Author Topic: evil spirits  (Read 2006 times)

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Offline Seamus

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evil spirits
« on: April 21, 2008, 11:23:20 AM »
Can evil spirits read our thoughts? I know sometimes I silently pray to God and He understand me, but do the demons have the same power? Also, can the Theotokos and the Saints read our thoughts?
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Offline jlerms

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Re: evil spirits
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2008, 11:27:35 AM »
Good question.  I am interested to hear an answer on this one as well.

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Offline Anastasios

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Re: evil spirits
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2008, 11:28:41 AM »
No, demons cannot read our minds.
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Offline Seamus

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Re: evil spirits
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2008, 11:34:02 AM »
No, demons cannot read our minds.


Can Mary and the Saints?
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: evil spirits
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2008, 01:18:03 AM »

Can Mary and the Saints?
Only if God allows them to do so.  If God does not grant the Theotokos and the Saints this power, then the answer to your question is no.  Now, the question is, does God allow Mary and the Saints to read our thoughts?
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: evil spirits
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2008, 01:24:46 AM »
No, demons cannot read our minds.
Can you imagine how much more difficult our lives would be if they could?  Heaven forbid!  Thank God they cannot.
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Offline BrotherAidan

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Re: evil spirits
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2008, 07:38:48 AM »
But the evil spirits do know our sinful inclinations and passions so, like gamblers, they likely play the odds with regard to what we are probably thinking and then can insinuate the appropriate evil thought to us or incite us in some way or another toward sinful thoughts and actions.

That being said. on the other hand, I know that with myself, I often lead myself into temptation, so that the evil spirits certainly are not collecting over time pay tempting me to sin.
When I pray, "lead us not into tempatation" I most often mean, "help me not to tempt my self."

Offline RLNM

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Re: evil spirits
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2008, 08:48:54 AM »
No, demons cannot read our minds.

I've always been rather terrified of thinking about, much less actually discussing outloud the evil one, because it felt like I was drawing his attention to me.  I know this is probably silly, especially since he is aware of my existance, but well, it is just a crazy little phobia. (we need a smily to show lighthearted nervousness)
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Offline Simayan

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Re: evil spirits
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2008, 09:36:49 AM »
I've always been rather terrified of thinking about, much less actually discussing outloud the evil one, because it felt like I was drawing his attention to me.  I know this is probably silly, especially since he is aware of my existance, but well, it is just a crazy little phobia. (we need a smily to show lighthearted nervousness)

Well, considering you/your sponsor spit upon him at baptism, I'm pretty sure he takes it as a declaration of war and has each of us marked specifically.  :D
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Offline RLNM

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Re: evil spirits
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2008, 09:56:55 AM »
I rather agree. And it really doesn't make a difference if we talk about him or not. But that's the thing about irrational fears- they're ridiculous. :)
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Offline serb1389

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Re: evil spirits
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2008, 12:43:02 PM »
demons can only use what we give them.  we have the free will to give up to them what we want.  We can just dismiss them with the jesus prayer and the name of the lord in general. 

Evagrius of Pontus describes the many different kinds of demons and their specific jobs.  If you read this, you can get a better idea of how one patristic mind thinks of these things.  A disclaimer = Evagrius was declared a heretic, but his work is very foundational to understand this topic. 

I have some notes about this that I could send you.  I will PM you about it, as I am not sure if I can make them public yet. 
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: evil spirits
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2008, 12:59:36 PM »
Evagrius of Pontus describes the many different kinds of demons and their specific jobs.  If you read this, you can get a better idea of how one patristic mind thinks of these things.  A disclaimer = Evagrius was declared a heretic, but his work is very foundational to understand this topic. 

I have some notes about this that I could send you.  I will PM you about it, as I am not sure if I can make them public yet. 
I'd be interested in this as well. :)
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Offline Salpy

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Re: evil spirits
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2008, 01:29:27 AM »
Evagrius deals with this in The Praktikos.  Most EO's hold him to be a heretic, but I think the Georgian Church venerates him.  He's a saint in the Armenian Church.

In The Praktikos I don't think he says demons can hear our thoughts, but he indicates that they can somehow induce them.  The concept of the seven deadly sins historically evolved from his work, only in his work they are eight evil thoughts.  He goes into detail about how specific demons induce them and how we can fight them off.  I quoted a little bit of this in reply 2 of this thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12005.0.html

You get the feeling that people in the fourth century saw evil spirits as much more present and real than we do now.  Maybe we don't pay enough attention to the subject anymore.

Offline Salpy

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Re: evil spirits
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2008, 01:35:27 AM »

Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: evil spirits
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2008, 11:19:49 PM »
Most EO's hold him to be a heretic,
Most?  Considering that his works are to be found in the Philokalia, my curiosity is really piqued now.  He does indeed talk about specific jobs of the demons in Texts on Discrimination in Respect of Passions and Thoughts, Sec. 1. Philokalia.

You get the feeling that people in the fourth century saw evil spirits as much more present and real than we do now.  Maybe we don't pay enough attention to the subject anymore.
But rest assured: they pay attention to us... Someone once wrote (was it C.S. Lewis?) that the greatest win for the Devil was not convincing mankind that God did not exist, but that convincing mankind that the he did not exist.  I also remember reading where Fr. Cleopa of Romania was speaking about his time hiding in the forest from the Communists.  Someone in the audience admitted that he didn't know if he really believed in demons or the Devil to which Fr. Cleopa replied (paraphrasing here) "If you saw what I saw in the forests, you would've been able to pull up a great oak tree and ran for your life, even if you were chained to it!"  :o
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