Clarifying the Truth

How Do Animal, Demonic, or Spirit Possessions Work?

Many of you may have heard from various spiritual traditions about animal spirits such as those of foxes, weasels, hedgehogs, or snakes attaching to human bodies, and wonder what it’s about. People claim that energy practices can develop psychic powers, but that’s not how it works; what people are taking to be psychic powers are actually innate human abilities.

It’s merely that as the world progresses, people are increasingly fixating on the tangible things of this physical dimension and growing more dependent on modern technology. This has led to a steady decline of our innate abilities to the point we are at now, where they are disappearing altogether.

My Master said if someone wants to have abilities, he has to go through cultivation, return to his original, true self, and bring them out through cultivation. But animals, on the other hand, don’t have complicated thoughts like people do, and so they’re connected to the nature of the universe and do have their inborn, innate abilities.

Some people say that animals know how to cultivate, that foxes know how to make elixir, that snakes and other animals know how to amass energy, and so on. But it’s not that they know how to cultivate. At the start they didn’t know a thing about cultivation—it’s only that they had those innate abilities available to them.

So under certain conditions, in certain environments, and with enough time their innate abilities might take effect, and they’ll be able to get higher energy and have psychic abilities come out.

In this manner, animals can come to have certain abilities, which have previously been referred to as psychic energy or special powers. To ordinary people, animals like these might seem formidable and easily able to dominate man. But I would say they’re nothing of the sort.

They pale in comparison with a true practitioner. It would take barely your little finger to crush them, even if they have practiced for nearly a thousand years. So while we do believe that animals have certain innate powers and can gain abilities, there remains a law in this universe that animals may not practice, let alone succeed at it.

That’s why in ancient texts you might read of disasters large and small wiping out animals every several centuries. If at some point an animal does manage to develop energy, it might be eliminated by a thunderbolt or the like. They are forbidden to practice since they don’t have human nature and cannot practice as human does.

It’s guaranteed they’d be demons if they succeeded in cultivation since they don’t have human traits. So they aren’t allowed to succeed in cultivation, and that’s why they’re slain by Heaven. They too know that. But like I said, the world is sliding downhill big time, and there are people who do all manner of evil. I think you would have to agree that humanity is in peril.

Why Do People Fall For Spirit/Animal Possessions?

“When something reaches the extreme, it reverses”! We have found that each time in prehistory when civilization was cyclically destroyed, it occurred when people’s moral values had been terribly corrupted. The dimension in which we now exist is in imminent danger, as are many others; the same is true for other dimensions at this plane.

Animals want to quickly flee and climb to higher planes since they think that this would bring them safety. But it’s not that simple, since a human body is necessary for spiritual progress. So this is one reason why some spiritual practitioners have fallen prey to spirit possessions.

Some people might wonder why no higher beings or powerful masters have put a stop to this. It’s because the way this universe works is that nobody is going to stop you if you’ve decided upon something. The animals attached to your body are what you brought upon yourself.

Here we simply teach you how to go about the practice correctly and explain the teachings in depth, while leaving it up to you what to make of them. You decide for yourself whether you want to learn the Great Way of Cultivation. As it’s said, “The master leads you through the door, but cultivation is up to you.”

Nobody will force you or coerce you to practice, for it is always your own personal decision. This means that nobody will try to dissuade you once you have decided upon a certain course, or try to change what you want or hope to gain. Others can only try to encourage you to do what’s best.

The Danger of Spirit Possession

When possessed people do an energy practice, the benefits of it are all in fact reaped by attached entities. Then just consider all the people around the world who do energy practice, do you know how many of them have possessing spirits on their backs? If I told you, a lot of people wouldn’t dare to do energy practice. The number is scary! 

This begs the question of how the problem came about, then—something as serious as spirit entities disrupting the world. It turns out that it’s something people have brought upon themselves. Demons lurk everywhere now, due to people’s moral corruption.

The worst is those fake qigong/energy masters, they all have possessing spirits on their bodies, and when they pass on their practices they’re transmitting that stuff. Never in history were animals allowed to get on human bodies, and if they did they’d be killed—whoever saw it wouldn’t stand for it. But in today’s world, people pray to them, ask for them, and even worship them.

Some people won’t be too happy to hear this—”But that isn’t what I asked for!” You didn’t ask for it, but you asked for abilities, and would the Enlightened Beings of a true cultivation give them to you?

The divinities who oversee the authentic spiritual traditions would never grant you such powers, since your yearning is a worldly attachment that should be let go. Only animals or demons from other realms would grant them to you. Those spirits will come to you when you are attached to gaining special powers, for it’s as good as inviting them.

How Do Spirit Possessions Truly Work

It is only because the person’s thoughts aren’t righteous that he attracts bad things. Animal spirits can see when someone wants to gain renown, wealth, or power from practicing. They’ll be delighted by this, since the person’s physical makeup might be pretty good and his body might have great things in it.

And they will see that his thoughts are awful, since he seeks supernatural powers. But the animals won’t be scared off even if the person in fact has a master. They know that the more someone wants those powers, the more determined his master will be not to grant them; particularly the master of a true practice, who would see it as an attachment to be broken.

So the person’s strong attachments will only make it less likely that he’s granted special powers. But if he doesn’t come to realize it, he will keep at it and his thinking will grow only worse. Ultimately his master will have no choice but to sadly abandon him, since he seems hopeless.

Some individuals who don’t have a master might have one in passing, who keeps an eye on them for a bit. This is common, given how many higher beings are present in other worlds. He will observe the person a bit after spotting him.

But after only a day or so of following and observing the person, it will be apparent that he hasn’t got what it takes, and the master will depart. The next day the same scenario might play out with another master, only to have him, too, discover that this person isn’t suitable, and so he departs as well.

An animal will know that the person’s master, be it his own or one-in-passing, won’t grant him what he wants. Animals can’t see the realms of higher beings, so they aren’t afraid of those beings and exploit one of the laws of the universe, namely, that normally nobody should try to stop someone from going after what he wants.

So animals discover there is nothing wrong with giving the person what he wants, and they do just that. At first, an animal won’t have the nerve to latch on. What it does instead is to give the person some energy as a test-run. So one day, unexpectedly, the person really does get energy like he’d hoped for and can even use it for healing.

The animal sees that it’s worked pretty well, and it’s just like playing a prelude before the show really starts. “He wants them, so I’ll get right on his body. And once I’m there I can give him more, I’ll pour it on!” “You want the Third Eye, right? This time I’ll give you it all.” And so it affixes itself to his body.

So the person’s inner eye gets opened, just as he longed for, and what’s more, he gains the ability to project energy, along with other, lesser powers. He’s delighted by all of this and thinks that he has finally achieved what he has been practicing for. But the truth is, none of it has resulted from his efforts practicing.

And nor has his inner eye actually been opened, even if it seems that he can see into people’s bodies and discover what distresses them. Rather, it’s that the animal is controlling his brain. What the animal does is to convey what it sees with its own eyes to the person’s brain, which leads him to believe that his inner eye has opened.

And he’s sure to try to project energy. But what happens is that when he extends his hand to send out energy, the animal extends a paw out from behind his body; or perhaps, in some cases, it’s a snake that has attached to the person, which sticks out its forked tongue from its little reptilian head toward the person’s ailment or tumor, and licks at it.

Many cases of spirit possession/entity attachment fall into this category, where it’s something the person brings upon himself. So, as a result of his longing for worldly things, the person now has extrasensory powers, can do healings, and see with his inner eye, all to his great delight. The animal might see that he yearns for money and fulfill his wish. It’s incredibly easy to manipulate the minds of ordinary people. 

The animal can control a lot of people and make them come to him for treatments, and they’ll come in droves. Goodness, he’ll be giving treatments there while the animal is off directing the media to give him publicity. It can make ordinary people do things like that.

And if those who come to him for treatments don’t pay him enough, the animal can make them have a headache or do whatever it takes to coax more money out of them. So status and wealth both come to him; not only does he get a windfall, but also a dose of fame as some kind of master.

People like him usually don’t care about character and they’ll dare to say anything, “I’m second to none but God.”

They may go as far as saying they’re the reincarnations of well-known deities, like the Queen Mother of Heaven or Jade Emperor, and they even go as far as saying they’re Buddhas. They never went through the process of earnestly working on their character, yet they want to get psychic powers with their practice. And this is how they end up with an animal spirit on them.

Everything Comes with a Cost

You might be thinking that it’s not a big issue, given all the prestige and income that would come from spirit possessions. And no small number of people are thinking that way. But I can tell you that the animal has its own agenda, and it won’t give you something for nothing.

There’s a law in this universe: no loss, no gain. What does the animal get? I talked about this earlier, which is a chance to obtain the limited bit of essence that your body has to cultivate into a human form, so it just gathers the essence from the human body. But your body has just that limited bit of essence, and your spiritual progress is dependent upon it.

And if you let the animal take it from you, you can forget about cultivating—how would you cultivate then? You’ll have lost everything, and you won’t be able to cultivate at all. 

Maybe some people will say, “I don’t want to cultivate. I just want to get rich. All’s well as long as I have money. I couldn’t care less!” But I think you’ll want to reconsider it after I explain a few things.

So what happens? If the animal leaves your body, even if it doesn’t stay on you long, your limbs will be lame. And that could be a lifelong condition since it might have taken too much of your essence.

Worse yet, if it leaves your body later than this, you will become a vegetable and lie in bed for the rest of your life hanging on by a thread. Even if you had money, would you be able to spend it? Even if you had fame, would you be able to enjoy it? Wouldn’t it be horrible?

What I described is a significant problem among people who do energy practices today, and there are many cases of this. Those entities not only possess the body but kill off the person’s soul; they burrow into the Niwan Palace and stay there. So while the person might seem to be human, he is not. It’s a telling reflection of the state of the world.

There are people who won’t be convinced if you see them doing wrong and point it out, for humanity’s moral fabric has changed. They think that the endless pursuit of wealth is perfectly justified, and will trample on and hurt others and stop at nothing for it.

But those spirit entities, which want to take from your body, won’t let you enjoy such wealth for free—everything comes at a cost. So these problems are of people’s own making; they stem from people’s thoughts not being right or virtuous.

The Great Way of Cultivation Will Save You From Spirit Possession

Now let’s see how this applies to the Great Way of Cultivation. You won’t experience any of the problems we just discussed while doing our practice, as long as you can keep your thoughts in check, since good is a far greater force than evil. But if you can’t keep your thoughts pure, and you have other intentions mixed in, then you are asking for trouble.

Some people just can’t let go of what they formerly practiced. We all know that you have to commit to one discipline when you cultivate spiritually—in true cultivation you just have to. You shouldn’t think so highly of teachers of practices who have published books. I can tell you that in some cases their books are plagued by the same sorts of things that their practices are, such as snakes, foxes, and weasels.

If you read those books, the animals will leap out from behind the words at you. As I’ve indicated, charlatans outnumber the true masters many times over, and you can’t tell them apart. It’s important that you realize this. My point here isn’t that you have to practice the Great Way of Cultivation. It’s fine for you to do whatever practice you’d like.

But there used to be a saying: better to go a thousand years without learning a true doctrine than spend one day practicing a false one. It’s advice you definitely want to heed. With real practice of the true Way, you don’t want to mix anything in—not even mental techniques.

(This article is an excerpt from “Zhuan Falun” (The Third Talk) by Master Li Hong Zhi)