“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.”
~C.S. Lewis The Screwtape Letters
I can't say that I believe in ghosts. At least not as such. I do believe in spiritual influences. I very much believe that some people have supernatural experiences; and I believe that some people can sense demonic presences.
Yes, that's an odd belief, and it's one that probably not very many people hold. I believe that God does give some people a 'gift' of sorts, thus causing them to be more sensitive to the spiritual side of things than other people. My youth pastor called it the gift of "discernment." He has discernment, as do all three of his daughters, my father, my brother and I. So does one of my best friends as well as my first college roommate. I've had numerous occasions where it has been utilized.
I don't see spiritual beings. I've never had a lights flickering, or lights turning on/off experience. I am, at times, aware of their presence. For me, I have a dark "patch" in my head, occasionally accompanied by a coldness, like a brain freeze, but at the back of my head, not in the front. For other people it's a cold feeling, a weight or something else, hitting different pressure points and affecting different senses. The first time I ever experienced it was when I was with my family and we drove by a house where cocaine addicts lived. I don't remember what I said, but my dad said, "You sense them, too." I didn't know until later what he was talking about.
I don't hear them. They don't shake chains or clatter pots. They don't say anything to me, usually. In my basement, last time I was home, my dad asked me to check out the basement. He'd done a walk through because my little brother may/may not have been messing around with drugs of an illegal nature at some point. Drugs and alcohol invite spiritual beings in. Dad hadn't sensed anything, and I didn't feel anything either, but there were words in mind, I thought that came from somewhere else. Not external voices. A thought, "We're hiding." Probably true. No reason to come out if no one goes down there, right?
Thing is, while you can sense them on your own, it only actually means something if someone else is there, too. My dad confirmed in the first instance that something was there, something was going on. Drugs and alcohol, especially stronger drugs, invite those things in, because you're letting go of your mind of your conciousness.
For those of you who know anything about Spritual Gifts, and the ones that are debatably in use/not in use, some will at this point throw in the gift of tongues. The thing about the gift of tongues, is that anyone can say they speak in tongues and actually be speaking jibberish. This is why I think that Paul states that there must be both a translator and a speaker. You can tell people that the jibberish means whatever you want it to mean. However, if someone you don't know understands you, and can translate, that makes it meaningful. Or, if you are in a foreign country speaking with the natives without any formal training of any kind, that would be considered tongues. So, for me, going to France and speaking in French is not the same thing as if I were to go to Germany and speak in German.
Likewise, if you're walking with your best friend, and both of you have discernment, and you both know something weird is going on, (what that weird thing is varies, and you can't honestly know what it is... it might be people nearby doing drugs... it's impossible to say, it might be a warning of some kind) and you're both praying about it, that makes it far more likely that something is going on. If only person feels/senses it, it's probably an overactive imagination, too much television and/or boredeom.
I have a story that I'm leading up to, but, as it's getting late, and this post is getting long, I will post tomorrow. That way, I'll also be able to organize my thoughts. :)
So, until tomorrow.