The “spirit of Jesus” viewed as a substitute for the “unclean spirit”

Let’s compare Mark 1:26 with Mark 15:37 and Luke 23:46.

The first of these passages, describing the exorcism of a demon from a man that was performed by Jesus, says,

And the unclean spirit [to pneuma to akatharton] convulsed (the man) [or “shook him,” or “tore him in pieces,” or “pulled him apart”: sparassō], and, crying out [or calling out: phōneō] with a loud voice [or “great voice,” or “loud speech,” or “loud language”: phōné megalé], came out [ex-erchomai] of him.

The next passage, Mark 15:37, describing Jesus’s death, says,

And Jesus let out [or yielded up: aphiémi] a loud cry [or “loud speech,” or “loud language”: phōné megalé] and expired [or, “breathed out his spirit,” or “expelled his spirit“: ek-pneō].

The same event of Jesus’s death is described in Luke 23:46:

And Jesus, crying out [or calling out, or summoning, or speaking (loudly), or speaking (clearly), or giving utterance: phōneō] with a loud voice [phōné megalé], said, “Father, into your hands I commit [or deposit, or entrust: para-tithémi] my spirit [pneuma]!”  And, having said this, he expired [or, “breathed out his spirit,” or “expelled his spirit“: ek-pneō].

A comparison of the passages suggests that the “spirit” (pneuma) of Jesus may have been understood to correspond to the “unclean spirit” (pneuma akathartos) that had been in the demon-possessed man; and also that the first passage, Mark 1:26, may have been meant to prefigure the Crucifixion passages—so that, perhaps, the “spirit” of Jesus was understood to have temporarily “taken on the role” of the “unclean spirit,” so to speak, or to have been temporarily “working undercover” under the guise of the “unclean spirit”—with the “unclean spirit” understood, at least in one sense, as a spirit of “mixed meanings,” as opposed to one of “pure meanings” or “single meanings.”  (The “hiddenness” or “concealment” of the “spirit of Jesus” or “Holy Spirit” is indicated, for example, by the use in Matthew 13:33 of the Greek word eg-kryptō, meaning “to hide, to conceal,” in reference to “leaven,” which I think was probably meant to signify the “Holy Spirit.”)

In other words, according to such an hypothesis, the “spirit” of Jesus would have been made to serve as a substitute for the “unclean spirit” so that it could eventually displace it with the occurrence of the symbolic “Crucifixion and Resurrection”; and if that is correct, then “the spirit of Jesus” would have been understood to function as something analogous to a “brood parasite” such as the cuckoo bird.  (However, I stress that much of this thinking, if it in fact existed at all, may have been taking place at an unconscious level of thought.)

The same connection between the idea of an “exorcism” of an “unclean spirit” and the “Crucifixion and Resurrection” can be found by comparing Mark 9:25-29 with the passage immediately following, Mark 9:30-32.  Notice that the events spoken of in the first passage seem to be prefiguring the events spoken of in the second, focusing especially on the use of the same Greek word an-istémi, meaning “to rise up, to raise up, to stand up, to resurrect,” in both Mark 9:27 and Mark 9:31.  (Also notice that Mark 9:32 indicates that even Jesus’s “disciples” did not understand what the symbolic “Crucifixion and Resurrection” signified—so we should not assume its true intended significance to be obvious.)

The “Crucifixion” might thus have been understood to have achieved a kind of large-scale “exorcism”—that is, the driving out of the “unclean spirit” or “impure spirit”—and, with that, the bringing into being of the “purity of speech” or “purity of language” associated with the “spirit of Jesus” or “Holy Spirit.”  In other words, the “Crucifixion” would have been symbolizing (consciously or unconsciously) the driving out of that “unclean spirit” which was the motive force behind religious esotericism as a whole and in general, as well as behind schizophrenia and psychosis—i.e., “lunacy” or “demon-possession”—as a whole and in general.