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Possession: by Ideas or by Demons

By Bruce Mayfield, BSCS, MBA, MSPsy, Contributing Writer & Photographer

Dr. Carl Gustav Jung, M.D., recognized by The American Journal of Psychology; as a pioneer in Psychology, once said,

People don’t have ideas; Ideas have people.

Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, Ph.D., has taken this one step further saying:

You don’t possess ideas; Ideas possess you.

I am currently exploring these statements and invite you into my query – not my conclusions.

PSYCHOLOGICALLY: Einstein possesses

– or is possessed by – a fear of abandonment. This fear is irrational, but real, non-the-less – like an alternate personality. Fear of abandonment changes him into an irrational creature.

EINSTIEN’S FIRST OWNER: Einstein was a gift, by well-intentioned parents, to their daughter – who was pursuing her college education. Unable to spend time with Einstein, she kept Einstein locked in a cage, in her apartment – all day.

Knowing Einstein, as I do, this isolation in a cage, was anguish – beyond consolation. Eventually, the daughter gave Einstein back to her parents – who sold him to us.

To this day, when left alone, Einstein goes into fits of torment – howling and yelling, turning over trash baskets, spreading and chewing the contents – so much so, that the neighbors have come over to the house – to see what was wrong. When we return home, Einstein nips us – usually on the buttocks – to chastise us – for leaving him home alone! He is NOT himself!

History is full of examples of “possession”. Plato claimed to have a “daemon” (helping spirit) that never told him – what to do; but, only told him – what NOT to do.

Christ cast out “demons” named, “Legion” (for they were many demons) – from 2 men – and let the many demons possess a herd of 2,000 pigs – who immediately stampeded and drowned themselves in the sea. (Luke 8:30)

Both the DSM-IV-R and the DSM-5 (i.e., Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) uses the word “possession” in defining Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) (i.e., formerly called Multiple Personality Disorder). So, Psychology does acknowledge “possession” as part of mental illness.

As a Computer Scientist, “possession” is a very familiar concept. We deal with “daemons”, “viruses”, “Trojan horses”, “worms”, etc. – all independent logic subroutines – that take over (possession of) your computer or smart phone – and have their way with it!


WHEN PIGS FLY! CNN reported that a study by Harvard University proved that pigs can actually fly in a straight line, allowing for variance in air currents, for a distance of 2,000 feet – unaided by any physical device – airborne for duration of 11.15 seconds.

This experiment was successfully repeated 10 times, achieving the same results – scientifically proving, “Pigs can fly”.

This study was also replicated – by computer simulation – again proving, “Pigs can fly”. However, your results may vary.

FOX NEWS disputed the results, revealing the Method of Testing: 10 piglets were thrown from a helicopter from an altitude of 2,000 feet – just before a fraternity BBQ.

FOOTNOTE: The Harvard University Flying Pig Study obviously never happened; nor did reports by CNN and Fox News; and, the story above is, in fact, “a lie, a darn lie; HOWEVER; all the data (above) are statistically correct as simulation at…

MORE FACTS: People fly – all the time, and piglets can fly – the same way people fly. Sky divers will tell you, “free-falling is flying”! SO, PIGS CAN FLY!

THE POWER OF LIES CONTAMINATING TRUTH: If you read the paragraphs above, I just created a cognitive dissonance in your mind – a self-conflicted “idea” –- a “demon” (if you dare) – containing both “lies” and “truths” – which you visualized; and which you must reconcile.

Some of you are “possessed” by the QUESTION, itself, the “idea”, “Can pigs fly?”;

· Others are “possessed” by ACCEPTING the new “idea”, “Well, I guess pigs really can fly!”; but…

· Others are “possessed”, REJECTING the new “idea”, “Of course, pigs can NOT fly; and neither can I! But I have flown in a plane, and piglets …”

If we put you (my readers) all in a room, to debate the question, “Can pigs fly?” – you would find yourselves – arguing – an “idea” – that now “possess” you in some way – whether or not – pigs can fly”!

Finally, “possessed” by this “idea” – you will most likely hesitate – when next you are “tempted” to say – “When pigs fly!”

Thank you for exploring “ideas” and “possessions” with me.

I APPEAL TO PARENTS to talk to your children to discover their “ideas” – and what “possesses” them – and drives them. I encourage you to be the parent who can talk openly and honestly about difficult subjects – like drug addiction, pornography, sex, gender, violence, homelessness, suicide, and, and then – listen. Finally, show them how you believe “pigs can fly” – and, so can they!

Knowing the local “rules of the road” are one thing; having a “moral compass”, for the big picture, is something else.

I have recently revisited the “moral compass” my father and mother gave me: The 10 Commandments.

At, I found animated videos on the 10 commandments – directly from the Hebrew text. I found these very enlightening.

EINSTEIN ENTERED CAROL AND MY LIFE as a seven months old puppy, still innocent; still learning about the world; still eager to please, still impressionable; and, yes, “possessed” with fears.

Ultimately, he needed me to step in – with loving rules, a routine, and patience.

Rule #1: Don’t pee in the house – especially on the bed! n

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