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Human souls are immortal, and possess the potential to become one of two things after they die. Their souls can rise to the celestial realm as part of the celestial host, becoming infused with the realm's energies and transforming into an angel. Alternatively, their souls can descend to either the Abyss, a realm of demons, or the 9 Hells, the realm of devils, where they will be fought over by both sides. Over thousands of years, the souls will be brutally tortured for their energy to serve as fuel for the denizens of the Abyss or the 9 hells until the soul fades into oblivion. Demons have the ability to possess human mortals, transforming them into demonic hosts and giving them the powers of that demon, as well as enhancing physical attributes such as strength and speed. Through a summoning ritual, they are able to forcefully take control of a human and cause havoc on the plane, using the host as a puppet. The devils also wish to use this ability to take control of human hosts in order to walk the earth, but there are significant barriers to this plan.

Devils are former angels who rebelled against God in the war of heaven. These rebels, led by Asmodeus, were cast out of the celestial realm into hell, where they organized their own hierarchy and made war with the denizens of the abyss. As angelic spirits are basically souls super charged with celestial energy, they should be directly compatible with human souls. This should make humans a perfect glove for the angel, allowing them to a perfect subject for possession. However, this is not the case. The devils are forced to take alternative methods to complete their plans. This is done through the creation of cults devoted to worship of these devils. These cults would undergo a breeding program over the course of hundreds of thousands of years to breed an artificial soul, known as a homunculus. This soul would be able to be possessed by Asmodeus, and allow him to walk the earth and conquer it.

The human soul was specifically designed to absorb celestial energy, as they were meant to become angels. As such, they should serve as perfect hosts . It is not a question of free will, as Asmodeus and his legion were capable of rebelling, proving that angels were not slaves to God's machinations. Nor is it a question of power, as there are demons who are as powerful as devils, with some even surpassing them. What would prevent human hosts from being perfect vessels for angelic spirits? A good answer would center around how an artificial soul would be a better fit for possession than a naturally created one.

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    $\begingroup$ I've seen a fair amount of single close votes on many questions deeming them as opinion based today (over 5 cases of I'm not mistaken), this one being the most recent case. Remember that simply affirming there's a problem without detailing what the problem seems to be is one of the least efficient ways to have it solved. If you deem a question to be too opinion based, at least take the time to elaborate on why you think so rather than simply casting your close vote and leaving. $\endgroup$ May 6 at 16:35
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    $\begingroup$ Also, to elaborate on "opinion based" close voting. Just being opinion based does not merit a close vote. That reason exists for questions where the number of possible answers are basically infinite, and there is no good way to differentiate a good opinion from a weaker on. While this question could be improved with a clear statement of what makes an answer a Good answer, it does include a number of constraints that at least knocks out a lot of the more obvious and far-fetched possibilities. $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    May 6 at 17:20
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    $\begingroup$ What would prevent humans from being compatible for angelic possession? PornHub...... $\endgroup$
    – Thorne
    May 7 at 4:39
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    $\begingroup$ @ProjectApex close votes are extremely demoralising and discourage further use of this site. The site should require any close vote to give suggestions on how to improve the question, or clarify why the question cannot be improved. $\endgroup$
    – Demigan
    May 8 at 17:32
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    $\begingroup$ @john I see your point, and I think we may be looking at this question differently based on our backgrounds. The OP does not define God, Angels, Demons, Devils, Asmodeus, and the War in Heaven, but these elements together point at a world based specifically on Medieval Roman Catholic Cannon. While the OP could improve his question by saying this out right, it is no different than a question that mentions spacetime, frame references, and causality with the expectation that a good answer will focus on being consistent with Einstein's Theory of Relativity. $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    May 10 at 13:50
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So we're after the difference between a demon (created by the torture of a soul in the Abyss) and a devil (tortured instead in the Nine Hells).

Seems simple enough.

Something in the Abyss alters a soul in a way that makes it possible to possess a human -- something that doesn't happen in the Nine Hells. This isn't so much a property of the souls of demons and devils, as such, but more an inheritable property of the Abyss.

As Neitzsche is often quoted to have said: "...for when you gaze long into the Abyss, the Abyss gazes also into you." This process, the mutual gazing that can only occur in the Abyss, creates a sort of "porosity" of the soul that lets it enter a human in a way one not so altered cannot.

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Both angelic and demonic souls are aetherically "larger" than a human soul - they simply won't fit. The human mind and body would collapse if an angelic soul were forced to fit.

In the Abyss, souls get aetherically "shrunk", to the point that they fit. Devils and angels both know this, but won't follow that road - the process is immensely painful, and nobody would undergo the metaphysic equivalent of a frontal lobotomy plus multiple amputation no matter what the reward.

The infernal breeding program therefore aims to create a "superman" with, so to speak, a larger "soul socket" (Descartes believed this to coincide with the pineal gland). This would also allow the same individual to be possessed by an angel, though.

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Because Devils are too low on the Great Chain of Being

Since you seem to be looking heavily at Medieval Christian Demonology for inspiration, I would suggest adding another element of that culture which is the concept of all things seeking to sink or float based on how similar to God they are. Before the concepts of density, buoyancy, and gravity were fully understood, the Church explained that holy things like fire and light would seek to ascend in the direction of God where they would form the astral bodies, and less holy things like rocks would be repulsed God's presence and descend to sink to the lowest depths of the natural world. And this was their explanation for why the world seemed to seek the ordering of Earth > Water > Air > Fire. This was the basic principle behind the Great Chain of Being.

But this was not just limited to the 4 elements, this was believed to be a universal law that applied to the spiritual universe as much as the physical one and was used to categorize all manner of things as being better or worse than others in the eyes of God. They believed that higher orders of beings would ascend over other beings to be closer to God, and lower levels of beings would sink further away from him to experience greater torment farther from his presence.

Dante's Divine Comedy is a really good example of this concept that most of us are probably familiar with. When you look at his 9 circles of Hell, the very bottom tier of existence is reserved for betrayers, and at the very bottom of the this last circle are those who betrayed God himself. To betray God would make your soul heavier than any other material or nonmaterial in existence. The Medieval Church also believed that the better you understand the difference between good and evil, the more evil it is to commit a sin. So, to be a Devil means you had a perfect understanding of good and evil (thanks to having been an Angel) and you chose to do the most evil act there is. This makes Devils the most spiritually heavy things in the universe.

The reason Demons possess humans is because they use us as life rafts to keep them from sinking back into their proper layer of existence, but the vast majority of damned souls are sinners from the upper 8 circles of Hell, or what you would call the abyss, so the higher up a demon comes from, the easier it is to use a human host to "float". But those devils who are from the bottom layer of damnation are just so heavy that they would drag a human soul down into hell instead of being held up by it.

The reason they need to breed a special human host is because they can only possess a human soul that is so good and like God that its pull toward heaven is strong enough to keep it from being dragged down to Hell. But human souls can not actually get that holy, or they would ascend into Heaven like Enoch, Elijah, or Jesus did. That is where the "homunculus" comes in. The homunculus is a human's state of being just before they reach the state of living ascension, but the problem with these saints is that no one normally gets to this point without also obtaining enough spiritual power to make short work of any devil that tries to possess them. This makes the homunculus a very special sort of saint, one who is good enough to ascend, but weak or passive enough to not fight back.

Extraordinary pacifists like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. would have been great candidates for the role of homunculus, but both were assassinated before they quite reached the point of living ascension; so, you could as a plot twist ascribe these sorts of assassinations to the efforts of rival demons or even angelic beings trying to prevent homunculi from reaching maturity.

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Demons Possess Humans. Humans Possess Angels/Devils.

When a Demon puts its soul into a human body, the demon soul is stronger so it eats the human soul and takes control of the body.

However when an angel/devil puts its soul into the human body, the opposite happens: The human soul eats the angel/devil soul and retains control of the body.

This is because the Abyss (originally the Elemental Chaos) is more strongly tied to physical reality than the celestial realms (the Nine Hells is a Celestial realm in all but name) which are more tied to a spiritual reality. The Material realm is in the middle in terms of both spiritual and physical ties, being more spiritual than the Abyss and more physical than the Celestial realms.

Spiritual ties make it easier to hop between planes, since the soul is not so strongly tied to the physical body. Physical ties bind the soul more strongly to the body, which makes plane hopping harder, but also makes it easier to wrest control of a body from its current owner.

This is why the war in heaven is possible at all. Being bad at plane-hopping, the Demons are forced to cross over at a number of strategic locations where the barrier between worlds is weak. Most famously the river Styx. That means the Devils can fight them there, as opposed to the battlefield covering the entire Material realm.

This is also why there are more clerics to Angels/Devils than Demons. It is easier for Angels/Devils to communicate with their followers than for Demons.

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Blasphemy! Angels would NEVER possess a human!

Angels would never possess the bodies of the beings that God loves more than any other! God has made it perfectly clear that humans are his favored beings and are to be protected at all costs! His love for them is so great that the angels fear even the thought of harm coming to humans!

On the other hand that is precisely why demons and devils like to possess humans, because its a big screw you to god! How dare god love humans more than them?! Humans are a bunch of Johnny come lately's! Where the hell were they when we were doing all the hard work!?

Afterlife beings possessing humans is the highest form of disobeying and disrespecting God himself. Cosmic wars have been waged over that! Entire hosts of Angels were cast down because of that. "True" Angels would never do it. It is a matter of honor!

And if they did... its straight to hell with them! That kind of punishment is good incentive I think.

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  • $\begingroup$ Or possessing a human is like putting on a dirty pair of soiled pants. $\endgroup$
    – DKNguyen
    May 6 at 20:19
  • $\begingroup$ Why was this downvoted? How is this less valid than any other answer given? Please explain. $\endgroup$
    – Len
    May 6 at 23:23
  • $\begingroup$ It's not what the OP was asking. The title is somewhat misleading, but the question explains that "angels" here includes fallen/wicked angels, which it's calling "devils". The question is why can't the fallen angels possess humans, despite trying to, while the "demons" (who are no more or less wicked than the "devils" but were never angels) can do it without a problem. $\endgroup$
    – A. B.
    May 8 at 7:11
  • $\begingroup$ @A.B. After he retitled it, and I reread it, I can see that now. My bad. $\endgroup$
    – Len
    May 9 at 3:55
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Based on this:

As angelic spirits are basically souls super charged with celestial energy, they should be directly compatible with human souls.

the simplest explanation would be that angelic souls have so much energy that humans are incapable of containing it.

An artificial soul, a homunculus, can either have a higher capacity or can have some kind of built-in protection. Perhaps, this soul can vent extra energy (this would result in the weakening of a devil, though).

Demons do not face this problem because the charge contained in a demonic soul is insufficient to cause the destruction of a human soul.


A side note

Possession usually means possession of a body by suppression or elimination of the host's soul. It seems that the demonic possession you describe is consistent with this notion.

Is it absolutely necessary for angelic beings to be able to possess a soul instead of a body? Does soul possession work like soul merging?

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Demons get them right away.

Demons can possess humans with some effort. Angels and devils can too. However when an angel or devil possesses the human, the situation lasts for about a minute and then a demon moves in.

The hard work of possession has been done by the angel or devil. The vessel is now not only open for a demon to walk in with no effort at all, but a much more attractive target because the usurping demon will also get the powers of the angel or devil which is then trapped in the human body. Angels and devils don't have much defense against this. Demons are always watching for this kind of great opportunity and the reason the demon does not move in faster is usually there is more than one trying, and it takes a few seconds for them all to sort things out.

Demons will do this to each other too if they can. Demons are always fighting with each other and they are good at it. A demon possessor might have to ward off incursions by its fellow demons but usually the owner stays put. Possession is 9/10ths of the law.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure this really does anything to address the question of why it's easier for a "demon" to retain possession than a "devil" or an "angel", but it is a fun possible complication to how it might work. Or maybe there are just more "demons" than "devils" and the "devils" get crowded out? $\endgroup$
    – A. B.
    May 8 at 7:15
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Souls were created to become angels. They were not intended to become demons. Souls are naturally sensitive to celestial energy, and someone that dies can quickly become an angel and join the host because their soul will soak up angelic energy.

When a devil tries to merge with a human it goes great initially, because souls attract celestial energy. Soon after though, the human soul will drain a substantial portion of the devil's celestial energy, more or less than half depending on soul power, and will be strong enough to fight the demon. The end result is often fairly explosive, and the devil is left greatly weakened regardless.

This is made even worse by the fact that a lot of devils are going wildly against celestial power's purpose. They are 'evil' by its reckoning, and more 'evil' the higher rank they get. Humans they possess are often more suited to their power than they, and have an advantage in the fight even if their souls are weaker.

When a demon tries to merge with a human they can function fine because demonic energies are incompatible with souls. Extended exposure may break down the barriers and cause unwanted power theft, but various rituals can mitigate those issues by slowly siphoning power away.

A homunculus will be designed to be receptive to demonic energy and reject celestial energies. This means that the trial versions are resistant to demonic interference, and excellent hosts for devils.

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  • $\begingroup$ +1. Very elegant, and a more eventful answer to what happens if a "devil" tries to possess a human than just "nothing happens". You could even say that a "devil" is a naturally precarious sort of creature because it's flying in the face of nature - it was designed to be an angel but it's using it for evil. So unless the human victim is truly horrible themselves, the human may have more right to/affinity with the "devil"'s celestial energy than the "devil" itself has. $\endgroup$
    – A. B.
    May 8 at 7:36

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