I have a lot of catching up to do, because I must have been absent from class the day they covered the detection and eradication of demons.
At any rate, the following passage, from the book Thomistic Psychology, is a good place start; I rate it somewhere between Self-Evident and Change My Mind:
As a part of creation, man stands on the fringe of two universes: one, the world of matter and material dimensions; the other, the world of spirit, which has neither length, nor breadth, nor weight, nor any other tangible property (Brennan).
I suppose you can try to change my mind, but in order to do so you can have no recourse to your own immaterial mind, but rather, will have to rely on something concrete and tangible, like a hammer, skateboard, or SUV. Still, these latter can be quite effective, as proved by BLM.
If, on the one hand, man
is akin to the animal, plant, and mineral, on the other, he is neighbor to the angels. Truly, he is a denizen of two worlds, a horizon and a meeting place.... He is placed between beast and angel, sharing something of the destiny of both.
I know what you're thinking: brutes and angels, left and right.
That is so simplistic.
Seriously, if our political enemies consisted only of beasts, they'd be rather easy to control and defeat. Rather, in order to understand what's going on, we must distinguish between good and bad angels, for a demon is simply an angel gone rogue.
Analogously, think of man's physical stature, which is similarly -- and conveniently -- smack dab in between the cosmic and subatomic worlds, such that we can know both, even if science hasn't yet figured out how to reconcile the extremes.
At any rate, you will have noticed that, although we can posit these two worlds, literally no one actually understands them; or, to paraphrase Feynman, thinking you understand quantum physics is proof you don't. The same can be said of cosmology, e.g., "what was before the Big Bang?," or "what is it banging into?," or "where did those beautiful equations come from?"
Science cannot answer such questions. Rather, such questions only highlight the necessary and proper limits of science. Nothing wrong with that.
But this is an example of something I alluded to yesterpost -- that no exoterism, whether religious or scientistic, is capable of an integral account of our cosmic situation. Only the philosophia and religio perennis can provide this.
Speaking for myself. Also bearing in mind that "esoteric" might not mean what you think it means, for orthodox Christianity is more than a little esoteric once you naught every I and cross every me.
What do I mean by that crack? Well, try this on for size, from a mainstream book I read yesterday called The Gift of Being: A Theology of Creation:
if we think of the emanation of creation as a great chain of being, that chain closes back on its point of origin. Thus, the symbol of the circle unites the mystery of origin and end.
Here we see an understanding reflected in the great Summa writings of the Scholastics which begin with the discussion of God as the source of being and end with the treatment of eschatology where creation closes back on its point of origin (Hayes).
Pretty, pretty weird. But is it weird enough?
What if... what if the circle is a river, maybe even a riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay... Like some kind of commodius vicus of recirculation, or samething.
imagine the circle to be a river. For, as we read in Eccl 1:7, the river returns to its point of origin.... (Hayes).
Okay, fact check. Here's the Biblical passage in context:
The wind whirls in a circular motion / And returns full circle. / All rivers flow to the sea, / Yet the sea shall not be filled. / To the place where the rivers flow, / There they return again...,
Hmm. What kind of sea can never be filled? Easy: the sea of being. Being + being does not add up to more Being. Nor, for that matter, does Creator + creation = more Creator.
Now, is it time to admit this post is slowly going nowhere?
Here's an intriguing point about demons:
The demons are allergic to reality, like a man who happened to be allergic to oxygen (Bonino).
Now we're getting somewhere. Does this imply that people who are allergic to reality are evidence of demonic influence? Or do you have a better explanation for progressives?
At the very least it highlights the question of whether the things we might be tempted to attribute to demonic activity might have a more banal explanation.
Again, animals are not demonic because they have no free will to exploit. They just do what they're hardwired to do. But man lives in an epistemological and moral phase space, and this is, I believe, where the Hostile Forces may exert influence.
It's one reason why they say idle hands are the work of the devil. Don't even get me started on the idle minds of the tenured!
Another important point is that demons aren't "below" us; rather, since they are angels, they are ontologically above no matter how lowdown they are. They chose their path, and they would like for us to make the same choice. But in their case, the choice is said to have been instantaneous and final, whereas for us, time takes time. Except for Jesus and Mary, it is never a straight line between here and our proper end.
We'll conclude with this:
For God grants his creatures not only their existence but also the dignity of acting on their own, of being causes and principles for each other, and thus cooperating in the accomplishment of his plan.
the closer a creature is to God -- in other words, the higher and more perfect it is in the hierarchy of beings -- the more important is its participation in the execution of the benevolent designs of providence (Bonino).
This applies to angels and men, except that "the supernatural adventure of men" not only "unfolds in time," but was preceded by -- or possibly even sparked by -- something "instigated by the revolt of the demon, so that it is like the deleterious prolongation thereof."
Ah, another hint: demons are always revolting, in more ways than one.