Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Addictions and disembodied spirits

Read this post first. When we left George Ritchie he was watching in astonishment as the cocoon of light that surrounded one of the mortals he saw in his journey crack and open up as he passed out drunk. The protective shield peeled away from his head and his shoulders.

Continuing with the narrative on page 60-61 of the book, Return From Tomorrow, we read: "Instantly, quicker than I'd ever seen anyone move, one of the insubstantial beings who had been standing near him at the bar was on top of him. He had been hovering like a thirsty shadow at the sailor's side, greedily following every swallow the young man made. Now he seemed to spring at him like a beast of prey." What in the world is he describing?

"In the next instant, to my utter mystification, the springing figure had vanished. It all happened even before the two men had dragged their unconscious load from under the feet of those at the bar. One minute I'd distinctly seen two individuals. By the time they propped the sailor against the wall, there was only one. Twice more, as I stared, stupefied, the identical scene was repeated. A man passed out, a crack swiftly opened in the aureole round him, one of the non-solid people vanished as he hurled himself at that opening, almost as if he had scrambled inside the other man." Was this man somehow being momentarily possessed by a disembodied spirit?

"Was that covering of light some kind of shield, then? Was it a protection against...against disembodied beings like myself? Presumably these substance-less creatures had once had solid bodies, as I myself had had. Suppose that when they had been in these bodies they had developed a dependence on alcohol that went beyond the physical. That became mental. Spiritual, even. Then when they lost that body, except when they could briefly take possession of another one, they would be cut off for all eternity from the one thing they could never stop craving." Or at least not until they were healed sometime in the future.

In my opinion, what George Ritchie is describing is the act of being possessed, if only for a limited period of time, by another spirit being. There can be no other explanation. What do you think is the significance of what he witnessed? It's a fantastic claim, there can be no doubt about that. How do you suppose this momentary possession would have affected the man?

And who is to say how long that possession would have lasted? Could the other being have continued with him for a period of time that extended into days, weeks, months or even years? Have not alcoholics described their condition as being tormented by devils and demons? Could this not be an explanation for addiction and a feeling of being out of control, if only for a time?

Some who read this dismiss it immediately as utter nonsense. They may say such things as, "There is no such thing as a disembodied spirit being, let alone being possessed by such. George Ritchie made the whole thing up. He simply has a very fertile imagination." Maybe. Maybe not. Has anyone ever interviewed George Ritchie and asked some hard questions?

Dr. Raymond Moody, author of Life After Life has interviewed George Ritchie and asked many of those questions. He has interviewed hundreds of people who claimed to have died and then were brought back to life. He called Dr Ritchie's account, "one of the three or four most fantastic and well-documented dying experiences known to me." He said Dr. Ritchie's story was 'startling' and yet remarkably similar to what hundreds and hundreds of others have described.

So what do you think? Is is really possible that what George Ritchie saw and described can really happen? Can a disembodied spirit enter into the body of a mortal even if just for a little while? And if they can, what kind of an effect do they have on that mortal? Is it possible that there may be an influence left behind when they leave? Do some never leave?


Tony said...

I totally believe in spirits that can possess people, given what we learn in the scriptures.

This is an interesting account, and raises some questions! I think one can not look at this account and simply brush it off...not a Latter-Day Saint anyhow.

Arden Compton said...

I am convinced that evil spirits are tugging at our sleeves daily, influencing us in ways we aren't aware of. They like to fly below the radar, remain undetected. They contribute to our problems, and they persuade us to ignore them, when removing them would be the best thing we could do. I read a book in December 2012 called Visions of Glory that also described evil spirits playing a role in addiction. I coach people in addiction, most often pornography addiction, and as I help them address this aspect of the problem, they feel a marked, measurable difference in their cravings. You can see more about my thoughts on this on my blog: http://wholesomelives.wordpress.com

Tim Malone said...

You can read my comments of the book Visions of Glory on my other blog: Latter-day Commentary