In the wake of the shooting rampage in Connecticut, President Obama announced that a new task force would develop concrete proposals for dealing with gun violence.
As President Obama mentioned, authorities must work to make “access to mental health care at least as easy as access to a gun”. This recent slaughter has ignited renewed national debates over gun control, mental health care, and school safety.
Strict gun control measures, of course, need to be implemented. Along with that, limiting mentally ill people’s access to weapons should also be reconsidered.
“To reduce the risk of multi-victim violence, we would be better advised to focus on early detection and treatment of mental illness,” Washington based think tank, Cato chairman Robert Levy told the Times.
But what is the definition of mentally ill in the first place? And what should be considered effective health care? Will the existing psychiatrists be able to continue to provide effective prescriptions to their patients?
With heartfelt condolences for the innocent victims, we’d like to introduce a few excerpts from Master Ryuho Okawa’s lecture titled The Principles of Spiritual Possession — How to Protect Yourself from Evil Spirits— (this lecture was given on February 11, 2004) which explains how and why ordinary people’s characters change when they are possessed by evil or malicious spirits. We truly hope that this offering will, in an indirect way, contribute to the prevention of an appearance of another Adam Lanza before the enactment of effective laws.
We would like to note that Master Okawa has given a wide variety of lectures regarding spirit possession as well as self-reflection. The following presentation of Master Okawa’s work only represents a small portion of what he has taught us.
Modern Science Cannot Explain the Phenomenon of Possession
The subject of this chapter is “The Principle of Spiritual Possession.” I have talked about the principle of possession on numerous occasions, but I have never treated it as a main theme. Since Happy Science often talks about spiritual possession as a matter of fact, I would like to take this opportunity to explain its meaning and the mechanism in detail.
Western Medicine Treats Possession as a Malfunction of the Brain
If we exclude religion, the only field that deals with possession is medicine or, more precisely, psychiatry. Therefore, if people claim that they are spiritually possessed, that they see or hear spirits, they will most likely be sent to a psychiatrist. Spiritual possession is something that indeed requires some psychological help, so this tendency cannot be completely denied.
At its present level, however, contemporary medicine is unable to explain the phenomenon of possession scientifically. Western medicine seems to know about this phenomenon, but cannot say why it occurs and is unable to explain it scientifically or medically.
Medicine is a science based on the study of the physical body, so at its root is a materialistic way of thinking. Medical science certainly has a role in society, but when confronted with the phenomenon of possession, doctors can only search for a physical cause and they tend to treat it as a problem related to the workings or the structure of the brain. When looked at from a psychiatric viewpoint, possession is generally put down to some kind of malfunction of the brain.
Furthermore, doctors believe that people’s feelings arise together with the workings of the brain. They think that since the mind is simply a function of the brain, a person’s mental condition depends purely on the condition of the brain; if something is wrong with the brain, then the workings of a person’s mind will also be distorted. That is why if somebody says that they can see or hear spirits, and if they claim that some spirit is affecting them, they are treated as psychiatric patients.
Many people are sent to psychiatric hospitals for this reason, but fundamentally, these hospitals are unable to cure people of spiritual possession. They have no way of curing it because medical science does not understand the phenomenon of possession. All they are able to do is medicate the person, keep them quiet, and lock them away in an institution to avoid friction with the general public.
When a spiritual phenomenon like this occurs, if there is nobody close to the victim who understands the spiritual truth, the poor person is likely to be locked away in a mental institution. I feel very sorry for these kinds of people.
They have no way of making any judgments and, consequently, they send the possessed person to a hospital, when, in fact, they should consult a psychic. Then, having no idea what is causing the problem, the hospital simply writes it off as a disease of the brain and keeps the person in an institution.
Of course, some people may become mentally disturbed because of actual damage to the brain, so, in some cases, the problem lies in the body itself. However, there are many cases where the cause is a spiritual one and the problem lies in the mind. Because there is some problem in the person’s mind, they can see or hear spirits.
Having said this, however, although claims such as “Many spirits are visiting me” or “Somebody’s spirit is here now” sound strange to the modern ear, in reality, these claims are completely true from the viewpoint of the Real World.
Possession Means to Be Haunted by a Spirit
Humans Are Spiritual Beings
This three-dimensional world where we live appears to be a vast and boundless place, but it only appears large because we are now living in it. From the perspective of the vast spirit world, this world is like a tiny space that floats in the spirit world. The spirit world itself is extremely large.
While it is possible to measure the circumference and diameter of planet Earth, the spirit world is so immense that it is impossible to measure or even estimate its size. No one knows its total size. In one corner of this vast spirit world, there is a field related to physical objects, and that is the three-dimensional world where humans are living. This is the truth and, unless you change your way of thinking, you will not be able to understand any of the spiritual truths.
As I have taught repeatedly in the past, humans are spiritual beings, and their spiritual existence is their true self. Humans spend long years living as spiritual beings and their real life belongs to the spirit world. While living in the spirit world, however, the material world undergoes various developments. Therefore, when a new age arises, spirits come down to live for a time on Earth to create new relationships with people, enjoy the changes in the physical environment, and gain new experiences. Having gained new enlightenment and a new personality, they eventually return to the spirit world.
After returning to the spirit world, they live on the fourth, fifth, or sixth dimension for a time in the same form as they took on Earth, but in time their experiences of life on Earth become outdated. They are then unable to understand what the new returnees are talking about and find them looking very different.
Spirits in the other world work as a guardian spirit, guiding spirit, or supporting spirit, helping people living on Earth, but gradually they find themselves unable to understand what is happening on Earth. When this happens, they decide to set out once more and are born on Earth where they learn new ways or a new sense of life. Humans repeatedly reincarnate on Earth in this way.
Seen From the Spirit World, This World Is a Precarious Place
The spirit world and this world are related to one another, but what is valued in this world differs greatly from what is valued in the spirit world; the values are usually completely reversed. In fact, life in the spirit world is the true life, or the main life of the soul. People on Earth are blind to this spiritual life, however, and they are living using only about 10 percent of their true senses.
From the viewpoint of the spirit world or the spirit body, life on Earth is like a trip down the shaft of an excavated coal mine, which is several hundred or several thousand feet deep, with only the light on your helmet. That is how precarious this world appears from the spirit world. Although you have a light, you are surrounded by darkness and you cannot really tell where you are walking.
To the eyes of the guardian and guiding spirits in the other world, life on Earth is akin to traveling several thousand feet down a pitch-black tunnel with only one small light to see by. So these spirits are always worrying about you because this world appears dangerous and accidents are inclined to happen.
The material world exists under a set of such extraordinarily special conditions.
In order to live in this world, where one must rely on food and other material objects, humans are provided with physical bodies. Like other animals, these bodies come with an instinct to live. If people follow their instincts, they will be able to survive. If they eat when they are hungry and do as their body demands, they are generally able to live. Humans are given instincts like a screw propeller for living through life in this world. While people are living on Earth, however, they tend to forget about the spirit world.
Some people may ask why we forget about the spirit world. People who do not believe in the spirit world, such as some scientists, might ask, “Why do we lose the memories of the spirit world? Why should we forget it? It is very strange that this should happen.” However, what would happen if we were able to see, hear, and feel spirits? Life here in the third dimension would become much more difficult.
Spirits Can Overlay Each Other
In this world, it is impossible for two objects to exist in the same space. If there are different objects, they will strike each other.
On the other hand, the laws of the spirit world differ and it is possible for two objects to occupy the same space. This means that if two spirits walk into each other, even if their bodies come into contact, they can pass through each other’s bodies.
In this world it is impossible to pass through a wall, but spirits have no trouble walking through walls. In the spirit world, different entities can exist in the same place simultaneously and are capable of passing through each other.
The principle of possession is related to this. While it is physically impossible for two objects to exist in the same place, when it comes to spirits, two or three can overlie one another.
In a human’s body resides a spiritual body, which is slightly larger than the physical body. These two bodies make up a human on Earth. But what would happen if another spirit were to enter the physical body? Of course, spirits can physically ride on something or they can push someone from behind, but they can also overlap other spirits. This is how a spirit can coexist in the same body of a person.
Possession Is a State in Which a Spirit Affects a Person on Earth
Academically, the word possession refers mainly to a phenomenon that is visible to the human eye. I am sure that you have heard of shamans who live in jungles in tropical or subtropical regions. They are holy people who hold séances, go into trances, and take on a different personality. They dance, sing, and suddenly break into speech, and their communion with the spirit world sometimes lasts for up to an hour or two.
During this time, the spirit of an ancestor may enter a shaman’s body or one of the gods may speak through the shaman, putting him or her into an unnatural state. Onlookers can tell right away that the shaman is acting in an unusual manner. When the spirit expresses itself violently though a person’s body in a way that is visible to others, it is often called the “phenomenon of possession” in the fieldwork.
This phenomenon can be commonly observed in regions where religions have been passed down from ancient times, places such as Africa, Indonesia, and South America, among others. This can also be seen in the Native American cultures of North America. Each tribe has a shaman, that is to say a spiritual medium, who is capable of calling down spirits.
Contrary to this, I use the word possession in a wider sense, not referring simply to the kind of possession that everybody can see and understand. Possession is a state wherein a being from the spirit world inhabits a person constantly (or for a limited period), and influences his or her thoughts and actions. Generally the word possession is thought to refer to the taking over of a body by a malicious or evil spirit, but gods can also enter people’s bodies. So it actually refers to the state of being possessed by a spirit, be it good or bad.
The phenomenon of possession is not limited to the state of trance as experienced by a shaman calling down a spirit upon him, but also occurs in people who live their ordinary daily life while being constantly affected by a particular spirit. The spirits in the other world can be roughly divided into those who live in Hell and those who live in Heaven, so the affecting spirit can be good or bad. Although the word possession is not generally used in this context, it can also refer to the state in which a person is receiving continuous advice from his or her guardian spirit. This is not exactly possession, but it is closely related.
The spirits in Hell cannot spend all their time possessing people on Earth. They will come to Earth when somebody is in a condition suitable for possession, but when this is no longer the case, spirits cannot stay. After they leave a person on Earth, these evil spirits return to their “domicile” in Hell, the place where they ought to be.
Hell is divided into numerous realms such as the Hell of Hungry Spirits, the Hell of Beasts, the Hell of Lust, the Hell of Strife (Asura Realm), and so on, and most of the spirits return to the particular area where they belong. When a person on Earth is emitting negative thoughts, however, the spirits return to possess and whisper in his or her ear.
On the other hand, spirits in the heavenly realm have their own jobs in the other world. For instance, guardian spirits look after their soul siblings living on Earth, but they too have their own work and their own lives in the other world, so generally they only come to Earth when they feel that their advice is necessary. Therefore, although spirits may be here on Earth for a certain time, they will most likely be gone after a while. There are times when spirits are possessing and when they are not.
Overshadowing—Two or Three Spirits Can Exist Simultaneously
Possession is when a spirit comes to someone’s body and inf luences the soul dwelling within it. When the two spirits overlap one another and inf luence the person, it is called “overshadowing.” Possession works like a shadow, with the spirit covering the soul from above. That is why it is called “overshadowing.” If the tendencies of the soul of the possessed person and the possessing spirit are very similar, they can remain overlapping one another. Sometimes three spirits can coexist within a single body.
Members of Happy Science often watch videos of my lectures at a local branch and they sometimes notice that light suddenly appears in a flash around my head. An aura of golden light, four to eight inches wide, glows around me. It does not shine continuously, rather it f lashes occasionally while I am speaking. Sometimes a disk of golden light, like a golden tray, appears out of my side, or a column of light descends and sits on my head.
I am sure that many people will experience this while watching my lectures. If you look closely, you will see the golden light f lashing off and on. This is what is called a halo and this golden light appears when a supporting spirit comes down to overlap my own spirit body. When the golden column appears over my head, it means that a ray of light has descended from the heavenly realm. This is how people can see the light coming down onto me.
Thus, two or three spiritual bodies can coexist in the same space, influencing one another.