by Cathee Courter
My opinion may be an unpopular one. In fact, I hope it doesn't come off as arrogant. But honestly . . . I find the good/evil duality downright boring.
How many good guy/bad guy movies can you watch with enthusiasm? Or documentaries of tortured martyrs, nobly sacrificing for some cause against contorted-grin moral imbeciles? For that matter, how many lifetimes can you yourself run through with gusto along that theme before you find yourself just mouthing the lines, wondering if it's worth participating in yet another gut-wrenching drama?
Surely I'm not the only former seminary student who sat nauseated through classes on church history. Oh, the horrors no one revealed to me in Sunday School that have been committed by the fold. I should have guessed that a bloody archetype would spawn a blood-stained church, the religious symbol rationalizing the genocide of "demonic" whole tribes in the New World and nine million herbalists and others in Europe being a tortured man pounded to a wooden post. The term "crucifixion" goes beyond even "sacrifice" in its moral overtones, and morality is a human polarity abstraction.
It's the end of an age, and the beginning of a new one. New frequencies/beings who are beyond duality consciousness are arriving to help us loosen such polarities. I'm lobbying mass consciousness to let go of the good/bad archetype in favor of gentler, more interesting new paradigms for the new age. Will Christianity morph a new central symbol as we transition? And what will become of those soul families whose higher purpose focus is on the good/evil axis, with all of its sub-plots and moral complexities?
The creation of psychiatry as a scientific field has provided an intriguing twist to the story. Madness for centuries was considered to be caused by demons—in the purview of religion—not by biochemical brain imbalances. Things have certainly changed. I was required to take a series of psychological tests to get into preacher school many years ago, and another before applying for internships. Had I admitted to hearing the voice of Spirit within, I would have failed them. Never were morality tests given, and certainly those who failed the psychological tests were not checked for "unclean spirits" and offered exorcism. Even though Jesus cast out scores of demons and encouraged his followers to do likewise, you won't see that service offered often in a church.
During the Inquisition, which lasted for centuries, the Catholic Church made branding people "demonic" such a circus—after murdering them, confiscating their possessions, of course—that most Protestant preachers nowadays avoid the subject of demons altogether. (By the way, Jesus never killed the possessed. He helped them).
Catholic priests are less willing to do exorcisms than previously—exorcisms have taken their toll. And those who need assistance with demons might not want to turn to certain fundamentalist churches in order to get help. One may wonder, if you attend a church enthusiastic about bringing on "the end of the world" in which all but the chosen few will die in a gruesome battle with bloodshed running as high as a horse's bridle, would you be more likely to release or pick up something wicked at that church? Look at the genius here—instead of the inefficient process of burning individuals at the stake, they are pushing for a nuclear holocaust in the Middle East in which the whole Earth will be burned (after Jesus airlifts them out). People of this theological bent now have vast political power, as did the Catholic church of old, and are still using the fear of Satan to get people to buy into hateful thinking.
So it often falls on psychologists to do the best they know how to treat demonic possession. A teenage bipolar girl, recently released from a mental hospital, rescinded a past life vow to serve "the dark side" in my office. With this gentle ceremony the nasty, violent voices in her mind that had haunted her for years ceased. It took two sentences from her to end that nightmare. Later I wondered how my psychiatrist counterpart working with her could explain that all the mental voices she had heard were aggressive, violent voices. Did he think there is a chemical mechanism in the brain that turns on only evil thoughts? Who is crazier—me for repeating the words of the wise voices in my head, the girl for experiencing the consequences of past agreements, or the world of psychiatry and its numbing drugs that ignores a bigger picture?
There was a physical imbalance to her illness, as well as a moral one, which still needed treatment to bring her to emotional stability. And I won't even speculate on which may have caused which. How much of the circumstances of our lives is determined by free will is a mind-stretching topic. And a largely human one.
It's possible to step beyond human interpretations of evil—the fallen angel idea and such—and see it from the eyes of nature consciousnesses. In our universe, nature holds the matrix of form in which all creations and dramas play out. Nature's support makes touchable and thinkable everything we freely choose. It supplies bodies to inquisition-minded perpetrator types and their victims alike, without judgment. In a world of polarity, both kinds of people are needed for balance, and for the exploration of the good/bad axis.
I work with some neutral nature spirits who are not particular whether they embody my good intentions or my evil ones (not that I have any of those). In this way, they offer total, unconditional love of a mind-boggling sort. They have equal appreciation for murderer and victim, let alone polluter. Nature consciousness and human consciousness were created as a polarity, and we need each other in this dance of incarnation. To many nature spirits (especially nature/human interface spirits), human indifference—us not recognizing and participating with them—is the only problem they have with humans. Human intimacy with nature consciousnesses provides a vitality to the whole system. Human and nature are hollow and incomplete without each other on this planet, ultimately.
So in this framework, one can see evil as a natural force holding the pole of separation, fear, and chaos on Earth. We two-leggeds continue to call it forth, after all. When our team "exorcises" demons, we are working with forces beyond that polarity—outside the system, not judging it. Our guides tell us that as the planet rises in vibration and polarities lessen, demons are not as hard to handle as they used to be a hundred or, say, two thousand years ago.
The Bible says that Jesus was tempted by Satan—this huge force. I assume he transcended the evil/good polarity through undergoing this test. My Christian preacher past was left behind a couple decades ago, but you couldn't tell that if you watch me trying to pull a human out of their obsession with perversion and violence. I can sound like a frenzied pentecostal preacher, and am sometimes surprised myself by the tremendous power that gushes through me.
I feel compassion for those whose soul family purpose is to explore good/evil. Of course they're fascinated with it—that's what they're here to explore. My job is partly to temper that fascination by providing a lift beyond the duality—if only for a brief moment of insight and peace—so that they can make happier choices and find healing. But I try not to judge the choices they've made. After all, they're exploring for all of us, and the wisdom that results from their explorations, however painful, will benefit the whole.
Demons can be passed on, and the victims may feel a persistent film of self-doubt, constriction, even despair dulling their radiance. No wonder demons and mental illness appear together—who wouldn't go mad with a ball and chain heaviness always dragging them away from the happiness others seem to be able to feel.
Don't ask us to take a demon out of your least favorite politician (although we'll be happy to at his or her request!) After all, evil is on the Earth menu of options, and we have no interest in taking even a demon out of anyone who wants to keep it. But when someone does ask for release, the freedom is sweet and life-changing, and sometimes rather disorienting. We offer that freedom to the demon as well, to choose the light that is beyond the good/evil polarity. Unfortunately, nowadays the ability to choose, itself—your control of your own mind—is being undermined by the brain-fogging side-effects of chemically-laced food, drugs and electromagnetic field emissions, only to be routed to the suggestions in a blizzard of subliminal ads.
In a way, we're all exorcists when we vote conscientiously and discern the energies behind slogans, business practices, and apparently righteous preaching. And when we forgive, with unconditional love.
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©2006-2008 Cathee Courter and Peter MacGill, photos and text.
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