Do Angels Do Bad Things?
By Scott Shaw
Throughout history there has been all kinds of stories propagated about angels and demons, witches and warlocks, and forces from the great beyond. In various parts of history people have believed in these forces so much that they have performed sacrifices to appease these deities. On the other side of the spectrum people have, in fact, been put to death over the belief that they were in cahoots with powers beyond the realms of sight and sound.
Certainly, in modern times, though most of these exaggerated practices have subsided, there are still those few people who do diabolical deeds based upon their personal believes that they are acting in the name of some unseen force. Most of these people are simply understood to be mentally ill. But, some simply believe. And, belief can be a bad thing — especially in the mind of the wrong person.
All this being stated, many people, even in this modern day, hold firmly onto the superstition of religion. Look how many fundamentalists there are, by whatever religious name, living across the globe. They turn to the various religions and their offshoots to find guidance and meaning in their lives. Then, once they believe, they believe, and nothing will stop that belief.
A lot of bad things have happened via the hands of these people. Yet, many still hold fast to their fundamentalist beliefs.
I have long written about how many people who walk the spiritual path, by whatever name, are lured into, “Magical thinking.” ...Believing that this equals that and by doing this one will get that. It’s dangerous. Because there are no set rules and standards about magical thinking.
In the West, many of these, “Magical Thinkers,” are practitioners of the various forms of Christianity. Christianity and its, “Holy Bible,” are full of stories and tales that set the stage for magical thinking and the belief in and/or the worship or worry of the powers of the forces beyond the seeing eye. Certainly, the belief in supernatural, other worldly being, such as angles and demons, is spoken of throughout the bible. There are also an untold number of stories that have been told, books that have been written, and movies that have been made based upon the, “What could happen,” based upon exaggerated ideas found in the Bible.
In Christianity angels are a common focal point. There are three archangels that have emerged in the Catholic tradition and seven spreads throughout wider Christianity.
Christianity, just as the Bible, has evolved throughout the centuries. So, this number is not exact in origin. But, from the understanding of supernatural beings such as the Nephilim, originally detailed in the Torah and the Book of Genesis onwards, there have been discussion of angels and other worldly beings and their interaction with man (and woman) throughout the various scriptures.
In terms of demons, from their mention in the Book if Enoch forward, demons are believed to be in existence and are depicted as the disruptor of the body, the mind, and the lives of the faithful. But, for those who have actually read the Bible, and studied its evolutionary history, it is clear to see that most of the deities, attributed as demons, originate in other religions and were labeled as such due to the founding fathers of Christianity desiring to pull people away from their native religion and to gain a reason for those who practiced Christianity to remain true to the faith. As that is what Christianity and other religious are based upon; faith. From this motivation, some of these demons have been provided with extravagant powers. Simply the thought of them can cause the mind to become fearful. Those who have proselytized Christianity have used this to their advantage.
Hand-in-hand with faith comes superstition. Religion is full of the promises and the rewards that will be bestowed upon the obedient and the faithful. It is also full of what happens to the disobedient and the faithless. This is where the belief in angels and demons and how they can affect mankind is based. And, this is where all those who proselytize these other worldly beings find their basis for dialogue.
Just as in Christianity, in Eastern mysticism the sub-gods known as, “Devas,” or “Devis,” (male or female deities), are often the focus of the person seeking help and guidance. As some branches of Christianity pray for protection and guidance from the Christian angels and saints, so too do Hindus prey to the devas and the devis.
As Eastern mysticism is far more focused upon human asceticism than is Western religions, teachers forever warn about employing the help of these ethereal spirits for once they have been allowed into the mind, they do not let go. Thus, those who walk the ascetic path of Hinduism rarely delve into this branch of their religion. This too is also true of ascetic Christians.
The teachers of Christianity, particularly earlier Christianity, also warned against employing ethereal powers. In these cases, the Christians were much more focused upon the worry of calling up demons and allowing them to invade the mind. Throughout history, however, there have been those who claim that they can communicate with angels, demons, and the dead. Though this promise offers hope to those who are unhappy with their current life situation or are missing a person who is deceased, this practice is, in fact, against what the Bible states is acceptable Christian behavior.
In we look to the Book of Deuteronomy 18, (King James Version), we see that it states, “When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.”
In the English Standard Version of the same book, the words that are used state, “When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God, for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do this.”
Now, this is just one example. The Bible is full of them. Yet, Christians, and others, commonly turn their minds towards the ethereal and seek out those who can channel forces beyond this world in order to gain a personally desired end.
Here is the place where the question must be asked, “Does a person actually follow the law of their religion or do they simply follow the path of getting what they want, even if that means sidestepping the dogma of their religion?” Getting what they want, whatever that, “Want,” may be?
The fact is, in whatever religion a person finds himself or herself, most do not study their scriptures. They may listen to a priest on Sunday but they do not take the time to investigate the foundations and the basis of their religion on their own. “I’m a Christian.” I’m a Hindu.” "I'm a Buddhist." I’m a whatever,” and that is that.
But, the other side of this is that there is interpretation to be found in the many words that make up the many religious scriptures that are out there. People read a passage and interpret the words in a manner that will suit their own needs. Perhaps this is the biggest fault one can find in religion; anyone can say anything and find a passage somewhere to substantiate their point of view.
Now that we’ve laid the foundation, we come to the primary point of this discourse, “Do angels do bad things?” The answer is simple, “No.” Angels, (or even demons), do not do bad things. People do bad things. People who believe in whatever religion or mystic force they believe in and claim they are doing something based on that belief have performed a lot of bad deeds throughout the centuries. People have invoked negative energy and have embraced its power and then have claimed it to be supernatural. And, people who claim that they can guide a person from the powers of the great beyond, have guided many a lost soul down the road to damnation.
Think about the stories you have heard about the wealth and bodily gratifications gained by channelers, clairvoyants, and spiritual teachers who were later decided to be frauds. They took money from people, guided them to do physical things, that they were not naturally inclined to do, and the list goes on. Yet, people who are unhappy with their life seek the guidance of these people hoping to find relief, absolution, and happiness. And, people seek out and pray to gods and goddesses, angels and demons hoping that they will get what they want.
At the core of life, no one has all of the things that they want. This is why Siddhartha Guatama, the Sakyamuni Buddha stated, “The cause of suffering is desire.” If you are living in a space of desire, you will never be fully happy. Thus, you seek things outside of yourself that promise to fulfill what you believe you are missing. The answer to instantly cease this pattern of, “Lack,” and lack of fulfillment in your life is to STOP. STOP the desire. Let go. Release. If you live in this space of freedom then there is no need to pray and conjure up forces that none of us truly understand, no matter what some people claim.
Angels, demons, deva, devis are only empowered when you live in a world of desire. If you let go of desire, than what do they have to offer you? They can be free to be who and what they are (if they are) and you are free to exist in a place of perfection.
This is Zen.
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