While many of the secular materialists, who dominate Western culture and science these days, applaud the left-leaning policies of Pope Francis I, they have, nonetheless, been dismayed by his emphasis on the role of evil in the world; his frequent mentions of the Devil; and his open advocacy of exorcism. Those who believe that reality can be entirely explained by ordinary physical laws, are much threatened by the notion that invisible and undiscovered forces could underlie visible events; and they seek to dismiss such ideas as nothing more than superstition—the unfortunate legacy of the very dark history of the human race.
The Catholic Church, we learn, takes evil very seriously; and some of its leaders, including Pope Francis, want the church to be much more aggressive in confronting it. Press reports in September described calls from Church scholars to increase the number of exorcists. Psychologist Valter Casciola, a consultant to the International Association of Exorcists (endorsed by the Church) says the lack of priests capable of fighting the forces of evil is an “emergency.”
Recognition of the existence of an ancient warfare of good and evil is certainly not unique to the Catholic, or other Christian churches. Mystics and scholars of many esoteric traditions, from Theosophists to Sufis, from Gnostics to Zoroastrians, have long understood the need to align with the forces of ‘light,’ and to seek to overcome ‘darkness.’ The Church, with good cause, blames the proliferation of occult and satanic practices through the Internet for an upsurge in the number of people falling into the clutches of sheer evil. The case can be made, however, that a failure to educate the next generation in the true nature of what has also been called the ‘battle of Armageddon,’ is, we think, the core of the problem.
Where once initiates were carefully and arduously schooled in the understanding and respect for invisible forces at work in life, today millions upon millions are left
to stumble upon the truth by accident and, more often than not, to find themselves totally unprepared for the challenge, unaware that they can and should call for angelic assistance. Missing for most is any insight into the existence of the vast wilderness of disembodied, and lost, earthbound entities of every imaginable form and motive, which lurk, in the spiritual sewer known as the astral plain (also called ‘Hell’), just beyond the tangible world that can be seen and touched. Most of these beings are parasites who, like mosquitos, are looking for any energy they can steal from those operating in actual physical bodies. Some are much more evil, though—ancient fallen angels, these are driven by an intense hatred for the natural order, against which they have rebelled for aeons, and are still on the prowl. Many have made it into physical bodies like ours where they collude with their disembodied brethren, and, as the Bible puts it, “go about seeking whom they may devour.” The blindness of potential victims to the dangers involved, is an important asset for such dark spirits, who do all they can—through distraction, temptation, outright lies, or anything else that works—to foster it.
Still, the only remedy for darkness continues to be—though often painful—more light. Let us pray that it be forthcoming.