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Spiritual Hierarchies and Daimonology

Paradiso Canto 31
Dante and Beatrice gaze upon the highest Heaven (The Empyrean); from Gustave Doré (1832-1883) 's illustrations to the Divine Comedy, Paradiso Canto 31. Public Domain - Wikipedia

In Greek spirituality, metaphysics and mythology, a Daimon is a lesser supernatural being, including minor gods and the spirits of dead heroes, intermediate between man and the Gods. Later, things became more complex, with increasing numbers of categories and subdivisions. In the later and more syncretic Neoplatonism of Iamblichus and his successors, daimons were one of a number odf intermediate beings, others included "heros" and "angels". Daimon was also used by Socrates to refer to his guiding inspiration, his inner or Higher Self (Immanent Divine).

In keeping with the tendency of every new and conquering religion to demonise the opposition, thus reflecting its own Shadow, Christianity made the daimons of the greeks into symbols of adverse powers, hence the modern meaning of "demon".

I would prefer to retain a quasi-neoplatonic definition however - daimons as forces, beings, or spiritual hierarchies intermediate between the human ego and the Divine.

In this context, the following categories of daimon can be supposed, with daimonology (not to be confused with demonology) as the study and understanding of all of them:

Angels - spiritual hierarchies representative of the Divine.

Demons - spiritual hierarchies representative of the adverse powers.

Devas - (in the New Age definition inspired by the Findhorn Community) spiritual hierarchies representative of the forces of nature.

See also:

The Daimonic in Psychology

The Daimonic in Literature

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page by M.Alan Kazlev
page uploaded 10 December 2009