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Author Topic: Evil?  (Read 4151 times)

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FairyQueen

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Evil?
« on: February 13, 2012, 11:24:07 AM »

One of my favorite TV shows to indulge in when Little One goes to bed is called Ghost Adventures. It starts 3 guys who has the most dramatic reactions I've ever seen on a TV show like this. I find it hilarious. A lot lately they've been dealing with "demons". Possession by demons, attacks by demons, etc.

The belief in complete and utter evil is something I've always struggled with. It is one of the ideas that had me leave the Catholic/Episcopal church to begin with. I just have a hard time believing that anyone or anything can and is ONLY evil and whose only intent is to harm or bring harm to others. My mother, who is the most Pagan-curious Christian I have the honor of being related to, says she believes wholeheartedly in evil and has seen it. I don't believe my mother would lie or stretch the truth about something like that.

I guess I have a hard time believe in evil because I believe we (humanity) and the energy we use in Magic are neutral - neither Good or Evil. We make the conscious decision to do good or bad things with this neutral energy. From what I know of demons, they never had a physical body or a "life" in order to have made conscious decisions to do bad things. Also, I don't necessarily believe our actions in THIS life affect our lives in the next. Sooo...yeah.

Long story short - is the idea of EVIL and all that comes with it (demons, and possession thereof) a completely Christian ideology intended to scare the bejeesus out of converts or is EVIL a true thing that you all have seen, felt, or fought?

And a spin off question: If evil is a true thing, why is exorcism by a Catholic authority the only effective way of being rid of it? Why aren't there Pagan exorcists (or are there?)

Phew...sorry.
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earthmuffin

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Re: Evil?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2012, 11:51:12 AM »

To answer the last question first: yes, I think there are probably Pagan exorcists. There certainly are those who do banishings and cleansings. It may be universal to human cultures-- so I don't think the idea of evil is only a Christian one.

I've pondered similarly re. utter evil. But I think that while we are born with the propensity to do both good and bad, bad deeds can attract more of the same energy to a person and thus a person can lose their balance and become overridden by negativity, and hence evil. If you think about serial killers or genocidal maniacs, what has happened there? Do these kind of people have their "good" empathetic moments? I think to get to that state, you probably have to be overcome and consumed by negative impulses and thoughts. I can't say I understand why anyone would have those impulses in the first place. We've seen that negative environmental conditions can cause some to perform evil acts, but others who have suffered the same types of abuse are able to rise above. I'm not sure it is entirely conscious choice that makes the difference.

 
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diniesaur

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Re: Evil?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2012, 12:01:27 PM »

I don't believe in true Evil. I believe that there are sociopaths, who are incapable of understanding that other people have emotions and/or can feel pain, but I don't think that they are evil, even though they sometimes cause harm to others to help themselves. I believe this because they don't always cause harm to people, and if they could feel joy in seeing others' joy they would cause joy in people as well. I don't think there is any evil.
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Re: Evil?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2012, 01:25:50 PM »


There was a discussion of evil here:  http://www.paganjourneys.com/index.php?topic=194.0

peace,
ES
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FairyQueen

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Re: Evil?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2012, 01:43:41 PM »


There was a discussion of evil here:  http://www.paganjourneys.com/index.php?topic=194.0

peace,
ES


Thanks ES! I must have looked over it :)
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Re: Evil?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2012, 02:20:32 PM »

Long story short - is the idea of EVIL and all that comes with it (demons, and possession thereof) a completely Christian ideology intended to scare the bejeesus out of converts or is EVIL a true thing that you all have seen, felt, or fought?

And a spin off question: If evil is a true thing, why is exorcism by a Catholic authority the only effective way of being rid of it? Why aren't there Pagan exorcists (or are there?)

Phew...sorry.

In answer to you questions:
I believe that there are indeed malefic (or evil) entities that wish harm on humankind.  I have seen it manifested and have felt it in others.  These energies are one of the foremost reasons that we cast circles when performing our rites.  And yes, there are Pagan clergy that perform "exorcisms" to drive these entities back to the realms from which they come.

While I would agree that humans are neither all good or all evil, I think that one cannot exist without the other.  While our goal is to maintain balance, the physical universe is filled with opposing forces that allow form and function.  We know that gravity would implode the universe if not for some force that opposes it, which some people call dark matter. 
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Re: Evil?
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2012, 02:53:24 PM »

Long story short - is the idea of EVIL and all that comes with it (demons, and possession thereof) a completely Christian ideology intended to scare the bejeesus out of converts or is EVIL a true thing that you all have seen, felt, or fought?

And a spin off question: If evil is a true thing, why is exorcism by a Catholic authority the only effective way of being rid of it? Why aren't there Pagan exorcists (or are there?)

Phew...sorry.

In answer to you questions:
I believe that there are indeed malefic (or evil) entities that wish harm on humankind.  I have seen it manifested and have felt it in others.  These energies are one of the foremost reasons that we cast circles when performing our rites.  And yes, there are Pagan clergy that perform "exorcisms" to drive these entities back to the realms from which they come.

While I would agree that humans are neither all good or all evil, I think that one cannot exist without the other.  While our goal is to maintain balance, the physical universe is filled with opposing forces that allow form and function.  We know that gravity would implode the universe if not for some force that opposes it, which some people call dark matter.

Yeah that
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FairyQueen

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Re: Evil?
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2012, 03:04:14 PM »

DS and Bron - so then, you believe you can be possessed by "demons" and that there is a Pagan clergy-person who would then "exorcise" it out of you?

If there is great evil, where does it come from? Where does it go? And aside from casting circles in ritual, how do we protect ourselves from it?
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dragonspring

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Re: Evil?
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2012, 03:25:08 PM »

I do believe that people can be possessed by malefic entities that some might call demons but my experience is that it is more like having that energy attached to oneself.  For example, we once saw a young man who had been careless or foolish enough to call one to himself.  He walked with a shadow and seemed to carry a huge weight on himself.  The entity had begun to terrorize his family - in particular a young child.  I was not present at the exorcism, but I believe a portal was opened and it was sent back from whence it came.

I do not know personally where evil comes from or where it goes - that is a question that would be better answered by someone with more knowledge than I.  I suspect that it is empowered by such things as greed and hatred and is probably drawn to those whose magical intent is colored by those emotions.  For that reason, I try very hard not to let negative emotions into any workings I do.  Smudging is a common practice as is ritual bathing before rituals to get rid of such energy in ourselves.  I also practice warding and shielding of my own space (ie. home, car, workplace) to protect myself from negative energies called forth intentionally by others.  Unfortunately, there are people who's egos are such that they believe they can control "demons".  I stay as far away from them as possible.
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Tirya

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Re: Evil?
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2012, 03:59:03 PM »

The flip side question is, if someone could be possessed by a demon or malefic entity (or have it attach itself to them), is the converse true? Could someone be possessed by a benevolent entity, and if so, is exorcism necessary or desirable? Why or why not? It's still possession or attachment. I don't know that I've ever heard of the Catholic Church trying to exorcise a benevolent spirit from  possessing someone, is that because possession is "okay" as long as it's "the good kind"?
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FairyQueen

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Re: Evil?
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2012, 04:19:26 PM »

The flip side question is, if someone could be possessed by a demon or malefic entity (or have it attach itself to them), is the converse true? Could someone be possessed by a benevolent entity, and if so, is exorcism necessary or desirable? Why or why not? It's still possession or attachment. I don't know that I've ever heard of the Catholic Church trying to exorcise a benevolent spirit from  possessing someone, is that because possession is "okay" as long as it's "the good kind"?

This is truly interesting and I thought I was confident in the answer I was going to give in response, but having typed it out...not so sure anymore.
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Re: Evil?
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2012, 05:50:22 PM »

The flip side question is, if someone could be possessed by a demon or malefic entity (or have it attach itself to them), is the converse true? Could someone be possessed by a benevolent entity, and if so, is exorcism necessary or desirable? Why or why not? It's still possession or attachment. I don't know that I've ever heard of the Catholic Church trying to exorcise a benevolent spirit from  possessing someone, is that because possession is "okay" as long as it's "the good kind"?
Yes, someone could be possessed by a benevolent entity and it happens often when one aspects Divinity in ritual. I believe that people even attempt to channel such energies on occasion for longer periods of time.  The difference is that a benevolent entity would not possess one against their will (which is why exorcism is not required).
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Re: Evil?
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2012, 07:42:21 PM »

We are but one plane of reality. Different denizens for different realities. And they are not all very.... apt for cohabitation.

When early man described looking into the fiery depths of hell, yeah, they could have actually been looking into a volcanic crater...maybe, sometimes....Not always. Too many stories from too many places that match up...

And since there are some forms of life that are parasitic even in our place of existance, why not parasitic forms from other dementions.
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Re: Evil?
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2012, 07:43:17 PM »

Evil exists.
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earthmuffin

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Re: Evil?
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2012, 08:41:28 PM »

The flip side question is, if someone could be possessed by a demon or malefic entity (or have it attach itself to them), is the converse true? Could someone be possessed by a benevolent entity, and if so, is exorcism necessary or desirable? Why or why not? It's still possession or attachment. I don't know that I've ever heard of the Catholic Church trying to exorcise a benevolent spirit from  possessing someone, is that because possession is "okay" as long as it's "the good kind"?
Yes, someone could be possessed by a benevolent entity and it happens often when one aspects Divinity in ritual. I believe that people even attempt to channel such energies on occasion for longer periods of time.  The difference is that a benevolent entity would not possess one against their will (which is why exorcism is not required).

I agree with DS. Think about people speaking in tongues or otherwise manifesting being possessed by the Holy Spirit in Christianity. There are also other examples of people spontaneously channeling non-harmful entities for short periods. Humans tend to view episodes like these with some reservation but after they decide it is not harmful they write these people off as mystics and tend to leave them to their own devices... or even seek them out. In shamanic cultures, the shaman often undergoes benevolent spirit possession and may be sought by people to have this done to facilitate some type of healing. So sometimes I think the benevolent possession may not be consciously sought by the person it happens to (speaking in tongues, for example, could occur spontaneously to someone not seeking it) but people like shamans or Wiccan HP's in a Drawing Down the Moon Ritual welcome it and make use of it for good.

Could someone be possessed by a benevolent entity, and if so, is exorcism necessary or desirable? Why or why not? It's still possession or attachment. I don't know that I've ever heard of the Catholic Church trying to exorcise a benevolent spirit from  possessing someone, is that because possession is "okay" as long as it's "the good kind"?

Why would someone want to exorcise something that makes them feel good and full of love and compassion for others? In other words, yes, possession is generally considered OK if it is the good kind.
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Re: Evil?
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2012, 12:41:11 AM »

Why would someone want to exorcise something that makes them feel good and full of love and compassion for others? In other words, yes, possession is generally considered OK if it is the good kind.

To consider that, we can make a comparason to biology. There are bacteria out there that can make us ill if not flat out kill us. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or "MRSA", Necrotizing Fasciitis causing bacteria (more commonly referred to as "Flesh Eating Bacteria"), Mycobacterium tuberculosis which causes tuberculosis, just to name a very few.

Like a demon possessing someone, we kinda want these jokers gone before they cause too much damage.

But then there are the bacteria that actually help us. Lactobacillous which is in sour milk. Yeah it ruins that half-consumed gallon of milk that for some reason costs an arm and a leg of late...but it makes yogurt and really yummy sourdough bread. There is intestional bacteria that actually aids in digestion by breaking up compounds that we can't ourselves digest.

In fact there is a rather disgusting sounding procedure that can treat and in some cases cure certain problems that some people have with certain foods by seeding these gut fauna into the intestional tract of people who are deficient.

But without these fermentation causing bacteria, we would have problems with certain foods and most plant eating animals would starve to death.

So like a benevolent possession, we really do not want them gone.

And in most (not all) cases, the possessions occur in people pre-disposed to such. People who are very dark (really dark and not goth or emo dark) attract the negative spirits and entities while people who are very light attract the positive spirits.
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Re: Evil?
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2012, 01:31:58 AM »

I think "evil" as a noun and as defined by The Church and Merriam-Webster:

Quote
1  b : a cosmic evil force

is a misnomer.  The other definitions however:

Quote
1  a : the fact of suffering, misfortune, and wrongdoing

2: something that brings sorrow, distress, or calamity

are most definitely real.  But since we're really talking about the former, I've dealt with things/beings that "feel evil" but I think that is just the best description we can come up with in our limited brains.  There are some very negative energies, entities, and people out there.  I agree with the others and do believe that there are people who become possessed (almost happened to someone I know well) for whatever reason.  Catholics do not have a corner on the exorcism market ... it's just that Christianity is more well known, and the Catholics are more prone to perform exorcisms, so they get all the press (so to speak).
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Re: Evil?
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2012, 01:40:07 AM »

We know that gravity would implode the universe if not for some force that opposes it, which some people call dark matter.

And let's not forget Dark Energy which according to Astrophysicists will actually rip the universe apart.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Rip

Something which my favorite Astrophysicist Alex Filippenko has *way* too much fun describing if you ask me.  :D
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Re: Evil?
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2012, 07:40:37 AM »

Sorry I'm late to the party, but here's my $0.02:

I don't believe in evil, or good for that matter. Not in a universal sense, any way. I think there is order, and there is chaos. Some people, some beings, some places, and some things are so full of chaotic energy, so far out of balance with the "order" of our universe/reality, that they cannot co-exist without conflict, thus causing pain/fear/discomfort as the order in those who do play nice with this reality comes into contact with that chaotic energy. Discussing it with MrsV, she told me I was just substituting "evil" for "chaos", but I disagree, since "evil", by definition (as we saw above, thanks CD :)) does not lend itself to a positive outcome. Chaos, in the right amounts, causes change and growth without destroying the natural order of the universe.
We define something that 'out of whack' as evil because it is such an anathema to our 'self', to our mind/body/spirit. This, of course, doesn't mean I don't think we shouldn't curtail/stop/protect against these forces, just that calling them 'evil' or 'pure evil' is mis-labeling it.

MrsV's take, which I'm posting since she's asleep at the moment  :crazylaugh::
Without a penultimate "good", there is no "evil." The universal definition of "evil" cannot exist in a pantheistic worldview, unless a single God/Godess or pantheon is given complete precedence over the moral compass of humankind. Unless that is done, conflict will inevitably result between two competing worldviews on what, exactly constitutes good and evil.
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Re: Evil?
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2012, 08:08:26 AM »

"Let me 'splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up..."

So, while there is such thing as "evil," in a dark energy sort of way, which humanity can be possessed by and be negatively effected by, it isn't necessarily something to go bat S- crazy with fear over since it is one of the "forces" that keeps all in balance?

And so to further "sum up" Ghost Adventures is Hollywood at its finest and their over dramatic fears and responses to "evil" or dark energy is purely entertainment.  :D
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Re: Evil?
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2012, 08:53:58 AM »

We know that gravity would implode the universe if not for some force that opposes it, which some people call dark matter.

And let's not forget Dark Energy which according to Astrophysicists will actually rip the universe apart.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Rip

Something which my favorite Astrophysicist Alex Filippenko has *way* too much fun describing if you ask me.  :D
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Re: Evil?
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2012, 08:56:23 AM »

"Let me 'splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up..."

So, while there is such thing as "evil," in a dark energy sort of way, which humanity can be possessed by and be negatively effected by, it isn't necessarily something to go bat S- crazy with fear over since it is one of the "forces" that keeps all in balance?

And so to further "sum up" Ghost Adventures is Hollywood at its finest and their over dramatic fears and responses to "evil" or dark energy is purely entertainment.  :D


BINGO

You want to watch people who don't play it for the WOW factor...watch T.A.P.S.
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Re: Evil?
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2012, 12:28:32 PM »

So, while there is such thing as "evil," in a dark energy sort of way, which humanity can be possessed by and be negatively effected by[...]
I'd go more with chaotic, with the desire to spread continued chaos and similar energy. I don't think anyone will argue with me that there are entities which sew anger and pain and then feed off of it.

[...]it isn't necessarily something to go bat S- crazy with fear over since it is one of the "forces" that keeps all in balance?
Oh, there are certainly instances/people/beings that are so out of balance, so steeped in the negativity of it that they are a threat. I just feel that understanding it better helps me defend myself better. On the flip side, there are people who are so focused on order, control, and sameness that it can foster negativity as well...
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Re: Evil?
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2012, 07:09:49 PM »

I agree that both chaos and order are necessary, but I really don't think that equates to good and evil.  Maybe CD is right that the label "evil" is given when our brains cannot comprehend extremely harmful energies.  Perhaps malevolent and benevolent would be better terms.  In any case, harmful entities most definitely exist and those who work with magic or in the Astral must defend against them on occasion.  The stuff we get into is not always rainbows and unicorn poop.   :D
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"The word which shall come to save the world, shall be uttered by a woman." - Anna Kingsford
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