Possession In Western Culture

2009 Words 8 Pages
Possession is a challenging topic to dissect. From one end of the world to the other, from one point in the past to the present almost every culture/civilization has recorded accounts of possession. The perception of these various possession accounts, however, can be described as polar opposites of each other. Some cultures view possession as a positive experience to connect humans with the divine, no matter what divine matter they call their God. While others believe all types and forms of possession to be a negative experience to have. It is this inconsistency that makes possession a difficult topic to understand from a third party mindset. The perception of possession changes as experienced by the respective culture it takes place in; and …show more content…
This is because many individuals in the west who believe their individuality and uniqueness should not be tampered with. This is evident as some value “conception of the person as bounded, unique, more or less integrated motivational and cognitive universe, a dynamic centre of awareness, emotion, judgement and action” (Dawson 74). This shows the fundamental difference in western to eastern cultures: a disconnect with the divine. Christianity teaches that to form a union with God, one only needs invite the Holy Spirit into their hearts in the form of baptism. After that is complete, God promises his children protection from evil, and a place in paradise with him when we die and move on (McAllister). While many may view baptism as a form of possession, others like Anna Diehl believe the Holy Spirit is more of a “key” more so than an actual example of possession. She argues that the Holy Spirit is similar to that of a boarding pass, one cannot get on a plane without their boarding pass, and one cannot enter Heaven without being saved by the Holy Spirit. But she argues this is not a form of possession, because although the Holy Spirit is “inside of you”, it does little to nothing in terms of controlling your psyche or physical body …show more content…
There are examples in Hindu texts dating back to at least the 9th century, possibly as early as the 8th century (White 161). It is around this time in history where possession became mainstream, and mankind was developing concrete written records of the day to day happenings in their societies. This should be noted, because the Atharva Veda, the Hindu Veda credited with storing the secrets of possession, was written between 1500 and 500 B.C.E. (Witzl 68). So there is close to 1500 years of written text on how to deal with possession to the first actual documented account of possession in Hindu texts. This is worth mention because since possession is not a fresh concept, it is interesting to see the depth at which it is documented in many eastern cultures, versus the lack of depth that many western cultures document

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