Parasites of the soul are those things that eat away at the very essence of what makes you an individual. A Scottish (Quaker) minister in 1892 summed up my feelings: "Never tell a child," said George MacDonald, "you have a soul. Teach him, you are a soul; you have a body."
These are a few of the things I identify as parasites of the soul. They can be just as deadly as any of the other parasites I discussed in my earlier posts, with the added danger of making you less than human.
Lack of FaithI don't really care what you believe in, as long as you believe in something. I have noticed a correlation between faith in any guise and general contentment with life and the acceptance of what lies beyond this life. Belief in something better than us tends to make us want to be better, which is a good thing as I see it. Having little or no faith also leads to doubt and fear, which were covered in my post about parasites of the mind.
Blind FaithHaving witnessed a few cults in my time, I've seen the damage that blind faith can do. Use the brains that you have and don't let others do your thinking for you all of the time. Question authority - it's generally only there to get something from you, not do something for you.
I tend toward Gnostic Christianity in my beliefs. The Gnostic Church was stamped out by what eventually became the Roman Catholic church because they taught that people could find their own understanding of God, without the "help" of a hierarchy of priests guiding them. I would rather study a subject and discuss it with friends (or debate it with strangers) than have someone tell me what I "have" to believe.
SinHowever you define sin is between you and that which you worship. It is not my job (or my place) to tell you what to believe, but if you profess a belief I will hold you to it.
- Don't tell me that you're a devout Christian and then get caught in bed with another man's wife.
- Don't tell me you're a good Muslim, then spend hours in a strip club drinking alcohol.
- Don't tell me how Odinism is the religion of your fore-fathers and therefore your heritage, then break an oath or fail to defend your family.
- Don't preach to me about Mother Gaia and then toss your empty drink container out the window of your car.
- Don't brag about how you deny the existence of all Gods, then swear an oath or invoke one of their names. If you don't believe in them, don't expect them to believe in you.
Hypocrisy is the biggest sin. If you're going to place your faith in something, do so completely. To profess a belief and then act against that belief is going to eat away at your soul because YOU have already acknowledged what is a sin and are choosing to do it anyway. If you believe in an afterlife and some sort of judgement when you get there, don't get upset if I or someone else points out your hypocrisy as a bad choice.
PossessionDemons, angels, devils, afrits, spirits, or whatever you choose to call them exist. They have existed longer than humans have and I have seen no evidence that they ever gave up and went away. The Vatican still employs exorcists for a reason.
I am of the opinion that there are positive spirits (for lack of a better term) as well as negative spirits. The positive spirits will try to help you without requiring payment, but the negative ones are always looking for some way to get something from you. Once a negative spirit gets its claws into you, it can be a terribly hard job to get them out of your life. If you're going to work with Ouija boards or seances, make sure you have a way to test every spirit that you may encounter to weed out the negative ones. I'm not clear or sure about what benefit they derive from invading your life, but I have seen the consequences of it and it can destroy a person's soul.