This week on Black Hoodie Alchemy, we attempt to sift through the beliefs of demonic possession from the psychoanalytic perspectives of CG Jung and others.
This will not be an episode based in religious orthodoxy, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t exploring some potentially unexplainable phenomena all the same. Building off of episode #39, what if calloused, inert phantom limbs of our psyche suddenly could become animated? How do you heal a traumatic reaction to something that isn’t there? And why does it appear that our traumas seem to have a mind of their own?
Rather than cast psychology aside here, we use analytic psychology to help us understand the belief systems of demonic possession and consider the variety of mental illnesses involved, but we also take into account the research of Dr. Richard Gallagher, for example.
Gallagher is an esteemed psychiatrist that has maintained his credibility in his regular practice amidst helping the Catholic church vet out the differences between mental illness and something truly unexplainable. Beginning as a skeptic, the priests who first worked with Dr. Gallagher told him that his skepticism was part of what made them appreciate his insight. Over two decades into his work now with the exorcists, he is no longer a skeptic.
Now, I’m not a Catholic, nor am I particularly advocating Catholicism. But as I understand it, belief is a tool that — if used correctly — can help us tap into a variety of different things that we can scarcely comprehend before experiencing them. We even discuss some serial killers here!
Overall, could it be that what some call possession is actually a very extreme psychosomatic response to a combination of traumas? And could it be that in these very extreme cases, some people actually do act inhuman, performing unexplainable feats?
Even if you’re a skeptic, it’s certainly worth considering — and that’s exactly what we’ll be doing this week!
Dive Manual: Empirical Investigations of Mysticism
Hunt Manual: 21st Century Demonology & Forteana
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Written by: Anthony Tyler