Following up on thoughts of what’s among us. The Kingdom of Heaven. The other place. These things not necessarily having what we might call ‘objective’ existence. If there were no people, would there still be heaven and hell? What is the field on which these things have their existence?
Having mulled this over, I’m asking now where demons and angels actually are. The question, like “Are you still beating your wife?” makes assumptions. That there are angels. And demons. And that they have some kind of existence other than as extensions and projections of our own personalities.
Whether they are, what they are, and where they reside are all kind of contingent on each other. For myself, I am certain that both angels and demons exist. The demons are maybe, given the proclivity of our culture for reading bad news, easier to spot. They’re predators, they’re hungry, and they feed on human agony, horror, and despair. I believe that there’s some kind of ‘where’, not in the five-sensory three dimensional postulation that we think we inhabit, that butts up against our own, or that we share, co-inhabit. We are their access point, or their field of operation.
There are wasps that turn caterpillars into zombies so that their young can feed on them. I think this is particularly horrifying to us because it mirrors our relationship with the demonic. I don’t think the things we call demons would exist in our world if we didn’t. In effect we become demons for each other.
But, and we’re not so good at seeing this, we are also angels for each other. It may be that I have the responsibility to recognize when demonic energy is scratching at the door, trying to get through me. If that’s true I also have the right to recognize angels when they’re at work. I have known people, ordinary, screwed-up folk, but folk who pray and acknowledge, under some nomenclature, the love of God, be of great service to each other, doing angelic interventions that help others in remarkable ways. It’s not, in those cases, about commitment to service, helping out of charity. It’s listening, and then doing what is called for.
The biggest demonic infestation I know of in living history is the Holocaust. It’s not the death toll – it’s the horrifying intentionality of it. And along with the demons, angels show up.Irina Sendler. Raoul Wallenberg. Corrie ten Boom. Big names, but there are thousands of them.
The thing is, that angelic possession can maybe be as hard on the human host as the other kind. Sendler was caught and tortured. Wallenberg disappeared, and probably died, in some gulag. Corrie ten Boom went to a concentration camp.
But we didn’t see angels walking the streets of Warsaw with flaming swords. They could only get access through us.
I guess, cutting a long story short, we’ve incarnated into a battle-field, but, as far as I can see, it’s not a battle-field that exists beyond the confines of us. Among ourselves we are, or hold, or inhabit, both heaven and hell, and in that habitation we host both demons and angels.