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What exactly is a demon?
#1
Do they have a society? If so, they can't be pure evil, else their society would collapse.
Are they more like lions and tigers and bears (oh my!), in that they are a danger to humans but not inherently evil?
Of the countless different religions, which best describes what a demon is?
If humans could possess other humans, and move around without being seen, then I'd say humans would act pretty "demonic." Just look at the internet with all the trolling to see how humans can behave when they feel hidden.
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  • Mika
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#2
Well, the term demon was originally coined as a Greek term "δαίμων". Oddly enough, there was nothing inherently "demonic" or evil about them. Consider them to be akin to demi-gods. The literal translation was "godlike", which just puts them on another level of classification than simple humans and spirits, but not so powerful as to be outright gods.

Essentially, you could have both good and bad "godlike" beings. Some "daimon" could interact amicably with humanity and the like, without being hostile or malicious. The term was then co-opted by the Romans and turned into "daemon", and eventually was tainted in definition to refer to those spirits/beings that were largely hostile toward others and malicious in intent. I like to think that this happened because it was easier to control people through fear, not because anything actually "demonic" was legitimately evil.

If you ask me, the most logical existence of the demonic is in that of the Greeks. You can have both benevolent and malevolent beings.

Now, if you were to talk about Christianity, in the sense of angels and demons, you have hierarchy on both sides. That means that, yes, there is a society of demons. However, that society and hierarchy exists in hell and as the interplay between them. They can be pure evil, and their society would not collapse, literally due to that hierarchical attribute. Also keep in mind that the state that demons have been described as "godlike" means that they are a pure-form of a primal virtue or vice.

What I mean by that is: A demon of malice would display malice in its unfettered form. A demon of patience would represent the pure pinnacle of patience. What separates one demon (in the hierarchy) from another is how many of these virtues or vices they manifest, how long they've been at it, and whether or not they are in the favour of an alleged "divine being". (I.E. Lucifer, God, or any of the pantheon deities)

For instance: In satanism, Belial is independence, self-sufficiency, and personal accomplishment. These three things can be acquired through a collection of virtues/vices that you are to make manifest in yourself. Belial is the representation of the collection of those virtues and vices. He is also one of the kings of hell. The larger the list of things they represent, the more influencial a demon seems to be.

Also, if you are to believe that deities' power are equal to their follower-base, then the more things they represent, the more of a following they can potentially amass. That makes it important to appeal to as many types of people as possible.

If there are any questions/if I seem to have left anyhting out, I'll do my best to address them! This was fun!
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  • CareTaker, kade, Mika, Vultyrex
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#3
Your reply was fine, you explained everything clearly enough, and without being long-winded. I probably do have some questions, but I think you gave me enough info to enable me to research for myself for now. Indeed, you've possibly allowed me to join the dots to something I was thinking about recently. So thanks!
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#4
No problem! I hit that point of curiosity about 8 years ago, in uni. I wanted to learn more, so I picked up a book on witchcraft and the occult. Then, I started looking up the root of where the word demon came from. So, I promise you that the only part of my description, that purely conjecture, was when I began connecting the dots (much like yourself) about what gave a demon its status.

I mean...obviously, no one could ever know. So, you have to start applying logic at some point, I guess.
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#5
While I agree that K-Ra’s post was… how do I say this?  ‘The post was both 'intelligent and eloquent’ makes me sound like a some kinda fangirl but ‘clear and adequately covered the subject matter’ makes me sound snarky.

It was thorough and articulate.  I’ll go with that   Icontexto-emoticons-04-032x032

I do have one small bit to add, however.  Really, just a nit picking on word choice.  I’m a word nerd you see, and word combinations matter in ways that most non-nerds rarely notice.

It’s the pairing of Lucifer and God.  (Not the paring of the two, but the pairing… get it?  Hahahhahhahahaa…)

The phrase ‘Lucifer and God’ gives one a false sense of equivalency between the two.  Lucifer is not the antithesis of God.  He’s more on a level with Archangel Michael.  Small thing, as this is not a thread about Lucifer or God, per se… but…

The phrase ‘angels and demons’ is another common false equivalency.  The antithesis of an angel would be an angel fallen, one of the third of angels in Heaven who followed Lucifer in revolt.  If you want to talk hierarchies of good and evil, demons aren’t even on a footing with saints, let alone angels.  Instead, think of the guy who runs to the liquor store to get his fallen angel boss a pack of cigs and a fifth of scotch?  That’s a demon.  Assuming it’s lucky.  There are lower, fouler things that even fallen angels won’t touch… 

*eerie music playing*

    Blueoh

Aside from sanctimoniously correcting my friend K-Ra… we’re such buddies, in fact, I gave him a nick name… how does this relate to yr question?

Lucifer and his fellow fallen angels don’t give half a pair o’ shites about us humans or with walking the Earth.  They consider it and us beneath their attention.  Their true beef is with God.  They want to claim Heaven for their own.

Demons, on the other hand, are petty little creatures birthed up by Lilith in one of the most fascinating biblical tales… I won’t bother to recount it here, as it is quite lengthy and not necessarily relevant. 

Let’s just say that demons have no ability to touch the physical world except by convincing you to invite them into yr life… and then, they will spitefully screw everything you love into the dirt and move on.

Please, keep in mind, this is strictly from a Christian viewpoint.  Nothing I've said relates one whit if you feel yr experiences lead you down an alternate path.  Either way, I wish you luck with yr search and will be here if you have further questions.

Icontexto-emoticons-07-032x032
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  • kade
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#6
We always need the Christian view-point in here. Myself, I tend to lean toward the idea that perhaps demons pre-date Christianity and it's predecessor religion, mostly because..well...the term does, meaning the concept of demons does.

Other than that, my equation of Lucifer and God was more on the level of what they are considered to be, in their respective domains. Assuming everything we must to say that Christianity is right and everything exists as is written, Lucifer is the patron deity of his domain, where God is the patron deity of His domain. It's important to note, because they are both in a position of power. Currying favor with those in a position of power will lift you within the hierarchy. No false equivalence there, just the correct equivalence altogether. That is all that I was getting at there.

When you look at something like the concept of what a demon is, in what manner it exists, and whether or not they have a society, I think it's important to take a step back and look at it logically. Christianity isn't the only religion where demons have been present (as the coining of the term is proof of that). Demons are also present in Japanese, Chinese, Nordic, Slavic, Hellenic, Aboriginal, etc and so on. When you adopt a single religion's perspective of what a thing is, you must prove that the religion is accurate in it's account of everything from creation and morality, to deities and demi-species. That can get cumbersome to say the least.
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#7
I decided to delete this post.
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#8
Sounds like a demon trying to trick you and gain yr sympathy.  This is the step where it asks you to let it experience these things through you, vicariously.


DO NOT LET IT.  The next step would be a gradual possession.  Or, maybe not so gradual.  Not quite sure about that.

So, here’s the next piece of information we need to know.  Did you, in any way, invite something otherworldly into yr life.  Perhaps through a Ouija board or séance of some sort.  Anything that could be considered reaching out to the spirit realm?  Demons have keen ears and listen in on these things.  Even children’s parlor games, like the Ouija board.

JUST SAY NO.
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#9
Hey kade,

For purposes of it potentially being a demon, I say listen to Mika. A demon can just lie to you about what it truly is, meaning that anything could truly be a demon, while putting on the facade of something else.

Now, for I will say this: If it was a demon, it would literally -- and to your face -- have to verbally lie to you. That can be accomplished in a couple ways: first, it must have already physically possessed another individual and is doing the speaking through them.

Question 1: Are you talking to a physical person who is making these claims?

Second, they can use verbage to lie to you by means of spirit boards (such as the Ouija boards). The boards themselves are just a means of communication. As Mika has make clear -- "Speak the Devil and he shall appear". This is important, because general behaviour toward this area of investigation could flip energies in such a way that you are suddenly attracting them.

Question 2: Have you been using a spirit board?

I like to leave it at 2, because the last of the possibilities is that you're already possessed and they are talking to you through your own head. However, this can be another form of communication from something different, instead. If it is talking to you in your head, and you haven't had that kind of possession experience, then it likely isn't a demon.

Here is why: At least by my account of them, demons are beings of primal emotion. They are the purest form of a specific type of experience, and they tend to be created by the amassing of that emotion in a spirit/soul or even another being. They behave in that manner. You more versed in these collections of pure emotion can communicate, but still by one of the modes given above.

Think of it in this way: If you lived your life happy, and all you can think about is happy, and all you see is happy, and all you can do is just be happy, sans all logic (you are just driven by happy), then you are solely happy. There is nothing else to you but that pure emotion.

Now...throw upset into the mix, and you have to have triggers that will make you both happy and upset. Add another vice or virtue to it, lets say lust. Now, you have 3 things that your existence needs to interplay with.

That is the way that the human mind tends to address situations too. So, a demon, with more affinities than just 2 or 3 (maybe 20 or 30), would theoretically be able to communicate loosely with you. Still, it would seem off.

If they were able to string those sentences together to explain how that entire thing worked with feelings, then what you are dealing with is likely one of the multitudes of varying energy vampires. And for the reason of then being energy vampires (I recommend you read this other thread: HERE), LISTEN TO MIKA AND SAY NO.

You end up saying yes, and you're in for a world of trouble. That's regardless of whether it is a demon or not...
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#10
I decided to delete this post.
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