How to Protect Yourself from Evil – 10 Checkpoints (Part 2)
In the first part of this three-part series, we shared Ryuho Okawa’s teachings about why evil exists and how people become negatively influenced; in other words, the phenomenon of spiritual possession. In this second part, we will reveal how we can protect ourselves from being negatively influenced, or fall into spiritual possession by evil spirits or devils, with ten checkpoints based on a summary from Ryuho Okawa’s teachings.
Once we realize the various methods that lead to people falling under negative influence, we can begin to deepen our understanding and take action to protect ourselves. Perhaps you may have first hand experience yourself of such experiences? Or with those close to you such as your partner, family or friends? In modern society, it is a growing phenomenon and social problem with the rise of people suffering from mental disorders that lead to unsocial behavior and even crimes. By protecting ourselves first from such negative influences that try to lead people astray, we can then begin to help, support and guide those around us to understand this negative phenomenon that is one of the main barriers to people attaining happiness and success in life.
Summary from Ryuho Okawa’s lecture:
The Words of Justice Buddha’s Teaching: The Devil-Quelling Sutra
Checkpoint (1): Excessive Desire
Ryuho Okawa explains that of all negative spiritual influence’s methods, desire is the most commonly used. Of course, there is a positive kind of desire such as having a dream for life or wanting to make the world a better place. However, when people have excessive negative desire is when they will be most vulnerable to be taken in by their influence. There are many types of selfish desires, ranging from sensual desire to the craving for money, power, authority or possessions. Human desire is the first method and most commonly used point of attack for most people.
Checkpoint 1: Do you have an excessive selfish desire within you?
Checkpoint (2): Strong Hatred
Furthermore, Ryuho Okawa reveals that your strong hatred for others is another important checkpoint. It means to have malice or loathing towards others, to want to do unpleasant things to them or exclude them. Hatred creates a barrier to loving others, cuts off compassion, increases isolation from one another that leads to resentment.
Checkpoint 2: Do you have a strong hatred for another person?
Checkpoint (3): Hunger and Thirst
Although quite Buddhist in its concept, Ryuho Okawa explains how the strong emotion of hunger and thirst can lead people to committing evil. Although many people living in developed countries may find this difficult to understand, if you look around the world, there are many people suffering from a lack of food and water. This can also be a method of negative spiritual influence’s point of attack. When people have enough to eat and drink, they can live peacefully; whereas, if there is a great lack, it can lead people to stealing, murder or even cannibalism.
Checkpoint 3: Do you suffer from a strong feeling of lack within you?
Checkpoint (4): Obsessive Attachment
The meaning of obsessive attachment according to Ryuho Okawa is to be madly attached to something or someone, to the extent that you are taken over. It could be to become obsessively attached to a particular person, such as a married man or woman; or an obsession with status, fame or social standing. Basically, it is a preoccupied obsession to the point that they are unable or unwilling to listen to any voice of reason. Negative spiritual influence attacks the point of concentrated attachment where the mind sticks to something and will magnify that attachment like pouring oil onto fire.
Checkpoint 4: Do you have an obsessive attachment over something or someone?
Checkpoint (5): Sloth
Slothfulness is to be lazy and to always feel tired, weary and dull. Ryuho Okawa explains that this can be a method used by negative spiritual influences to hinder a person from making progress in life and even the precious opportunity to awaken to Truth. For example, when a person encounters the Truth in a lecture, they are unable to understand clearly what is being said as though they are under water in a swimming pool wearing earplugs. Or when reading a book of Truth, the words on the page becomes too glaring and they cannot understand even though it is written in simple words – it is like water trying to mix with oil. Basically, negative spiritual influence will try to hinder the person from awakening to Truth through encouraging them to be lazy.
Checkpoint 5: Do you feel lazy and tired, especially regarding the study of Truth?
Checkpoint (6): Irrational Fear
Ryuho Okawa also explains that when a person is overcome by fear is the point where negative spiritual influence can come to attack. It is the perpetual feeling of being persecuted by something or someone, and being apprehensive about everything. The power of irrational fear where something dark and terrible might happen in an imagined future is a checkpoint we need to look at.
Checkpoint 6: Do you suffer from irrational fear?
Checkpoint (7): Deep Suspicion
Holding a deep suspicion for others can be another opportunity that attracts negative spiritual influence. If you harbor excessive doubt, you become unable to believe in other people, and eventually you will come to be deeply suspicious of everything in life. Ryuho Okawa explains that it is the power of wisdom that provides you with the ability to recognize if something is true or not, and whether someone is trying to deceive you. If you are always doubting others, you will eventually be overtaken by doubt itself and begin to see everything in a negative light. So, although it is wise to be careful because there are people who are ill-intentioned in this world, if you become too suspicious, you will be taken in by the power of negative spiritual influence.
Checkpoint 7: Do you harbor a deep suspicion for others?
Checkpoint (8): Pretentiousness and Stubbornness
In this eighth checkpoint, Ryuho Okawa guides us to observe pretentiousness and stubbornness. Pretentiousness is vanity; it means showing off and making yourself seem better than you really are. Stubbornness means not listening to others. If you are set too strongly in your own opinions, and do not listen at all to what other people say, it is an opportunity for negative spiritual influence to attack.
Checkpoint 8: Do you exhibit pretentiousness or stubbornness?
Checkpoint (9): Undeserved Profits, Fame, Respect and Honor
Ryuho Okawa has explained frequently in his teachings that we should not seek for profits, honor, fame and respect that exceed that which we do not deserve. It is enough to take credit proportional to your real capabilities and achievements. If you expect more than you deserve, negative spiritual influences will slip in and take possession that will intensify the desire for more undeserved profits, fame, respect and honor.
Checkpoint 9: Are you seeking for more than you actually deserve?
Checkpoint (10): Pride and Conceit
This attitude comes from wanting to protect oneself. Even if you think you are right, if you hold too strongly to it, you will come to believe “no one else except me is right.” Ryuho Okawa further explains that if a seeker of Truth starts to think that he has attained a higher level of enlightenment that anybody else, he becomes proud and unable to learn from others.
Checkpoint 10: Do you have a high opinion of yourself and have a tendency to look down on others?
Gaining the Wisdom to Protect Yourself from Evil
These are the ten checkpoints, or methods, used by negative spiritual influences, such as evil spirits or devils, to attack and manipulate people living in this world, which causes the further spreading of conflicts, crimes and evil. It is in their best interest that people do not know their methods so that they can maintain control over people through the phenomenon of spiritual possession. However, knowing their methods is the first step to gaining the wisdom to protecting oneself. Originally, these 10 checkpoints, or ten categories of the devil’s forces, came from the wisdom of Buddhism, but Ryuho Okawa explains that such wisdom holds true even for today’s modern world.
In the next part, we will provide some key advice and an ultimate solution to protecting oneself from negative spiritual influences and to live a happy life of fulfillment and progress.
Summary of 10 Checkpoints:
1. Excessive Desire
Do you have an excessive selfish desire within you?
2. Strong Hatred
Do you have a strong hatred for another person?
3. Hunger and Thirst
Do you suffer from a strong feeling of lack within you?
4. Obsessive Attachment
Do you have an obsessive attachment over something or someone?
Do you feel lazy and tired, especially regarding the study of Truth?
6. Irrational Fear
Do you suffer from irrational fear?
7. Deep Suspicion
Do you harbor a deep suspicion for others?
8. Pretentiousness and Stubbornness
Do you exhibit pretentiousness or stubbornness?
9. Undeserved Profits, Fame, Respect and Honor
Are you seeking for more than you actually deserve?
10. Pride and Conceit
Do you have a high opinion of yourself and have a tendency to look down on others?
Summary from: Monthly Messages (issue 7)
Ryuho Okawa’s Lecture: The Words of Justice Buddha’s Teaching: The Devil-Quelling Sutra
To read the full series, please contact your local Happy Science location.
For recommendations of further reading, please refer to these books:
Spiritual World 101
Change Your Life, Change The World
The Age of Choice in Religion
How to Protect Yourself from Evil Spirits
For recommendations of further online reading, please click this link: The Truth about Spiritual Possession