THE EXORCISM VS MODERN PSYCHIATRY: DEMONS VS MADNESS

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THE TABOO OF MENTAL DISEASES HIDDEN BEHIND DEMONS

MODERN SOCIETIES BUT BACKWARD FEARS

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“It is merely an accident of history that it is considered normal in our society to believe that the Creator of the universe can hear your thoughts while it is demonstrative of mental illness to believe that he is communicating with you by having the rain tap in Morse code on your bedroom window.”
―Sam Harris, The End of Faith:Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason

We live in deeply insecure and twisted societies. We are divided,afraid and broken. Some of us are still trying to keep spirits and heads up but there are times when an ordinary person simply gives up on trying to defeat the shaped world of poles and extremism of any kind.

The reality of being an individual nowadays brings so much pain because if you want to survive, you must adjust, even if that means that you have to adjust your own sanity to the insane world around you, even if that means that you dress your common sense into craziness to be accepted and not cursed. By the rest. By majority.

These lines of difference are often visible when it comes to the matter of religion. Whatever we do or however we live, the God we believe in or the One we deny Him will determine our whole life and our cohabitation with others. It is not easy to be a lone wolf when you need a pack to defend you and to hunt with you. The strength of the wolf is a pack and the strength of the pack is one single wolf. Person without community is nothing. Wanker. Weirdo. Potential psychopath or well stylized sociopath, but nothing normal in the eyes of the pack. The pack reject wounded and broken, they will slow down the progress, they will make damage. They will endanger the whole pack and its final goal. Humans aren’t so far away from wolves when it comes to the survival. Sometimes, they are worse than any beast. Because they choose to be evil for a pleasure.

In the age of  bipolar social  disturbances, when the political and security pressure is beyond impossible, the mankind is struggling to overcome ancient taboos but at the end of the day, than ancient taboo is the worst problem ever and it becomes the secret monster of the community. In spite of growing scientific sense, we are still stuck in the fear from supernatural and I am wondering how powerful religions are not able to make people safe in God’s comfort zone rather than to make them afraid from the shadows of the unknown evil spirit.

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We against them. People and supernatural entities. God and Devil. Life and Death. Love and Hatred. Defined against Undefined. Known vs Unknown. The full circle of illusions that we can control something but we are able only to control dividing. At the moment when homo sapiens choose where he belongs, the silent war is beginning. Being out of partitions is a sign of communal betrayal. The simplest way to show that you are weak and  not loyal, that you should be eaten for not choosing the right side, for not choosing the side at all.

So, if you are not on the side of beloved God, you  automatically belong to the side of One Whose Name Cannot Be Spoken. Devil. Satan. The King James Holy Bible claims:”Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7) If you don’t submit to God, you will be submitted to Devil. There is nothing in between according to believers. You are too weak to resist the Devil by yourself even if you were enough strong to resist the God. The never ending battle between religious and non-religious persons, old as the whole civilization.

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Sadly, but God and Satan are fighting each others through the people. If I want to be absolutely objective, I have to admit that light has a war against the darkness over the back of human destinies. Love always wins but there is so much hatred down the road that we usually mistaken it for religious reasons rather than for simply psychological. It is easier to accept the master work of Devil with his demons than the failure of broken humanity. People can live with demons outside of their inner world, but they cant accept them if they are part of their deepest core. Madness is the worst curse and it is a way worse to  admit  it than to accuse  demons for everything. Deception. The way out of hell.

Ephesians 4:27

“Neither give place to the devil”

 The exorcism. Very mystic, dark and dangerous. Just the term by itself promises you the journey into the  cave  of forgotten fears. This is a special religious based practice of evicting the spiritual or supernatural entities from a person for who is believed that suffers from evil possession. The act of exorcism could be in different form, depending of the skills and the approach of exorcist but usually it is generated from the typical activities what includes forcing the demon to swear on  oath, performing the chosen ritual in the name of the highest God’s power or to challenge to demonic force to accept the light and move out. This is very important element of all religions and it hasn’t been so popular in public until the media and movie industry haven’t given the attention to it and turn it into spectacle.

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Father Jose Antonio Fortea is one of the first Spanish and European real life exorcists. By vocation, he is a parish priest and writer. His famous book ” Interview with an Exorcist” was one of the first of such a kind of literature  because it has offered the possibility to readers to take a look into the real stories about the demonic possessions and the game between God and Devil. His writing and speeches about the demonic possessions and the Satan work  among people awakened the other priests to get into the field and to dig a bit. The boom of the interests for  exorcism,  which started to be accepted through that name by the churches, was in the other half of the 20th century. This is exactly what Father Jose states:“Back when I first became involved in this particular field, no one knew about it. When you spoke about it, no one really understood the subject. In the United States, for example, there were only four exorcists. The Church was only beginning to name exorcists. There was an unpublished book in Spain at the time, but none other on the subject. However, things changed dramatically over the next ten years, and people were starting to complain how there was just no help for people. In the U.S. there were only four exorcists, in Italy about three, in Spain there were none and in France perhaps one. In Germany there was no one.”  He is the one who successfully explains how he can knows who is possessed by evil forces and who is mentally ill:”Many people think that the people who call in believing they are possessed are crazy. That is not true. Most people who call are coming to the priest for advice and counseling for problems they’ve had. Most are completely normal people. The rest of the people, maybe 25 or 30 percent, doubt that it is demonic. It’s a real fear. Something strange has happened to them, but they are not crazy.They need to come to my parish, and I interview them. I determine whether they are mentally healthy, and I pray for them regardless. When I see their reaction to prayer, that is how I determine if it is demonic in nature. Only praying can give you an answer.” 

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This is the most sensitive ingredient of this issue. It is abstract as long as the level of madness could be explained by madness but when it comes to religious feelings, madness could be only explained by bad spirit and devil’s master work. It is more than exciting to follow how people rather adopt the unlimited religious possibilities than limited knowledge about the secrets of our mind and soul. This priest claims that only 1% of people are really possessed and that all others are suffering from the serious or more serious mental diseases. Who makes an assessment of that? Doctors could be deceived, as he believes, by demons if it is up to evil spirit but priests can check all by  basic prayers.

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The psychologists and psychiatrists are questioning the exorcism from their own prospective. One of them is Professor Trethowan,Department of Psychiatry, The University of Birmingham who comes with the following:”There are several reasons why the medical profession in general, and psychiatrists in particular, should continue to interest themselves in exorcism. While many might insist that the time is long past for such nonsense, at least in a seemingly civilised society such as we might like to believe our own to be, the matter still crops up, occasionally with disastrous consequences. The recent occurrence of a particularly tragic case in Ossett, near Wakefield, is an excellent but frightening example of what can happen when matters get out of hand. Here a man, said to be comparatively mentally normal, was alleged to have been brought by a process of exorcism to a state of mind wherein he was led to murder his wife in a particularly sanguinary manner. To be fair to his exorcists they, too, must have been appalled by this untoward result.” He is warning about the importance of qualified experts who will deal with mentally ill person and reply on that in the right way:“More problematic, possibly, are other not necessarily psychotic but severely neurotic patients who exhibit hysterical and other symptoms and behaviour which resembles that occurring in so-called possession states, both in medieval and more modem times. If such symptoms and behaviour are not recognized for what they really are, ie, due to mental abnormality, the sufferers may not only fall into wrong hands but be subjected to inappropriate treatment, including exorcism. The misguided application of such procedures may amount to frank mismanagement and can have dire results. Thirdly, because there is no doubt that the roots of modern psycho-pathology are to be found in medieval demonology and in the ideas contained in the literature of the period, there should be awareness that these ideas are not yet wholly irrelevant.” 

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No matter how our society is progressive, our believes are still on the backward level, especially when it comes to the diseases of the soul. It is still more acceptable for the community that someone is under demonic possession than under the strike of mental disease. In other words, for vast majority of people is better to explain that their beloved one is possessed by evil spirit than poisoned by unknown mental snakes. Religions will find a cure which psychiatry will never offer to mass.

The Christianity, especially the Catholic Christianity  is leading the exorcism in the name of Jesus Christ and it is usually formed in Major Exorcism and covered by Section 11 of the Rituale Romanium. The skilled consecrated  priest recites prayers, involving Jesus Christ, The Church Triumphant and Archangel Michael and helping it by use of icons and sacraments.

Islamic exorcism has a special name – ruqya. It is a rite used against the damage caused by shirk or  black magic.The medicine of the Prophet – Al-Tibb al-Nabawi is welcomed by Islamic theologians who practices ruqya but they also combines that with   the Throne Verse, the most important verse in the Holy Qur’an about the glorious power of God, Allah (SWT). The person possessed by evil jinn is treated while is lying down, being touched by hands of the ruqya doer and being overwhelmed by verses from the Holy Qur’an, forced to drink holy water from Zamzan Well, located within the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia and use non alcohol based perfumes. Prophet Mohammad (savs) had always educated his followers to read and learn the last  three suras from the Holy Book and to defend themselves from jinns: Surat al-Ikhlas (The Fidelity), Surat al-Falaq (The Dawn) and Surat al-Nas (Mankind). In some orthodox christian lands, the believers and followers of Jesus Christ believe that only imam has an ability to remove black magic from the person and many people are visiting and consulting the imam rather than a priest when it comes to the shirk.

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The Jewish exorcism ritual is performed by a rabbi who is knowledgeable of Kabbalah. The point here is not to save only possessed person but also a possessor through the healing. The group of ten males makes the circle around the possessed individual and recites The Psalm 91 and after three times, the rabbi blows a shofar – ram’s horn in a certain way so he can open the channel for communication with the bad spirit and find a way to remove it.

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The different religions and the different roads to the unknown  darkness. The evil spirits have been always the reason of religions to preach and to convince but they forget only one thing: the depth of human inner universe is such that it can fool all demons of the world and the strongest among them, Devil himself. The madness can be performed so well that all you can do about it is to pray God to send you demons to deal with because the humans are worse.

The society is very hypocritical. Religion is a way of life but accepting others with their good and bad attributes and problems is not possible so it is always covered by mystic explanations and claims. To call schizophrenic person,  who killed the whole family because of voices in the head, as possessed with demons is easier for everyone. The religion must do something, anything because the disease is so progressed that even psychiatrist doesnt know what to say but to let society find a relief into the religion.No, people cant be so cruel unless they are directed by evil forces. How pity and naive !  People are very evil if they feed bad wolf for years. Then, when the bad wolf is enough strong, he will be out of his cave to hunt and haunt free. Finding excuses in the modern advanced world for soul’s diseases is the same as searching for the aliens in the backyard. Pathetic and irresponsible. This world must deal with the darkness of our inner selves without trying to hide taboos of it behind the role of demons.

The demons have no chances against the humans who are evil. It is just a matter of time when we will realize than none can fix us but ourselves when we accept what is and where is the problem.

“If I get rid of my demons, I would lose my angels”- Tennessee Williams 

 

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