The souls is but a hollow which God fills. Its union with God is almost, by definition, a continual self-abandonment. An opening, unveiling, and surrender of itself. A blessed spirit is a mold ever more and more patient of a bright metal poured into it. A body ever more completely uncovered to the meridian blaze of the spiritual sun.” – C.S. Lewis
I’ve been contemplating much as of late on the analogy of light and dark as it relates to the concepts of good and evil. The imagery is all throughout both scripture and culture, with God being the fullness of light (1 John 1:5) and evil being personified as darkness. I find so many perfect parallels to this imagery that once again, as so often happens, I can’t help but to stand amazed by the wisdom and sufficiency of scripture to speak the truths that nothing else seems able to explain or even touch.
One of the reasons I love psychology so much is because it deals with the topic of God’s highest and most complex creation – us. Of all created beings, only we have the ability to reason. Only we have that thing called conscience. And only we have that thing called free will. We are not just a collection of atoms thrown together at random. We are the highest and most complex life forms walking the earth. And I am fascinated by the study of how God created this thing we call mind.
I’ve always been fascinated by this. I’ve studied and analyzed behavior since before I can remember (probably due in large part to being brought up in a home where the people and behavior never made sense). But I went on to obtain both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in psychology for this reason. Yet, for all my secular study, I cannot separate the study of how we are mentally and emotionally wired from the study of who God is and how he created us to be. To me, it’s the same as any other science. Biology is the study of how God created the earth. Psychology is the study of how God created the mind. And to exclude God from that picture is to throw away the depth of meaning and insight to be found in the study.
The Bible speaks of good and evil and is very clear about what constitutes both. It’s very clear on what good and evil looks like. Psychology may use different terms to describe the same behaviors, and there are plenty of areas in which the Bible and pop psychology disagree. However, there are many places in which they agree.
I’m going to start spending my Sundays reflecting on this interchange between Scripture and Psychology and I’m going to start spending more time writing and creating videos to discuss the topic. Today I started off by comparing this imagery of light and dark to the psychological principles that make up what we, as Christians, would call good and evil. I hope you find it insightful.