Daimons And Demons

„I don’t know what got into me. I was beside myself“.

We don’t hear such apologies only from psychopaths but nearly everyone remembers similar situations in his life. If we can’t explain our own acts or doings we tend to blame some hidden influence, „something came over me“. In modern times often a psychological condition („this happened because my parents never listened…“) is held responsible. But even today we often sense supernatural powers at work: the usual suspects are planets in an astrological sense, like some ancients gods they seem to shape our lives. We blame Mercurius for delays in the public transportation system and of course it’s Saturn who makes the road to success the most painful journey.


It seems daimonic activity is always at work. Following the previous considerations about „Dealing with demons“ its worth to have a closer look what we mean exactly when we talk of daimons or demons. There is a clear distinction to be made here and an attempt of deeper understanding; knowing about daimons means to understand how world-views changed through human history. The idea of the Otherworld or any spiritual realm can’t be imagined without understanding what the concept of „daimons“ meant to Greek philosophy and ancient religions. There is a crucial distinction to be made between demons or the little gargoyles who reside among us (and ruin coffee machines and dishwashers from time to time) and the more god-like daimons. Demons are usually identified as evil-spirits and historians tells us that with Christianity the older daimons became demons.

Who are these daimons?

Plato’s mystical dialogue, „the Timaeus“ describes the Otherworld as „Anima mundi“, the world-soul, which mediated between the One (the transcendent source of all things) and the material, sensory world. The daimons populated the Soul of the World and were the agents of this meditation. Simplified they were kind of messengers, both good and bad, guiding and warning: they were something in-between a god and a mortal being.
For the Greek philosophers the daimons were a very common thing – Socrates mentioned his personal daimon in a way it sounds like some personal coach telling him what to do when he spoke about him. Unlike the greater gods the daimons communicated with men, and some people think they shaped history. Napoleon had a daimon and and many artists are born with a daimon (called “muse”). Jonathan Black wrote a remarkable book about the “Sacred history” how daimons shaped our history. According to Black daemonic influence exists since the early days of creation and continues till today.

The archetypical heroes have often described as daimonic characters. Like modern movie characters the heroes and the villains of our myths are larger than life. Often they seem possessed themselves like the lust-for-revenge-driven characters of “the song of the Nibelungs” or think of Nordic myth. The twisted god Loki is the perfect example of a daimonic person.


Talking about personal daimons in a modern rational way we might think this is like our little invisible friend we had as a child, for instance, “Tony” who warned Danny Torrance about the Overlook hotel in The Shining. We imagine them in our days more like some ghost or perhaps an Guardian Angel.

There is a very serious problem at the bottom of this, and many questions remain to be answered. The fears or the daimonic influence which occurred already long before the dark ages produced not only countless instructions of magic rituals (to use them, to tame them or get rid of them) but the “demonologies” like the notorious “Witches-Hammer” followed by persecution, torture and deadly madness. However if there is one perfect example of demonic possession it’s the crazy writer of the Witches Hammer himself. Like with conspiracy theories we should be aware that maybe its the originator of the conspiracy theory who in fact is the conspirator. Demonologies and some conspiracy theories are good examples of daemonic activities by manipulating people with very seductive ideas.

Later, in the rational age the daimons were suppressed, and many explanations were given which made the daimons non-existent. That backfired even more as the daimons returned in form of neurotic and psychotic disturbances, irrational collective fears and visionary encounters now happening in a nightmarish fashion as the alien abductions. On the other hand a strong wish to “reconnect” with the world-soul drives people to the weirdest actions, hiking 1000 kilometers through the desert, climbing the highest mountains or listen to some phony guru or handing over our savings to a sinister sect. We don’t admit this, but secretly we watch-out for the daimons. We are looking for contact. Sometimes we think we can do this with a radio-telescope or find them in the browser of our I-phone.

Maybe the daimons never left us. They indeed execute their hidden influences even in the megacities and complex mechanisms of a technological driven civilization. If we try to explain some of the most fundamental crisis over the last decades we find good research and scientific and logical explanations but this research often tells us how it happened but if we really ask why the explanations are not really satisfying. How come highly developed societies fail, and why do we find ourselves more at more in a dystopian future despite the fact we knew it all and have highly advanced technologies and communication around the world? It’s complicated since its not working in a way we can easily grasp.

The idea of “demons” is often connected with “demonic possession”. Looking deeper in the history of belief in demons and daimons this concept seems too simple. The daimons as messengers in the sense of the Greek philosophers might be more a kind of negotiators showing us certain possibilities. Even if we meet them deep in the forest they don’t really force us but tempt us to do certain things. Sometimes they want us to teach us things. Therefore its not a bad idea to go deep into the woods to meet them. It’s up to us what we make with the their messages. Yes, there are tricksters our there, there are the twisted gods but who forced us to play their game? Understanding the daemonic can also mean inner development, a deeper understanding of the hidden realm behind our material world – of course, also the opposite is possible, we can get lost, there is maddening and there is possession.

Patrick Harbour describes also “human demons” in the excellent book “Daimonic reality”: There are these people who suddenly come out from nowhere, behave strangely and simply vanish. According to countless accounts otherworldly events happen very close to us. The “Men In Black” originally occurred in reports connected with Ufo-sightings, but were a real thing according to some witness reports. Even if a hoax can be found at the end, life is full of daimonic activities. We know that some crop-circles are made by humans but can’t really figuring out why and how they did it. There might people wearing a fur and posing as YETI or some sort of monster for Youtube, but we don’t really can grasp what drives humans into such crazy actions.

The claims of alien-abductions contain another interesting aspects in the vein of daimonic activities. In the Eighties and Nighties John Edward Mack (October 4, 1929- September 27, 2004), an American psychiatrist and professor at Harvard Medical School, investigated hundreds of alleged alien-abductions cases and came to disturbing conclusions when he looked behind the veil of common Ufo-Belief: In abduction scenarios the witnesses often mentioned the idea of the raise of an alien-hybrid race and reported horrifying experiences. Mack wrote an outstanding book about his research: Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens (1994)

In an interview with NOVA Mack didn’t explained these reports away but gave us an interesting insight when asked about the “alien-hybrid idea”:
“MACK: Sometimes along the way, as you go deeper and deeper into the person’s consciousness, into their experience, they will discover….what is called a dual identity. In other words, that they are both human—in one dimension; but they also are themselves, have an alien identity.

That they are participatory in this reproductive hybrid program, as if they were altogether part of it. And that they may, in fact, even experience themselves as aliens. 

One of the men in my book actually was an active participant in taking a woman from Texas up into the ship and being, and acting the reproductive function of the alien being, and felt he was himself alien. And often the abductees will feel that their job, developmentally, is to integrate these two And that the alien dimension is a part of ourselves, our souls, if you will even, from which we were or have been cut off over the centuries of human beings living on this earth in this densely embodied form” (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/aliens/johnmack.html.) 

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