In the first two blog posts in this series, I briefly discussed the nature of darkness as a whole, as well as the nature of the darkness that exists in each one of us.
Now I’m going to touch on an aspect of darkness that is a bit more…. dicey shall we say. The darkness that exists outside our own. The intangible, and yet somehow very real, very influential, entities that choose to exist in the darkness that is around us. To quote the Hellboy Movie “There are things that go bump in the night, Agent Myers…”
For most people, these entities are most often referred to as demons. My understanding of demons, or those who walk in the darkness, doesn’t usually fit the mold of what many religious zealots consider “evil” or “demonic”. In fact, the whole idea of “evil versus good” is a bit… well shortsighted in my opinion. It’s really about perspective.
I won’t go into the details of what demons exist, their characteristics, or their origins, as the case may be. If you’re interested in such information, I highly suggest you check out Michelle Belanger’s The Dictionary of Demons: Names of the Dammed. While she focuses primarily on demons associated with Western and European origins, her research, presentation, and an overall understanding of the subject matter is excellent.
Instead, I’m going to focus on the relationship that we often have with the entities that we call demons. And honestly, it’s not always a bad relationship, but it is often a complex one. It depends greatly on a number of factors, including cultural exposure, spiritual or religious experiences, experience with your own internal darkness to start.
For many people, demons are seen as something evil, malicious, or going against what is the correct or accepted norm. They are things that should be avoided, or banished from existence simply because of their nature. They are the boogeyman or a worker for the forces of evil. An entity that has no purpose for good, save to be its foil.
For some people, myself included, demons are often a bit more complex than that. Demons, in my experience, are entities that act independently of a deity- not in service to it. This, of course, can lead to conflict and confrontation. Sometimes the action of the demon goes against what I believe to be correct; sometimes they are malicious. Often they will attack, cause pain, and demand sacrifices from you.
The question is why.
Many would have you believe that demons do these things because they are inherently evil. It’s in their very nature. It would make sense, after all. Who or what could possibly do the heinous acts that they do? Well, if you take a look at any violent criminals, despots, or killers through history, the answer is quite a few. However, the entities we call demons are often characterized as being true, inherently evil while people like Hitler or Jack the Ripper don’t quite measure up to that level. They are seen as bad people, and ones that have base or evil tendencies- but they’re not “demonic”
I believe that most people see demons as the definition of evil simply because it is easier to do so. Just like the darkness that exists within ourselves, the darkness that exists outside of us, but a little bit closer to home is harder to face. It’s much easier for a person to claim that a monster did this unspeakable act, rather than a flesh and blood human. So the entities that we call demons are often given more of a bad reputation simply because we do not wish to face the truth.
Do demons do bad things? Can they be malicious, and can they cause you harm? Absolutely. But you know what? If you look at the various stories, folklore, and historical literature concerning gods, goddesses, and angels and humans, demons are not alone in that department. Also, whether or not the demon is seen as evil, often depends on where you’re standing. In quite a few cultures, demons are seen as forces of nature, protectors, and territorial guardians.
So it’s often not as simple as “good” versus “evil”. It’s often a matter of perspective and adversaries.
In truth, on the path I walk, I have encountered quite a few demons. And I do work with them from time to time because I realize that their complexities and their familiarity with the darkness that surrounds us can teach me quite a bit. They have traveled their own path through life, and can sometimes teach us what it really means to walk in the darkness.
And that lesson is necessary to truly walk in balance.
© 2016 – 2017, Laura Seeber. All rights reserved.