The History Of Demons

A factual and objective history of demons - what they are, what they are not, and how the term, demon, has been construed in different cultures over the years.

A demon is, in conventional thought, a being of pure malevolence - essentially, an element of evil consisting of the Devil and his many minions. Demons not in the underworld are either free on Earth or living temporarily in the abyss before going back to Gehenna, the "lake of fire," to join Satan, other demons, and the unsaved.

One similarity in demons among several cultures that embrace Christianity is the origin of the "head demon." It is frequently believed that the head demon started out as an angel in good standing with God, then after quarreling with God and being defeated, was condemned to rule the underworld. In the Bible, Lucifer begins as an angel, battles God, and is sent to rule the underworld after his defeat.

In most cultures, demons personify evil, pain and suffering. A demon either exploits a specific weakness in man, creates a certain suffering for man, or wants some special thing from man. Demons are said to have many powers, such as prophecy, that are alluring to men.

One significant finding in the study of demons is that multiple demons exist in most documented cases, frequently in a hierarchy where each demon has its own name and unique characteristics.

To the Ancient Greeks, daimons were minor deities - not necessarily good or evil. The good demons were called Eudemons, and evil demons were called Cacodemons. Many Eastern religions recognize a number of different demons. For example, ancient Buddhists had the Mira, which embodied all that was evil; and the Indian demons are lead by the powerful Ravana, which is believed by that group of people to change shape and remain invulnerable to all spirits.

Only in its modern connotation does the word, "demon," evoke the idea of evil spirits. The Greek word daemon, from which the words daimon and demon are ultimately derived, means "genius and intelligence," and has been applied indiscriminately to all spiritual beings whether good or evil.

People have done with regards to demons what they have done to angels. Just as they have imagined that there are beings created perfectly from all eternity, they have also imagined that beings created of lower degrees are eternally evil.

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