"Quiet down – come out of him!" (Mark 1:25)

Jesus stated this as he drove out an "unclean spirit" from a man who was in the synagogue while Jesus was giving a talk. Here is the situation:
In the synagogue was a man with an impure spirit. He cried out – saying, “Let us be – what do we have to do with you, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know that you are the God’s Holy One.  (Mark 1:23-24)
What is going on here? Besides the fact that Jesus was teaching in a synagogue, this event communicates several things:

Are we these physical bodies?

The critical information that allows the understanding of the expulsion of demons is that we are not these physical bodies.

Our physical body is a temporary vehicle. It lives no more than about 100 years at best. Then the body decomposes. Do we decompose with it? Certainly not. At the time of death, we leave the physical body. This has been confirmed in tens of thousands of confirmed clinical death cases.

Since we leave these physical bodies at the time of death, we cannot be these bodies. Who are we then? We are the self - the spirit-person - who lives within this body. We are an occupant of the body - we drive the body just as a driver drives a car.

In other words, we are 'possessing' our physical body right now.

What happens during possession?

There are two possible scenarios. One is a deformity within the consciousness of the spirit-person, causing a mental disturbance. This can lead to schizophrenia and similar disorders.

Today we call these mental illnesses. During Jesus' time, they were called demons.

Some schizophrenia cases may be considered multiple personality cases. But many others are disturbances in the mind. Such a disturbed mind may take two or multiple perspectives as it views the surrounding world.

Sometimes these schizophrenia cases relate simply to a mind-body connection, meaning it is a brain-nervous system disorder. Today we see some of these cases corrected with nutrition and therapy.

In the case of Jesus' healings, these were consistent with the purification of consciousness. This purification of consciousness can automatically correct such a mental disturbance.

Another scenario, which is rarer, is that another spirit has broken into the body and shares the occupation of that body with the cental possessor of that body.

In this case, an unembodied spirit-person has broken into a body and begins to operate it - much as a person might come in and occupy a house or apartment they don't own or rent.

In fact, there are innumerable unembodied spirit-persons trapped in the ethereal plane who, when they see an opportunity, they will break into a body and occupy it for a while.

This opportunity comes when a person's grip on their body has weakened. This can happen during intoxication for example.

And rightfully so. When a person drinks or takes drugs to escape, they usually want to be temporarily freed of their responsibilities with the body. Intoxication deadens the spirit-person's cerebral link to the body. This can allow a ghost to come in.

Jesus was effectively driving out such an unwelcomed occupant - a demoniac spirit-person who recognized Jesus' authority but still wanted to reject Jesus' teachings.

What is a demon?

This is the nature of a demon: A demon rejects the authority of the Supreme Being. A demon wants to ignore the existence of the Supreme Being. Why?

Because a demon wants to be independent of the Supreme Being. A demon wants to enjoy life for himself - outside the confines of the Supreme Being's authority. This is why the demon in this event felt so threatened by Jesus - he thought his independence was being intruded upon.

A demon is by nature envious of the Supreme Being. How is that?

A demon ultimately wants God's position. A demon wants to be in charge. A demon wants to be the boss. A demon wants to be the king, or the president or whatever post with authority is available.

And the only difference between the demon that was occupying the body of the person in the synagogue was that he didn't have his own body.

In other words, this physical world is a place of demons.

Just a read through the news any day will illustrate this. People killing others, robbing others, raping others, kidnapping others - these are all acts of demons.

So yes - demons are all around us. This world is, in fact, the world of demons. It is that place where those spirit-persons who didn't want to be with God in the spiritual world were sent to play out our personal goals for self-enjoyment.

This world, in fact, is a rehabilitation center.

Some people will ask: If God is good why is there so much suffering?

It is not God's fault. The Supreme Being simply designed a place of consequence - a place of learning. It is us who have made the world what it is. It is us who cause suffering in this world.

Because love requires freedom, the Supreme Being gave each of us the ability to love Him or not. So some of us decided we didn't want to love or be with the Supreme Being. So He created a virtual domain where we could act independently of God. A place where we could virtually get away from God.

Otherwise, what good would having freedom be if there wasn't a clear option to get away from God?

God designed a world where those who wanted to ignore Him and even forget He even exists could. This is the physical world.

But because He still loves us and doesn't want us to lose the opportunity to return, He also created a facility called consequence - where there is a consequence for each and every action we take in the world. A good action will yield a positive consequence and a negative - hurtful - action will yield a hurtful consequence later. This produces learning - which encourages a person to change.

This strategy is precisely what good parents will do with their children to help them mature. Instead of discipline, good parents will simply develop consequences for kids who act out. These consequences are created to create development and learning.

The Supreme Being's consequence system is more complex, however. Every action within the physical world comes with a subsequent consequence - good or bad. And these consequences can travel with us from lifetime to lifetime. But the range and level of consequences also depends upon the level of learning the is experienced.

This is because the purpose of consequences is to teach us. If a person does something and experiences guilt, there is a learning component, which can help mitigate the consequences.

This actually occurs on a practical level in many legal systems around the world. A person who feels remorse for committing a crime is usually given an easier sentence.

The issue is learning. Consequences are about learning from our past behavior. This allows us to grow and evolve spiritually.

This is why there is so much suffering. We have each - as individuals and as societies - created the suffering that exists by our previous actions. We are responsible for our own amount of suffering, by the actions of our past.

Did Jesus teach the law of consequences?

And Jesus specifically taught his students this. Consider this question by his disciples:
“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that his body was born blind?” (John 9:2)
Jesus' disciples were asking if the man's current diseased condition - blindness - was caused by the man's previous acts, or by the acts of his parents - because a parent's acts will also produce consequences in terms of parts of a child's disposition.

In other words, this question the disciples posed came from a place of knowledge. Jesus had previously taught them about the law of consequences.

Furthermore, since the man was born blind, we know that Jesus taught that a person's consequences from a previous life will affect the type of physical body and environment they take on in their next life.

This specifically answers that question posed by many: Why are children born into suffering?

Jesus also indicated that a person's past behavior will produce physical disease when he told a paralyzed person:
"Friend, your sins are forgiven." (Luke 5:20)
Notice that Jesus didn't tell the man his body was healed. Because the man's sins - his previous activities - produced his paralysis, Jesus focused upon the cause of the disease rather than the symptoms.

Why do we seek heaven?

If humankind - individually and as a society - were to make changes and instead of each of us seeking self-gratification - we were to care for each other - then the suffering of the world would naturally decrease dramatically.

But that would not be the final solution. In fact, many people try to work for world peace or imagine a physical world where there was no violence or hatred - typically with good intentions.

In fact, this was the hope of John Lennon - from a song called "Imagine." John imagined a place where there was no war, no hate, no violence, where people would live in peace.

John Lennon and many others try to imagine heaven - but they can't find it because they don't want the Supreme Being there. They want heaven without God.

Why? Because they want to enjoy heaven for themselves.

And this is our disease. This is why the sufferings of the world continue - because each person wants their own heaven - and their gain will come at the cost of others' suffering. And the activities done to achieve such a state of self-centered heaven produce consequences - which have to then be experienced later.

Where is the real heaven?

The solution is to re-develop our innate loving relationship with the Supreme Being. This is our natural position.

In this state, we can return to the spiritual realm and live in the real heaven.

The problem is, this requires a change of heart. It means changing from being self-centered to being God-centered. It means changing our consciousness from seeking our own satisfaction to seeking the Supreme Being's satisfaction.

Jesus illustrated the perfection of this consciousness:
"For I have descended from the spiritual realm not to please myself but to please Him who sent me."(John 6:38)