Spirit attachment is like a parasitic infestation that steals the nutrients of its host’s physical body. 1,2,3 The attached spirit leaches on the energy of the host spirit. If the attaching spirit is of a lower order, it is argued that it will feed on the negative energy emanating from guilt, manipulating the individual and leading them into guilt-provoking situations. An attaching spirit is like a hijacker, and the concept of mental space. and the weakening of its walls on rare occasions may have some explanatory value in the discussion of spirit attachment. In possession, the total executive powers are also taken over by the attaching spiritual entity.
Overshadowing refers to the presence of an influencing discarnate personality. There is also a variant of this hypothesis suggesting that the discarded fragments of the soul body getting attached to the living mind are actually responsible for entity possession and not the returning soul-It is analogous to the trapped foreign body in the trachea. It is recognised within adherence of spirit attachment theory that such a condition can cause depression, mood swings, eating disorders and addictions.
Two aspects of the school of thought favouring the spirit attachment hypothesis are salient. Raymond Moody who popularised near death experiences states that in their clinical practice most psychiatrists come across patients with a distinctive altered state of consciousness that fits with the possession states described in medieval literature and some of these patients respond to depossession techniques and dislodging the alleged attached entity . 4 Nobody can say definitely how common are true cases of spirit attachment, and more research in this challenging field is warranted.
The concept of “mental space” is helpful in understanding spirit attachment. A person’s physical body is in physical space and his mind exists in a personal mental space- a higher dimensional space existing like a satellite spatial system occupied by minds, or at least components of minds. 5 This concept is now supported by particle physics. Mental events occur in a space that is different from the space we occupy in everyday lives as well from the physical space that physicists describe. For example, the image of a bear that we may hold in our minds (in the absence of a live bear) has spatial dimensions, and we can locate that bear in our minds at a distance from an also imagined river and a salmon in the river at which the bear may seem to lunge. We cannot however speak intelligibly about the distance between an imagined bear and its imagined surroundings but on the other hand we can do so about any object that we locate perceptually in physical space.
The mental space is a very personal one and protected from the intrusions of other person’s thoughts probably by electromagnetic fencing. Dr Ian Stevenson who is a believer of the afore mentioned hypothesis states that the barriers of the mental space weaken on rare occasions and we experience unusual telepathy and paranormal communications. 6 The real arena of spirit attachment is probably the mental space – the complex particle dimension beyond the brain and it may also be a field of subtle energy system. Weakening of the walls of the mental space may facilitate the entry of entities into the subatomic energy system. Considerably more work would have to be done along these lines, however, before any of these conjectures can be defined convincingly.
The scientific validity of detecting spirit attachment through hypno-analysis is questionable as the information retrieved through hypnosis is unreliable. The following opinions have to be considered about spirit attachment detection through hypno analysis. a. The ego-strengthening power of hypnosis may be inappropriately applied in hypno-analysis. b. Hypnosis may increase the confidence with which a memory is held, while reducing the veracity of the memory. c. Information obtained through hypno- analysis may be correlated to that emanating from a historical novel that constitutes a synthesis of fact and fiction: a few items of memory derived from an alleged attached spirit arguably become dislodged and reattached to fantasies – rather as iron fillings become attached to a magnetic field. c. Personification is an inherent weakness of hypno-analysis. In hypnosis the subject surrenders the direction of their thoughts to the hypnotherapist and their resistance to the therapist’s instructions is diminished. The subject is told to recognise something. When they have no accurate information to offer, they may proffer incorrect statements to please the therapist, without any awareness that they are mixing truth and falsehood. Hypnosis can release the dramatizing powers of the mind. D.ESP is a complex explanation. Hypnosis enhances the ESP powers of the subject and the therapist resulting in paranormal communications between the living and the spiritual realm, and this can adulterate the hypnotherapeutic exploration.
In claims of detection of spirit attachment through hypno analysis, the imagination of the patient may run wild. We have our limitations when it comes to exaggerating truth, but we have apparently inexhaustible powers of imagination as far as stretching a lie is concerned. Individuals can fabricate narratives of imagined experiences in greater detail than may be accounted for by the application of conscious knowledge.
Dissociative states have been compared to spirit attachment; the latter is a subtler phenomenon than the former. Dissociative states are usually correlated with intensely painful psychological events. The dissociative response is initially adaptive, but when it persists beyond the trauma context it subsequently becomes maladaptive and pathological. Spirit attachment causes inner psychological trauma, and the dissociative state itself may be an adaptive response to spirit attachment or the aftermath of an attempted spirit attachment. Spirit attachment is a disturbance to the spiritual homeostasis. Most often dissociative states occur owing to external psychogenic traumas, but theoretically they may also occur because of intrinsic spiritual traumas. Multiple personality disorders may sometimes be a cultural expression of spiritual distress. There may have been an error in generalising all cases of dissociative states by classifying them as either due to psychological causes or to spiritualistic factors, without recognising that these states may be spectrum disorders stemming from intrinsic and external psychogenic causes. There is no shortage for dramatic case studies of spirit attachment but they are not going to convince the skeptics, and what are needed are clinical trials. 7
Adherents of spirit attachment theories caution against complementary therapies that have mediumistic inclinations. Therapists ought to assist their clients to concentrate on the protective influences of the positive spiritual realms and the richer realities -there are more angels than the stars in the sky! Marian apparitional studies are highly relevant in this context. We need to suspend our judgement on spirit attachment until we know more about the subject. Equally, the concept of clinical reincarnation where non biological depression could be a carryover from a previous life needs further exploration. It is my contention that the equal incidence of schizophrenia all over the world indicates a biological etiology of schizophrenia but psychic healers think differently.
1. Fiore Edith (1988) The Unquiet Dead. New York: Ballantine Books.
2.Patrnicka Wanda (2006) Possessed by Ghosts :Exorcisms in the 21st century. Warszwa: Centrum Publishers.
3.Modi Shakuntala (1998) Remarkable Healings. Charlottesville: Hampton Roads Publishing Co.
4. Smythies J.R. (1988). Minds and Higher Dimensions. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol.55.No, 812
5.Stevenson I. (1981) Can we describe the mind? Research in Parapsychology. Metuchen N.J: Scarecrow press
6.Moody Raymond((1988) Forward in “The Unquiet Dead” page. New York: Ballantine Books.
7.Sanderson Alan Lindsay (2003) Spirit attachment and