photo by Sheri Dixon

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Devil Made Me Do It

So the Pew Research Center did a little study on stuff people believe in and the results were absolutely mixed.

While it seems that there is an increase in people who have shed their traditional religions (whew), it's troubling to me that there is also an increase in people who believe that a person can literally be possessed by a demon. That the largest increase is among young people aged 18-25 is more than puzzling, it's bizarre.

I mean, what the hell? *Pun most definitely intended*



Now, let me be the first to admit that I believe in many things, both seen and unseen.

I believe in the power of energy- to heal, to lift up, to strengthen, and yes even to harm.

Energy takes many forms- thoughts both positive and negative, spells and curses, prayer- all focused and directed energy.

I believe in lots of things not obvious to most of us mere mortals busily wallowing in our own unimportant dramas- from beings on a different plane than ours who look like ghosts or aliens or angels to other corporeal critters like bigfoot who choose not to be seen because life is easier when the fussy, crabby critters who call themselves human don't know you're there.

I don't believe in any one god.

I believe in spirit. Ours collectively and individually.

But demons?

No way, Jose.

Because in spite of energy and in spite of all the other things that share this existence with us, each of us is still our own person, with our own power of being and who inhabits our carbon-based shell is up to us, not some outsider looking for a soul-sofa to crash.

Some people call it Free Will.

I call it science.

If your own energy (call it a soul if you like) is taking up your body, it's full. Nothing else can come push it out.

Displacement, baby.

Here's what I don't get.

How can you believe in Free Will and still believe in demons?

How can there be a god who must be begged to pay attention to you (unless he's smiting you) but demons can prance in through your nostrils and into your brain?

Of course I believe in the existence of evil. But evil isn't its own person anymore than good is its own person. (And why don't people get possessed of angels? Hmmm?)

Those things come from within each and every one of us.

We cannot be forced to be evil any more than we can be forced to be good.

We may be coerced to ACT evil or good, but to actually BE those things? Only from our own selves.

So to the young people who are backing away from organized religion while still literally believing in the bogeyman... close. You're so close to being grownups.

Question everything. Depend on each other, not on a book that pits people against each other.

We're all we've got. Really.

This life is all we've got- even if we believe in reincarnation, this life is all we have for now, and all we'll remember.

There's no power in the sky or from the pits of imaginary hell that can turn you into anything against your will.

Free Will.

Life is precious and we're only here for the blink of an eye.

Live it freely. Love each other. Help those who can't help you not out of visions of heaven or fear of hell but because it's the right thing to do.

Be not afraid of the dark, for it holds nothing but starlight and harbors nothing but restful slumber.

The monsters are all in our heads.

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