April 13, 2013

Angels & Demons. ~ Jesse Herriott

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The Lucifer Effect.

Have you ever awakened out of your sleep because of some unconscious urge that you couldn’t resist—whether that urge is something good or something bad? If that doesn’t apply to you, then can you remember a time in which you felt an overwhelming feeling to have, try, taste, touch, or experience something that would otherwise be taboo?

Some psychologists call it The Lucifer Effect—not in the sense of fundamental Christianity, but it does shine some light as to why good people seem to do some very bad things.

Whether you think that sexual relationships outside of a committed relationship is right or wrong—you have to admit that something had to be a catalyst to even trigger the idea to partake of the taboo. And sex isn’t our only coping mechanism—there are just as many addictions as there are stars in the sky. Our generation has even seen the addition of two brand new addictions to the behavioral disorder’s handbook-internet addiction and video gaming addictions.

But the real question would have to be why we partake of some of these career-shattering, relationship-destroying, self-sabotaging things.

I don’t believe it has anything to do with intelligence. In most cases, individuals that are “caught” with their hand in their respective cookie jars are probably reasonable people. I think that there is something bigger at play—impulses working within our souls that some of our religions and mythologies tried to warn us about.

Our religions and mythologies tell wonderful tales of angels and demons. To start with the more taboo notion, the word demon in the Greek is actually translates as the word “daimones” and it refers to an unconscious and sometimes conscious impulse or longing for something that overcomes an individual’s sense of judgment.

Now, depending on the society and culture in which you reside, that impulse may not be as harshly viewed. And there’s enough evidence from our history that exemplifies that—from the abuse of suspect classes, to less severe acts that only affect the individual partaking of them.

The stories that we hear of angels have the same effect—the word itself in Greek basically means messenger or message. We often describe our encounters with these supernatural energies as otherworldly and we often give them non-humanly attributes. Yet, our descriptions aren’t often far-fetched because it is difficult to describe a psychological and emotional encounter with words.

If angels and daimones are viewed correctly, we can see them as messages or impulses that arise up from our unconscious—on a soul level. It is what we choose to do with those messages by way of our interpretation and application of them that makes those impulses, hormones and overall feelings more demonic rather than angelic.

If we view God as embodying both masculine and feminine attributes, then maybe we can also view God as both love and law, angelic and daimonic, embodying a perfect balance of those two extremes. Nature is often peaceful, but it can also be violent when destructive weather patterns are taken into account.

But the key is found in finding balance.

It does not matter whether you can achieve harmony and balance through meditation, yoga, spiritual practice, or medication—as long as you do find that balance. None of us are exempt from being off-centered or more daimonic rather than angelic. Our experience of this dual nature is a part of the mystery that we call the human experience. But we do have the power of will, which enables us to take control over our souls, rather than allowing those inner voices and urges to take control over us.


Jesse Herriott is a spiritual writer and teacher. A PhD Candidate in Gender Psychology, Jesse lectures on the intersections of Spirituality and Psychology. Jesse’s writings have appeared in both print and online indie magazines and journals—from India’s ASANA International Journal of Yoga to New Thought, the magazine of the International New Thought Alliance, Elephant Journal, and a host of others. Jesse also writes articles for (www.unity.org), including monthly installments for Unity’s 2012 Discover the Power Series and the current 2013 Sacred Living Series, as well as pieces for Unity blessing booklets and Daily Word. And he hosts a weekly radioshow on Unity Online Radio )  called Living on Purpose  (www.unity.fm/program/livingonpurpose). To contact Jesse directly, visit him on the web at www.jessherriott.com,  Facebook ( www.facebook.com/jesse.herriott), or Twitter (@jessherriot).

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Assistant Editor: Lacy Ramunno/Kate Bartolotta

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