A Commonsense Guide to Exorcism
By Robin Renee Bridges
Enlightenment shines its spotlight in all the dark nooks and crannies of religious dogma gone wrong. As long as there have been humans and religious authorities to frighten the masses into obedience, there have been exorcisms. From trepanning in prehistoric times to the deliverance ministries and catholic rites of today, well meaning shamans and clerics have sought to exorcise the "demons of mental illness and addiction to no avail. It's time to stop the nonsense.
A Commonsense Guide to Exorcism
Bloodshot eyes stared at the crucifix six inches from his nose. Leather restraints lined with lamb's wool fastened his arms and legs to the chair. The demon-possessed man lunged at the hand holding the holy symbol. Gnashing teeth struggled to bite the outstretched wrist.
Crimson scratches and cryptic markings appeared across his belly. Blood and sweat spattered the floor around the brute, while a puddle of urine under his chair slowly spread out until the priest could no longer avoid standing in it. The satanic beast chewed his tongue and the tender flesh inside his cheek. His tortured mouth spit blood and tissue and obscenities at those attending the exorcism.
What we have here is a Hollywood-embellished, grotesque superstition at work.
What happened to cause rational people to accept this archaic remnant of religious authority's attempt to control the masses with fear? Frightened followers submit under scare tactics of hellfire and damnation. This is doubly effective because the authorities believe in what they are teaching people. They too fear the evil entities brought to life by their imagination.
Why are we so vulnerable to this indoctrination? Because all souls are encoded to seek God. We begin our life on earth with a "god-shaped hole" in our soul. God puts it there so we will want to find our way back to Him.
We spend our lives trying to fill the "empty spot." We pack it with lovers, religion, money, drugs, work, excitement, gambling, etc. None of these fits, so we're soon on the search again looking for love, for attachment, for distraction, and for fulfillment.
In the older religions from Abraham through Jesus Christ and Mohammed, the lower nature of humans was referred to as demons, devils, and Satan. These are allegorical names for turning away from God and goodness.
The pure teachings of the Messengers of God never suggested that demons, devils, Satanic powers, or fallen angels are anything other than allegory. The Church and Hollywood borrowed their concepts and descriptions of these entities and their work from Dante's "Inferno written over 700 years ago during the European Dark Ages.
Family traditions, religious teachings, television, movies, and books instill the belief in demons, devils, and possession. When someone in authority tells a person that they are possessed by a demon, most believe it. Traditions, television, movies, and books show people how a demon-possessed person is supposed to act. Psychogenic purpuras is the medical term for stress related bruising and bleeding from the skin and mucosa. It's common in cases of great emotional stress. It's "super hives." Exorcisms are created for these man-made demons.
As cultures progress, they recognize the absurdity surrounding religious superstition and dogma. Today we understand that the Greek and Roman mythological gods were a phenomenon of that age, and our enlightenment invests less and less fear in imaginary devils and demons. Education shines its light in the dark corners of the mind. A culture's fear of demons is in direct ratio to the education of its people.
Fear of an overwhelming power of evil is a learned fear. It is taught in order to control the behavior of people. Religious belief and spiritual authority without the influence of science is superstition. In the same way that Galileo was excommunicated from the church for saying that the earth was not the center of the universe, people are controlled by a belief in demons and demonic possession.
Some religions have become the stronghold of superstition. I have attended both a voodoo service and a holy roller church service. The physical actions appeared the same. The guttural gibberish sounded the same. They both had people rolling on the floor in a state of spiritual "ecstasy, and they both teach demonic possession.
We live in a world of great scientific discovery, a world of brain science and neurotransmitters. Why to you think the chemical lithium can exorcise a demon? Why can PCP unleash a demon? If you look at demon possession clinically, you will find schizophrenia, psychoses, Tourettes Syndrome, alcoholism, drug addiction, etc.
Where a belief in demons is strongest, incidents of possession are strongest. This is commonsense, folks. People, who fear demons, find demons to fear. People, who worry about demon possession, find demons to possess them. People, who imagine demons are lurking and waiting for a chance to pounce upon them, get pounced upon.
People, who understand the psychological impact of superstition and fear, know that they are fully in charge of themselves, and they are never possessed by mythical demons. People, who know that old houses creak, squirrels make nests in the attic, and underground caverns cause infrasound vibrations are not haunted by demons. Why is that? I think you know the answer.
An evil spirit is nothing more than a bad attitude... a spirit of hate, a spirit of greed, a spirit of cruelty, etc. And you can choose to replace these with a spirit of joy, a spirit of love, a spirit of giving. These are conscious choices made by a human's free will. We choose how we think, what we do, and what we say. "The devil made me do it is a powerful alternative to accepting responsibility for our free will choices and behaviors.
So, how do you exorcise demons? By seeing them for what they are, unhealthy childhood experiences of mental, emotional, or physical abuse. Sick families raise sick children. Sick children raise more sick children. Loving, nurturing environments exorcise demons. Knowledge exorcises demons.
1. Know that demons are imaginary creations of fears common to man's lower nature.
2. Understand that there are no demons with the power to possess you.
3. In cases of mental illness, seek professional help.
4. In cases of addiction, seek professional help.
Copyright 2005 Robbin Renee Bridges
About The Author
Robbin Renee Bridges, a chaplain and grief counselor for more than thirty years, is the author of numerous published articles and the landmark book, "A Bridge of Love between Heaven and Earth: Self-Induced Contact in the Afterlife."