Angel, Spirit or Ghost
it comes to the supernatural, few have not had a brush with
eternity. Whether you attend church regularly or are the most
determined doubter, the miraculous seeks out all at one point
or another. Most of us have one or two fleeting incidents
which we easily explain away, while an insistent few claim
to have regular contact with members of the great beyond.
Who are these beings who open the veil and remind us that
we are not alone? Are they glorious messengers sent from God,
or malevolent tormentors? Tradition gives them names, but
what is the distinction between an angel, a spirit, and a
of angels are as old as history. In virtually every world
religion there is an angel figure—a benevolent celestial being
who acts as an intermediary between heaven and earth. In scripture,
angels visit man on earth to deliver messages. While many
Christians believe that angels are the souls of good people
who have passed on, official church doctrine generally describes
angels as being created by God before the creation of humanity.
Instead, saints are defined as virtuous people who have received
their immortality. (One exception to this would be the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, who believe angels are
humans who have been resurrected and have bodies of flesh
and bone.) Angels are generally virtuous beings, although
there are “fallen angels” who become known as demons. Although
artists depict angels in glowing robes with halos and wings,
the Bible says many entertain angels unawares. If you sense
you have been visited by a heavenly being who has delivered
an important message, chances are, you have been in touch
with an angel.
definition of spirits is more nebulous. Spirit is used to
describe many things, including the part of a living being
associated with the mind, will, and feelings. The word spirit
is used interchangeably with angel and ghost, although spirits
most definitely exist separate from the physical body.
spirits and angels are almost always part of traditional Western
dogma, ghosts are often left out of the religious equation.
However, many spiritualists and individuals who have experienced
near-death experiences describe ghosts as being individuals
who have died, but who have not passed through the “tunnel
of light.” They are found in areas they frequented during
their lifetimes, and are attired in the styles of their day.
Unlike angels, ghosts are in a condition of darkness and lack
understanding. They may be confused, may not even know that
they have died. Ghosts are almost always associated with haunting—although
they may mean no harm. Most ghosts have an attachment to this
world, be it unfinished business, emotional trauma, or fears
that keep them from crossing over. A visit with a ghost does
not have to be frightening. The kindest thing you can do for
a ghost is to help him or her to put closure on his or her
life and decide to find peace in the next life. A ghost who
is particularly evil may have to be exorcized by an authority.
spirits, and ghosts each serve their own purposes, but one
thing they all have in common is they remind us of our own
mortality and keep our eyes heavenward.
Daniels is a long term practitioner of Yoga and Pilates additional
articles available at Religious Podcasts http://www.religious-podcasts.net
and Angel Gifts http://www.angel-gifts.net