Possessiveness and Demonic Possession

By Linda Mihalic

  Possession is the act or fact of possessing, or condition of being possessed; the holding or having something as one’s own, or in one’s control; an idea or impulse that holds or affects one strongly.The Oxford English Dictionary In fact, all you have and all you are belongs to God, your Creator. GOD IS ALL THAT IS.
  Demonic possession is an act of pure evil, defined as the fact of a demon possessing a person; the fact of being possessed by a demon or evil spirit; the state of being controlled by a demon or evil spirit. Every case of demonic possession begins with two elements, a possessing entity and an embodied soul subject to outside possession of its autonomous will. We discuss the origin of demons elsewhere. Every demon is self-created; we know this truth because God has granted the matchless gift of the freedom to choose its own course of action to every part of His Creation that is capable of overcoming instinct and volitionally choosing whatever action it prefers. This truth resides within the embodied soul’s recollection of its own being.

“Every demon is self-created or permitted.”—Linda Mihalic

  I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.—Isaiah 45:7. What does this mean? God emanates the supernal Light of the Good, forms the photons of light, creates darkness by separating the photons from all other particles, makes peace the harmony of the Good, and creates the possibilty of evil arising from His gift of freedom to choose. If an embodied soul chooses to think evil thoughts and persists in doing so over many lives, he creates a pattern of evil thinking that will inevitably result in his choosing to do evil acts. Unless he desires to change his mind and desires back to God's original pattern for him, he will inevitably corrupt himself into being an evil-doer and become the servant and worshiper of evil, surrendering his soul to evil’s possession. Yet even then perhaps not all is lost.

  In the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Mark, Jesus was casting out an unclean spirit and asked that demon its name and it replied: My name is Legion: for we are many. And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.—Mark 5:9-13
  Edna Lister unfolded the meaning of this story: Jesus knew that if even an iota’s worth of desire for the Good remains in a lost soul, no matter how corrupt it has become, the fragments, the life sparks of its soul, may be saved by sending them into a warm-blooded animal that will soon die. (He chose the swine because they were unclean, as were the demons in the legion.) The life sparks are then burned in a lake of fire until they are cleansed and may be reused as new soul substance for that Oversoul to build a clean body. The new embodied soul then begins the long arduous labor of redeeming its misused soul substance, which is how the soul works out its own salvation. This was why Jesus cast the demons into the herd of swine. The forgiveness of sin does not pay the debt; forgivness is being given a chance to pay your own debts. There is no free ride.

“Let Light possess you to do God’s perfect work.”—Edna Lister

  To feel or to be possessive denotes a belief that you are entitled to possess some thing or person as belonging to you. Possessiveness is an intense feeling of ownership, is akin to selfish envy and jealousy, and is classed a soul taint leading to sin. Possession of another, to control them, is a sin and is evil. Obsession begins with possessiveness but ends in insanity, the complete loss of mind. The only possession permissible is having God’s Light, Wisdom, Love and Power possess you unto perfection.

Edna Lister on Possessiveness and Demonic Possession

How do you reach your goal? The first phase is surrender of things, to hold no possessions, no me or mine. The second phase is surrender of self to "Follow me."—Edna Lister, Recognizing Your Good, April 22, 1934

Envy is the desire to possess another’s attributes and qualities. Greed is the desire to possess things.–Edna Lister, February 6, 1938

Excessive worry about a loved one is credited as self-indulgence, as possessing him or her as a person. When you give up all possessiveness, you will enjoy everything on earth more and be able to see and hear spiritually.–Edna Lister, December 10, 1938

May compassion be your greatly treasured possession, your pearl of great price, possessing which you sell all that you have and buy it with this so great sacrifice, for all you truly possess is self, and in selling that, you replace it with immortality of soul.–Edna Lister, August 9, 1940

You may love only to love, not to possess another or to make a demand for self.–Edna Lister, April 13, 1942

Lay self on the altar first of all, in surrender of all desire or will to possess anyone or anything. Then name, one by one, all persons or things, desires or hopes, and give them again to God.–Edna Lister, November 18, 1942

Possession of another body and soul is the very deepest and darkest of all evil.–Edna Lister, January 4, 1945

Use divine and pure Godlike Mother love instead of a possessive, demanding, expecting self-love. You may give of love, but may not ask for love.–Edna Lister, February 1, 1945

The graciousness and loveliness of the Lord Jesus Christ is adequate and equal to anything when it possesses you. To be possessed by the Light, you must surrender self until self is no more. Uproot pride, arrogance and self. Declare, Move in, Father, and possess me! My soul sings praises that I am being used!—Edna Lister, July 2, 1945

True surrender to be possessed of love gives freely without counting the cost to self or of hoarding of self or things for some distant day.–Edna Lister, July 5, 1945

When love supreme possesses you until no bit of self remains, love shall then fulfill the whole law within you and for you.–Edna Lister, July 17, 1945

Allow no one to possess you or to demand of you. Move into the Light and say, Let the Light of God possess me!—Edna Lister, November 15, 1945

Desire for perfection is one thing. Performance, practice and holding are another. This means to carry all blame, all burdens, never seeking for self, never asking credit. It means a complete silence about self, a quiet, constant working to perfect the soul and letting go of all else, no possession of either people or things.–Edna Lister, March 5, 1947

The more often the embodied soul entertains self-centered opinions and prejudices, the more his negative traits, taints, and sins possesses him. He destroys his own soul substance until insanity finally results.–Edna Lister, July 17, 1948

When Light moves in and possesses you, you must become perfect. If you leave any part of your being out, Light doesn’t occupy it. Move into the Light and say, Let God’s Light possess me wholly and entirely, now!—Edna Lister, February 4, 1949

To hold a sense of possession of another is a type of vampirism.–Edna Lister, July 8, 1949

Criticism of another is a form of possession.–Edna Lister, March 8, 1950

One form of mother love is so possessive it squeezes the loved one nigh unto death.–Edna Lister, Prayer, the Soul’s Aspiration, June 7, 1953

Poise is the result of surrender to be possessed by the Power of God.–Edna Lister, I Surrender, July 4, 1954

Most married people do not want separation, but freedom from another’s possession, from nagging and lack of understanding. If they could teach soul freedom in marital relation courts, many couples would reunite. This is freedom to ascend to comprehension, then compassion descends for understanding of the mate. Just love God and surrender to Him.–Edna Lister, July 12, 1954

A mother’s points of possession are often her children. Lack of possessiveness adds generosity of spirit. When you comprehend God, all glorious, all generous, all compassionate, then you will not criticize your children. Move into the Light and say, Let the Light possess me!—Edna Lister, October 5, 1954

Possessions include possessing a loved one to the death of their hope or ambitions. Where your treasure is, there your heart is also. The heart of your life will revolve around your treasure. If you devote yourself to the possession of a child, husband or wife, and concentrate your life of soul on them, then nothing is left if they leave or are taken from your life.–Edna Lister, Your Treasures, January 15, 1956

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.—Matthew 5:4. First, you must let go of possession of things, then you can let go of possession of personality.–Edna Lister, The Beatitude are Be-attitudes, February 12, 1956

When grief becomes excessive, it turns into a form of selfishness and possessive demands of others. Move into the Light and say, Let Your Light possess me, Father!—Edna Lister, March 17, 1958

Sentimentality is born of a possessive selfish love; it squeezes its loved ones to death and collapses in a crisis when you need it most. You cannot lean on this. Eventually, sentimental love will ride the loved one with a whip and spurs. Many nervous collapses are due to possessive sentimentality posing as mother love.–Edna Lister, Promises Fulfilled, May 11, 1958

All your emotional insecurities are rooted in selfishness and possessiveness.–Edna Lister, The Pioneering Mystic, May 5, 1959

Selfish and possessive souls often are angry with those who lift them and may seek to break the lifters. Since they are crystallized, unhappy, living on a volcano of self and desire, they always blame the one who opens the cellar door and seek any excuse to deny this.–Edna Lister, May 11, 1959

Psychology and metaphysics teach us that we condition our lives by our thinking, and that thinking correctly can change any condition. A person can be obsessed with an idea, possessed by an evil spirit, or possessed by a special devil of his own making, one he has created himself. What psychology calls a persecution complex or obsession causes the person to cower away from others, and brings possession by a devil of his own making.
  Sometimes one is possessed by his own dweller on the threshold of consciousness, an entity that has no power in itself, a dark cloud of Mind misused by negative thinking and separated from Substance and Power. A dweller always returns to its creator, who is possessed by his own misused substance appearing as a black cloud.–Edna Lister, Heaven as a State of Consciousness and as a Place, June 16, 1959

The only way to reach the Source is through love, a sublimated love which goes beyond outer satisfaction of greed for possession.–Edna Lister, October 23, 1959

Darkness is dispossessed soul substance and consciousness. Say, Let all that the world possesses be dispossessed!—Edna Lister, December 7, 1959

Thought transference [telepathy] can become a form of possession. Even loving thoughts could influence and dominate the other person. The principle is good, but the user must be trained in and obedient to law before he applies mental influence.–Edna Lister, August 16, 1962

When faith possesses you, you lend yourself to be invariable, unchanging, and know that all is well. The faith of God brings the answer through, sets aside time and space, and It is finished! When you are possessed by the faith of God, molds are filled. Through faith, imagination builds the mold, but you must picture what you want and put it on a cloud of Light. Keep the picture clean, clear and perfect. Picture yourself as joyful; see yourself as going through an open door. Keep your eye single and fixed on the Light.–Edna Lister, November 15, 1962

Possessive love creates only weakness.–Edna Lister, June 6, 1963

Investing your soul substance in another is selfish possession. When you possess another, you use your soul substance to establish an inverted and sagging earthly umbilical cord that you trip over, a pit you fall into; you can even lose your body over this. Withdraw all possessive lines, which cause a lack of energy and abundance in your material affairs. Reach out arms of Light to lift the lines. Keep this going daily.–Edna Lister, June 6, 1963

When you are possessive and invest your soul substance in others, it ties you to them with bands of steel. Free the other fellow of you, not free yourself of him. Give him free choice, the same as you expect for yourself. Demanding of others has put the world in bondage. Surrender to be possessed of the Light. Say, Fill me with Light, Father, and lift all the life sparks I’ve invested in others. Let them be free of me!—Edna Lister, October 6, 1964

You must love yourself first, for you love your neighbor exactly as much as you love yourself. Yet you cannot be happy unless your spiritual life is possessing you. Move in, Father, and possess me!—Edna Lister, November 27, 1964

Mother Love has three phases, emotional, mental and spiritual. The emotional may become sticky with sentimentality, possessiveness or smothering. To be well balanced, it must branch from the spiritual basis of God.–Edna Lister, Ancient Myths and Mysteries, May 11, 1965

Possessive, sentimental love usually covers deeply buried hatred and jealousy. All the worrying such people do is crippling to their loved ones.–Edna Lister, April 7, 1966

Ideas can possess you and people can be possessive. Allow no one and nothing to possess you but God and His Light. Good judgment teaches you not to possess. Dispossess yourself of others to dispossess them of you.–Edna Lister, Judgment and Mercy, October 11, 1964

When grief becomes excessive, it turns into a form of selfishness and possessive demands of others.–Edna Lister, All Healing Comes Through Beauty of Soul, May 16, 1967

Possess nothing and allow nothing to possess you.–Edna Lister, October 24, 1968

We witness cases of great family cohesion. Some families possess each other and are together all the time, as though nobody else in the world exists. A soul who belongs to that kind of a family group chose that family on the inner. They must participate in that group until they have fulfilled every possible relationship and experience.–Edna Lister, Number, the Original Cause of All Action, November 18, 1969

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Treatment to Be Possessed by God’s Light

Declare, I AM God's Light-filled son/daughter! and reach up to stand in the Christ Light. You have no words to remember, no words to become, just ascend and surrender to be possessed of the Light of the Lord. It is complete giving up of ego to be possessed of Light; no mental process is necessary. You can do it if you really want it. The Father is always waiting to ascend you. A line of Light always extends from the Source to your soul. Without this, no one could return home. You must use your arms, so raise them. When you raise your arms, you open wide, and shoot up to God.–Edna Lister, June 7, 1962

Let the flame of fire from above, which consumes all else unlike itself, possess me now. I am now possessed by the fire of the flame of immortal life, and all that I do is touched by its glory!—Edna Lister, June 30, 1964

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Demonic Possession

Some people create an entity of their own building, usually through hatred or some obsession, which then possesses them at times with as much violence as though it were an evil spirit.–Edna Lister, June 30, 1941

When an individual uses all his soul substance, and sinks into darkness, he becomes an entity and possesses a similar creature.–Edna Lister, July 3, 1941

Any entity that comes to a person must weave a cloak or body from that person’s misused soul substance before it can possess him. So lift your own misused soul substance daily.–Edna Lister, June 4, 1947

Jesus raised the dead, healed the halt, the lame and blind, and cast out devils. Evil spirits are entities that you draw to yourself. If you have a worst favorite, you form a little cloud that sticks to your shoulder. These entities float along attached to you, and can envelop you in darkness until a great black cloud bogs you down. Using soul vision, you can see such clouds surrounding patients in a mental institution. These entities have no power in themselves, but press that one button that irritates, so they can find a home.
  The Master cast out many evil spirits, but one bodiless legion of souls begged him to live (Mark 5). Even a soul that has become an evil spirit, may call upon God to be saved, if it still knows that it is a soul. Jesus knew this soul had begged for grace, and sent it into a herd of swine that ran over a cliff into a lake. When it drowned, the soul substance was sent to high fires of purification to be salvaged.–Edna Lister, Jesus, the Son of God, November 21, 1954

Sitting with hands on knees to contemplate the naval center in meditation or prayer leads to demonic possession in those who have used the faculty of will negatively or selfishly.–Edna Lister, October 17, 1961

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When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.—Matthew 12:43-45
  The story of an unclean spirit illustrates something from the outside possessing one. For instance, husbands possess their wives, mothers possess their children, brothers and sisters possess each another, yet you can neither possess another soul, nor may you allow it.–Edna Lister, Loveliness and Beauty, February 7, 1965

"My Name Is Legion": They came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshiped him, and cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.
  For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.
  Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done.
  And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts. And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.—Mark 5:1-20

Seven Devils: And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered. But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils. And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven. But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub. And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges. But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.
  When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armor wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.—Luke 11:14-26
  This story deals with actual possession and the casting out of devils. This is a most ambiguous passage and we must integrate it, since it clearly applies today. The Gospel of Luke mentions casting out devils in nine different places. Many people think all the devils were released during Jesus’ time, yet we have more unclean spirits in the world today and just as much casting out of devils as in Jesus’ time.
  The world must be released from many devils, and persecution, anxiety and guilt complexes are among the worst. Psychiatrists are relieving people of the little devils that beset them through private and group therapy. Ministers do it through prayer and advice. All are releasing devils, as Jesus did. We are casting out more devils now than ever
  Luke 11:14 and 11:26 deal with different kinds of possession. Where an entity, a "devil," moves in and possesses, it deals with personality, as in Luke 11:14. A "devil" refers to a possessing personality. When an "unclean spirit" moves in, it deals with principle, the three phases of the One Mind within the individual—subconscious, conscious and superconscious—as in Luke 11:26. An "unclean spirit" refers to possession of soul substance as subconscious mind. The first verse deals with multiple personalities and the last verse deals with the One Mind.
  Many had seen Jesus cast out devils at other times. Where there is fear of possession, those in the family must have a "sign" and must try to cast out the devils. He had two goals here, to cast out devils and also to give the families involved a sign to strengthen their faith. Jesus then taught them of the man healed of an unclean spirit, a possession of the subconscious mind, which was filled with fears, doubts, self-pity, pride, opinions and prejudices, all negative vibrations he had allowed. He was converted and perfectly free. However, he did not turn to God and fill himself with the Holy Spirit, or take an offering to the temple; he was not grateful enough. Jesus freed the man’s subconscious mind, but his idle words, negative feelings, and misused Power and Substance still waited on a cloud for him to speak the word for Light to absorb them.
  When you are healed, you must ascend high enough in consciousness so that the glory of God fills you. If you don’t, the cloud of negativity of your last curse will find other unclean spirits, form an entity army and return.–Edna Lister, What Is Your Measure of Power? June 12, 1960.

A Spirit of Divination: And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.—Acts 16:16-19

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Edna Miriam Lister
The original Pioneering Mystic, Christian Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister

Etymology of possession: Latin possessionem from possidere to possess, to have in one’s control, to seize upon.

Possessiveness is akin to envy and jealousy and is a soul soul taint. Unless you lift and surrender it to God, a taint always becomes the breeding ground for sin.

Possession of another, to control them, is a sin. The deliberate choice to sin against the Light is evil.

James J. Tissot created The Swine Driven into the Sea (shown left) between 1886-1896, as an opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper. The Brooklyn Museum purchased the painting from the artist in 1900.


Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2023.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

The Oxford English Dictionary: Compact Ed., 2 vols. E.S.C. Weiner, editor. Oxford University Press, 1971.

James Tissot (Nantes, France, 1836–1902, Chenecey-Buillon, France). The Swine Driven into the Sea (Les porcs précipités dans la mer), 1886-1896. Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Image: 10 3/16 x 6 11/16 in. (25.9 x 17 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription, 00.159.107 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 00.159.107_PS1.jpg)