Scientists have spent decades trying to understand the brain, and while much has been gained about its neurochemical workings, most of that newfound knowledge has been harnessed by the elites to control our thoughts and behavior. We’re still no closer to understanding why we have consciousness or even why we dream. All the while, an important fact has been concealed from us as taught by the Orthodox Church: thoughts can be inserted into our minds by demons. In other words, the thoughts we have are not entirely our own.

The first time I went to church as a new convert, I assumed that the “house of God” would be void of any demonic influence. I could pass through the large wooden doors but the demons could not, as if I traversed over a magic portal, and experience a rest from evil subversion for as long as I was within the four walls of the church. You can surmise that I was more than surprised when disgusting thoughts still found a way into my mind. Later, I learned that even a priest can be serving the will of Satan within a church.

I realized that, outside of heaven, nowhere is safe from evil. That got me wondering about the mechanism of demonic power. I understand they can put thoughts into my mind, but the biologist in me wanted to know how.

When you receive a fright, your body responds nearly instantaneously. Someone scared you and then your heart immediately started racing and your senses sharpened to evaluate the unknown threat. I’m sure it also has happened where you received bad news and felt a physical response the very next moment. For demons to effectively influence us, I believe they can respond to one of our perceptions in a near-instantaneous manner. For example, if I lay eyes on a sexy woman, a demon may then be able to insert a sexual thought into my mind that leads to lust and the corresponding physiological response. I don’t have any proof that this is true, only the understanding that if there was a lag between your perceptions and demonic influence, their power would be greatly diminished, if not outright trivial. They must be able to act quickly on the stimulus we perceive in the environment, fast enough for us to conclude that it is ourselves who have created the thought and not an external source, for the more we believe a thought came from our own brains, the more trust we have in it.

When I was in Texas, I visited a state park at night to observe bats. I stayed late enough that I was alone with the park guide. As he was explaining to me the biology of bats, which I was genuinely interested in, a thought entered my mind: “I could kill him right now and nobody would know.” I was taken aback. I’m not a violent man and don’t fantasize about harming people, even my enemies, so where did this thought come from? A scientist would say that it’s my limbic system or “lizard brain” acting up, but I believe it was a demon trying to disturb my faith. While I get less of these types of thoughts now, once in a while something truly vile and repugnant enters my mind even though it had nothing to do with my most recent thinking or behavior.

I wonder if the demons have access to a type of neural superhighway that is similar to a telephone system. Without having to be beside us, they can dial the right “number” and essentially have a level of access to our brains, both our perceptions and the ability to insert sinful thoughts that we believe come from our own flesh. On the bright side, angels must have this power too, meaning they can insert encouraging or spiritual thoughts. Instead of glancing at a provocative woman and lusting after her, an angel can remind me to pray and focus away from the temptation. Instead of feeling guilty over a sin to the point of despondency and hopelessness, an angel can help me re-orient towards Lord Jesus Christ and focus on his mercy.

God has allowed external creatures to manipulate our thoughts for His own reasons, but we are still free in deciding how to act on those thoughts. The demons can pollute the river, but they can’t make us swim in it. It’s only when we desire to do what they are telling us that we get into trouble.

I don’t trust my own thoughts anymore, especially when they try to thrust me into the pleasures and degradations of this world. When such a thought enters my brain, I hold it up to God’s standards. Does it go against what Lord Jesus or the Apostolic Church taught? Does it conflict with the Church Fathers? Is it bothering my conscious in a way that I can only feel but not explain? Then it’s probably something sent into me from the spirit of darkness. I will ignore it, carry on, and remain diligent until their power over my mind comes to an end with the conclusion of this earthly life.

Read Next: Demons And The City

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When I have a bad though I imagine it to be a demon and I kill him in a sadistic way. Dont know if it should be that way. But kinda like a dragon and I hold a sword and cut him thousand times. Sometimes I burn them.

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Originally posted on RooshV.com


Scientists have spent decades trying to understand the brain, and while much has been gained about its neurochemical workings, most of that newfound knowledge has been harnessed by the elites to control our thoughts and behavior. We’re still no closer to understanding why we have consciousness or even why we dream. All the while, an important fact has been concealed from us as taught by the Orthodox Church: thoughts can be inserted into our minds by demons. In other words, the thoughts we have are not entirely our own.

The first time I went to church as a new convert, I assumed that the “house of God” would be void of any demonic influence. I could pass through the large wooden doors but the demons could not, as if I traversed over a magic portal, and experience a rest from evil subversion for as long as I was within the four walls of the church. You can surmise that I was more than surprised when disgusting thoughts still found a way into my mind. Later, I learned that even a priest can be serving the will of Satan within a church.

I realized that, outside of heaven, nowhere is safe from evil. That got me wondering about the mechanism of demonic power. I understand they can put thoughts into my mind, but the biologist in me wanted to know how.

When you receive a fright, your body responds nearly instantaneously. Someone scared you and then your heart immediately started racing and your senses sharpened to evaluate the unknown threat. I’m sure it also has happened where you received bad news and felt a physical response the very next moment. For demons to effectively influence us, I believe they can respond to one of our perceptions in a near-instantaneous manner. For example, if I lay eyes on a sexy woman, a demon may then be able to insert a sexual thought into my mind that leads to lust and the corresponding physiological response. I don’t have any proof that this is true, only the understanding that if there was a lag between your perceptions and demonic influence, their power would be greatly diminished, if not outright trivial. They must be able to act quickly on the stimulus we perceive in the environment, fast enough for us to conclude that it is ourselves who have created the thought and not an external source, for the more we believe a thought came from our own brains, the more trust we have in it.

When I was in Texas, I visited a state park at night to observe bats. I stayed late enough that I was alone with the park guide. As he was explaining to me the biology of bats, which I was genuinely interested in, a thought entered my mind: “I could kill him right now and nobody would know.” I was taken aback. I’m not a violent man and don’t fantasize about harming people, even my enemies, so where did this thought come from? A scientist would say that it’s my limbic system or “lizard brain” acting up, but I believe it was a demon trying to disturb my faith. While I get less of these types of thoughts now, once in a while something truly vile and repugnant enters my mind even though it had nothing to do with my most recent thinking or behavior.

I wonder if the demons have access to a type of neural superhighway that is similar to a telephone system. Without having to be beside us, they can dial the right “number” and essentially have a level of access to our brains, both our perceptions and the ability to insert sinful thoughts that we believe come from our own flesh. On the bright side, angels must have this power too, meaning they can insert encouraging or spiritual thoughts. Instead of glancing at a provocative woman and lusting after her, an angel can remind me to pray and focus away from the temptation. Instead of feeling guilty over a sin to the point of despondency and hopelessness, an angel can help me re-orient towards Lord Jesus Christ and focus on his mercy.

God has allowed external creatures to manipulate our thoughts for His own reasons, but we are still free in deciding how to act on those thoughts. The demons can pollute the river, but they can’t make us swim in it. It’s only when we desire to do what they are telling us that we get into trouble.

I don’t trust my own thoughts anymore, especially when they try to thrust me into the pleasures and degradations of this world. When such a thought enters my brain, I hold it up to God’s standards. Does it go against what Lord Jesus or the Apostolic Church taught? Does it conflict with the Church Fathers? Is it bothering my conscious in a way that I can only feel but not explain? Then it’s probably something sent into me from the spirit of darkness. I will ignore it, carry on, and remain diligent until their power over my mind comes to an end with the conclusion of this earthly life.

Read Next: Demons And The City
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You might be interested in this Roosh...

It seems that the microtubules are involved in a quantum mechanism that can explain consciousness. If this is the case then this might be a way to explain the interplay between a possible spiritual realm, and the physical/secular one. It might be that this is sort of the gateway in a sense, both with forces of good and evil. Having struggled with OCD all my life I know all about intrusive thoughts, and at times I have wondered myself whether there is something more to it than what might potentially be explained by biology/physics. One thing is for certain, consciousness is more than a simply mathematical process, so it`s very different from the way that a normal computer operates. We have that mathematical mechanism too in our brains, (at a very poor level compared to computers) but it`s the conscious part of our brains that are really staggering and amazing. It seems that the deeper we peer into reality, the deeper the mysteries become.

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There is actually a somewhat common phenomenon among Christians called religious OCD and scrupulosity where Christians get flooded by thoughts blaspheming God, particularly the Holy Spirit since that is an unforgivable sin according to the Bible.

Unfortunately this is what I experience on a daily basis. But I have become able to distinguish between my own conscious thoughts and demonic thoughts. For one reason or another I've become a target of this kind of spiritual warfare.

The thoughts I get want me to:
- Blaspheme the Holy Spirit
- Deny, reject or leave Jesus Christ
- Hate God
- Love satan and worship him
- Do all manner of sins

But thanks to God I am able to resist these thoughts and temptations. However it can sometimes get exhausting.

There is one small comfort in these thoughts, it's that I am clearly still in Christ or otherwise why would the demons bother.

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I'm going to leave a resource here for anyone that also might deal with scrupulosity.

Not saying that I agree with the basics this woman shares and she has something to sell but it looks like a good starting place if this is something you're ever worried about.

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There is actually a somewhat common phenomenon among Christians called religious OCD and scrupulosity where Christians get flooded by thoughts blaspheming God, particularly the Holy Spirit since that is an unforgivable sin according to the Bible.

Unfortunately this is what I experience on a daily basis. But I have become able to distinguish between my own conscious thoughts and demonic thoughts. For one reason or another I've become a target of this kind of spiritual warfare.

The thoughts I get want me to:
- Blaspheme the Holy Spirit
- Deny, reject or leave Jesus Christ
- Hate God
- Love satan and worship him
- Do all manner of sins

But thanks to God I am able to resist these thoughts and temptations. However it can sometimes get exhausting.

There is one small comfort in these thoughts, it's that I am clearly still in Christ or otherwise why would the demons bother.

Does that mean that blasphemers that repent wont get to heaven?

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Does that mean that blasphemers that repent wont get to heaven?

Mark 3:28-30 “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”

The Holy Spirit is basically He who indwells the believer and He is our connection to God. If someone blasphemes Him they are guilty of an eternal sin. But if you have blasphemed Jesus or God in general that is still forgivable. I have had some pretty vile thoughts about the Holy Spirit though but never spoke them or believed them, so it does require some conscious effort to actually blaspheme Him.

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Mark 3:28-30 “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”

The Holy Spirit is basically He who indwells the believer and He is our connection to God. If someone blasphemes Him they are guilty of an eternal sin. But if you have blasphemed Jesus or God in general that is still forgivable. I have had some pretty vile thoughts about the Holy Spirit though but never spoke them or believed them, so it does require some conscious effort to actually blaspheme Him.

There's some debate about what really constitutes the eternal sin. Protestants mostly believe non-repentance is what is outlined in those verses. I'm not so sure and Protestant pastors seem to want to sugar coat or water things down too often, though I think Martin Luther thought this was the case with these verses and worried about the sin himself.

I'd be interested in the context of this thread of hearing what members here think.

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God has allowed external creatures to manipulate our thoughts for His own reasons, but we are still free in deciding how to act on those thoughts. The demons can pollute the river, but they can’t make us swim in it. It’s only when we desire to do what they are telling us that we get into trouble.

This is a great reminder. Thanks Roosh!

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Originally posted on RooshV.com


Scientists have spent decades trying to understand the brain, and while much has been gained about its neurochemical workings, most of that newfound knowledge has been harnessed by the elites to control our thoughts and behavior. We’re still no closer to understanding why we have consciousness or even why we dream. All the while, an important fact has been concealed from us as taught by the Orthodox Church: thoughts can be inserted into our minds by demons. In other words, the thoughts we have are not entirely our own.

The first time I went to church as a new convert, I assumed that the “house of God” would be void of any demonic influence. I could pass through the large wooden doors but the demons could not, as if I traversed over a magic portal, and experience a rest from evil subversion for as long as I was within the four walls of the church. You can surmise that I was more than surprised when disgusting thoughts still found a way into my mind. Later, I learned that even a priest can be serving the will of Satan within a church.

I realized that, outside of heaven, nowhere is safe from evil. That got me wondering about the mechanism of demonic power. I understand they can put thoughts into my mind, but the biologist in me wanted to know how.

When you receive a fright, your body responds nearly instantaneously. Someone scared you and then your heart immediately started racing and your senses sharpened to evaluate the unknown threat. I’m sure it also has happened where you received bad news and felt a physical response the very next moment. For demons to effectively influence us, I believe they can respond to one of our perceptions in a near-instantaneous manner. For example, if I lay eyes on a sexy woman, a demon may then be able to insert a sexual thought into my mind that leads to lust and the corresponding physiological response. I don’t have any proof that this is true, only the understanding that if there was a lag between your perceptions and demonic influence, their power would be greatly diminished, if not outright trivial. They must be able to act quickly on the stimulus we perceive in the environment, fast enough for us to conclude that it is ourselves who have created the thought and not an external source, for the more we believe a thought came from our own brains, the more trust we have in it.

When I was in Texas, I visited a state park at night to observe bats. I stayed late enough that I was alone with the park guide. As he was explaining to me the biology of bats, which I was genuinely interested in, a thought entered my mind: “I could kill him right now and nobody would know.” I was taken aback. I’m not a violent man and don’t fantasize about harming people, even my enemies, so where did this thought come from? A scientist would say that it’s my limbic system or “lizard brain” acting up, but I believe it was a demon trying to disturb my faith. While I get less of these types of thoughts now, once in a while something truly vile and repugnant enters my mind even though it had nothing to do with my most recent thinking or behavior.

I wonder if the demons have access to a type of neural superhighway that is similar to a telephone system. Without having to be beside us, they can dial the right “number” and essentially have a level of access to our brains, both our perceptions and the ability to insert sinful thoughts that we believe come from our own flesh. On the bright side, angels must have this power too, meaning they can insert encouraging or spiritual thoughts. Instead of glancing at a provocative woman and lusting after her, an angel can remind me to pray and focus away from the temptation. Instead of feeling guilty over a sin to the point of despondency and hopelessness, an angel can help me re-orient towards Lord Jesus Christ and focus on his mercy.

God has allowed external creatures to manipulate our thoughts for His own reasons, but we are still free in deciding how to act on those thoughts. The demons can pollute the river, but they can’t make us swim in it. It’s only when we desire to do what they are telling us that we get into trouble.

I don’t trust my own thoughts anymore, especially when they try to thrust me into the pleasures and degradations of this world. When such a thought enters my brain, I hold it up to God’s standards. Does it go against what Lord Jesus or the Apostolic Church taught? Does it conflict with the Church Fathers? Is it bothering my conscious in a way that I can only feel but not explain? Then it’s probably something sent into me from the spirit of darkness. I will ignore it, carry on, and remain diligent until their power over my mind comes to an end with the conclusion of this earthly life.

Read Next: Demons And The City
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Do you meditate? Why yes or no?

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Do you meditate? Why yes or no?

Eastern meditation is clearing the mind of all thoughts. Christian meditation is filling the mind with the word of God, meditating on scripture.

Just my 2 cents.

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Which book and how did you know where to begin?

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The demon issue is less about the demons themselves, who have always been doing their thing, and more about how we respond.

Coming from a scientific world view, the sudden belief in invisible evil beings can be quite a shock, traumatic even, and you have to be patient with yourself if you can't just take it in stride and get on with things.

After the shock comes the fear, and you become hyper vigilant, seeing them everywhere, always trying to be on guard.

Again, it can take some time to come to terms with this, your new reality, and while fear instead of trust in God is a temptation to be avoided, you have to be patient with yourself, and remember that it might take some time to acclimate, to work out all the ramifications of this simple shift in perception.

Eventually you almost come full circle and it becomes somewhat pedestrian. You follow your practice and every now and then something demonic invades your thoughts or even comes at you in the actions of others, and you have been there before, can catch your fear earlier in the process, and know just what to do.

This long long process could simply be considered one small aspect of the process of developing spiritual discernment.

As for me, I am very relieved that my own spiritual calling has not been focused on discerning the demonic in everyday life all the time. This is a calling hat no one should pray for. You might end up a nervous wreck.

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This is completely true and makes sense. I remember a few times when I was walking alone through a pedestrian overpass and, completely out of nowhere, a thought entered my mind "what would happen if I just jumped from here onto the road 20 meters below". I was not in any way unhappy, disturbed or suicidal. It was just a random thought.

Of course, such an obvious evil idea was easily banished by telling myself "stop being an idiot", but the really destructive ideas tend to sneak up on you in a much more subtle ways - as recommendations from sources we trust, hidden within other ideas that seem good, etc.

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I agree with this. I recall a specific instance where I was on my roof. For a split second, I had the urge to jump off, and consequently, end my life.

This was during a time where I was beginning to perceive our Lord’s good will. By that I mean, I felt at peace. I felt better than ever before. I wasn’t experiencing depression or hopelessness. I have had many similar experiences. I watched some videos where people also explain this phenomenon

I think our flesh (our innate sinful nature) can also foster thoughts within our mind, without demonic aid. And this leads me to wonder, how to can we distinguish a demonic entity from ourselves? Demons exploiting biological stimulus was an interesting take.

James 1:14-15
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

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Are women supposed to be allowed to post here? Just going to say I sent this to my kids (teenagers) to read. I think demons attack the vulnerable with great ease and unless you have some knowledge that they do this, you can't do anything to counter it. Thanks for the article, Roosh.

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long time follower of yours roosh...even through the early years, this is the first time i've posted, yes. demonic influence is real it creeps into our thoughts.
if you have time, find a fellow called jerry marzinsky a clinical psychologist who worked at one of the biggest mental institutions in the states a man who questioned the voice's schizophrenics hear....very illuminating

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Are women supposed to be allowed to post here? Just going to say I sent this to my kids (teenagers) to read. I think demons attack the vulnerable with great ease and unless you have some knowledge that they do this, you can't do anything to counter it. Thanks for the article, Roosh.

Yes.

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"Can angels know what I'm thinking telepathically" - Aquinas says an angel (or demon) cannot read your mind against your will. It's not your mind, but your will that determines whether the angel (or demon) can read your thought. A devil cannot possess you or even understand what your thinking without you somehow giving consent. Angels can influence your imagination, but not your thought. Your thought which is controlled by your will, is your inner sanctuary, so when you pray to your guardian angel, whether verbally or nonverbally your opening the door of that inner sanctuary. Your guardian angels are perfect telepaths who know when you're doing that. And its the same with demons, you open your sanctuary if you are praying to them, if you consent to them.

The mind is incredibly complex as you've indicated in your article. I would also say, it's part of the reason pornography and watching inappropriate things is so destructive. The memory is tied to the imagination. It's as though you gave them consent into your memories which, I believe, they can potentially rekindle. Them influencing your imagination via memories is not giving consent or the same thing as praying and willingly opening yourself to them. In the past you may have unknowingly consented in some way or opened yourself up in some way, but if you've been to confession and renounced this then have faith in God.

"St. Thomas distinguishes two kinds of memory, sensory and intellectual. He excludes, however, from the former the function of merely storing up the mental image; this he assigns to imagination."

Sensory memory he assigns to the body; so think muscle memory. While Intellectual memory is tied to the abstract and universal. As far as the body is concerned and ridding yourself of the temporal / transitory sin attached to the body. Ascetic practices are efficacious because it purges sensory memory tied to the body. Prayer is efficacious because it purges intellectual memory tied to the abstract.

A good simple helpful way around this I was told, is to disregard the images or thoughts instantly if evil. Don't dwell on them or think about them. God doesn't want you to think evil things, and so evil ideas should be ignored and not given weight or merit.

Possession is rare as far as I know, but maybe it's more common than we realize. Diabolic oppression is most likely far more common. Being harassed by evil thoughts or spirts is going to happen if you're on the side of Christ. St Teresa of Avila considered them like flies, satan afterall is 'Lord of the Flies', and so if you have Christ and are doing the right things generally speaking you'll be 'fine'. It's when people engage in the occult and drugs and pornography and all the rest of it which destroys the body and soul. Demons do not attack a fortress if its already been captured and so oppression of some kind is probably inevitable at some point if you are on the right path, but I wouldn't 'overthink' it. It's easy to get carried away with ideas and let your imagination run wild.

I personally think everyone needs to purge themselves at some point and or go on some kind of pilgrimage, or retreat and fast and pray like Christ did in the desert for at least a month. Most people nowadays don't realize how much sin is in their homes and minds and lives. I would encourage everyone to find a good Priest or spiritual director and at very least devote a month or so to redirecting your entire life and mind back to God if you haven't already.

Anyways interesting article, thanks for sharing as always.

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I'm going to be the black sheep that goes against the grain here, I was tired of all the thumbs ups here anyway.

Whilst I have nothing against a Christian seeing the thoughts they consider to be immoral as influence from the Devil, I do take leave when the conversation naturally progresses and people begin deciding to decipher their thoughts between Holy and Evil. The path of discernment is one that should be undertaken with a guide, rather than alone fumbling for objectivity in the darkness of quasi-subjectivity.

What if a thought was just a thought and didn't have any higher reasoning beyond electrical neurons doing the jive? How would it effect your faith?

If you can uncloak the devil and stare into his eyes then he can't escape...but now you have to spend all of your time looking for the damn devil!

Filtering all of your thoughts through a good and bad/ devil vs holy schematic feels good for most people that turn from sin, it feels like you have control.

The problem is that most people that travel down this path without guidance will apply the subjective lens of morality to their life whilst still trying to flagellate themselves for what they consider to be objectively pernicious acts.

The first problem anyone who's spent more than a weekend at an old-school Catholic church will tell you is the people that follow this path tend to come to a lazy understanding of the world where those things to which they cannot expend intellectual energy to understand become demonic.

We must also ask ourselves if it is normal within a healthy perspective of faith to aim for a goal in which the only thoughts you have are those you consider that your perception of God would consider to be pure.

Paradoxically it sounds rather unhealthy to expend your energy on ensuring all of your neurons are firing only in the way that you have deemed God wants for you.

If you accept the notion that thoughts are quintessentially electrical pulses that fire to a particular stimuli then it stands to reason that any thought has travelled through it's network and connected with historical references that are connected to the environmental stimuli.

Interestingly the most prevalent comment people are saying in this thread, the 'suicide thought' has been used for various cults because of the emotional aspect that comes with it, sprinkle in some perversion of S.Freud and you can more or less make your subjects do as you please.

The scientific reason that most people get intrusive thoughts about killing another person or jumping from a bridge has been extensively researched on the back of mental health conditions of the obsessive and compulsive type and the findings are really quite contradictory to what most people think.

"high-place phenomenon.

Imagine a person with high anxiety sensitivity. She leans over a ledge of the Grand Canyon. In super fast reaction to her physical sensation of anxiety, her survival instinct forces her away from the edge. Yet when she looks at the ledge, she sees it’s sturdy. There was never any danger. Her brain tries to process an answer to the question “Why did I back up if it was safe?” A logical answer is that she must have been tempted to jump.

In other words, Hames explained, people misinterpret the instinctual safety signal, and conclude they must have felt an urge to leap. Hence the study’s title: “An Urge to Jump Affirms to Urge to Live.” "

And urge to jump affirms an urge to live in the same way that the urge to kill affirms the urge not to do so.

I would suggest that it is quite normal to size up an unknown man when you are alone in the dark with him. In an evolutionary sense you are seeing if this person has the capacity to harm you, and in response you are asking yourself if you could defend yourself against the attack, and the thought pops up in your head that you could, if you wanted to kill him - affirming that you probably have the physical prowess.

An interesting fact about about people with obsessive-intrusive disorders is that they often top the charts for never acting out on these obsessive thoughts, outside of suicide, and tend to rank higher in levels of compassion and empathy, presumably because of the repulsion of imagining themselves carrying out immoral acts against themselves or others.

Is that not a pertinent point? The religious community would have considered anyone brave enough to admit that they were having reoccurring thoughts about doing bad things as demonic, and yet factual evidence shows that these people are actually more empathetic and caring then community control groups.

We also know that disorders involving intrusive thoughts are the side effect of issues within the brain as well as socio-psychological problems rather than anything as exciting as demonic possession.

Personally, and here is where I will draw the most criticism, I have always been a fan of the early Buddhist thought leaders concept of intent. They too believe that a demon (Kali) can cause you to do bad things but they place a huge emphasis on the intent of the thought. True, The Chinese have a parable about the impurity of thought, but the other schools are in unison when it comes to intention and skillfull/unskillful over demonic, holy.

Buddhism understands that thoughts happen, both good and bad and that they come and go.

The freedom that Buddhists have in this regard allows them to acknowledge that their thoughts are influenced by their culture. Seminal writers like Thich Nhat Hanh give us much to learn about how our upbringing poisons our thoughts and I would say most people following that path get closer to what we would term morally 'good' than most who travel that path in the confines of Abrhamic religions without guidance.

Where as a Christian might call their sexual desires the devil in disguise, the Buddhist would note that the origins of these acts is found from the information that has been taken in about them and has grown from a seed into a bad tree.

If you do not place a high emphasis on them then the (potential) powers that influence them cease to have any hold.

If you accept that at anyone point you might have a bad thought and you quietly dismiss it then the electrical impulses that caused it die. If you continue to connect with the a higher meaning then the electrical impulses grow, prompting your brain to deliver you the same response to stimuli again and again.

The end of this path is grey, dull and lifeless, the kind of people that self flagellate to anything that might be considered fun. All travel is bad, all laughter and childish fun is immoral, impish laughter is a sign of the devil and milk in your tea might as well be spit in the eye of God.

I think this is one of those cases where it is best to take acknowledge that we are imperfect humans, and whilst we do strive to be perfect for the Lord, there is a fine line between progress of the soul and fetishization of morality.

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