Here is an intriguing question from Alex Zaldivar, a regular reader of this column: “How can an image or statue of a holy or sacred person be inhabited or possessed by an evil spirit? Shouldn’t negative spirits be afraid of it?”
Writing in Pilipino, Mr. Zaldivar related that he visited a private museum south of Manila. The museum is filled with figurines and statues of saints and holy persons of various sizes. The caretaker told him some of these statues were inhabited by evil spirits.
“My question is, how can an evil spirit inhabit a statue or image of a holy or sacred person which is worshipped by people? Aren’t these spirits afraid of them?”
The other question Alex asked is, how can someone like him, who is not sensitive and who doesn’t know anything paranormal, be aware that a statue or image is inhabited by a negative spirit? He said he had asked many individuals this question, but could not get a satisfactory answer.
In the first place, it must be pointed out that any object can be inhabited or possessed by a spirit. I have seen, for example, a landscape painting on the wall of an insurance office, a narra executive desk, a 100-year-old antique dresser with mirror, a Japanese samurai doll, among others, inhabited by an earthbound spirit.
A statue or figurine does not become holy or sacred just because it bears the image of a holy person or saint or God. What makes it holy or sacred is if a miraculous phenomenon takes place because of it and is believed by the people.
The Christian religion has numerous statues of saints or Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin mother which are considered miraculous.
Why do wandering or earthbound spirits inhabit such statues and are not afraid of them? Why should anybody, much less spirits, be afraid of statues? In fact, it is the presence of such spirits that gives such statues “miraculous” or paranormal effects.
Spirits that possess or inhabit statues or images of holy or sacred persons are usually nature spirits or elementals. They are not necessarily bad or evil spirits. I know of one wooden image of Sto. Niño in Navotas which is inhabited by an elemental, and which gives advise and healing to visitors.
People believe it is really the Child Jesus doing all those miracles. The statue, which is about nine inches tall, is known to walk and even jump on the laps of devotees and visitors.
Regarding Mr. Zaldivar’s other question, almost everybody is sensitive to spirits, specially negative ones. Those who say they don’t feel anything in the presence of spirits are too rational and don’t pay attention to their inner sense or feelings.
I once pointed out to a Catholic priest, who was blessing a house of a friend of mine in Sta. Rosa, the difference in the atmosphere or feeling in the room where there were spirit manifestations, and the rooms that were free of negative spirits. When I told him the difference, he began to feel it, too. I didn’t actually tell him what he would feel. I just told him to be aware of the difference inside and outside that room.
While outside the haunted room, I told the priest to close his eyes and be aware of what he is feeling or sensing. When he had established this, we went inside the room. While there, I asked him to close his eyes again and asked him how he felt. “Is there a difference?” I asked. And he said yes.
“What was the difference?” I asked him. “Well,” he replied, “inside the room I felt heavy and had some difficulty breathing, whereas outside the room I felt light and could breathe freely.”
“Now you know what it feels like when there are negative spirits, and when there are none.”
“Oh, is that it?” the priest asked. And I said yes, because not all spirits exhibit the same energy. Then the priest realized he had the same sensitivity to the spirit world that he did not recognize before.
If we pay more attention to what we are feeling in the place we visit, then we will be able to tell whether a place or even an object has a negative spirit or energy or not. It does not take somebody with clairvoyant ability to detect spirit presence.
I believe everybody is sensitive to the spirit and psychic world, although some are more sensitive than others.
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