I use "spiritual" and "psychic" almost interchangeably sometimes, but in general "spiritual" refers to our attitudes, thoughts, feelings, and motivations (e.g., maintaining compassion for someone who angers us, or forgiving someone who hurt us); "psychic" refers to activities involving psychic perception (e.g., seeing/sensing entities), visualization (e.g., picturing a ball of light) or psychic action (e.g., cutting darkness with a mental sword).
The spiritual immune system and the psychic immune system (and the physical immune system) are deeply interrelated. It is hard to separate one from the other, and in fact I believe best results are obtained by working on health at all levels: spiritual, psychic, and physical.
For those who would remind me that we must ultimately rely on God, and not our own strength, my answer is YES, and the conduit for doing so is precisely in our subconscious minds, our mental habits, our spirits. How hard it is for someone who hasn't learned - deep down - what love is, to love others. How hard it is for someone who hasn't had practice forgiving, to forgive others! How much easier it is for those who were deeply instilled with these things, down into the subconscious/spiritual level, to love and forgive. How much easier it is also to connect to God's joy and love when we have practiced it through darkness and pain!
Now here are my thoughts on how to improve our overall spiritual health and boost our psychic immune system:
The Physical Health Analogy: In our own bodies, our skin blocks most harmful organisms, and beyond that, our immune system works automatically to attack invading organisms and destroy them. We don't have direct control over this, but we do have a huge influence on how well this system can operate.
We already know some basics of how to maintain good health. Avoid chronic stress; get sufficient sleep; eat nutritious foods and avoid bad foods; maintain basic hygiene; see a doctor for proactive prevention and maintenance (e.g., vaccines, therapy); exercise; take time for recharging one's "batteries" with friends and loved ones; and when under particular stress it doesn't hurt to take extra care in all these areas.
As long as we take good care of our bodies, they have a very good chance of fighting off most diseases. If some particularly virulent disease gets a hold, then we turn to doctors and emergency care.
These same principles apply just as well to our spiritual and psychic immune systems!
The Martial Arts Analogy: Just as a martial artist wants to be able to react instantly and automatically to any attack, so a spiritual person wants to be able to react instantly and automatically. So, taking this analogy further, let's compare what a martial artist should do, and what a spiritual seeker should do. I'll use aikido as a martial arts example, since its goal of peace without harm is in-line with spiritual thought.
An aikidoka learns by instruction, demonstration, doing, practicing, making mistakes, feedback, and other such familiar concepts. Like learning a new language, the student learns from an expert and practices, practices, practices. Eventually the student goes from, "OK, for this technique I place my feet like this, move my arm like this" to "Feel the direction of attack, seek the opening for action, move from center" to the state of no-mind, where the right action flows without having to think through the steps.
Likewise, a spiritual seeker learns from previous spiritual seekers and by doing, practicing, and eventually finding his own style. The seeker's learning style will be unique, of course - he will have to find teachers that resonate with him, and maybe one technique of learning won't work and another will, but the same tenet of practice remains. As he progresses, the seeker goes from, "OK, I am supposed to forgive this person who hurt me, so first I must be willing to try, and next I must pray, and then I must repeat to myself that I forgive him and then try to live up to it" to "I let go my ego and I reach within to God's love and forgiveness until I feel it and can extend it" to an automatic, immediate outpouring of compassion and light for the transgressor.
The subconscious mind is highly trainable. Practice is nothing more than programming the subconscious mind to the point where the subconscious (the spirit) knows automatically what to do, and does it.
As Peace Pilgrim put it, "The key word for our time is practice. We have all the light we need, we just need to put it into practice." The more we practice, the deeper our understanding, the faster we get into the mode we seek, and the more we grow and progress.
Just as we are supposed to consult with medical experts about health decisions or problems, we should consult first and foremost with God, who actually is competent and doesn't make mistakes. And just as we learn from our parents and teachers, we must learn from God.
Those of us who have fought off psychic attack after psychic attack also know the power of turning to prayer during an attack. Prayer gives us a lifeline. Some of us also use prayer to request angelic help and protection during attacks (and other times of concern or worry).
Holy texts and mystics advise us to pray without ceasing - to be always connected to God's powerful joy and love. Everything can and should bring about a prayer of thanksgiving: good news, bad news, good events, bad events. When we can face any situation with thankfulness, we are close to God. When this prayer and thanksgiving reaction is automatic and immediate, we may find that we are indeed sheltered during even in the most trying or terrifying moments. And when the connection is unsullied, pure, strong, and continuous, we will truly be in Christ and He in us.
The most effective prayer is likewise one that is overflowing with faith, joy, love, thankfulness, and a desire to see God's will be done. Hence, we must practice elevating ourselves into those states of thankfulness, peace, joy, love, faith, truth. If we can stay elevated in those exalted states, then our prayers flow from the Holy Spirit within, and we shall have nothing to fear (see Peace Pilgrim's testimony, or Harriet Tubman's).
That said, those of us new to prayer may find it hard to hear God's replies to our questions (and some of us who tried wound up listening to false spirits, so it can be tricky). Thankfully, God speaks to us through many others as well, especially those we can consider to be our teachers on Earth.
Seek out people who live up to the highest ideals you know, people who move your heart and mind profoundly. They don't have to be perfect - in fact, anyone who looks perfect is usually hiding something. But they must be people who you feel are genuinely into caring for others and seeking truth. They don't even need to be physically alive; one of my favorite teachers is C. S. Lewis, whose writings speak to me long after his earthly passing.
Obviously, not all teachers can help with all problems. I know one person who, purely by example, inspires me to be of service to others within an online community; however, he is not in any sense religious and I do not seek him out for spiritual/psychic advice. Similarly, a very compassionate psychic warrior may not be the person to ask for computer security advice.
Nevertheless, teachers will help you along the way. Even if some turn out to be flawed, or maybe even be sinners (though who isn't?), the truth that deeply moved your soul is still probably truth, a real spiritual treasure that helps you grow.
One of the worst infections is caused by resentment and lack of forgiveness. The resulting negativity eats up our energy, and our immune system is in constant attack mode - attacking our mental image of a particular person. While this can lead to problems for the target person, it also causes a negative feedback loop of dark energy in oneself. Forgiving and letting go the resentment are very important.
Guilt, worry, fear, anger, hatred, and other emotions like this likewise sap energy and warp our subconscious minds. Any chronic infection like this should be drained of the negativity (confession, forgiveness, letting go, making amends, etc. are useful tools), cleansed with light (compassion and understanding), and then turned over to God for healing.
(It's not always easy to find infections. Sometimes you have to go through your memory of all sorts of peoples and events, pushing and prodding until you get an emotional reaction. Some emotional reactions are buried deep because we've tried to cover them up; watch out for symptoms like the thought: "Nah, there's nothing there - I'd rather not think about it." When the mind says that, dig deeper to find hidden feelings.)
One psychic attack that can cause long-term infection is a curse, which a deliberate piece of foreign debris (such as soul-fragment) left in your body by someone else. This sort of thing may require a form of surgery to remove (whether by psychic workers or by angel rescuers).
In either psychic or spiritual clean-up turning to our earth-based teachers (whether counselors or healers) for help may be necessary.
Our subconscious minds/spirits are constantly being fed information, thoughts, and data. When we read nothing but depressing news, we start thinking the world is dangerous and depressing, and we start thinking depressing thoughts ("I shouldn't go downtown; it's too dangerous"). When we allow anger and rage to dominate us after every minor incident, we are forming a habit of anger because we feed ourselves with anger's destructive energy ("How dare he... now I remember last time... and the time before...."). When we feed our mind with pornography, likewise we are feeding our minds with that particular low-grade and addictive energy. Or: Ever play a computer game for so long that you close your eyes and you're still playing it? Or find yourself randomly thinking about your favorite TV series? Or humming the tune from a song you've heard recently? That's the mind regurgitating what we've fed it. So, by feeding our minds with depression, we are programming it to think and dwell and feed upon depression. The same goes for everything else we read, watch, sing, think about, dwell upon, and say out loud.
So we must learn to reject from our minds, and stop feeding ourselves, that which is bad for us. In the same way we wean ourselves off artificial-everything junk food, we work on weaning ourselves off bad spiritual junk food. Dwelling on negative news, avoiding responsibility, addiction to anger and resentment, relying more and more on pornography, etc. - these things we must strive to replace with purer, truer, higher impulses: to dwell on hope and possibility, learning to take responsibility (without guilt complexes), learning to forgive, learning the true joy of loving others with divine love, and so on. (An addiction usually cannot merely be stopped, since it is a symptom of deeper problems. The source of the emptiness must be filled with positive thought, feeling, and action; otherwise symptoms will always remain. Addictions can be potent tools for spiritual growth!)
(This is not to say that amusements don't have their part; relaxation and laughter are vital, and sometimes we must settle for the best we know until we can do better. Plus, the best forms of any creative work can provide insight into truth and love, and so serve as real spiritual food. More on this in the section on relaxation.)
How do we feed the spirit positive spirit food? By feeding on God; by dwelling on the good and holy in all that we do: reading, writing, singing, thinking, remembering, talking, listening, watching. Turn off anything that doesn't feed the spirit or teach the soul; watch uplifing and/or educational programs instead. Read books that touch the heart and mind, not just the adrenal glands (or other parts of the anatomy). Stop reading/watching porn, and start connecting to your Significant Other at a deeper-than-physical level by concentrating on listening, loving, sharing, and helping with household chores. Listen to Godly music (in fact, playing a CD of uplifting hymns or God-focused Christmas music at night, even beyond the point of being "sick of it," is a tremendous psychic defense tool, and I believe it feeds the subconscious mind a huge amount of positivity and faith). If you notice your thoughts returning over and over to some insult, analyze the situation (perhaps you have something to learn!), and always return hatred with love and forgiveness as much as you can. And finally, speak positively. A good first step, for those of us who are sarcastic ex-cynics, is the strict avoidance of saying anything negative ("A negative speech fast," is what Christian Andreason calls it).
And the good news is, just as people's bodies learn to "ask for" particular healthy food in lieu of past junkfood preferences (ever have a craving for a rich green salad?), our subconscious minds will start to "learn" what brings true happiness. Eventually, once we get used to a positive spiritual diet, we gain momentum.
As far as spirituality goes, you really start becoming what you eat!
(As a final note, it helps to put these principles to work on a physical level, too: eat more healthily, because our bodies' health affects our brains and our thinking, and hence our spiritual health!)
If we are exposed to grime, we can clean it off. Connecting to God and God's great peace and joy can also act as spiritual and psychic clean water, rinsing away debris. Also, for a direct psychic approach, we can visualize being cleansed by light; it is even better to ask our Physician to send a cleansing waterfall of light at the psychic and spiritual levels.
Another aspect of good hygiene is simply avoiding spiritual pollution and psychic pollution. We can do this at all levels. Physically, we can do various things to avoid darkness, such as by avoiding over-imbibing alcohol, turning down even a better-paying job where everyone is treated like a slave, or by avoiding the "friends" that are out to drain you of energy and funds. Virtually (online), we can avoid chat rooms or message boards that thrive in low-grade animalistic energies, and we can install spam filters and firewalls to reduce the psychic connections to random people all over the world. Psychically, we can do things like shielding while watching TV, avoiding areas that "feel wrong," and avoiding connecting to deeply troubled people (do not blindly go into a prison or mental hospital without spiritual preparation), and also not playing around with astral travel. Spiritually, we must do many things: avoid eating "contaminated food" as per the section on food, avoid lingering in dark or sad thoughts, and especially by working on having a selfless, compassionate attitude, which keeps us out of the spiritual realms of selfishness, pride, and ego.
If for whatever reason you must go into a polluted environment, go in wearing protective "clothing": mental/psychic shielding, frequent prayer, a memorized Scripture, a CD of holy music, a heart brimming over with faith, and a request for angels to watch over and guard you.
Please see Christian Andreason's Spiritual Housecleaning Advice for some great information on how to clean up your environs - and why you should turn off your TV set.
One last note is that avoiding physical pollution is also beneficial at a psychic/spiritual level as well. Low energies tend to attach themselves to waste products, pollution, and so on. That said, I think we humans need to do a better job cleaning up this planet on a physical level, so if you feel called to go help clean up toxic waste dumps, sewage plants, cattle feedlots, etc., at any level: physical, legal, governmental, psychic, spiritual... more power to you, and don't forget to wear protective gear!
The same applies at a psychic level, where we should learn how to close psychic channels: turn off your visual channel, or focus on physical tactile sensations to tune away from psychic tactile sensing, and so on. Psychic channels are an avenue of psychic attack, and we should practice shutting them for our own safety.
If we practice good "skin" care consistently, we will find that our subconscious takes on the hard work and automatically detaches from and closes out common forms of spiritual and psychic negativity, whether in the news, or from dealing with aggressive people, or from psychic attacks.
A psychic wound likewise should be purged of perceived darkness, bathed with healing light (compassion not only for the attacker but for yourself!), and turned over to God. Likewise, seeking spiritual light: peace, faith, joy, love, etc., is vital to hasten healing.
As with the claim that broken bones are stronger after healing, so it is that oftentimes we grow stronger after our injuries.
There are many other psychic defense techniques, too many to list. I have a more extensive list at the Psychic Self-Help page, so you might take some time to read it over. There are also various books available on this topic.
(One of the most important psychic self-defense tools is prayer to God, as mentioned in the section on prayer. It never hurts to immediately begin praying the moment we detect any sort of psychic attack, whether from a discarnate entity or from someone at work.)
There was a time when I had a great struggle learning how to kick out entities. Whenever I detected a thought-that-was-not-me, especially an obviously negative or forceful thought, I would fight and struggle to kick out the thought and the entity behind it. After kicking it out, I would then struggle to disconnect entirely from the thoughts/negative feelings as well as from the battle itself. Nowadays, it is much easier for me to push out thoughts and detach from them. In addition, I find that I am often doing it half without thinking; the action is becoming a habit: automatic.
Likewise, if we constantly teach our immune systems to maintain a bubble of light with defensive weapons at the ready, one day we might be surprised to look around us and find our defenses are up automatically. We will check and find that the defenses are indeed our own, and that they are up and active because we have been diligent in training and making it a habit.
Our immune systems learn!
Doing a kind deed for a neighbor, caring for the poor, even the action of writing a check for a charity out of compassion, help build up our spiritual "muscle." Spiritual exercise gets the spiritual "blood" flowing. We breathe out spiritual energy and we breathe in spiritual energy, clearing stagnant energy and refreshing ourselves. God's angels delight in helping us help others, so in helping others, we also make the angels smile.
Finally, exercising our spirituality is one of the best ways to spiritually grow. The experiences we have while interacting with other people, the mistakes we make, the act of taking responsibility, the trials of faith and prayer: these things give us tremendous insights and opportunities for growth.
One of the people I most admire is a man who ran a soup kitchen for many years. Had I not gone to the soup kitchen, I would never have met him. He taught me a great deal by his example, and helped me learn how to recognize true light in a person. He also helped teach me that God is where people work willingly and honestly for others, out of compassion and caring. These lessons are now such an ingrained part of me that I can scarcely imagine what I would have been like if I hadn't met this person.
The goal is to practice love with such dedication that we move past the point of having to think about it, to just doing it automatically.
Ben suggests that this sort of automatic love was exactly why Jesus' healing power went out of him to heal the woman who touched his robe - without Jesus apparently even knowing who or why. And this is probably also why so many sinners repented in Jesus' presence: the light was so pure, even those who had once clung to dishonesty were "filled" with goodness, and it healed them. Automatically.
I know one woman who sensed a negative entity nearby. She is neither a psychic rescue worker nor a person trained in psychic warfare, and probably has never swung light swords around in her imagination, but she has love. She sent the entity a great burst of love. "I love you!" she told it, and embraced it with her love. It went away.
Giving and receiving love is a vital form of spiritual replenishment. Loving God and receiving God's love is first and foremost. Spiritual seekers will probably want to cultivate recharging through connecting to God: prayer, meditation, listening to holy music, reading spiritual texts, or whatever works best (avoid what does not work).
Second is giving and receiving love with close friends and family. Usually this is nearly effortless, so the energy we gain is far greater than the energy we use. (When there is great tension or other problems with close loved ones, then it becomes exercise to practice love - necessary, but it can be tiring.)
Relaxation of body, mind, and spirit is also vital. Taking at least one in seven days to not just relax the body but relax the mind is probably a very good idea. And of course, getting sufficient sleep is not only necessary for a healthy body, but for a healthy mind and spirit.
Laughter and enjoyment are also potent tools - especially when they are part of a balanced, healthy spiritual diet.
God often wants us to help each other out on Earth rather than give us a flash-of-light miracle. Thankfully, there are a few psychic and spiritual rescue workers out there who are extremely competent. Just like physical world doctors or emergency rescue people, they can often help a person deal with very tough situations, such as heavy-duty curses or demonic attacks.
Finding such people may be difficult. Just as with the medical profession, there are many frauds out there. Some may be competent but have such a negative attitude that they may fix symptoms but leave in the underlying disorder. Ultimately, we are responsible for our own health, so must do what we can to find the right help. It helps if we have already found ourselves good teachers who are part of God's network - spiritual people tend to know other spiritual people.
I have encountered various types of spiritual healers/rescuers. Most were unable to help me; a couple were themselves in need of spiritual rescue; and a couple have been genuine and have helped me immensely. But that said, the experiences I had with all of them helped teach me more about spirituality and the psychic - so in that sense, each one has indirectly been very helpful!
I had several breakthrough dreams that illustrate my progress.
In one dream, my pursuers chased me into a parked trailer containing horrific beings of great evil who had been manipulating the dream and who were out to get me. I woke up in terror and then got very angry at them. My psychic self-defense training kicked in. I went back to sleep and re-entered that dream, but this time I had armed myself with some kind of rocket launcher. I fired into that trailer and it blew up (and I think I shot a couple more rounds for good measure). Psychically, I could perceive something shredding and breaking apart around me as I woke up again. It was very important for me to stop just being pushed around and manipulated, and to fight back and destroy a lot of the darkness and lines of control and manipulation. (A great burst of loving light would be better, but honest anger used to destroy darkness is still far better than passive fear.)
In another dream, I was being chased by some kind of demonic entity. I didn't realize it was a dream at first, but I came to realize that no matter how fast I ran, or what I did, the entity was always on my tail, gaining on me. That's when my spiritual and psychic training kicked in. I confronted the entity and began praying right there on the spot for Jesus to come and rescue the entity! The demonic entity disappeared right after that.
I still occasionally have dreams with negative entities, chasing, and so on. They are not nearly as common now as they once were. The entities don't always give up when I start praying - but on the other hand, I no longer succomb to the fear and terror either. I hold tight to my faith and keep praying in the dream. Sometimes I wake up and find I have to do some conscious psychic work to clean up after some attacker, but it is the subconscious self-defense and automatic prayer that keep me steady and protect me while I am not conscious.
Lastly, I often dream of being in a dark, ceilinged world. Ben Swett once told me that the ceiling indicates an astral realm where the ceiling blocks off God's light. Since learning that from Ben, I find myself striving to break through the ceilings within the dreams. Many times I do not succeed, but in one dream I think I actually shattered the ceiling, allowing in light (I woke up right after).
You know, it occurs to me that many ghosts apparently don't know they are dead. They wander around in a dream-state. Perhaps if they had practiced seeking God at all times and in all circumstances, they would have automatically sought out God even when confused by death....
The Unhappy Guy. Suppose a person has been badly neglecting his spiritual health. He dines on resentment and anger, wallows in feelings of worthlessness, and is intrigued by psychic powers and secretly wishes to manipulate others with psychic power. Wow, what a lot of openings! A negative entity has a wide array of buttons and doors to manipulate. It can push anger buttons, or insinuate itself into the person's mind by taking advantage of their desire for psychic power. Then, once deeply connected, the entity can begin siphoning off energy, feeding on it, and gaining more and more power over the "victim." The more negative things the human does, the more rejection and hate he receives, and the worse he feels, and so the spiral downward begins. Thankfully, many who get caught in this realize they need help, and their search for emergency help begins.
The Average Person. OK, let's take your average person. Nothing too exciting: a mixture of good and bad, some resentments, some love, some insecurities. A negative entity can get some toeholds and start working on bringing down the immune system and making the host more hospitable. More resentment, more insecurity! Luckily, most average people like where they are, and they tend to try to recenter on a feeling of "normality." Still, a person's sense of "normality" often gets gradually darker and unhappier the longer spiritual health isn't actively promoted; it's never good to be lax about spiritual health. When an "average person" winds up in unhappiness, even temporary unhappiness, he becomes vulnerable to potent psychic attacks.
The Inexperienced Seeker. Now let's take a spiritual seeker of some experience. The same mixture of good and bad, some resentments, some love, some insecurities. But this person is even more aware of these holes and is seeking to close them. Plus, this person sometimes unexpectedly flares up with light when he feels particularly close to God - something he tries to practice. The attacker may find this a fun challenge and may work on getting a good toehold, but between the flares of light, the person's constant work on getting rid of resentment, the occasional bursts of good will and love, it may be slippery going for the attacking entity. And once the human becomes aware of the attacker, watch out for some action: inexperienced but persistent light-shields, awkward but potent kicks, incessant holy music on the CD player, and sometimes even help from real live holy angels.
The Experienced Seeker. A spiritual seeker of some years' practice is even more formidable. Although such a person always has his share of problems and character flaws, he is willing to work on them and does so. Even more, an attacking spirit will notice that the person's immune system automatically strives to close vulnerabilities: e.g., a bad mood is recognized in its early stages, and even without consciously deciding to do so, the person begins to think about God and elevate his spirit until he shines with hope and joy. Should the attacker decide to have a go anyway, it may find to its chagrin that a pulse of light knocks it away before it can get too close - and the human hasn't even noticed! Now, wouldn't that be aggravating if you were an attacker? The human will tend to have some subconscious psychic shielding up, further complicating attacks. And once the human becomes aware of the attacker, he redoubles his prayer efforts. Then the attacker must contend with more flashes of divine light, that incessant holy music again, dodged or blocked psychic attacks, bursts of genuine love (oh no!), and possibly the intervention by more real live holy angels. The poor thing will expend its bag of mean tricks and harassments, but the human always turns to God even while asleep, and God knows every trick in the book. If the attacker does not eventually flee, there is a chance that the attacker might have been exposed to so much love and light that it itself changes for the better; and there is also the chance that holy angels will find it and take it away and possibly even heal it.
The Advanced Seeker. Finally, there are the people who are shining beacons of light - they fought the long battle until their connection to God became a solid habit, and glowing like a sun became a solid habit, and now they are still working to grow closer and closer to God. An approaching entity can hardly get close without being bathed in shining love. The love is so automatic that the attacking entity, if it for one moment forgets its rage and pride, may be healed by a great infilling of that light before the human is even aware that an entity came by! The human's aura of love and joy hardly ever dims, and even if it does (perhaps through some heavy physical illness, say), the human is surrounded by other people and spirits who love him, feed him energy willingly, and guard him protectively. Most attacking entities wouldn't dare trying to attack someone like this. And those who do are met with the powerful, shining, loving light of God. Who do you think will win?
"And if any should seek to harm you, may they contact your thought of God and be healed." -Peace Pilgrim