here, if you want, but in short, I used to believe that demons existed. Not only that, but I even had my own encounters with demons. One of them involved a particularly nasty little imp who pushed my head into the couch cushions while I was taking a nap and verbally threatened me. I no longer believe in them though because I have learned about sleep paralysis, which turns out to be a FAR more logical explanation than some supernatural being who likes to mess with me while I sleep. (Seriously, don't these things have anything better to do?)
Even though I probably spent more than half my life now believing in these things, I can safely say that this belief is about as dead in me as my former belief in Santa Claus. When weird, spooky stuff happens, I don't even consider for a moment that it might be a demon any more than I consider that my Christmas presents might be from St. Nick. Not too long ago, I was sleeping and woke to find my wife standing near me. She walked up to me and sprayed something in my eyes, which immediately started to sting. I then woke up to find that my wife wasn't anywhere in the room, but I did have a stinging sensation in my eyes.
Is it possible that my wife sprayed hairspray in my eyes while I was lying in bed? I suppose, but they didn't sting THAT bad, and I was taking a nap while wearing my contacts - which has been known to result in stingy eyes from time to time. Also, my wife just wouldn't do that kind of a thing.
Yet still, I consider my wife a more likely suspect than a demon. Why is that? Get real close to the computer and read the next part really carefully:
Demons don't exist, but my wife does, which is what makes her a more likely suspect. (I can prove the existence of my wife if you really want me to do that for you.) However, the MOST likely suspect is that I simply dreamed it. It fits the definition of sleep paralysis, something which still happens to me. However, it never comes in the form of demons anymore ever since I stopped believing in them.
Okay, okay, so why am I writing about something that doesn't exist so vociferously? Will my next post be about how unicorns don't exist either? Well, maybe it would be about that if I ran into the same amount of intelligent people who believe in unicorns as people who believe in demons.
I've told my story of my demon-encounter to people before. The point of the story is to illustrate how the things that we experience aren't always what we think they are. There are times when our minds play tricks on us, and what we think is real is, in fact, not real. This doesn't make us insane; it just means that neither our brains nor our senses are perfect. Need some examples? How about 92 of them?
What I'm finding to be depressing when I tell certain people my story is that they STILL think that it might have been a demon who was doing that to me! Those demons, they're trying to get to me for some reason. Maybe they wanted me to learn about sleep paralysis so I could no longer believe in them and then they could REALLY get at me!
From this point, I ask them why "demon" even gets to be an answer. I ask why it wasn't a leprechaun, hobgoblin, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster? (I give the same response when people tell me about their "ghost" stories.) They always act like I'm saying something ridiculous, as though "demon" is somehow a sensible answer! And again, these aren't morons who are saying this. These are people who are pretty intelligent otherwise. Check this out - it's called "Dealing with Demons". It's not like some illiterate buffoon wrote it. The guy is completely serious, and does a good job of articulating his point of view. I mean, it's bat-crap crazy, but it's well-written bat-crap. If somebody asked me to write an article on how to deal with demons, it would simply read: "Don't bother, because DEMONS...DON'T...EXIST."
Is it POSSIBLE that demons exist? I suppose so, but the evidence for them is no greater than the other things I mentioned. Of course, some people will say that encounters with those other mythical creatures were, in fact, just encounters with demons who took on other forms. This is somewhat like what the Jehovah's Witnesses will tell you if you tell them a ghost story. Those ghosts are not, in fact, ghosts - they're demons!
But once you've started down that path, you don't get to just arbitrarily (and let's face it, nothing could be more arbitrary) attribute it to one particular fairy tale creature over another.
There are so many real things in this world with which we should concern ourselves. Why waste time worrying about crap that's made up? I think sometimes about my son and when he gets out in the world. If certain adults want to tell them about their beliefs, and even about Yahweh/Jesus/Allah/Thor/C'thulhu, then that's fine with me. However, I'm going to have a real problem if some adult tries to fill his head with nonsense about evil beings who like to mess with you in your sleep. If that ever happens, I'm going to make it real clear to him. I'll say, "Just like werewolves, vampires, and zombies...DEMONS...DON'T...EXIST."
Why will I say that? BECAUSE THEY DON'T. Holy crap. It's almost embarrassing that I genuinely feel like this is a point that needs to be made.