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.

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