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Apparitions of the demons and the patristic response


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#1 John Mitchell

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 05:19 PM

In the Way of a Pilgrim, There is a character whose worldly best friend objected to the presence of the Gospels in the same room as him. When he wouldn't say why, the character tossed the Gospels toward him to get rid of and the friend vanished. Also in many places the Fathers caution about apparitions and temptations that come in the hour of death, even deamons taking the appearance of angels so as to beguile into perdition at the last minuite. (how could this relate to the use of mind numbing painkillers on dying orthodox)

Is it not, in our spiritual warfare, good praxis to prepare not only against subtle thoughts and temptations that we are accustomed to being bombarded with all day long, as well as a different tactic the evil one could use at any time such as a seemingly concrete experience that no RATIONAL one would ever expect or admit to for fear of being viewed as a lunatic?

How can something dealt with hevily in patristic and monastic writings of the Orthodox Chuch for 2000 years be so beyond the scope of its forums?

#2 Anna Stickles

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 04:59 PM

Maybe not beyond the scope of this forum, just outside the experience of any of us here. :-) Most of the people I read about who are physically seeing demons are ascetics whose noetic senses are more awake, although there was a story about someone in one of the biographies of the Optina elders who evidently could see demons all the time and the elder specified that this was simply something natural to him, not something that came as result of struggle.

If we are told that the best tactic to use for the mental attacks the demons make is to not pay a lot of attention to them, but simply go on with our life as Christian, I imagine the same would be true for any other type of manifestation.

As for fear of how other people view us, I think that fearing how other people see us or allowing thoughts about what other people might think about us into our minds is one of those things we are supposed to fight against.

#3 Ilaria

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 06:35 AM

I would add that every path has its own way, its own battle; while those who are living in the cities are fighting with the attacks of the demons through people, those living in the desert are fighting directly with the demons; to me it seems that you find somehow the attacks 'under cover' easier; however, I found them harder. why? because in the city, one have to fight not only with the attacks coming from demon temptations, but to know how to deal with man passions; and this battle should be much more wiser in order not to fall from the command 'love your neighbor as yourself'...and this requires prayers.a lot of!

#4 Kusanagi

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 11:22 AM

It is something that can only be guided by experience of people who has fought and struggled against demonic apparitions not explained though text how best to deal with such things.

#5 Jason Hunt

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 02:26 PM

Perhaps echoing some of what has been mentioned above, demonic apparitions are probably very rare, and most people on these forums are unlikely to encounter such things. Even in monasteries monks may not see such apparitions which are perhaps more commonly experienced by solitary hesychasts (hermits). If a person experiences such a thing, a discussion forum is a bad place to discuss such an experience, which should only be shared with an experienced spiritual father.




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