I came across a message on another site, which talked about "sensing spirits" and "banishing" them. I somehow found the whole concept a little misguided - I cannot help but feel that the entire language of spirituality is based on metaphors, but that for some people those metaphors became literal, because to accept metaphor is to face an unacceptable level of uncertainty. This especially comes with the notion of "Fear". Fear comes from within and only from within. There is nothing spiritual that can harm us. We can be injured physically through physical causes; we can be injured emotionally through emotional causes - but I just utterly lack the conscious experience of ever facing a spiritual threat through spiritua causes. Certainly I've faced fear - but always it was of the unknown. Once I came to accept the unknown in an active manner, the fear abated. Yet for those who see things to fear on any level of spiritual experience, and conjure images of "spirits", "demons", and "devils"...the idea that their personal fear must have some objective reality that we should all fear completely escapes me. It makes me think of an analogy - if a person is in a forest, and it is dark, that person may the dark and so make a fire. They hear noises from the forest so they hold burning sticks out to keep things from harming them. The truth is that such a person is being scared by nothing more than the noises of insects and small rodents. Lacking experience to recognise these for what they are, and unable to preceive these forms directly, a mind in fear could creates large threatening images to satisfy that fear - to justify it. Resorting to rituals in such situations can only serve as psychological tools for handling the mysteries of reality. Here, to stop the person's fear creating those threatening images, to come to understanding that they are created from harmless sources. Fear is the most detrimental aspect of spiritual development, but is also quite understandable. Spiritual growth is about accepting the limitations of being, and accepting that everyhting you thought you knew possibly isn't true at all. This is where uncertainty comes in, and as biological constructs that translates easily into fear - fear of the unknown But the fear has no reality excepting within the self. Conquering fear is an essential element of spiritual growth. Fear is living with eyes closed. When you open your eyes there is no darkness. There is never anything to fear. Not on a spiritual level.