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About Good and Evil, Demons, and Demonic Spirits
Leroy Stilwell has been a formal devotee since 1976. He is one of the founders of this website. You can read his biographical information in the About Us section.
In considering experiences of other realms and other entities, some people immediately have a question about "good and evil", about the "devil", demons, and demonic spirits. And because of a misunderstanding of the nature of experience, most people want to immediately categorize experiences of other realms and entities as "good or bad/evil", "right or wrong", "God's Work or the devil's work". Whereas it is all just experience. Much of it is culturally structured, and in any case is based upon an already incorrect presumption about reality: it is experience based on the separate "I" point of view.
We all experience. Our ability to experience is both facilitated and limited by many factors. Avatar Adi Da once explained how the human brain is designed, fundamentally, to limit experience. That is what it is to be a human — to have human experiences (and human experiences only). Thus, identified with the body-mind, our principal experience is through our five senses.
Until one has experience beyond the limits of the body-mind, there is really no way to describe the degree to which experience can be intensified to the most ecstatic and even unbearably pleasurable degrees, as well as to the most terrifying. Such degrees of pleasure, joy, ecstasy, horror, fear, and terror are impossible for the body itself to tolerate. But when one is no longer exclusively identified with the body (and/or the mind), there is no longer the familiar limit on experience either (that comes from identification with the body-mind).
Before we talk about "evil", I think it is important to be aware that most people don't even want "good" (in the greatest sense of that word) — that is, the "good" that is the joy and ecstasy that moves one beyond the sense of self and separate identity. It is okay to feel "good", to feel joy, etc., as long as "you" are there to feel it. But as soon as "you" begin to dissolve — well, that's a little too much. Avatar Adi Da speaks about this in a talk called Sex, Laughter, and God-Realization.
About evil, devil, demons, demonic spirits: just as there are people of positive and negative influence in our ordinary lives, so are there beings in the psychic and etheric dimensions that can directly associate with earth beings and processes in either a positive or negative manner. This, we can say, is a "fact of life". It is not a proof of a higher principle of "good and evil", however.
One can experience unbelievably intense fear and terror in one's contacts with the psychic and etheric dimensions. That too is a fact. But that says something about fear, not about "good and evil". The experience of such negative influence is most often associated with the dimension of being that is directly related to the body-mind, and which is principally a domain associated with through feeling or emotion. That is why the emotional effect can be so exaggerated. Let me give you an example.
One time, after leaving Adi Da Samrajashram, I was in the process of moving into a small cabin close to the Mountain Of Attention Sanctuary. The cabin had not been lived in for a while and was rather cluttered and unconsciously kept; much of it had been being used for storage space. Even though I knew Adi Da’s Instruction about how such unconsciously kept spaces tend to attract generally unwanted, discarnate entities, I was tired, and decided to clear out just enough space for my bed and leave the rest of the straightening up for the morning.
I lay down, but rather than going to sleep, I spontaneously “popped” into the transition state between waking consciousness and sleep, which I will call the “etheric realm”. Immediately upon my entering this realm began the most terrifying event of my entire life. All of a sudden, the door to the room crashed open, as if violently kicked in from the other side. The doorway was filled by this massive amorphous dark cloud of what I could only describe as evil, malevolent energy. It came in and grabbed me by both ankles and began to drag me from the bed. I felt like I was going to be physically ripped apart by the legs! I was absolutely terrified! Beyond terror! I tried to scream for help in my terror, but as conscious as I was, and as tangible as the experience was, I was not sufficiently associated with the body to be able to make any kind of sound — which seemed to only infinitely magnify the terror.
Then, spontaneously, effortlessly, and, paradoxically, without any intention whatsoever relative to the entity, my fear, the terror, I remembered Adi Da. And, again, mysteriously, without being in reaction to anything I had just been experiencing, or trying to do anything about it, I simply, with free feeling, calmly took my mala in hand and began saying His Name, “Da” — and the entire experience dissolved. I soon returned to “waking” consciousness, still calmly saying His Name, holding the mala. And what was just as remarkable, despite the overwhelming terror I had just experienced, there was hardly any residual emotion about it.
Avatar Adi Da once said, "Fear is when love stops short of infinity".
For the devotee of Avatar Adi Da, when one intuitively recognizes Him as prior, non-separate Being, and simultaneously comes to an understanding of "one's self" as self-contraction, recoil from love, an active presumption of limited self-identity, something interesting happens: fundamental fear is transformed. One has learned how to feel through fear to the Truth of non-threatened, non-separate Existence that is the Revelation of Avatar Adi Da; indeed, that Is Him. Devotees call upon Avatar Adi Da — and He Responds.
With that change in perspective relative to fear, all questions of "God and Devil", "good and evil", disappear. They cease to be questions. Truth stands out. And yet, too, as practical matters of dealing with the complex and convoluted patterns of the self-contracted negativity of "evil", demons and demonic entities, and so on, with the invocation of the Divine Guru, Adi Da, these come under His most benign and positive influence, as He is moved to conform everything to Himself.