Earth and Moon, chap. 58
"Most of you have read about peculiar cases of possession, but you do not have the particular knowledge of how these possessions come about, whence and under what circumstances. For your information, here is a dramatic portrayal.
Satan, who has a multitude of evil followers, has his cohorts come among human beings at certain times. They are given the task of leaving no stone unturned so as to entrap any soul for the court of the prince of all evil and lies. The evil ones thereupon proceed on their secret path upwards to the upper world. They mask their intentions as adroitly as possible, so that any good spirit which they might encounter will not become suspicious. Should such a good spirit ask for a reason, the evil ones will give a respectable answer and implore their mighty keeper to let them ascend, so that they may find the opportunity to remedy many of their past evils and better themselves.
In the kingdom of good and evil spirits, nothing is more respected than free will, provided that the intentions of these spirits be not too evil. They will be allowed to ascend, of course, under constant secret observation. Since this permission is mostly abused, they cannot object when they return to more unpleasant conditions than those in which they were before.
What do these evil ones do when they ascend to the upper world? Some of these spirits of human beings, which, during their earthly life, were very haughty and rich landowners, proceed to their castle, if it still exists. These they haunt, because they want to make people aware that there is a treasure hidden in the castle. When these people become aware of this, they implore the evil spirit to show them where and when to dig in order to find the treasure.
Then the evil spirit shows them all kinds of signs, indicating where the treasure is supposedly buried. The people dig, but find nothing. They continue their search with the greatest of zeal. And that is when it happens that such a hellish spirit chooses a victim, and causes him to be possessed. And the easiest way whereby this can occur is when food and drink are taken in and it is forgotten to ask Me for My blessings. Once such a haunting spirit has achieved his purpose, then the haunting in the old castle is usually at an end.
When a haunting spirit has entered a human being, he immediately explores that person’s heart. The spirit soon knows his weaknesses, and begins to breathe in his evil inclinations, wishes, and desires. When these are accepted by the heart with approval, the evil one remains quietly as an observer, to see how such a human being gradually, in accordance with these hellish inspirations, begins to act. When a human being has sufficiently fulfilled the will of the inherent evil spirit, then this spirit usually causes a deadly ailment in the flesh. Through this the evil spirit seeks to wrench the corrupted soul as quickly as possible from the physical body and deliver it as booty to his lord and master.
However, the outcome is never in accordance with the plan of such a spirit. As soon as the soul leaves the flesh, be she good or evil, she will always be received by angels. The evil spirit will be severely disciplined and returned to his master, where he will receive another very severe punishment. And such a failure will not be sent up too soon again.
The soul, with her inherent spirit, is placed by angels into such a state that she gradually recognizes how she conducted her earthly existence. If she is willing to convert, she will go higher and higher. Should she be obstinate, it will lead her more deeply downwards, and thence to severe punishment. Should this not cause her to return, she may freely, in accordance with her own will, proceed on a trial run into Hell. Should the soul like it there, she may then remain there in accordance with her inclinations. Should she not like it there, she may then return. That occurs very rarely, however, since Hell is filled with all kinds of promising enticements. There are countless deceptions for bringing a soul closer to the actual being of Satan, so that she may become a part entirely concurring with him.
Of course, that will never happen, because every soul contains her own spirit, and she cannot detach herself from this spirit. This pure spirit is the opposite of Satan’s spirit. When such a soul wants to get closer to Satan, the spirit within her opposes her as a judge, imposes punishment, and torments the soul like an inner fire. Through this torment, the soul is removed as far from Satan as possible, so that she may better herself. If she continues to better herself, it becomes easier and easier for her, the closer she comes to the purity of her inherent spirit.
Should this improvement continue, and if she attains the condition of her spirit, then the soul may reach bliss. Because this is the difference between bliss and damnation: in bliss the entire soul passes over into the spirit, and the spirit is then the actual being. In damnation, the soul wants to expel the spirit and take on another, namely Satan’s spirit. But since the spirit within her has the opposite polarity, he practices the counter force which repels her severely from Satan. The closer a soul comes to the being of Satan, the more severe is the effect of the spirit within her towards the spirit of Satan. This reaction is a very painful feeling for the soul. And that is where the suffering and pain in Hell come from. This reaction shows itself in appearance as an inextinguishable fire; that is the worm in the soul that never ever dies, and whose fire never becomes extinct. This is one and the same fire that causes the highest bliss in an angel and the greatest calamity in a devil.
From this description, you may form the proper idea of the nature of Hell and of Satan’s practices. It is, of course, not the only method by which Satan attempts to capture souls for himself through his cohorts. Should these spirits be of a better kind, they will not be interfered with to take into their possession the flesh of innocent human beings, and even the physical bodies of children. But the souls of these human beings are carefully protected, and are guarded in the heart from insinuations. If an emigrant of Hell who is less wicked wants to do something good, then he may partake of the grace and mercy which such an innocent human being enjoys. Should such a spirit behave improperly and carry on all kinds of foul play in the body which he causes to be possessed, be will either soon be cast out or will be quieted in this body.
At times, several spirits are permitted to take possession of one body. But they must promise beforehand that they seek only their salvation in this body, and their wish will be granted. Such spirits do not follow the advice of the angels; rather, they turn directly to the Lord. They insist stubbornly that only in this manner can they reach the Lord. Thus their wish is complied with, because the angels let those spirits with which they are entrusted learn through their own experiences.
Upon the path of taking possession, the desired results are not achieved most of the time. That is why such permission is only granted once, and very seldom for a second time. Then another path is taken, namely the path of judgment, punishment, and pain. A proud soul can endure much; however, when it becomes too unbearable for her, she turns back for a while.
The main evil of the soul consists of the reproaches which she makes against herself as soon as she feels better, which arise from Satan’s insinuations. They are not of repentance, but that she lets herself be intimidated and driven back by torment. If she had endured the pain, she would have become one with Satan’s might, and the magnificence of the Lord would have come to an end. Through these delusions the soul usually returns with even greater wickedness. In lower Hell, there really exist those that will not give up these delusions for a continuous, ever‑increasing torment and pain, and find, in a way, a triumph in this, when they resist the Lord even in the greatest of torment. Their obstinacy is so great that even the full force of the fire of wrath will not make them turn back. But in days to come, after their spirit has been taken away, they will have to tolerate, with their center, the voyage into eternal destruction. Do not be too dismayed about being possessed, because almost every human being has such guests in his body. Why and how, we shall learn to understand from the description which follows"
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