Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 14: The Spiritual Man (3), by Watchman Nee


After a believer’s mind has fallen into passivity and been occupied by evil spirits, he will never listen to the explanation or evidence of others in any matter in which he has already made a decision. If others try to explain something more to him, he will think that they are invading his freedom. Furthermore, in his view, the one who is telling him something is very foolish and can never understand what he understands. His thoughts may be extremely wrong, but he thinks that he has reasons that cannot be explained. Since his mind has become completely passive, he does not know how to use his own reasoning to deduce, differentiate, or judge anymore. Instead, he indiscriminately takes in every thought that evil spirits inject into him, and considers them to be the most perfect thoughts. He may also hear supernatural voices and consider them to be the will of God. In his view, these voices are speaking laws to him, and no one can make him use his reasoning to check the source of these voices. If he has received any thoughts, voices, or teachings, he will think that he can never be mistaken and is absolutely secure. He will not want to test, check, consider, or reason again. He will become absolutely closed and defensive, and he will not want to know about anything else. Neither his own reason and conscience nor the explanations and theories of others can change him at all. Once he believes that God is leading him, it is as if his brain becomes sealed by a tight seal and cannot be changed again. Since he does not use his own reasoning, he is subject to any deception by evil spirits and is completely ignorant of it himself. Those with only a little understanding will know his danger, yet he himself will be quite content. People who have been worked on by evil spirits to this extent are very difficult to recover.


The passivity of the mind and the attack of evil spirits can very easily be detected from the eyes, because no part of man’s being expresses his mind more than his eyes. If the mind is passive, a believer can be reading a book with his eyes, but nothing enters his mind, and nothing is retained in his memory. When he talks with people, his eyes wander around in all directions, jump up and down, or change direction abruptly. Sometimes this can be very rude. It seems that he is not able to look directly into the faces of others. However, at other times, he fixes his gaze on the faces of others as if some unknown power is keeping his eyes from moving away.

This kind of staring can be very dangerous at times, because this is the way evil spirits lead a believer into the state of a spirit medium. In many meetings, the believers stare at the speaker’s face for a long time, and are unable to hear what he is speaking; instead, they allow evil spirits to give them many thoughts or visions.

Regarding the use of our own eyes, we should note whether the turning of our eyes follows the consciousness of our mind, or whether they look at things without following the instruction of our will. When the mind is passive, our eyes are very easily dimmed; they see strange things which they were never asked to see. At the same time, they have no strength to concentrate upon what they want to see.


In summary, even though the attacks of evil spirits upon the minds of the believers are a many and varied phenomena, the principle of stopping a person from having control of himself is the same. Originally in God’s ordination, all the faculties of man (the mind being one of them) were completely under man’s control. But because a believer will unconsciously give ground to evil spirits, they are able to occupy his mind, and they are able to operate independently and without interference from his will. Therefore, when he discovers any act in his mind that is independent from his will, he should realize that he is being attacked by evil spirits.

Whoever cannot be active when he should be active and quiet when he should be quiet; whoever is out of control and filled with thoughts and confusion; whoever labors without any result; whoever cannot work in the daytime and dreams at night, whoever is restless, hysterical, and hesitant; whoever cannot be watchful, focused, and discerning; whoever cannot remember things; and whoever is inexplicably fearful, frustrated, and perplexed is suffering from the work of evil spirits and from things that are unknown to man.

(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 14: The Spiritual Man (3), Chapter 2, by Watchman Nee)