Monday, 21 October 2019

Are The Masters Demons? A second look.


I'm taking the unusual step of repeating a post from 4 years ago. I'm doing so because this question came up again after the talk I gave at the conference which I reproduced in the previous post. As far as I am concerned, it's a fair question, given the fact that demons certainly do communicate through channelling

Basically the issue here is the difference between the psychic and the spiritual which is a difference not sufficiently appreciated in our day when anything that is not material is often regarded as spiritual, taking that word to mean intrinsically good as opposed to just non-physical. But traditionally it was understood that there are many beings in the spiritual world which comprises a vast range of different types ranging from the very high to the very low. Anyone contacted by one of these beings was expected to exercise prudence and discrimination.

Here's the original question which is almost identical to the one I was asked just recently.

Q. "I'm a Christian and, according to my beliefs, most of the beings contacted by spiritualistic methods are actually demons whatever they may pretend to be. I must admit that your Masters don't seem to fall into this category but can you say anything to alleviate my concerns? I know that the fallen spiritual powers can be very deceptive and can even appear, as we are taught, as angels of light."

A. It may surprise you to hear that I actually have a lot of sympathy with your attitude which is by no means as alarmist as some people might think. I share your belief that some of the spirits that communicate through channeling, or by other means, are what you call demons, and are seeking to lead genuine seekers astray, whether that be in order to absorb energy from them or to sully spiritual truth by mixing it with enough falsehood to poison the well. Of course, not all are 'demons', the majority being simply discarnate spirits of varying levels of insight and understanding just as exist in this world, but some assuredly are though what a demon might actually be is open to discussion. When I asked the Masters about that they simply said that they were 'erring souls'. However, I think that we can reasonably speculate, given religious tradition and the frankly mad state of much of the world today, that there are forces of division and deceit, spiritual powers of darkness to use a term that may sound melodramatic but which is literally accurate, that work against the upliftment and enlightenment of the world. And, yes, they can certainly present themselves as wise and benevolent beings dedicated to truth.

For, at the moment, there is an all out assault on humanity's understanding of the spiritual. This manifests itself as the stimulating of atheism and materialistic science, together with increasing reliance on machine technology, on the one hand, and the corruption of religion and distortion of spirituality on the other. There is also a gradual falling away from traditional morality, with its sense of responsibility and obligation to a higher power, and encouragement of attachment to the senses, the self and the independent, thinking mind. All potential points of weakness are targeted by these fallen spiritual powers which have as their ultimate agenda the separating of man from God. I appreciate this sounds like nothing so much as an occult conspiracy theory, but I consider the Christian view that Earth is a battleground for the souls of men to be the truth, unfashionable as such a belief might be today to the intellectually sophisticated but spiritually unawakened. If it is asked why this is permitted, the answer would be that it is only through exposure to danger that one can learn courage. Only through the struggle to know truth from falsehood can an individual actually become truth.

So, are the Masters demons? Well, of course, they are not, though naturally I would say that! However, I don't believe that anyone who reads their words in an objective state of mind could possibly think so. Quite apart from the quality of their presence, something of which I hope comes through in the book, their constant emphasis on the need to acquire humility and love seems to me to be the approach to spirituality most consistent with the teachings of Christ. Indeed, the only spiritual figure from the past they mentioned was Christ, and they did not mention him or stress what he stressed simply to slip in other teachings that might cause one to wander off into sidetracks and end up in a marshy bog as some discarnate speakers certainly do, whether intentionally or not. Catholics might not be happy to hear them refer to Catholicism (like any outward form of religion) as good for souls on a certain level but we now need a new and higher understanding of life, but this reflected their attitude that the spiritual path is an inner path, though they would add that only those who have fully assimilated the lessons of the outer path are truly ready for the inner. By their fruits you will know them, and the fruits of the Masters' words can surely be seen to be truth and goodness. So, far from beings demons or the like, they are, using conventional Christian terminology, members of the company of saints in heaven.

There are many channeled teachings. As a Christian you will be aware of the instruction in the epistle of St John to 'try the spirits, whether they are of God'. This is sound advice. You try (or test) them with  your head and with your heart, and if they pass that test then you may give them your attention. Always remember, though, that no external being should ever replace the inner connection you have with your Creator.

Christianity in its essence is the purest expression of spiritual teaching to appear on this planet and, in the figure of Christ, it contains the highest representation of a spiritual being. He was the incarnation of the Logos, just as St John says. But with its understandable desire to protect itself from lower influences, arising from the time when it was struggling to establish itself in a pagan world, Christianity can sometimes reject other approaches to truth that are perfectly valid. One should always exercise discrimination with respect to anything purporting to come from the spiritual world, but to write off anything that is not specifically Christian as demonic is a mistake that can lead to narrowed vision and unnecessary fear. It is certainly both arrogant and foolish to say that we are entering a new age so can throw off the superstitions and restrictions of the past (the ego always wants spirituality on its own terms), but the ways of the past can always be supplemented by new understanding as long as you see that understanding, like Christ said of himself, as coming not to abolish but to fulfil the law and the prophets.



11 comments:

edwin said...

Having been raised Catholic in a pre-Vatican II Church, I learned that there is a preternatural realm in which demonic forces operate. The preternatural is beyond the natural but below the supernatural or spiritual. It is often mistaken for the supernatural, as it can appear as St. Paul's "angel of light" and mislead the credulous or unwary. Your masters do not appear to mislead, if one uses Christ as a check on authenticity and benevolence. Other phenomena, however, have always puzzled me. I came under the influence of a shaktipat guru at one time in my checkered past. Many amazing things occurred in my life during this time. Addictions "magically" disappeared. Meditation became my principle focus. What are called "kriyas" - spontaneous physical and mental movements - happened daily, ranging from mild to wild. The organization and its guru, however, became embroiled in sexual scandal and there were abuses of power. I separated myself from it and eventually stopped inviting the kundalini to work within me. I was and remain conflicted about the whole thing. Can something pure and spiritual come through a corrupt vehicle? Or was this just a case of the preternatural mimicking the spiritual? The fruits of the kundalini tree are not easy to judge. Every tradition appears to refer to the chakras in one sense or another. Christianity's esoteric tradition (seven churches, seven seals, etc.) along with Steiner and Edgar Cayce talk about the necessity to cleanse and activate these spiritual centers. Then, there is the vast literature of Kashmir Shaivism (the serpent power, etc). I sometimes wonder what to do about this thing that is still with me, as I still have unsought kriyas (occasional blue lights, pranayama, etc.) when I become very relaxed and unguarded. I know this is rather personal, but I suspect there are others who read your blog who may have had similar experiences and questions and are able to offer useful counsel.

William Wildblood said...

I think, edwin that one must distinguish between the spiritual world and the occult world. The experiences you describe seem to belong to the latter though I say that with the proviso that there is definitely some crossover between the two. What I think is that 'signs and wonders' may occur to the spiritual disciple as he treads the path but, in themselves, they are not necessarily spiritual things. Spirituality is to do with love, humility, wisdom and the like and not 'experiences', whatever they are, as such. Experiences may come but should not be taken as particularly important in themselves because, as you point out, they belong to the world in-between the true spiritual and the material not the spiritual itself. I hope that makes sense.

edwin said...

It makes perfect sense. It is something I know but tend to forget. We tend to look for a definitive spiritual experience, i.e. the moment of enlightenment, and believe that it can be achieved through some transmission or technique. This is why shaktipat and kundalini are so popular a subject in New Age circles. Morality is bypassed for the far more glamorous "spiritual" experience.

Bruce Charlton said...

@William - This is one of those situations in which people seem to be asking for something which cannot be had in mortal life - absolute infallible objective certainty of knowledge. Such is not available to us. We cannot - in that hard sense - 100% determine the difference bewteen (say) angels and demons.

But there is nothing specifci to that discernment. It is qualitatively the same discernment we need to make between someone who loves us and someone who loathes us and is manipulatively pretending to love us. Or between a saint and an antichrist.

In this mortal life, we are not made (nor is the world made) to be omniscient; but instead called upon to make a truthful and honest evaluation, and to learn from the consequences.

I think what covertly (or explicitly) lies behind the kind of question Are The Masters Demons? - is that there is a 'safe' way of being a Christian, where we do not need to make such discernments. The idea that by reading scripture 'literally' we can be saved without having to hazard the 'risks' of dealing with spiritual, supernatural, 'esoteric' phenomena.

By contrast, I see no safe way to be a Christian, there are hazards in every direction. For instance, materialistic legalism is a major hazard of supernatural-avoiding, anti-spiritual Bible-based Christianity. There is no safe path, and no path which fits the needs of everybody (we each have different weaknesses, and strengths).

William Wildblood said...

Yes, I agree Bruce. If something were completely safe it wouldn't get anywhere. But I do understand the caution with which people approach these kind of communications because the majority of them do seem to be of dubious authenticity and we should be discriminating with regard to them. At the same time if we reject everything out of fear that's going to leave us a spiritual baby.

Bruce Charlton said...

@William - " I do understand the caution with which people approach these kind of communications because the majority of them do seem to be of dubious authenticity"

I certainly agree - in fact yours is the *only* account or demonstration of channeling that I have found to be valid (I have read several of the more well known books, and a couple of obscure one; and listened-to/ watched tapes of others). All of the others are a mixture of trivial/ banal and wrong - pretty clearly wishful-thinking!

My overall conclusion is that such experiences are - like narly all miracles - designed for the recipient; and unsuitable as a way of developing general theology, doctrine, instruictions, prophecies and the like.

You got specific help for yourself - but the relevance of The Master's teaching for other people was, as you have said, mainly as evidence (assuming you are trusted!) for the simple but necessary idea that There Is an objective divine spirit world.

edwin said...

Bruce, I want to thank you for your comment: "This is one of those situations in which people seem to be asking for something which cannot be had in mortal life - absolute infallible objective certainty of knowledge. Such is not available to us." I have always longed, often obsessively, for this impossible certainty. Many, myself included, have suffered painful scruples because of this longing. My strict Catholic upbringing, with all its legalisms, contributed greatly to this. But I assume that such was part of my karma - one of the things I have to work on in this life. We can know our intentions; we cannot always know another's. We can trust St. Paul, that all things work for good in those that love God.

Bruce Charlton said...

@edwin. I too had this yearning for certainy - and believed it was provided by 'science'. It was only after I had been a professional scientist for a while that I realised that certainly was not to be had; and only after thinking about this for another decade or so that I realised that this meant that Christianity could be true, in much the same way that the science I was doing was true.

Eric said...

@Bruce/edwin

There is for sure a compulsive need for certainty in our society. I observe it everywhere, and also in myself. Thought patterns trying to cling on to objects, wanting to always know what happens next. Yet when I really think about it nothing scares me more than certainty, because then what? Thank God for mystery. My belief is that God gives us what we need, but not more than we can chew.. We must leave space for mystery, or else we will stagnate. At the same time I'm really happy we have Jesus Christ, because I know I can trust him without further ado, without making any abstract leaps, and leave the rest to God. And that gives me comfort, to be able to rest in Lord Jesus Christ.

Faculty X said...

What do you make of scripture on the subject? There is a tendency to recommend avoiding such, explicitly in Deuteronomy 18:9-12.

“When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you."

There are many other quotes of God's displeasure with consulting mediums. Saul dies for doing so, and it is warned against frequently.

William Wildblood said...

I would go along with all that. The thing is I didn't consult a medium and never made any attempt to instigate any contact. It happened to me. So I was not trying to force God's hand or bend him to my will as all those things do. There's a difference.

Also these were not spirits of the dead but spiritual beings. Another difference.

In the Bible God does speak to people in various ways as also do saints in Christian tradition so communication itself is not forbidden. It's the deliberate attempt to search behind the veil that is. That only exposes the searcher to lower levels of non-physical being.
I hope that doesn't sound like a rationalisation after the event. I think it's reasonable.