Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Exorcising the Demon of Madness

Human nature, in its frequent emotional outbursts of quirkiness attesting to a wide range of foibles, odd characteristics and a multitude of seemingly mystifying convictions and compulsions that complicate the lives of people equals various levels of mental disequilibrium; insanity. The human brain is a complex mechanism, one still little understood, but with the understanding that a combination of inherited tendencies and environmental stimulants along with familial and social exposure to the culture of learning to live within society results in sometimes strangely peculiar combinations of personalities.

Some people are more susceptible to suggestion, to reacting disproportionately and doing self-harm then reaching out to harm others due to the fragility of their mind's ability to discern fact from fantasy. Many people learn to live with their inhibiting fears and fascinations, others are crushed by them. Some recognize they have a problem, others balk at the very suggest that they might be psychologically unstable.
"Diabolical possessions are on the increase as a result of people subscribing to occultism. The few exorcists that we have in the dioceses are often not able to handle the enormous number of requests for help."
Francesco Bamonte president, International Association for Exorcists, Italy
File:Saintfrancisborgia exorcism.jpg

Saintfrancisborgia exorcism -- Francisco Goya

The International Association for Exorcists was founded in 1993 by Gabriele Amorth who claims to have conducted thousands of exorcisms as the Vatican's chief exorcist. His books on exorcism include The Last Exorcist -- My Fight Against Satan. He considers yoga to be "evil", leading inexorably to the worship of eastern religions. Proof that the Antichrist was waging a war against the Holy See could be seen in the sex abuse scandals rocking the church in the U.S. Ireland, Australia and elsewhere.

Does this man sound in good mental balance? On the other hand, the Catholic Church is founded on the faith that a universal, omniscient, omnipresent spirit invested his son in the persona of a human to express his love for humankind. It is a matter of profound faith, of total surrender of the surety of logic requiring proof of the existence of anything, that leads to the worship of an all-powerful god. If the mind can accommodate the existence and power of an unseen spirit, why not that of the devil?

The church itself claims that the majority of people believing themselves to be possessed by the devil suffer from mental-health issues; paranoia, depression for example, and they are advised to seek out medical assistance. A few such cases prove to be beyond the capabilities of medical science to solve. Therein lies proof of the existence of the devil. It is evident that the afflicted individual has been invaded by evil, requiring the formality of an exorcism.

"In the case where a mental illness is apparent, we try to send them to a doctor" advised Vincenzio Taraborelli, a priest serving a church whose location is just a few hundred yards from Vatican Ciy. He clarifies that the need for exorcisms is "rare, very rare". That there has been seen a rise in demonic cases and understandably so, results from more people interested in black magic, paganism, Satanic rites and Ouija boards. Dangerous pursuits that unhinge peoples' minds.

If one commits oneself to an exploration of the dark arts, seeking out ways and meant to come in some measure of discernible contact with the devil, it is not impossible that the conduct will occur. The most modern of technological advances in communication through the advent and usefulness of the Internet make it possible, for there are those connected to these black arts who seek adherents and post the ways and means to the dark passage to madness on Internet websites.

The human being is a mind-curious animal. One given to exploration. Seeking out the mysterious byways of what cannot be seen. An animal that succumbs readily to the ennui of having solved all of life's other challenges and mysteries, and wishing to elevate themselves toward another presumed sphere of existence through exposure to the forbidden and threatening. If the challenge is seen to be there, there will be those to take the challenge.

The enlightened within the church may feel talk of the devil, of possession, of exorcism is an embarrassment to a modern, intelligent mind. Yet that belief is alive and flourishing. Italy seems to be a hotbed of such activity; Milan nominated recently seven new exorcists; the bishop of Naples appointed three new ones latterly, and the Catholic Church in Sardinia is training three priests in Rome as exorcists in recognition that its mountainous interior is a burgeoning occult centre.

The archbishop of Madrid, Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, has chosen eight priests to undergo the specialized training for the purpose of confronting "an unprecedented rise" in cases of "demonic possession." There have been too many instances when the Spanish church had come across cases that "go beyond the competence of psychologists", occurring with "a striking frequency", according to the archbishop.

And certainly he should know.

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