I have mentioned before that I am a member of a support/discussion group for Adult Children of Narcissists. While this is a very diverse group in terms of religious backgrounds, periodically spiritual questions come up and there is surprising unanimity on the subject of whether or not evil exists and an openness to the idea that there is a spiritual realm where a spirit of evil exists.
It seems inevitable that one's thinking turns to spiritual themes when dealing with narcissists because narcissism confronts you with the age old concept of good vs. evil. If you been raised by a narcissist you've been confronted with the banal face of evil. When the face of evil is worn by mom or dad it complicates things immensely. It becomes impossible to dismiss the realness of evil when you've seen it, smelled it, tasted it, felt it. Since society, under the influence of pop psychology, doesn't believe that everyday evil exists, our persistence in believing it does exist in spite of societal opposition is a testament to our tangible experience with it.
When attempting to explain concepts that deal with spirit, those things that pertain to our souls, we tend to end up using religious symbols and language. For many, that means their thoughts turn to Biblical passages that have stuck in their minds through the years. The Bible not only addresses the reality of good vs. evil, it clearly defines what good is and what evil is. It also stresses that there is a spirit of evil which is personified. The original rebel. Lucifer (Light Bearer) turned Satan (Adversary).
Someone in the ACON group referenced Ephesians 6:12 a few days ago. This person isn't a Christian, but remembered the reference from a casual acquaintance with the Bible in their youth. Eph 6:11-12 NKJV goes like this:
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
The writer of this Biblical letter, Paul, is stating that, yes, there is evil in the world, but when you see evil people don't forget who is really animating them. He confirms a cosmic, behind-the-curtain spiritual conspiracy. A grand puppet master who is pulling strings. What you see with your eyes is less real than what you can't see with your eyes...that is a theme oft repeated in the Bible.
What I have found very interesting is how the Bible presents a picture of the spirit of evil that is spot on consistent with narcissism. There is convincing evidence that the devil as described in the Bible is the king of narcissism. The originator of it. He is a monumental projection machine in that he blame shifts onto God all day long and smears his own attributes and motivations onto God. He is against any law that would constrain him from acting on his lusts. In other words, he is the original anarchist. He is all consumed with his self-interests. He is referred to as the original liar and murderer. He is also called the "accuser of the brethren" because he loves to slander and smear anyone who works at cross purposes to him.
I am convinced that we've all seen the face of evil in our Ns. I am also convinced that, by their choices, they have imbibed deeply of the "spirit of evil". They've been transformed into the image of their "father, the devil" himself by accepting his way of thinking. In the gospel of John, chapter 8 you can read an account of Christ confronting the hypocritical religious leaders with some pretty potent words:
Vs. 44...You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
Christ was accusing these hypocrites of having unanimity of desire and spirit with the devil himself which transformed them into actors of the satanic will. Notice what an apt description of narcissism Christ enunciated here. He exposes the murderous intent which existed in the devil long before anyone was actually murdered. He states there is "no truth in him" which means when he is saying or doing anything, he is lying. You may or may not recognize the murderous intent of the narcissist. At the very least, you may admit that they try to kill your individuality, your spirit. The narcissists who lose all fear of authority easily proceed to murdering bodies instead of just souls when inconvenienced by having you around. Nevertheless, the narcissist's desire to obliterate you as an individual person is a form of murder. It is a form of annihilating you they can get away with without any consequence from the law. No truth in them? That is one of the most stunning realizations we come to when we finally understand narcissism; that their entire existence, along with their words and actions, is one big lie held up by multiplied lies.
Paul is in agreement with Christ: the evil acts of humanity are actuated by a real and personal devil. Christ and Paul are putting ultimate blame on the devil because it is his own spirit and resources that are the original source of evil.
You don't need to believe in the Biblical explanation of evil in order to believe that evil exists. But it is interesting to see the consistent and cogent explanations in the Bible for the spirit of the narcissist. Long before psychology came up with an explanation of evil human behavior known as NPD, the Bible described the spirit and behavior of narcissism. It is spread throughout its pages. You don't have to believe in a personal devil in order to recognize a "spirit of evil" that these narcissists have imbibed deeply. Perhaps one of the most convincing arguments for a spiritual being with a personality of evil animating evil humans is the unerring consistency of the behavior of narcissists. You can't help but marvel at the sameness of these people, and how one person's descriptions of the narcissist seem like descriptions of the narcissist you're dealing with. These people are all cut from the same cloth. How is it possible for narcissists the world over to be shockingly the same? Consider the concepts above and come to your own conclusions.
I agree totally with what the agnostic young man in the ACON group said after quoting part of Eph. 6:12:
"God dam abominations, ...yes they are evil, ...if these guys were all graduates from Hell Demon School it wouldn't surprize me... Evil incarnate..."
I think, in an all too real sense, these people have been tutored in some kind of Hell Demon School.