the attack is repelled.
You often have met such pests. They cannot be excused for being possessed, otherwise every weak-willed person would find a similar justification for himself. (Supermundane 676)
You will be asked, “How does justice act upon the obsessed? Who bears the consequences, the obsessed or the obsessor?” Who can distinguish where the will of the obsessor is and where the will of the obsessed himself? (AUM 368)
Spiritual weakness and thus susceptibility to possession also arise from immoral behaviour.
People usually think that possession takes control only of weak organisms, but the main cause lies in the immoral condition of the possessed one. It can be stated without error that possession enters mainly through the door of immorality, which, whether evident or secret, or just as a seed, can invite possession.
It is commonly thought that possession can be cured by strong psychic suggestion, but improvement of the moral qualities is also necessary. Suggestion can eject the possessor for a while, but if the moral condition is raised, the entrance will be closed to the possessor. Biological morality is a firm foundation for successful self-improvement. (Supermundane 781)
He who sinks to a deep moral level should not be surprised if he attracts corresponding spirits from the lower strata of the Subtle World.
Obsession takes place only when an access has been opened. Moreover, before obsession takes place, the evil one whispers and prepares the weak spirit. To those inclined to evil appear the entities attracted by them. The karma of the obsessed is a grievous one! (AUM 368)
That is why spiritual purity is so important.
Just imagine the power of a pure thought! You know that such a thought purifies the aura and emanates a radiant light. And what is more, purity of thought is the best defense against dark entities. (Supermundane 350)
Furthermore, he who is uncertain, hesitant or in doubt, is at risk of possession: He does not know what he wants, he does not even notice exactly what is going on around him, and then he allows others to do with him as they wish.
It should be acknowledged that not only the fainthearted, but also those who give in to doubt become easy prey to possessors. When this illness occurs, the possessed one loses awareness of what he does, and those around him are astonished by the sudden change in his personality. (Supermundane 550)
People can struggle with base astral entities only when they are firm in their understanding of their own future path. Their passing into the higher spheres will then be easier, and they will not feel the arrows of the dwellers of the lower astral plane. Unfortunately, most people do not choose the higher path and therefore remain unprotected. (Supermundane 261)
On the other hand, he who is pure, strong and firmly committed to his principles and ideals, does not have to fear possession.
The steadfast, upright, cognizing spirit knows not obsession. (Fiery World III, 467)
The pure heart need not fear obsession. Sincerity does not admit obsession. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol. II, letter of 18.01.1936)
Types of Possession
Michael Pacher „St. Augustine and the Devil“
There are not only evil possessors, but also those with seemingly "good" intentions. However, these have a low level of consciousness – otherwise they would not resort to force – and therefore in most cases cause damage only.
Not all obsessions are necessarily dark ones. There may be influences from the middle spheres, which, in the belief of the obsessors, are directed for good, although no especially good results will be derived. The obsessors are of such low degrees and the vehicles within their reach are of no high development, thus, duality of thinking, imbalance, and a lack of self-control result. (Fiery World I, 283)
Here is an instructive example:
There are many kinds and degrees of obsession. And the obsessors themselves can be of the most varied order. We knew, for instance, one pious old lady who was possessed by her great-grandfather, a bishop. There was nothing bad in the old lady. She was a charity worker and was preaching the ideas of her great-grandfather, the bishop, who apparently did not fulfill his mission during his life. Nevertheless, such cases are very sad, as an obsessed person always gradually loses his own will and becomes a victim of the obsessor. The whole life of such a victim is spent without any true achievements and accumulations. It was quite possible that she was even helping some people, but for the old lady herself this condition was rather harmful, as the growth of her spirit was entirely paralyzed; she was only an obedient instrument of her obsessor. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol. I, letter of January1933, letter of 14.06.1934)
One must clearly distinguish a violent seizure from the loving, helpful action of high subtle beings who would never exercise any physical or psychic compulsion.
The beneficent influence of the Supermundane World must be clearly distinguished from harmful possession. Good influences do not enslave the free will; they open the individual to increased possibilities. Such influence will always be caring and solicitous toward the physical condition of the organism, but possession always ends with something pernicious and destructive for the physical and the subtle bodies. (Supermundane 781)
Obsession as something coercive, always pertains to darkness, whereas the Higher Forces infuse one with the spirit, or send the ray of Hieroinspiration to him who is able to assimilate it. There is no higher achievement than the assimilation of the ray of the Fiery World. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol. II, letter of 30.03.1936)
How does Possession express itself?
How does possession express itself?
The attack may be intended and succeed to varying degrees: It may range from a small or temporary conquest, which manifests itself in small quirks only, via the constant and almost perfect subjugation of the attacked soul up to its complete expulsion from its body.
In the worst case, the body expresses almost exclusively the foreign personality of the possessor. If he is – as usual – a lower being, he may even use the victim to commit crimes and violence.
The varieties of obsession are highly diverse: from an almost imperceptible eccentricity up to violence. (Fiery World I, 278)
Creatures from the lower layers of the Subtle World are nourished by the emanations of irritation, anger, fury, jealousy, hatred, and the like.
Depression is the most gloomy magnet, and irritation also entices ugly guests. (Supermundane 430)
Stirrings of this kind literally provide these astral beings with food. The more excitement there is, the better they feel.
In anger and irritation man considers himself strong—this is according to earthly considerations. But regarded from the Subtle World, the irritated man is especially powerless. He attracts to himself a great number of small entities which feed on the emanations of anger. Besides, he lets down his own bars and allows the lower beings even to read his thoughts. Therefore, the state of irritation is inadmissible not only as a producer of imperil but also as a gateway for lower entities. (AUM 331)
People refuse to recognize that their thoughts and words may cause irreparable harm. It is impossible to convince people that they are destroying their psychic energy. They nourish those harmful entities whom We call devourers of psychic energy. Whether swear words are uttered during fits of anger and irritability or through ignorance, the resulting harm is the same. (Supermundane 278)
Characteristic of a possessed one is that he causes chaos wherever possible. He is not accessible to reason. He acts against his own interests, only to sow destruction. He even accepts to cause his own annihilation thereby.
The malice of those who attempt possession is then intensified, and their hatred increased, even to their own detriment. One can often observe that the obsessed act irrationally, driven only by the urge to commit evil. (Supermundane 550)
May be you already had the disturbing experience of having to deal with someone who is literally "ridden by the devil", who is not susceptible to any factual arguments, not even to advice relating to his own well-being. Then perhaps you had to do with a possessed one.
Do not even try to bring such a person to his senses: He does not want to know anything about sense. He just hates reason and order and feels comfortable in chaos only.
The worst thing is to pester a possessed person by urging him to show the good judgment of which he is incapable. (Heart 77)
Homosexuality may be caused by possession: For example, a possessor who was previously incarnated in a female body may abuse a male body in order to continue to play his previous female role.
Possession may even be found in the vicinity of high offices and of spiritual people, because, there, it can cause particularly great damage. As always, the law of correspondence applies: The higher someone stands spiritually, the more powerful are the enemies from the astral world with whom he has to cope.
You should not be surprised to find a number of possessed people near the hearths of spirituality. The reason for this is that the dark forces are seeking to strengthen their guard. Who, if not the possessed, is best able to assist the dark forces? Moreover, there are countless varieties of possession. First of all, you need to look into the essence and discern where there is Good and where harm. That is how the flaming heart will immediately discern where possession is concealed. (Heart 213)
The dark forces are using obsessed persons as obedient tools in order that through them they may gain entry into spiritually pure groups and treacherously ruin them. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol. I, letter of 12.12.1934)
How do you recognize Possession?
How can you recognize possession? The nature of a person can best be read from its eyes. In them it becomes conspicuous when two different souls are fighting for expression. From the eyes you must be able to recognize that some dark force has taken over control.
Ask Dr. L. whether he noticed certain peculiarities in the eyes of the possessed, for one can judge the duality of the existence by the eyes. I do not have in mind just superficial manifestations, such as lackluster eyes or a shifting glance, for attention should be paid to other symptoms as well. One can also observe symptoms in the gait, the voice, and even in a change of weight. (Heart 219)
Animals sense possession. Dogs and horses stay away or attack. Cats, on the other hand, actually love possessed people.
Horses and dogs in particular sense and resent the proximity of obsessed persons. In ancient China there was a special breed of dogs, highly prized, which was very sensitive and useful in detecting the obsessed. In ancient times it was also a custom to exhibit the horses and dogs before guests, observing at the same time the reaction of the animals. Many envoys were put through this test.
One should observe that cats also sense obsession, but usually quite inversely. Obsession induces happiness in them. For example, when a cat senses an obsessed person or his impelling presence, it does not hide, but walks around mewing happily, whereas a dog bristles up and either tries to hide or to attack such a person. (Fiery World I, 373)
How can Possession be healed?
Giotto „Exorcism by St. Francis of Assisi“
How can we heal possession? As always, prevention is best: Preserve your psychic energy and keep your protective net intact.
Those who attempt possession cannot tolerate large stores of psychic energy in others. They are repelled, just as arrows are deflected by a sturdy shield. (Supermundane 550)
The ejection of an obsessor does not depend on physical methods. Only Agni, only the pure energy, can oppose this human calamity. I repeat the word calamity, because it is commensurate with the extent of the epidemic. A great number of physicians will regard Agni as a superstition and belief in obsession as ignorance. (Fiery World I, 278)
In addition, stand firmly by your principles and preserve a pure and strong heart!
The heart is the best guardian against possession, but you have to make sure that it does not fall asleep. (Heart 169)
It is through weakness of the heart that possession sneaks in. The fire of the heart singes the fur on the shaggy visitors. (Heart 77)
A strong connection with the higher world, especially with the teacher, protects against possession.
Aspiration toward the Higher World is the best recourse against obsession. Thinking about the Higher World is the best proven antitoxin. (AUM 306)
The notion of the Guru greatly helps to safeguard from obsession. In the case of a weakening of the will, the Teacher offers his surplus force in order to bar the intrusion of the alien dark influence. Naturally, the Teacher with his high consciousness is able to determine sensitively when his help is needed. (Fiery World I, 283)
According to the law of correspondence, each one attracts those spirits from the Subtle World who correspond to his own nature. Thus, only those who stand themselves on a low level of consciousness have to fear lower creatures as possessors.
The pure in heart are not subject to the infection of obsession, but tainted hearts can attract frightful entities. (Fiery World III, 551)
Possession is contagious. By creating a pure atmosphere we have to make sure that it does not spread.
In order to cut off the infection, it is right to isolate the obsessed similarly as lepers. (Fiery World III, 467)
Obsession is terribly infectious. It is necessary to observe carefully the manifestation of obsession and to purify the atmosphere. Space is full of vampires and many attract entities from the lower spheres. It is necessary to purify the whole atmosphere. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol. I, letter of 18.10.1934)
Also, those who surrounded the obsessed increased his sickness. Usually such obsessed ones should be taken to a new place and their surroundings be changed. (Supermundane 56)
Therefore, for your own protection, stay away from people in danger of possession, or at least keep them strictly within their limits!
We must beware of those who fall into the grip of possession. (Supermundane 676)
Many appearances of the dark forces attempt to seduce or terrorize one. Such attacks are especially preponderant in the vicinity of obsessed or mentally diseased persons, who are like open gates, not only attracting entities to themselves but creating a kind of channel for all surrounding people. (Fiery World I, 643)
Of course, specially trained sages (such as Jesus or St. Francis of Assisi) – so-called exorcists – are able to expel a possessor. But be careful who you trust.
Very often a single conversation about the significance of Agni begins to act upon the obsessor. Fearing fire, the very mention of the fiery energy angers him and forces him to retreat. (Fiery World I, 373)
Furthermore, an expulsion does not eliminate the victim's weakness, so there remains the risk of this or another possessor’s returning.
If the physician is himself sufficiently pure and unafraid of calling the unwelcome guest to himself, he may apply his own will. But then, even the departure of the possessor from the patient is insufficient for a complete cure; because for a thousand days the danger of relapse still exists, and the ailing one must watch his thoughts closely. Physicians should be warned about this. (Agni Yoga 227)
Of course, it is difficult to overcome possession, especially because after possession the gates remain open to visitors for a long time. With someone who has admitted a possessor, very intense observation is necessary to protect him from irritation, which leaves the door wide open. (Heart 169)
There are also cases in which the possessed one is no longer viable alone, so that the expulsion may lead to his death. Therefore, one has to proceed with the utmost caution.
Indeed, there may be cases where the obsessor gains such control over the body of the obsessed as almost to dislodge him. One can also encounter cases where the obsessor is so empowered by the vital force of the obsessed that the expulsion of the obsessor will cause death. He has so usurped the psychic energy of the obsessed that the latter loses his vitality upon separation. Therefore expulsion must always be carried out most cautiously. At first one watches the diet of the patient and observes his psychic energy. If a decline of vitality is noticed the weakened heart must not be strained. Expulsion is generally easiest during an attack of fury. The aroused energy helps to overcome the possible decline of heart action, which might otherwise end in complete prostration. (Fiery World I, 437)
Another means of fighting possession is isolation, that means to keep the victim in peace and solitude. Then the possessor cannot achieve anything with his tool, gets bored and moves out.
Someone who wants to help possessed ones can use the power of suggestion to drive out the possessing agent, or he can leave such people in peace and even, if possible, completely isolate them. That works because the possessor is in need not so much of the subject himself as the ability to exert influence through the subject on the people around him. The expression of a command, strong and striking, or else isolation, can lighten the lot of a weak heart. (Heart 77)
Once possession has been detected, one should either drive out the possessor or leave the possessed person in quiet and solitude, for then the possessor, unable to find a field of activity, will get bored and depart. Of course, it is better to prevent the possessed person from having access to weapons or alcohol, but to do so in a way that does not make him feel at all isolated. (Heart 235)
The same purpose serves constant, concentrated work: In this case, too, the occupier, who of course has no pleasure in work, cannot realize himself and leaves the foreign house because he does not achieve his goals.
One can cure such persons only by giving them the work that they prefer, but in very intensive measure. The obsessor becomes irked, remaining without an outlet during such concentrated work, for every obsessor seeks to express his own ego. (Fiery World I, 283)
Definitely, during such treatments, increased, systematic labor has a decisive significance; for the obsessing entities every labor is hateful. They try to cast one into chaos, but the essence of labor is already a countermeasure. (Fiery World II, 86)
In any case, one has to encourage the victim to take up the fight, to strain his will and to control his feelings, in order to prevail against the aggressor.
Actually, while there is a struggle, there is no real obsession. An obsessed person no longer struggles, and does not even realize that he is obsessed. (Helena Roerich Letters Vol. II, letter of 18.01.1936)
Those who refuse to fight have already lost.
Recently you heard about an instance of obsession. It was an almost hopeless case because the sick woman was tired of struggling and had become a follower of the obsessor. (Supermundane 56)