"Defining" a Demon | Kinmunity: Otherkin Community

"Defining" a Demon

A group for demon resources, support and comparing experiences.

  1. Cipher

    Cipher Great Wyrm
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    Defining in quote marks because any definition is going to have to be vague, unfortunately.

    It's obvious that demons have some sort of inherent definition, or at least have to have a definition, because otherwise nobody would be able to pick them out of the crowd in the research to pin down what you identify as. What that definition is, however, is by no means easy to explain and encompasses such a wide variety of beings that no highly specific definition could cover everything. What I'm looking to discuss, however, is coming up with a general definition of what type of beings fall under the category of demon, and other aspects that are generally part of the "demonic" world that can be brought up in a definition.

    Google defines demon this way:
    De-mon [/ˈdēmən/], n.
    1. an evil spirit or devil, especially one thought to possess a person or act as a tormentor in hell.
    2. reckless mischief; devilry. [this is a weird case of a noun being used as an adjective]

    These are the two official definitions I find most relevant, ignoring the application of the word to particularly cruel humans or those who are wickedly skilled, pun intended. An obligatory mention here is also the original Greek term daimon or daemon, referring to, according to Google, "a divinity or supernatural being of a nature between gods and humans, an inner or attendant spirit or inspiring force" as well as an archaic spelling of demon.

    Google's definition is a pretty solid, general definition, and in my opinion fairly good to use for our purposes. It doesn't restrict it to any one faith system, only lists some of the more well-known or common applications of the term.

    Wikipedia offers the following definition (and again addresses the difference between the original daimon and the modern demon):
    3. A supernatural, often malevolent being prevalent in religion, occultism, literature, fiction, mythology and folklore.

    as well as some further specifics:
    -In Ancient Near Eastern religions as well as Abrahamic traditions [...] a demon is considered to be an unclean spirit, fallen angel, or a spirit of unknown type which may cause demonic possession
    -In Western occultism and Renaissance magic [...] a demon is believed to be a spiritual entity that may be conjured and controlled.
    -According to the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia, demons, despite being typically associated with evil, are often shown to be under divine control [this note comes after an example of gods commanding demons], and not acting of their own devices. [and here we get into Lucifer's gripe about free will *insert grumpy face of kinself* ]

    Thoughts? Additional definitions?
     
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  2. Charias

    Charias Wandering Wolf
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    I'm not sure how qualified I am to post here, considering I only know what I know about demons from researching online (where even just finding unbiased information is difficult), reading about the experiences of demonkin (which, again, is hardly unbiased), and from interpreting my own kintype (which is quite possibly the least accurate, because I'm not absolutely certain I'm actually a demon).

    Still, from that mixture of sources I've managed to come to some kind of personal definition of what a demon is.

    I believe a demon is any kind of entity considered "dark" and "chaotic" by the human standard of those concepts, that does not have a physical form on this plane of existence, and isn't a part of any other widely recognised race (fae, elves, dragons, etc.).

    Not the perfect definition... but it's the best I've been able to do with the sources I've got.

    I don't tend to look at demons as a unified group - more, I see demons as a range of completely different, unrelated entities from vastly different origins that share two core aspects of their nature; they're dark and chaotic. I've always seen those as a defining trait of demons - not all demons are necessarily malevolent or evil, but I do believe that all are in some way dark, and are in some way chaotic (and to a great enough extent to be defined by one or both of those attributes). The idea that all demons are evil seems to be a more modern one; if you look at older mythologies, demons/demon-like entities are typically portrayed as being a mixture of alignments, with some being good, some evil, and some ambivalent.

    Buuut I don't know how much of that is accurate and/or relevant to us. I've never really had the chance to bounce ideas off other demon-identified people before, so what do you guys think?
     
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  3. Smooth Jazz Mann

    Smooth Jazz Mann Resident Demon of Jazz
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    I've always thought as demons as simply the manifestation of what Christianity and many other religions around the world would consider "evil". I.E. the Seven Deadly Sins and the suchlike. As a Satanist, I believe that the so-called Sins are simply facts of life and each one of them leads to mental and emotional gratification, so there is no reason to deem them "evil". So being demonkin for me is less about being an "evil" being and more about following the Tenets of Satanism and living as I choose.
     
  4. Cipher

    Cipher Great Wyrm
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    @Charias Nah, I agree with pretty much all of what you said.

    @Smooth Jazz Mann Yeah, I'm with you on the point about the Sins not really being 'evil'. I see them honestly more as tragic flaws; there's a reason they're called deadly, because get too caught up in them and it leads to your downfall (but same can be said of a lot of things), but I would never say they're evil by themselves. For example, Pride can be honestly good and beneficial a lot of the time. Having pride in yourself boosts your self-confidence, self-esteem, self-worth in your eyes, etc. You can be proud of someone else's achievements or proud of something you identify with, it's not even necessarily selfish by nature. But there's a big difference between having pride, and being prideful and looking down your nose at everyone else, and that's where it switches and becomes an issue.
     
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  5. Magic

    Magic Netflix-blob
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    I've always considered demons to be incarnations of power, typically polymorphic energy beings which are not evil by any means. They're just unbothered by moral standards, that's all, haha. ;)
     
  6. Moon Shadow Rayne

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  7. Cipher

    Cipher Great Wyrm
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    @Moon Shadow Rayne True, I can't particularly see anything useful out of envy, so I'm with you on that one and would like to hear @Smooth Jazz Mann's opinion on that specifically.

    Gluttony, according to older interpretations, doesn't just mean "eating a ton of food". It also means, for lack of a better term, being a food snob. So like, a professional chef might be gluttonous according to those interpretations due to the fact that they focus on flavor, artistry, and sometimes the amount of work that is put into their food, rather than simplicity to fulfill a basic need. This interpretation can be part of why monks often stressed the importance of simple meals. So continuing with the example, I've always disliked the portrayal of Gluttony as a fat person who eats a lot, for more reasons than the whole issue of the connection of fat always meaning you eat a lot or are sinful. To me, Gluttony portrayed as a Sin and to the extent of evil is someone with a high metabolism who lords it over other people, who eats a lot of unhealthy foods and brags about how they never get fat, someone who is picky about their food and will only eat the highest quality meals that took the most expense out of other people, basically someone who would dump a tray full of food in the trash can if they didn't like it without the slightest twinge of guilt at the waste.

    But on the beneficial side, a "glutton" according to these interpretations could be someone who enjoys cooking, who likes putting in time and effort to make their food taste good, who loves cooking high quality stuff for other people to make them happy, etc.
     
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  8. Smooth Jazz Mann

    Smooth Jazz Mann Resident Demon of Jazz
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    @Moon Shadow Rayne @Cipher

    Envy can be beneficial in that you may envy someone for having something you don't, say, a big pile of money, thereby motivating you to get your very own big pile of money so you don't feel inferior to the other person.
     
  9. Maggie Darkmoon

    Maggie Darkmoon Wyrmling
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    Demons are pretty heavily battered against. I do not think it is fair honestly. I think we should over time come up ourselves with a definition we can all agree on. For instance:
    • A spiritual or supernatural being that is connected to choas and death.
    Something along those lines, I would like to remove the biased things while staying as close to the truth as possible.

    I do not consider myself evil, I do not know if any of you do.
     
  10. Cipher

    Cipher Great Wyrm
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    @Maggie Darkmoon, Mm, well, I wouldn't really call Lucifer good, per se. He's definitely a villain, in my eyes, just not a full incarnation of mindless Evil. Complicated personality, but ultimately not quite a good person. Lawful Evil, Chaotic Neutral, somewhere thereabouts. That's why I like the Wikipedia definition the best out of the ones I offered. It just says "often malevolent", but it's not a requirement.
     
  11. Moon Shadow Rayne

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    Odin is a supernatural being connected with chaos and death, but he is not a demon, but rather a god. So @Maggie Darkmoon 's definition is not entirely correct. And although I appreciate your explanation @Smooth Jazz Mann, you must realize that envy is not necessary in order for ambition to exist - in fact, it sometimes is evidence of a lack of motivation on the part of the envier. Someone who is jealous is more interested in sabotaging the other person's having of the thing they want than in getting it themselves, sometimes.
     
  12. Maggie Darkmoon

    Maggie Darkmoon Wyrmling
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    @Cipher I understand I just don't like the way they worded it.

    @Moon Shadow Rayne Very true...

    I need to wrack my brain and figure out how to define demons without mixing in others. This is gonna suck.
     
  13. Moon Shadow Rayne

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    Here's my two cents.

    I think demons can only really be defined from the perspective of a particular religion or belief system. A demon is any supernatural entity whose nature or behavior runs counter to the values of the prevailing "rightful" spiritual rulers of the universe, but this demon-ness is inherently relative to the individual culture and religion. A supernatural entity associated with liberal sexuality, for instance, would be demonic in Judeo-Christianity - because its actions or nature run counter to the prevailing morality - but in Satanism or Wicca could be seen as positive and thus not a demon. Similarly, Tiamat is a demon because she is counter to Marduk who is considered the rightful spiritual ruler of the universe, the rightful high god, in Sumerian mythology.

    The simplest way to say it is, a demon is a supernatural entity considered *subversive* to the prevailing values of a spiritual culture; but this is always relative to one specific culture and may not apply to others.
     
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  14. Maggie Darkmoon

    Maggie Darkmoon Wyrmling
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    @Moon Shadow Rayne As much as I don't want to tie demons to religon and a negative light. I think you have a point. I just wish there was a way to get away from all the negativeness assosiated with demons. Reason why I'm sure I've already stated, we don't seem to be like that. We're individuals too ya know?
     
  15. Smooth Jazz Mann

    Smooth Jazz Mann Resident Demon of Jazz
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    Unfortunately, there really are very few ways to properly describe a demon without bringing religion and subjective religious views into it because religion and folklore are the sources of demons in the first place. Without Judeo-Christianity and many other such religions and mythologies, demons simply would not exist, or at least they wouldn't be called demons.
     
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  16. Maggie Darkmoon

    Maggie Darkmoon Wyrmling
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    @Smooth Jazz Mann Yeah that is true. I wonder what the term would of been without such things. Really makes you think.
     
  17. Smooth Jazz Mann

    Smooth Jazz Mann Resident Demon of Jazz
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    Demons could very well still be called demons w/o the Judeo-Christian influence, there just wouldn't be such a massive negative stigma attached to the word.
     
  18. Maggie Darkmoon

    Maggie Darkmoon Wyrmling
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    Hmm... I know I just hate what they dipict us as. Does it bother you too?
     
  19. Smooth Jazz Mann

    Smooth Jazz Mann Resident Demon of Jazz
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    Yea, but there ain't much any of us can do about it. The Church of Satan is always tryin' to clean up Satan's name, but they can only do so much.
     
  20. Maggie Darkmoon

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    Yeah. I don't personally delve into such a thing to clear our name. No offense. Not like people would listen anyways. I just don't like religon as a whole really.