When I was younger I'd sometimes have lucid dreams about spirits which project fear. I wonder why such things exist. One theory would be that they're my own suppressed fears, stripped of context. Another theory would be that they feed off of my emotional reaction somehow. Now I have a new theory.

Many people are into affirmations: deciding what they want or want to be, and repetitively telling themselves that they will have or be that. This has always seemed to me like a bad idea. Rather than having a dialogue with one's soul, a person is trying to force it towards a specific end. It is a narrow and authoritarian approach to live. I think that most people tend to feel the same way about it I do, even though they don't think about it, which is why most people don't do affirmations. In many cases spiritual ignorance or disbelief may be why people don't do affirmations, but I think that disbelief is more of a means of responding to their deeper instinct than a cause of it.

Everyone does something like affirmations though, even if we're not so extreme about it. We want things, and by wanting we instruct our souls to try to change ourselves and our surroundings in a way that will produce those things. How our souls accomplish this I have little idea, but I think that for the most part it is not by reasoning through strategies about how to get things and then applying those strategies. It is more direct than that. The end is decided, then the conditions that lead to that end arise as a consequence, without having to figure out any of the details. Its like a high voltage discharge across an air gap - the current takes the path of least resistance without seeing it or planning it out.

When we want things strongly enough, I think that spirits are created as a result of that wanting. Or rather, they're awakened, or summoned, or enlivened. I'm thinking that's where malicious spirits come from - they exist in relation to us because their existence facilitates someone getting what they want.

In some sense the spirit always comes back and claims its 'creator' though, and becomes a part of them. More generally, I'm thinking this is where hatred comes from. People don't start off by deciding they want to be evil. They start off with greed, in whatever form, which becomes a willingness to break rules to get what they want. Then the nastiness ultimately returns home to roost.

I think that the desire itself doesn't necessarily have to be one that would be generally recognized as 'bad'. But if the desire is single-mindedly on its object, without regard for means, then a nasty spiritual means will arise naturally if that facilitates the achievement of the desire.

The same principles would also apply to 'good' spirits which arise as a result of more humane desires that are more about relationships and right attitudes. Those would come home to roost also, and transform a person into something better. And the same principles apply to the complicated ground in the middle.