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Bronze statuette of the Assyro-Babylonian demon king Pazuzu, circa 800 BC – circa 700 BC, Louvre

A demon is a supernatural and often malevolent being prevalent in religion, occultism, literature, fiction, mythology and folklore.


  • Man's need of self-esteem entails the need for a sense of control over reality – but no control is possible in a universe which, by one's own concession, contains the supernatural, the miraculous and the causeless, a universe in which one is at the mercy of ghosts and demons, in which one must deal, not with the unknown, but with the unknowable; no control is possible if man proposes, but a ghost disposes; no control is possible if the universe is a haunted house.
  • Most nature-spirits dislike and avoid mankind, and we cannot wonder at it. To them man appears a ravaging demon, destroying and spoiling wherever he goes... He wantonly kills, often with awful tortures, all the beautiful creatures that they love to watch... p. 143
  • Somewhere in the desert at the back of Alexandria there was once a monastery whose abbot possessed the power of clairvoyance. Among his monks there were two young men who had an especial reputation for purity and holiness... One day when they were singing in the choir it occurred to the abbot to turn his clairvoyant faculty upon these two young men... he looked at the first young man and saw that he had surrounded himself with a shell as of glittering crystal, and that when the tempting demons (impure thought-forms we should call them) came rushing at him, they struck against this shell, and fell back without injuring him, so that he remained inside his shell, calm and cold and pure. Then the abbot looked at the second young monk, and he saw that he had built no shell round himself, but that his heart was so full of the love of God that it was perpetually radiating- from him in all directions in the shape of torrents of love for his fellowmen, so that when the attempting- demons sprang at him with foul intent they were all washed away in that mighty outpouring stream, and so he also remained pure and undefiled... p. 477
  • The demons have always effected that all those who ever so little strived to live by logos and shun vice be hated.
    • Justin Martyr. Second Apology, in Readings in World Christian History (2013), p. 40

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