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***See below for a complete topic breakdown.***

Join us on Reddit at r/ATTMindPodcast to discuss this episode.

Is there a spiritual dimension, inhabited by disincarnate beings enacting force on human health and behavior?

St. Catherine of Siena besieged by demons

Depending on your worldview, this question may be an easy one. For most of the secularized Western world, the answer is obviously no. However, for much of human history, across a majority of cultures, all the way back into antiquity, the answer is an obvious yes.

The highly-ethnocentric, techno-advanced global force of modern secularism is one of the very few cultures in history that does not believe in entities, spirits, or demons, chalking most of it up to “magical thinking” or “primitive” (a pejorative). Sure, we have iPhones and SpaceX, but does that mean we are right where every other culture tracing back through antiquity is wrong? Maybe. Maybe not.

Does it even matter? Maybe. Maybe not.

Should we even bother talking about it? Yes.

Why? Because insofar as the grand curiosities awakened by psychedelics, the ontological validity of encounters with a sprit dimension and its various inhabitants is high up on the list. And be these others existing with an agency and I AM-ness beyond that which is constructed by our perception of them in altered states or not, the phenomenological presence of such experiences is undeniable and nearly ubiquitous for psychonauts. Thus, it demands some level of investigation. It happens, for a lot of people, and it’s usually pretty damn “real” at the moment it does.

So this episode seeks to explore this phenomenon, but not so much from the “are spirits real?” perspective but from the position of assuming they are real and thus an exploration of what they are and how they operate on the human being.

For this exploration, we welcome Are Thoresen, a veterinarian, acupuncturist, and scholar of anthroposophy. Are is also recognized as an expert in spirit entities and demonic possession, with a particular focus on their role in illness and healing.

Of course, the ongoing skepticism of the “realness” of all this is present throughout this discussion as I, your host and interviewer, am not sold on the whole thing. At least not in the beginning, my heavy skepticism waning towards responsible ambivalence by the end of it all.

*** That said, I invite people to please keep their higher reasoning intact fo this interview as, real or not, getting obsessed with the presences of “demonic forces” and “battles between good an evil” can take us down dangerous roads psychologically. ***


As will be explained in the intro, my connection with Are was facilitated by our mutual colleague and friend Tobias [last name removed on request of the family], featured in episode 51 on Kambo. Sadly, Tobias died on July 11, 2019, and will not be able to see the impact and response this interview will have on the culture.

Tobias was adamant that I interview Are; he felt that Are was the world’s current expert in the role of demons and sprits play in human disease and that my listeners would benefit from the discussion. I respected Tobias, even though I often profoundly disagreed with his ontology regarding spiritual dimensions, and took his suggestion seriously. That is how this interview came about, and so I am releasing this in dedication to him.

 Rest in peace, Tobias.

ಠ_ಠ discuss this episode on our subreddit ಠ_ಠ



Episode Breakdown

  • An introduction to Are’s work with spirits and the spiritual healing
  • The dangers of “translocation” of sprits in healing
  • “We are an expression of the spiritual reality”
  • Icelandic elves
  • Belief doesn’t necessarily make something real
  • “the spiritual world is not energy”
  • How spirit entries are created
  • What qualifies some spirits as demons
  • The different between translocating  and transforming demons in the healing process
  • Bacteria and fungi are/have spirits
  • Are spirits/demons “intelligent”?
  • “I consciousness” and protecting yourself from spirits/demons
  • What it feels like to be in “I consciousness”
  • How to see spirits
  • What psychedelics do to the body/mind insofar as encounters with sprits
  • Why psychedelics, eventually, hold you back
  • If disassociation / loosing “I consciousness” is dangerous to the soul, what about the positive benefits of ego dissolution and mystical encounters with psychedelics?
  • How to tell the difference between benevolent and malevolent spirits and how to tell the difference
  • What does any of this even matter if it can be proven one way or another?

Relevant links

Books By Are Thoresen

The books Are recommended as a place to explore this particular topic more fully are Demons and Healing: The Reality of the Demonic Threat and the Doppelganger in the Light of Anthroposophy [alternative buy link] and Spiritual Medicine: Thinking, Feeling and Willing. His Amazon author page is here.

Are does not have or use social media.



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***Music during intro: Navajo Night by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Artist: http://audionautix.com/



  1. Episode 102:
    I watched it to the end. I feel very sorry for your friend. My condolences. And I honor very much your courage, James.

    I am a veterinarian doctor, a spiritual healer and a karma-healer for humans and animals. What I have learned through my work is that every human being is endlessly loved by god/the universe/the source.

    To feel that love as a (real feelable) warmth in your heart it is necessary to go a conscious way to awake in the spirit world. (You are loved by the universe no matter if you are taking drugs or not.) It is far beyond human love and something so incredible beautiful that I don’t have the right words to express it.
    So what are you looking for at the back of the motorbike? If you are just searching for an adventure it is fine. If you have an aim (for example to feel this love inside you) you have to sit on the front of the motorcycle…

    Lots of love Kristin

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