- Religion and Philosophy
The spirit world is a dangerous place
In Spirit Worlds I showed there is a strong probability that spirits exist and that there is one or more spirit world. Assuming this is correct, I want to look at the nature of its inhabitants. I argue that the spirit world is full of danger as well as beauty and that for our own safety those of use who accept that it exists must investigate it with open minds and all the protection we can get.
From Victorian times Spiritualists painted the unseen world as full of benevolent happy beings only desirous of helping us poor mortals advance spiritually. Today we have the Spiricom project, essentially a high tech Ouija board that basically says the same thing.
I don't buy that. I would like to buy it (though the spirit world the spiritualists picture sounds boring to me ) but I dare not. The pre-spiritualist traditions and folklore have abundant stories of malevolent spirits. From the Foxes of Japan to Goblins in Germany spirits have always been greeted with caution if not fear, unless they came in the guise of the spirits of the dominant local religion. Spirits are by definition conscious beings with a purpose and may well, like politicians and confidence tricksters, be advancing an agenda harmful to us on the pretence of helping us.
Examples of dangerous spirits
The Sidhe of Western Europe are not sweet moonlight Morris dancers cavorting happily in the pleasure of being. They are powerful and dangerous beings. Some are small, some are large and all are unpredictable. They have a power of magic and illusion and time in their realm runs at a different rate from ours. They should not be approached lightly.
The Jungian Archetypes, which may reside outside the human brain can damage a mind that does not interact with them properly. The most famous such archetype is the Shadow, but Trickster is equally powerful and potentially dangerous.
In “The Dark Gods” Roberts and Gilbertson suggested that certain types of entity, which they equated with the classical vampire are playing mind games with humanity. They also developed the earlier suggestion that the Sidhe and the beings that visit us in flying Saucers are parts of the same phenomenon that is playing mind games with us.
The Norse lore mentions good and bad dwarves, frost and fire giants, and gods who can be friendly or malevolent. Voodoo Loa can kill the people they ride. in the Philippines the Mananangal flies at night to devour people. The Wild Hunt used to ride and gather souls for an undisclosed purpose and the Christian Devil was an enthusiastic buyer of souls:- C.S Lewis painted devils as feeding on the anguish and despair of condemned souls.
In Kabbalah some regions contain powerful and dangerous entities which must not be approached without protection.
In any religion the Gods of that religion are treated with a mix of respect and fear.
Spirits are only Human
Here I consider only those spirits that are enough like us that we can understand their motives and actions. Spirits are not identical, so we would expect to find some more powerful than us, some less powerful, some cleverer than any human and some we would have to regard as mentally retarded. Some will like humanity, some will hate humanity, and some couldn't care about us in the least unless we get in their way, just as we ignore ants till they invade a picnic. And some, I think, will feed on us if they get the chance. bureaucracy.
So there will be a most powerful spirit that likes us, a most powerful spirit that hates us, and a most powerful spirit overall. There will also be a most intelligent spirit, and a most ethical spirit. Most religions claim the most powerful spirit likes, indeed loves us and is the most intelligent, or at least the wisest spirit. This is a matter of faith. The Old Testament Yahweh appears to be powerful but not very bright, and the Jade Emperor of the ancient Chinese heaven, like his earthly counterpart relies on wise advisors and a complex bureaucracy.
The spirit world then, at least the bits that contain beings we can understand enough to interact with, will almost certainly contain beings that are hostile to us and can destroy any human if they wish. They may also contain beings who bear us no malice but what to play ith us like a cat plays with a mouse. If there is any area of the spirit world like that which spiritualists describe, a haven of peace and love, then whatever guards it must be very powerful.
Proceed with caution but do proceed
I have tried to analyse the denizens of the spirit world using simple reasoning based on the assumption they are not too different from us. They will have conflicts and politics and jealousies and wars in which we may be pawns or cannon fodder. Humans - usually psychologically disturbed humans trying to use the religious impulse to control their fellow humans - have created many gods in their own image: for example early UFO contacts were a little upset to be told that Mars was racially segregated with Black and Jewish Martians separated from the white Martians. Perhaps – and this is pure speculation, the gods and other spirits we created, guard us from the less pleasant entities of the spirit world and perhaps these malevolent entities cannot reach us unless summoned. If so who will guard us from our guards?
The bottom line is that you have to be careful when dealing with the spirit world. Shamans and others have managed such dealings safely but that does not mean you and I can do so. Whatever system you are working in use whatever protections are available.
I have not considered the subtler dangers, such as being seduced by the glory of the spirit world and starting to think how wonderful you are.
Which won't stop me from cautiously trying to investigate a world which (contrary to my scientific training) evidence based logic , reason, various experiences, and modern developments in Physics suggest exists. It is uncomfortable knowing we are at best in a fragile playpen or a zoo compound outside which monsters prowl, but we must not bury our heads in the sand.