Of Daemons and the Demonic: A Look at Consciousness Beyond the Corporeal

Roundtable discussion: With the ITLAD Walker / Open Minds discussion group, based in Liverpool, UK.

For most of its history, humankind has believed it is not alone, that there are beings that exist but are never – or rarely ever – seen. Spirits, pixies, elves, angels, devas, elementals, entities, daemons, demons …

Today, modern culture has been encouraged to believe only in the seen and the measurable. But is this an error?

What about intuition, imagination and inspiration, for example? From where do such insights originate? Solely the brain or from beyond?

‘It gradually unfolds and develops itself; you feel a slight electric shock strike your head and at the same time seize you at the heart; that is the moment of genius.’ George Louis de Buffon, mathematician and epileptic, as quoted in The Daemon, by Anthony Peake.

The root of the word enthusiasm is the Greek enthousiasmos, which meant “to be inspired or possessed by a god, be rapt, be in ecstasy”. The word “genius” originally denoted a “guardian deity or spirit which watches over each person from birth”. The “daemon” was the Greek equivalent, later corrupted into the “demon” of Christian thought, then later discarded altogether by the modern rationalist mindset.

But, do we leave ourselves vulnerable in rejecting such a spiritual view of evil, as that warned of by St. Paul: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

Such a seemingly outdated view is being espoused by otherwise sophisticated, modern minds, such as the writer Daniel Pinchbeck, who had an uneasy experience while listening to a speaker giving a talk about supposedly benevolent channelled ETs: “I became increasingly aware of something unusual in the room, like vortices swirling above the heads of the audience.  It seemed I could sense the entities she was discussing, hovering in the air above us.  My intuition was that those entities were probing and testing the lulled awareness of the listeners, looking for entry points, seeking to fasten on to their psyche, like mind-parasites.” (From 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl)

And what is the link between the corporeal and the incorporeal, if there is one? Certain activities can invite inspiration by changing the constitution of the brain … exercise, for one, stimulates endorphins which bring focus. Substances such as caffeine, cocaine and cannabis can fire the brain to new ideas. But Gopi Krishna in his book on kundalini – the alleged spiritual force lying dormant in every human – argued that there was a natural way of achieving the same, by awakening kundalini through meditation and yogic practices, bringing inspiration, mystic vision and even enlightenment.

Kundalini has long been linked with sexuality. The Indian guru, Osho, said: “The increase in sexual power and the opening of the kundalini passage are simultaneous — not the same, but simultaneous. The increase in sexual power will be the thrust to open up the higher centers; so sexual power will increase. If you can be aware of it and not use it sexually — if you do not allow it to be released sexually — it will become so intense that the upward movement will begin. …

“The feeling of emptiness that is overtaking the whole Western mind is just because of sexual wastage. Life seems to be empty. Life is never empty, but it seems to be empty because you have been simply unburdening yourself, just relieving yourself. If something is conserved it becomes a richness: if your upward door is open and energy goes upward, not only do you feel relieved, not only is the straining point relieved, but it is not vacant. In a way it is fulfilled; it is overflowing.”

Some argue that psychedelic substances stimulate this same energetic system, and there are innumerable accounts of “trippers” and psychenauts – Terrence McKenna and Alex Grey (see below) being two – of receiving downloads of knowledge and meeting spiritual, astral and alien beings.

Deities and Demons Drinking From The Milky Pool is an Alex Grey painting inspired by an out-of-body experience while on LSD. The story of this is told in the YouTube video below, the text of which can be found here.

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