I hope you're having a great week! Thank you for reading my newsletter and a big welcome to all the new subscribers. I hope you'll find today's topic fascinating.
I am still in S. Africa enjoying nature and snapping pictures, but I will be back on October 6th. I'll respond to your emails when I get back.
This week I thought I would share a story about one of the most spiritual experiences I've ever had. It involved some angels, demons, a boy, and myself, during a psychiatry session. It was a "group therapy" session that taught me many profound lessons I have never forgotten.
Have a wonderful week!
Angels, Demons, a Boy, and a Psychiatrist
A Spiritual Perspective on Freedom, Choice, and Growth
It was both the most frightening and the most sublime session I ever had with a patient. I will never forget it, though it happened nearly two decades ago.
Paul (pseudonym) was a 15-year-old who suffered from "depression." He had already made three prior suicide attempts, one of them in an inpatient psychiatric ward. His parents wanted me to work with him, not because of my exceptional skills as a psychiatrist, but because they wanted someone who was familiar with the family's religion.
My initial evaluation, however, caused me some alarm. During the evaluation, as Paul was expressing how much he hated God and religion, a ghostly, gaunt, male face popped out from Paul's face. It had a stern expression and was staring straight at me, looking like the floating head of the Wizard of Oz that had tried to frighten Dorothy.
After the session, my phone call with Paul's parents didn't help me feel any better. They shared their concern that Paul might be "possessed" by evil spirits at times.
I was tempted to quit before starting. When I prayed about the matter, however, a comforting feeling came over me, as if to say, "Don't be afraid." So, I pressed forward.
My work with Paul happened about a year before I became interested in holistic medicine, so he was treated with Prozac and individual psychotherapy. To my surprise, treatment unfolded in a mundane fashion session after session.
One day, as we talked about different issues over a game of cards, Paul once again began to talk about his hatred of God and religion. He shared that, at times, he would "allow" three demons to possess him. As soon as he said this, his eyes glazed over, and he said, in a dry, half-dead voice, "Theeeeyyyy arrrrrre heeere..."
Immediately, I felt the hair on the back of my neck rise, just like in a novel. I remember feeling surprised by that unique sensation. Simultaneously, foreign feelings/thoughts intruded into my mind, conveying an intense desire to destroy, control, and frighten me. In reaction to this sudden change of events, I immediately prayed (silently) for God's help and protection.
The intrusive feelings and thoughts suddenly left me, and I felt as if I was filled and surrounded by a warm, golden light.
Paul continued to talk in a half-dead, flat voice. He expressed how he hated God because God didn't give people enough freedom. God just wanted to control everyone and have everyone worship Him.
I found myself responding, "Freedom is a tool that God uses to help people to grow. As we learn to make proper choices with the freedom we are given, God lets us have more freedom. Just like a parent wouldn't give a baby a chainsaw, but rather a variety of toys to choose from, God lets us play with freedom safely. When you go to a shoe store, you'll find sneakers, sandals, boots, and many other styles of shoes to choose from, but you wouldn't find moon boots, because it's not likely that you'll be going to the moon. It's like that with choices in life. We are given a variety of choices that we need, not choices that we don't need."
After I said that, I realized that I had never thought of freedom in that way before. The words flowed from me, filled with wisdom and compassion. I was learning just as much about freedom as Paul was.
Not to be deterred, Paul described what he considered to be God's personality flaws. God was arrogant, selfish, controlling, and narcissistic. After he finished criticizing God, I said, "That's good that you don't like those qualities, but if you just substituted the word "Satan" for "God," you would have it right."
I was surprised by my quick repartee. Personally, I have never been good at delivering quick repartees. My response must have come from the Light that was inspiring me through this whole ordeal.
After about 15-20 minutes, an expression of disgust crossed Paul's face, as if the demons were disgusted at their inability to affect me. Instead, they were being lectured. Where was the fun in that? So, they left, and Paul's voice and face changed back to himself. Soon after, the session concluded.
After the session, I felt enlightened. I realized that the demons spoke of God as a fact of life. They never questioned God's existence. They just didn't like God. In comparison to their knowledge, my knowledge of God seemed vague and faith-driven. I believed and had faith in God, but I didn't know that God existed. Their certainty reinforced the reality of God for me. I also knew that I had been protected. I felt that Beings of Light had come to my aid. In a way, I had been "possessed" by their presence within and around me. It felt peaceful and loving.
Paul never returned for another session. Circumstances unfolded in his family that led them to stop treatment. It seemed like the right turn of events.
My session with Paul taught me some important spiritual principles about the nature of good and evil. From then on, I knew that Evil had three goals: destroy, control, and incite fear in others. I also learned that goodness was a power filled with peace, love, and wisdom, and I could trust in this power to shield and inspire me.
I hope that this story will add to your knowledge of good and evil, and support you when you encounter evil as you work to bring greater goodness into the world.