When we think of the word "possession" we usually think of a physical being who is "possessed by an evil spirit". Some people believe that such things can take place, while most people in our materialistic age, at least here in the West, consider that "possession" is an old superstition and that there are no spirits, either evil or good. But the physical world is full of people who are evil and good. Most have both something good and something evil so-called in their consciousness, and so it has been throughout the ages. The human being is a spiritual as well as a physical being, and the evil or good which constitutes his consciousness or spirit does not disappear because he dies. He still lives in his thought-world and, just as he, while living in his physical organism, could influence other people with his thoughts, so can he also, after having left the above-mentioned organism, come into contact with the thought-worlds of other living beings, both those beings who, like himself, are separated from their physical organisms, that is, those who are "dead", and those beings who still have an organism on the physical plane. The natural contact between the spiritual and the so-called physical beings takes place when the latter are sleeping. When one thinks one has dreamt about someone who has died it is in most cases because one has been with the person in question on the spiritual plane. It happens because one is on the same "wavelength"; each has something purely spiritual to give to the other, something on one´s mind with which one can benefit and please the other, precisely in the same way as each could while living together in the physical world.
By sending any deceased enemy loving thoughts one is protected from being possessed by this enemy
But it is not only love, friendship and common interests which can "bind" people together in the physical world; it can also be that unfoldment of consciousness we call hate. When one human being hates another he thereby releases a spiritual power which, if the person towards whom the hate is directed is also hateful, binds the two together in a common "hell". This hell continues to exist as long as the persons concerned hate each other, and it can stretch over many incarnations. The parties can free themselves from their hell when they overcome their hate, but if they die with this hate in their consciousness it will inevitably haunt them on the spiritual plane because it is a spiritual reality. The one who is "dead" really has, in certain cases, the possibility to pursue and "possess" his enemy if this enemy is not protected by his own thoughts, which he certainly is not if these thoughts are bitter and hateful. Had he, on the other hand, overcome his hate and forgiven his enemy, this enemy would not be able to get power over him in any way at all. One must not therefore believe that one needs to be afraid of being possessed in such a way. If people with whom one has perhaps not had the best relations are dead, one should think lovingly of them, if possible pray for them that they may find peace; then one not only helps to remove one´s own hell but those thought-impulses one sends to the deceased can help this enemy when he sooner or later has had enough of that "purgatory" which his hate, together with other primitive thought-climates, has created around him. When he has prayed for help and his guardian angels have through suggestion removed the dark thoughts, every single loving impulse which is sent to him from other beings will be a helping factor and have the effect of a light in the darkness. Furthermore, when these two people meet each other in a later incarnation that loving impulse which was once sent out will contribute to creating a better atmosphere between them.
Possession is in reality the same as hypnosis
But what is "possession" really? What does it is mean to be "possessed"? It is best to use a phenomenon which is known here in the physical world as the starting point for the understanding of this principle. Possession is in reality the same as hypnosis. A being who is subject to the will of a hypnotist is possessed by something of the hypnotist's consciousness. Consciousness is the same as spirit, so the medium or the hypnotised person is thus possessed by something of the hypnotist's spirit. Hypnosis differs from what one usually calls "possession" only in that under hypnosis the hypnotised person is "possessed" by a being who has an organism on the physical plane, while the person during "possession" is actually possessed by a being who does not have a physical organism, and whom the hypnotized or "possessed" person therefore cannot see. The later situation is therefore more dangerous. It is easier to guard oneself against a being one can observe than against one who is invisible. It is also here that the danger in spiritualistic seances and in using a pendulum and automatic writing can lie since those people who in this way literally invite spiritual beings into their atmosphere are not always protected against beings who want to have power over others and who do not hesitate to make believe that they are some great spirit or deceased relative or friend who has come to visit. It can certainly happen that through a seance one comes into contact with deceased people whom one loves, but it may also be a fraud. It is often thought that the only fraud that can take place is the medium's fraud, if any. But this is not true. The medium can perhaps be very upright and honest, and still the seance can be a fraud because the beings who come through the medium are certainly not who they say they are.
When we work at developing our capacity for love, we are all in contact with spiritual beings without needing to talk to them through mediums
So one should not uncritically or blindly make oneself receptive to everything that comes from the spiritual plane. The human being's further development depends on his awake day-consciousness and its transformation into cosmic consciousness and not on blindly giving himself over to psychic beings whose spiritual quality and capacity for neighbourly love he cannot judge. We are all thus in contact with spiritual beings who are the Godhead's instruments, and when we work at developing the loving and intellectual qualities of our thoughts we come onto the same wavelength as spiritual beings who give us impulses and help us without us having to talk to them through mediums. The most healthy and most natural contact a terrestrial human being can have with the spiritual, besides that which takes place through sleep, is that through thought-concentration we call prayer. Christ has taught the human being to pray - not to one or another guardian angel but to "Our Father, who art in heaven". "Heaven" is everywhere, it is God's consciousness, and God's consciousness is everywhere; no being can be outside it. The guardian angels are God's organs of love through which he manifests his love to everything living, and terrestrial human beings are themselves on their way to becoming organs of love in the Godhead's organism. This does not mean that they will be blind mediums. For this future manifestation of life quite other characteristics are demanded: namely, in addition to a strong and living ability to love, comprehensive knowledge of and insight into the cosmic laws and principles of life. It is thus a matter of a day-conscious intellectual state, an unfoldment of creative ability and ingenuity for the benefit of the whole. It is precisely to acquire these characteristics that the terrestrial human being incarnates again and again in the physical world in order that he can learn to think in accordance with life's own laws or the basic tone of the universe. In this way people free themselves from all forms of "possession" of their consciousness by beings who want power and want to use them as instruments for their own selfish purposes and expression of desire. They become free, sovereign "sons of God", who are able to think God's thoughts and display that manifestation and creation which is the Godhead's will .
To lie is to some extent to "possess" another human being with one´s thought-world
"Possession" or hypnosis is not only something which is practised by individual beings who as a result gain a certain power over another being; it is a principle which is on the whole quite widespread and prevalent among terrestrial human beings. Most people are in one way or another the victim of "possession", which they do not think of under this name. But it is known under another name: a lie or an untruth. Wherever and whenever a human being tells another human being a lie, the latter has been persuaded by suggestion to believe that it is the truth he has come to know. He is thus to some degree "possessed" by the other's thought-world, and continues to be as long as he believes what the other has said. When he realises that it was not true, he is free from this "possession". However, a lie can be either conscious or unconscious. Some people lie consciously; that is, they distort the facts and deceive other people because they believe they will gain some advantage by abusing other people's good faith. Yet there are also many forms of untruths which are not conscious lies but arise because their source does not know better and believes it is the truth he is telling. Finally, there is that form of untruth which is conscious but cannot be said to cause harm or to gain power over others. It is told purely by one who thinks it is the most loving thing to camouflage the truth to some degree because the person who is to hear it cannot bear the full truth. But whether an untruth is told for evil purposes, because of ignorance, because of sympathy or for any other well-meant reason - and it will in every single case come back to its source as fate in relation to the purpose which lies behind it and the effect it brings about - then such an untruth is a form of possession or suggestion, and in all cases it is something from which mankind, when it is more advanced in evolution, will get away. But of course not all people on Earth today are ready to acquire an understanding of the cosmic or universal truths, and as long as they are not ready, their experience of life must to a greater or lesser extent be based on suggestion or "possession"
The whole of mankind´s religious, political and scientific development has been and is based on mass suggestion and "possession"
The various religions, the political parties with their daily press, and the worlds of science, art and business have the same connection with the term "possession", and both evil and well-meaning purposes as well as ignorance can be the cause of this. Mankind's entire religious development, from fetishism to the great religions of today with all their nuances of sectarian movements, is based on divine suggestion and has been and is "religious suggestion". It is belief in authority which binds its followers together in a common spiritual atmosphere where prophets, priests and other spiritual leaders are the agents through whom the suggestion works. This must not be perceived as criticism, for it has been and is partly still necessary that a great part of mankind is led in such a way. There is, however, much at the present time which clearly shows that many people no longer wish to be subject to such spiritual suggestion. Dogmas and ceremonies can no longer inspire them; they want to know and understand the connection between things. This is the basis for physical science. Now, one must not think that science is completely devoid of suggestion or dogma. It has succeeded in finding the truth in many areas, but a one-sided materialistic attitude to existence can also create prejudice and promote hypotheses which are far from the truth and function as "possession" of the consciousness of the many people who believe in the authority behind everything possessing a scientific or academic stamp. Science will, however, not stop with its materialistic view of life; it is already standing on the frontier of the spiritual world, and its analyses of physical realities in terms of weights and measures will in the future be connected in a natural way with the analyses of the universe's spiritual reality. The political ideologies and parties are also to a great extent based on massuggestion and "possession" by one or more particular ideas which are turned into a kind of materialistic religion with dogmas and doctrines. The political press with its propaganda seeks to "possess" people's consciousness and recruit their votes in order thereby to get power, and the business world's wealth of advertisements in a more or less alluring artistic style is largely an attempt at hypnotising people into spending their money on particular goods so that the businessman can make as large a profit as possible.
The individual spiritual researcher with interest in cosmic analyses must carefully re-examine and study my lifework
All these forms of suggestion and "possession" as well as those variations which occur between individual beings must of necessity exist just as long as mankind's and the individual human being's ability to experience the truth or the laws of life still not completely developed. The individual human beings' further development will come to consist of this: that they gradually free themselves from these suggestions and more and more build up their psyche or consciousness on the basis of insight, knowledge and self-experience. For this, a new science is needed, a science of the universe's spiritual reality, a world-picture which shows the individual local details' dependence on and significance for the whole. Of course there will be people who believe in this spiritual science and make it into a new religion, but this will show that they have not had the ability to understand it. I, with my cosmic analyses, do not wish to be an authority in whom people must believe. The individual spiritual researcher must carefully re-examine and study my lifework. He must confront it with his own experiences. Only then can it be of value to him, when it becomes independent thinking and analysing, when it becomes a help for selfhelp which leads to initiation into the mystery of life itself. It will gradually lead the person in question out of all forms of "hell" or "doomsday", all forms of "possession" or suggestion. All this can of course happen only if the spiritual researcher not only studies but tries to live according to these laws which he begins to see as the living basis of the universe. A life lived according to these laws will make his consciousness vibrate in contact with the the eternal Godhead's flood of thoughts, and a glorious future awaits him as "man in God's image".
Original Danish title: "Besættelse" (published in the Danish edition of KOSMOS no. 16/1972). Translated by Mary McGovern.
© Martinus Institut 1981
Published with permission from Martinus Institute 1999-03-19