The morning came; the Christines landed in the country of the Geracenes. They went to Gadara, chief city of the Peracans, and here for certain days they tarried and they taught. Now, legends hold that Gadara is sacred to the dead, and all the hills about are known as holy ground. These are the burial grounds of all the regions round about; the hills are full of tombs; and many dead from Galilee are here entombed. Now, spirits of the lately dead that cannot rise to higher planes, remain about the tombs that hold the flesh and bones of what was once their mortal homes. They sometimes take possession of the living, whom they torture in a hundred ways. And all through Gadara were men obsessed, and there was no one strong enough to bring relief. (Aquarian Gospel 118:1-7)
Now, spirits of the lately dead that cannot rise to higher planes, remain about the tombs that hold the flesh and bones of what was once their mortal homes. The phenomenon of earthbound spirits is prevalent throughout the world and throughout all recorded eras of history. It is extremely easy for a person to be so bound by psychic cords with things of earth that they either cannot or will not move on to an astral world to prepare themselves for their next earthly birth. They can spend centuries and even millennia either tied to one place or wandering the earth. Many of them do not even realize they are dead. In some places soldiers have been fighting a single battle continuously for the same amounts of time. It is said that the battle of Thermopylae begun in 480 BC is still going on. Many psychically sensitive people have seen it at sunrise and sunset. Certain places are filled with earthbound souls and others have virtually none. It may have something to do with the magnetism of the earth in those places.
They sometimes take possession of the living, whom they torture in a hundred ways. The first teaching of Yogananda I learned was that the individual soul guides the growth of its new body from conception to birth. Since this is so, the body is as unique to that person as a thumbprint. For another soul to possess and completely control such a body is almost impossible. Some control is possible, but there will be a great deal of the body that cannot be directed. The result can be paralysis of body parts or malfunctioning of various organs. For example, blindness or deafness can result from possession by an alien spirit. We can only imagine the horror this is for the rightful owner of the body. It truly is torture in a multitude of ways.
And all through Gadara were men obsessed, and there was no one strong enough to bring relief. Obsession is not the same as possession. Rather it is a strong degree of influence and interference, but the obsessing spirit is mostly external to the body, whereas a possessing spirit is really inside the body, having pushed the owner to one side, so to speak. A friend of mine was told by a powerful yogi in Kashmir that nearly everyone in the West was obsessed to some degree. When we realize that alcohol and drugs have from time immemorial produced favorable conditions for obsession and possession, we can understand how this can be so, especially since so many Western people live on medicinal drugs, especially psychotropic ones, even if they have nothing to do with illegal drugs. It is nearly impossible to dislodge “tramp spirits” from the obsessed or possessed if one does not have either the psychic, esoteric knowledge or the mind power required to drive them out with pure force of will.
That they might meet these hidden foes and learn the way to dispossess the evil ones the master took the foreign masters and the twelve into the tombs. And as they neared the gates they met a man obsessed. A legion of the unclean ones were in this man, and they had made him strong; And none could bind him down, no, not with chains; for he could break the stoutest chains, and go his way.
Now, unclean spirits cannot live in light; they revel in the dark. When Jesus came he brought the light of life, and all the evil spirits were disturbed. The leader of the legion in the man called out, Thou Jesus, thou Immanuel, we beg that thou wilt not consign us to the depths. Torment us not before our time. And Jesus said, What is your number and your name? The evil spirit said, Our name is legion, and our number is the number of the beast.
And Jesus spoke; and with a voice that shook the very hills, he said, Come forth; possess this man no more. (Aquarian Gospel 118:8-16)
That they might meet these hidden foes and learn the way to dispossess the evil ones the master took the foreign masters and the twelve into the tombs. This is the mark of a master teacher: he not only can do many things impossible to ordinary people, he can teach others how to do the same. Within the human being lie the powers to control all of nature, but the ability to awaken and wield them is rare. But Jesus was a true master who could show the way to mastery to his disciples.
And as they neared the gates they met a man obsessed. A legion of the unclean ones were in this man, and they had made him strong; and none could bind him down, no, not with chains; for he could break the stoutest chains, and go his way. Supernormal strength is a common trait of the obsessed and possessed. So are great powers of endurance. I knew a man that had experience with exorcism, and he told me of one case in which a man could break anything with which he was tied and who would turn on all the burners of a gas stove and sit on them without even his clothing being scorched. I met a Roman Catholic man who had assisted the official exorcist of the Saint Louis Diocese. He told me that he had seen more than one person literally climb up walls and over ceilings like human flies.
Now, unclean spirits cannot live in light; they revel in the dark. When Jesus came he brought the light of life, and all the evil spirits were disturbed. “Light” and “dark” are psychic and spiritual conditions. Often the approach of a holy person causes great agitation in obsessed and possessed people. And the approach of an evil person can cause great happiness and fawning by such people.
The leader of the legion in the man called out, Thou Jesus, thou Immanuel, we beg that thou wilt not consign us to the depths. Torment us not before our time. And Jesus said, What is your number and your name? The evil spirit said, Our name is legion, and our number is the number of the beast. And Jesus spoke; and with a voice that shook the very hills, he said, Come forth; possess this man no more.
From this passage and from many in the regular Gospels we see how little “confessing Christ” is of any real value. Negative spirits often call out and acknowledge the holiness of someone, even begging them to leave because they feel pain at their presence. Evil spirits used to call Saint Sergius of Radonezh “iron-eater.” “And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” (Matthew 8:29) So “confessing Jesus as Son of God” is no sign or guarantee of salvation as many Protestants think!
The basic unit of the Roman army was a legion, which consisted of from three to six thousand men. So the man is claiming that thousands of spirits were obsessing or possessing him. But since spirits continually lie, there is no real basis for accepting that number. Possessing spirits often claim to be of large numbers and to be famous villains of history, even Judas (who actually became liberated about a century ago according to Yogananda who personally knew him). Like all evil people those spirits are cheap, trivial and dishonest. So nothing they say should be accepted. Even if they speak truth, they do so to eventually deceive.
With the full power of a liberated spirit, one with the omnipotent God, Jesus commanded the spirits to come forth.
Now, all the hills were filled with unclean animals that fed, and carried forth and spread the plague among the people of the land. And when the evil spirits begged that they might not be driven forth without a home, the master said, Go forth and take possession of the unclean quadrupeds. And they, and all the evil spirits of the tombs went forth and took possession of the breeders of the plague, Which, wild with rage, ran down the steeps into the sea, and all were drowned. And all the land was freed of the contagion, and the unclean spirits came no more. (Aquarian Gospel 118:17-22)
This is another incident that is similar to those of the Gospels, and yet is very different. Whether the unclean animals were swine is not specified, but they were not just unclean from ritual or dietary reasons, for they carried a plague and infected human beings. The unclean spirits asked to possess the unclean animals, as they often possess unclean people, and Jesus agreed. Since the animal bodies were not made to be inhabited by earthbound human spirits the result was that all of them went berserk and rushed into the water and were drowned. In this way “the land was freed of the contagion, and the unclean spirits came no more.” Great good came from this.
But when the people saw the mighty works that Jesus did they were alarmed. They said, If he can free the country of the plague, and drive the unclean spirits out, he is a man of such transcendent power that he can devastate our land at will.
And then they came and prayed that he would not remain in Gadara. And Jesus did not tarry longer there, and with the other masters and the twelve, he went aboard the boats to go away.
The man who had been rescued from the unclean legion stood upon the shore and said, Lord let me go with you. But Jesus said, It is not well; go forth unto your home and tell the news that men may know what man can do when he is tuned with God.
And then the man went forth through all Decapolis and told the news.
The Christines sailed away, re-crossed the sea and came again into Capernaum. (Aquarian Gospel 118:23-30)
Evil people do not hesitate to project their own evil onto God and his holy ones. So these people who obviously matched the unclean beasts that had destroyed themselves believed that Jesus could wreak great harm on them. So they asked him to leave and he did.
When the exorcised man wanted to go with Jesus and his disciples he was told to remain and “tell the news that men may know what man can do when he is tuned with God.” This was not to glorify Jesus but to reveal the potential glory of all humanity. This was the real Gospel of Christ which Jesus was bringing to all who would heed it.