These are hot times we live in, only partially attributable to soaring temperatures. If people disagree, it’s not just a difference of opinion, they react like it’s a personal affront, spewing venom, fury, and hatred towards perceived enemies. There is more incite than insight, generating heat and anger, but not warmth or light. Reading an excerpt of the House of Representatives’ chaplain’s prayer provides a clue to the turmoil embroiling the US: “cast out all spirits of darkness.” The growing rancor seems like demonic possession, rather than intellectual disagreement. A passion play pitting good versus evil is live on stage at the highest levels of government. We seem to have forgotten the ties that bind.
“The devil made me do it.” Do demons exist? Is possession real? If so, it would seem their intent is to manipulate, divide, and harass humans. Does that sound like an assessment of these times?
Jesus believed in demons. Multiple instances in the New Testament mention Jesus rebuking demons and healing those possessed. Three evangelists (Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-39) wrote about possessed pigs. Swine are an interesting choice, given that Jews and Muslims consider those animals unclean (Lev. 11:7–8) and therefore, no Jewish farmer would raise pigs. In Mark 5:12-13, “The demons begged Jesus, ‘Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.’ …. The impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd rushed into the lake and were drowned.”
Goethe’s play Faust is fictional, but addresses the struggle between good and evil. The main character Faust is already successful, but dissatisfied. He has the power to change the world and yet chooses to make a deal with the devil, exchanging his soul for knowledge and pleasure. “Faustian” suggests swapping integrity for ambition, power, and fame.
Washington, DC was the setting for a more recent example of possession. In the 1973 film The Exorcist, a priest involved in the ritual dies on stone steps near Georgetown University’s Car Barn (M, Prospect, and 36th Streets).
Evil seems like a virus. When immunity is lowered or compromised, it allows demonic entry. Demons rely on a host, whose personality or demeanor is attractive. Habitual sin or having suffered psychological trauma can provide openings for possession. Whether the devil finds you or you make a deal, there is an element of contagion to the evil that results, which can manifest in violence. Group think can equal mob mentality.
There are clues when something is off, although demons are adept at hiding the heart of darkness. Indicators of haunting are mean-spirited taunting and reveling in deception, chaos, and division.
How can you test for goodness? Three ways to consider include invoking the Golden Rule, assessing the actions’ fruits, or applying Rotary International’s ” Four-Way Test.” Every religion has some version of the Golden Rule: treat others as you would wish to be treated. If your behavior towards others were reciprocated, would that be a good thing? For Christians, Galatians 5:22-23 in the New Testament suggests a metric: “The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Do your words or actions bring more light, love, peace or other positive qualities? And third, Rotary’s ” Four-Way Test:”
- Is it the truth?
- Is it fair to all concerned?
- Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
- Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
So what can I do? It’s easy to feel helpless amidst the heat and noise. Decide whether you want to be part of the problem or part of the solution. Remember, it only takes one demon-receptive host and a passive group of swine to create mayhem. What’s the antidote to devilish influence? Don’t try a DIY exorcism. However, everyone has the ability to raise the vibratory level: “When they go low, we go high.” With your prayer or mindfulness practice, make your intention peace and compassion. If you claim citizenship, it’s time to validate that privilege by making our country better for all.
What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5 (NIV)
Transformation or exorcism. We can choose.
© Joan S Grey, 26 JUL 19
IndexCardCure™: Now is the time for all to come to the aid of our humanity
2 thoughts on “Hot times, summer in the city”
Excellent! Right on! Virgie
Sent from my iPad
Thank you again, Joan, for your inspirational letter. As naive as I may be for a sixty-eight year old woman, I believe in the goodness of all people. When we were born, we did not have hate in out souls. Hate must be taught.