In Uncle Ponto and the Mushroom-Souper, we have an example of what may be happening to many in our modern society-without their realizing it and without those around them taking cognizance of it. For it seems that there is an individualism, a purely personalistic interpretation of human life abroad today, which exceeds by far the bounds of what used to be known as selfishness and egotism. It has produced in thousands of people an aberrant and idiosyncratic behavior which is truly destructive.
In The Rooster and the Tortoise, the fatal confusion (and in this case it was literally almost fatal) was between spirit and psyche; between those parts and attributes of ours that are quantifiable, and yet through which spirit most easily makes itself known. If everything we have taken to be of spirit can be made to seem a product merely of the human psyche, with no meaning or significance beyond its factualness, then love can be made to seem only a chemical interaction, and love’s paradigm is killed.
In each case, one basic note of possession is confusion. Sex is confused with gender.
Spirit is confused With psyche. Moral value is confused with absence of any value. Mystery is confused with untruth. And, in every case, rational argument is used, not to clarify, but as a trap, to foster confusion and to nurture it as a major weapon against the exorcist. Confusion, it would seem, is a prime weapon of evil.
There is much more to be observed and said about the meaning of possession. Not everything can be covered in a single volume. But possession and Exorcism are not themselves mere fads with no interest beyond the bizarre and significantly frightening. They are tangible expressions of the reality which envelops the daily lives of ordinary people. No study of possession and Exorcism cases within the Christian optic would be adequate without a minimum of explanation -from the Christian point of view-about that reality: what takes place in possession, and how that degrading process develops in a particular individual. Such an explanation occupies the final section of this book.
This study makes no attempt to answer the ultimate puzzle of possession: why this person rather than that person becomes the object of diabolic attack which can end in partial or perfect possession. The answer certainly does not lie in psychological probings, in heredity, or in social phenomena. A final answer will include, as prime ingredients, the personal free choice which each individual makes and the mystery of human predestination. About free choice we know the essentials: I can choose evil for no other reason or motive than that I choose evil. Some apparently do. About predestination we know little or nothing. The puzzle remains.
All of the men and women involved in the five cases reported here are known to me personally; they have given their fullest cooperation on the condition that their identities and those of their families and friends not be revealed. Therefore, all names and places have been changed, and other possible pointers to identity have been obscured. Any similarity between the cases reported here and any others that may have occurred is unintentional and purely coincidental.
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