This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

NOTICE:
This Dark Age is now available in paperback on Amazon. The print version is MUCH cleaner than this online version, which is largely unedited and has fallen by the wayside as the project has grown. If you’ve appreciated my writing, please consider leaving a review on the relevant paperback volumes. The print edition also includes new sections (Military History, War Psychology, Dogmatic Theology).

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The question of demon possession

Here we need to briefly address a question directly connected with the identity of Satan: the situation involving possession by demons. This would seem to fly in the face of what has already been said since these demons claim personal names and speak for themselves when questioned by exorcists. Although they constitute a separate study, we can say here that while the psychomachy is usually described as a conflict between two parties—Christ and Satan—there is nothing that prevents the latter from becoming a composite of demonic personalities, being as they are an expression of dispersion, such that the self to be defeated is actually a tribe of selves, hence ‘Legion.’ While God is One, Satan is indefinite in number. As for the other phenomena said to accompany possession, and which are used by the Catholic Church as criteria to distinguish between a true possession and other mental disturbances, we can mention first the ability to speak languages which the possessed individual does not know. We can address this by referring to what has already been said about the hereditary contents of the collective unconscious and the knowledge that can result from accidental content with this fragmentary data. But this is only one possibility, and we should assume that cases of possession vary not only in cause but in kind. For example, as is the case with mediums who seem to be ‘channeling the dead’ when they are actually doing nothing more than channeling the person next them at a table via psychic sympathy, it is possible that some possessed individuals, being in a state of psychic sensitivity, merely channel the psyche of the priest and regurgitate what is found there, which, depending on the case, might include a knowledge of ancient languages such as Aramaic. In other words, these cases are exceptional in circumstances, degree, and nature, such that we should not too hastily say that ‘this is what possession is,’ but merely ‘this is what it might be, although it might also be something else.’ The Catholic Church also takes this cautious approach. What we can say generally is that cases of possession suggest that the psychomachy has been decided, at least temporarily, in favor of ‘the enemy,’ and for this reason the common understanding of the phenomenon, while overly simplistic because couched in a purely theological and narrowly Christian context, is nonetheless apt.

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