This post is inspired by the Ladakh Special of the Fear Files that was broadcast on the 19August weekend on Zee TV. Actually, inspiration is not the right word; provoked is more apt. The intent of this post is to seek opinion on the truth and fallacy of the so-called real experiences related to demonic or satanic possession.
Before I proceed with the post, I want to comment on my choice of title for this post. This title is a tribute the most original and brilliant portrayal of demonic possession on screen as seen in the movie-The Exorcist. The depiction of a possessed girl in the movie has not yet been surpassed by any other imaginative rendering of diabolic control of the human body by spirits. The Exorcist is a cult movie with a definite number one position even after so many years of being in print and on screen. No other theatrical representation has been able to rethink a reenactment of the scenes and the sounds that the book and the movie have immortalized.
For the Indian viewers, the entire experience of The Exorcist was available in their own tongue, on their TV screens, as they watched exact scenes cherry-picked and replayed in their living rooms – complete with the husky sound effects. Only the cold-wave and the glazed eye were missing, else The Exorcist has returned – Indian style.
Coming back to the original premise of this post, the episode got me thinking as to whether demonic possession is for real, or is just a mental/psychiatric disorder. To believe that spirit possession is real, we have to first believe that demons and spirits exist. And if we believe that evil exists then we must also believe in the existence of goodness. If demons can possess then so can angels; so why don’t we hear of angelic possessions. Arguments in the favor of “angelic possession” may say that while we do not have a specific terminology for possession by angels but saints and healers, philanthropists and do-gooders can be considered influenced by angels, complete with halos and auras, and godly acts. However, an article on the web says that angels cannot possess because they are not allowed to!
We, thus, remain to argue about the concept of spirit and demonic possessions. If we think logically and scientifically, we would assert that possession is only a mental and psychological disorder. Point taken. But then how do we explain the superhuman abilities of levitation, contortion, distortion, and other physical and vocal manifestations that are usually documented in the context of spirit possessions. How do we justify these superhuman abilities, if we agree that that possession is only a mental illness? I would like to know the opinion of readers of my blog and of others who may or may not have had an actual experience but may have an opinion.
With regard to The Exorcist and why we have not be able to create any other cinematographic experience with the degree of horror as generated by this movie, I am wondering that is it because the depiction was of a real and extreme episode of possession, and hence human imagination has not be able to surpass those visuals. This again is a question a worthy of debate. The only problem with debates is that we still wouldn’t know the truth!