|12-07-2016, 10:32 PM||#1|
Joined: Nov 2015
Demons, Jin, Human Souls, and Angels : A Theory
I've been rather troubled lately. This is mainly to express my thoughts, in full honesty, for I've been troubled about this topic for a while.
In this post I am going to try and present a case for spirituality. To clarify, I am going to talk about what some would call the "Spirit realm", or "afterlife" - the place where souls live on after death.
I'll start with this quote:
"...the Master evidently desires to point out that there can be, under certain rare circumstances, such as those experienced by the Prophets, communion with some soul gone before into the invisible world, but that most of this type of experience which people often claim to have with departed souls is nothing but the product of their own imaginations--however real it may seem to them to be. ..." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi)
Essentially, in describing the words of Abdu'l-Baha, the above quote affirms that people (the Prophets and "chosen ones of God", I suspect the chosen ones of God could refer to people such as saints and seers, for example) can in exceedingly rare cases actually speak to those who have passed on.
It has also been said that once the body dies, the soul goes on a journey toward/away from God, "toward" being considered Heaven and "away" being considered Hell.
Combining both of these, we can conclude that there must be some realm or non-physical place where souls reside. A "spirit realm" - Else, where would the soul be in their journey? Certainly not on the physical plane. And in rare cases these souls can be potentially seen by the likes of people like the Manifestations. So, in short, a "spiritual realm", a realm of God likely, does exist.
Next, angels. We are told by Abdu'l-Baha that people can become angels.
"By angels is meant the divine confirmations and heavenly powers. Angels are also those holy souls who have severed attachment to the earthly world, who are free from the fetters of self and passion and who have attached their hearts to the divine realm and the merciful kingdom. They are of the kingdom, heavenly; they are of the merciful One, divine. They are the manifestations of the divine grace and the dawns of spiritual bounty."
Ones who have, in the very essence of the faith, truly embraced the goodness, the light, God. These people could very well be ones who have completed their journey - souls who have reached "Heaven". So not only are there human souls in the spiritual realm whom are on their journey, but some (or all) who have completed their journey to God are angels. Angels exist in the spiritual realm, and human souls exist in this realm too. If anything, I personally feel as though it would be easier for an angel to be made manifest to someone like a Prophet, than a normal human soul. This could explain Mary seeing Gabriel, or Muhammad seeing him as well. A true servant of the Lord who has completed their journey to become closer to God.
Now, Jinn. I will start by paraphrasing a quote I don't have on hand. God has not created anything that is intrinsically evil. Jinns are not described as inherently evil - they could very well have been a creation of God.
"Regarding your question as to the meaning of Jin or Genii referred to in the Qur'an, these are not beings or creatures that are actually living, but are symbolic references to the power of men of evil and may be likened to evil spirits. But the point to bear in mind is that these have no positive existence of any kind." (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian)
Jin are not actually living. They do not exist in the material world. You cannot "see" a jinn, and they do not have living bodies in the physical plane like we have. Traditionally (I am very rusty on my knowledge from the Qur'an, please do not be afraid to correct me if I am wrong), jin that are "evil" are the ones focused on and described when referencing genii in the Qur'an, and not neutral/good jinn. These "evil" beings are indeed symbolic in nature. But it has also been said that evil is nonexistent, that it is the absence of good. I cannot conclusively say that Jinn do or do not exist in the spiritual realm, mainly due to a lack of information on them in general. I will give my opinion nevertheless.
To me, I believe that Jin could inhabit this spiritual realm. They are not naturally evil. They could be beings that have turned away from God, and in turning away, have been deemed evil, as evil is the absence of good. And because of this they have no chance to interact with the living who have light. If one turns toward God, they surely wouldn't hear a jin (or demon, for that matter) who has turned away from God. It is like a shadow trying to eclipse the sun - the shadow simply is powerless to the sun, for the shadow is the absence of it. If the sun moves, the shadows move with it whether they like to or not - the sun has complete control over the shadows it casts. Now, non-evil jin, neutral or possibly good jin - they could very well be on a spiritual journey toward or away from God just as human souls are. I have theorized that things such as the gods and goddesses of ancient times could be jin. Take Hinduism for example - Vishnu is all powerful. Vishnu is God, and can do anything. the smaller gods, like, for example, Ganesha, could be jin. They are truly NOT gods, that is a title ascribed to them. But they could be good (or not so good) aligned jin. the "gods" of these faiths are not omnipotent and all powerful like Vishnu. They merely are powerful entities, and these entities could full well be willing to help God, or they could be far from God in their journeys, which would account for "evil" gods.
"You have asked regarding the influence of evil spirits. Evil spirits are deprived of eternal life. How then can they exercise any influence? But as eternal life is ordained for holy spirits, therefore their influence exists in all the divine worlds." (Abdu'l-Baha)
Evil spirits are deprived of eternal life, because evil spirits do not cannot exist. One cannot be made from the absence of something. In this case, spirits cannot be made of evil, because evil is the absence of good. Evil spirits such as demons are seen as symbolic, just as jin, and even in some cases angels, are. Angels are symbolic of "divine confirmations and heavenly powers", yet they still are a type of being that exist in the spiritual realm. Could jin and demons not be the same way?
More has been said about demons, or "evil spirits" than jin... and evil spirits cannot exist according to statements made by Abdu'l-Baha. Now, my question to you all is... If one can go all the way 'right' toward God, and become an angel, is being a demon not the opposite? one who has completely turned away from God. They are not truly evil, just refusing of His message. They are human souls who refuse God. This is not to say that demons cannot be saved. But they truly aren't evil spirits. They are just ones who are currently far from God. In this way, I would say that demons are definitely NOT what they are depicted to be in stories, whether they be ancient stories or modern ones from film and TV. They are not poltergeists who throw things around rooms, or spirits that haunt places, and go out of their way to terrify people per se. Instead I say that if people close to God are angels, it is only logical that people away from God are the opposite. Demons as presented in history are symbolic and superstitious, and the "real thing" is not really what demons are like. I think that some of these stories could have come about because of people who similarly, in life, turned themselves away from goodness, and in doing so, allowed these "demons" access to them. But once that sun shines on that person's face, that demon certainly has no more influence. The shadow moves for the light that casts it.
"What is currently known among the public is but sheer superstition." (Abdu'l-Baha)
In conclusion, I would dare say that there is a spiritual realm/afterlife, and in it, there are human souls who are journeying toward or away from God, ones who have gotten very close to God are "angels", ones who have gone very far from God are "demons", and Jin could similarly be on a journey toward or away from God just as human souls are.
I'm sorry for all this rambling. This took about an hour and a half to write. If anyone would like to add to this.. hypothesis? theory? or present your own opinion on the subject, please do.
...Again, I'm sorry. I feel somewhat scared, but this topic has been really troubling me lately, as I felt rather dissatisfied and empty at how the Baha'i faith is typically shown to believe the spiritual realm (as in, being entirely symbolic), and it wasn't until now that I finally sat down, and went through the texts, and tried to work things out. I am somewhat relieved but at the same time worried that the theory I have proposed is somehow unacceptable. In short, I was conflicted about how to view the spiritual realm, but since I have solved it to myself, I am now conflicted that I may have missed something, haha :P
Thank you for your time;
|12-09-2016, 12:16 AM||#2|
Joined: Aug 2014
From: Blue Planet
Allaho Abha dear friend, Mark
I enjoyed readying your post and also enjoyed considering your view points which look to me as being mostly true. recently I read one of the Abdul Baha talks which is originally in Arabic. some one translated it into Persian for me so I do not know its location in the English translations of the texts. I am going to now translate it here for you in English. the parts in parenthesis are my own additions):
the meaning of the angels:
1- in realm of the created beings, the name angel is given to people who have cleaned themselves completely from all their desires and follow all the attributes of God. the name indicates a reality within their souls and tells of the purity inside their hearts. and these are the angels whom God refers to with different names. among those names one is "the carriers of the Throne of God". know that the Throne of God is the heart ....
2-in the realm of "Hagh" (truth, God ) the name angel refers to the messengers of God which are mentioned in Quran having two or three or four wings. the meaning of the wings is the strong reasons and evidences with which the messengers of God come to people.
3- in another level yet the name Angel refers to the will of God. His will created the world and adorned nothingness with the garment of beauty of the creatures.
4- in another level, the name angel refers to the laws of God governing the world of creation... God created the world through these laws and these are the laws that effect one's death or birth. thus people say "Izrael, the angel of death." or they talks about the guardian angels....
(then He adds): now if I want to count all the different meanings of the world angel, it will take too much time. you should thus read the Holy scriptures and ponder upon them so that you discover the true meanings in each case.
(now about the Jins in the same scripture Abdul Baha says
1-and you have asked about Jinny. know that God has created the human being out of four elements of wind, water, earth and fire. Fire gives warmth and it is moving. if the element of fire becomes the strongest element in a person, then the name Jinny is attributed to that person. this at first is attributed to the faithful people of God and those who suffered in His path and God has praised them in many places. thus God describes them as "creatures of fire" and "strict with unfaithful people" in which they become like a burning fire to the enemies of God.
2- in another level the name Jinny refers to those people who outrun all other people in case of their love for God. their love for God burns like a burning fire within their hearts.
3- in a symbolic sense the name Jinny also refers to the enemies of the messengers of God.
the reason for these two different interpretations is the word of God in which He says in the Surah Al-Jinny: Say that it was revealed to me that a group of Jinnies heard the words of God. so they said, "we heard strange words that leads us to light." and it continuous until we reach the place where they say: verily there are two different groups of us, those who have believed in God and those who have not.
now we can see that there are many different layers for both the name angel and also Jinn. my own idea is that as evil is merely lack of goodness in human being so they can be a category of the unfaithful people. as Abdul Baha has mentioned, human beings are created out of four elements of fire, water, earth and wind. if fire is more powerful (symbolically) then it creates Jinns. now there are other options as well as when the water is more powerful or the wind or the earth and the evil spirits (the spirits of those with least amount of goodness) can be placed within any of the four categories.
and also about the "spiritual reals" I think it doesnt mean that that realm is somewhere far from us (physically distanced). what I think is that it is already around us, embracing us but in another time and space dimension so we cannot see it and only sometimes some people can feel it or make contacts.
|12-09-2016, 03:39 PM||#3|
Joined: Nov 2015
Thank you for your response, I took great pleasure in reading it. I am amazed at all of these different "layers" as you put it, the terms seem to be so fluid. I've just woken up so this response likely won't be very long (I work nights, shh, I know I'm waking up at 4:30pm), but I'd like to thank you for all of the knowledge you've shared here with me. Secondly, I definitely agree with your very last statement there. It is a sort of "higher plane" in my mind. When I was still pagan, the faith I followed (a very, very fluid one) essentially described that there are many different planes of existence, all overlapping and extending each other, and they all have different forces and laws that govern them.
The lowest is the physical plane, where we reside. The next was the realm of the spirit, where angels, demons, and all the inbetween exist. After that, there is the realm of banished/perished souls, a sort of realm where things like deceased Gods exist. And more and more layers keep going and going infinitely. I can definitely see the similarities to this structure and to what the Manifestations have taught.
Thank you for reading my long-winded post, and thank you for sharing the information you shared.