A sneeze. That’s all it takes. One single sneeze from an infected person. But how does it work exactly? How does a virus, something so small and defenseless, effectively invade a human being to the extent that we cannot function?
Trick or treat.
Viruses are sneaky. When a viral particle comes out of an infected person and enters your body through some mode of transmission (like a sneeze), it searches your cells for one that will bind to it. In the first post of this series, we learned that it’s a two-punch system. The protein layer on the virus finds a specific receptive binding site on a human cell, like a key in a lock. Then the human cell allows the viral particle to enter. From that point, the virus hijacks the cell to reproduce more viral particles, which then go on to infect other people.
Epidemiologists call this process “the chain of infection.”
Evil spirits also have a chain of infection. And like viruses, they are sneaky. Evil will search your soul for a specific binding site, and then it will use that soul receptor to enter. We all have these receptors. Psychology calls them triggers, emotional wounds that come from some type of trauma.
Maybe you’re having a rough day. You’re already down on yourself about some things that have happened. You’re vulnerable. And then someone close to you says something careless, a word spoken in anger perhaps. Suddenly you’re psychologically back to childhood, when that schoolyard bully stole your lunch and called you a loser. Such a loser.
There it is! The binding site.
Evil spirits descend on that site like viral particles in a flood of mucus. They hiss at you. They use their claws. Their teeth. Such a loser. Worthless. There’s no point. You’re nobody. You should just run away. Escape. Shut down emotionally. C’mon. Loser. Worthless. You deserve this, you worthless sniveling human!
In his book titled Waking the Dead, John Eldredge writes, “The whole plan is based on agreements. When we make those agreements with the demonic forces suggesting things to us, we come under their influence.” Eldredge goes on to say that we can often diagnose an evil spirit by paying attention to the thoughts in our heads as we relate to others. “The enemy will always try to get you to do to someone what he is doing to that person.”
That’s the mode of transmission.
So let’s say that you make an agreement with the evil spirit. I’m such a loser. Always have been. So the evil spirit enters through this emotional trigger, and uses your soul to reproduce. And what, exactly, do you think will come out of your mouth, next time you get into an argument with someone? Ah-choo.
We pass evil spirits around like the flu. We let them in, allow them to grow and reproduce, and then give them to others with our words and actions.
Below I’ve posted a short NPR video about how the flu invades our bodies. I think you will find it to be entertaining and educational, as we enter the flu and cold season. But perhaps you will also find it to be strangely haunting.
Trick or treat.
(This is the third post, in a four-part series. Stay tuned…)