Man Is Man’s Worst Enemy — Psychic Danger of the Heart
A few weeks ago in a previous post, we studied the first appearance of the word translated “heart” in the Old Testament to explore its meaning. Within the context of the Bible, we found that the same word translated heart is used for reference to the physical organ of the body, but more often the use of the word refers to the mind and consciousness, to one’s very being. Genesis refers to God being grieved in His heart over what was seen as evil thoughts or imaginations emanating from man’s heart. Biblical teaching would instruct us that God’s heart would be in the nature of mind, consciousness and being. If man is made in God’s image, it seems this Spiritual concept of the heart might be a shared anatomy with the divine. A few thousand years later the Biblical reference to the heart can be found repeated, as Jesus teaches the same thing about the source of trouble in the heart as found in Genesis. “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.” (Matt. 15:19) The translation heart in this verse is from the Greek word kardia, from which our modern terminology, cardiac is derived. Similar to the Old Testament word leb, kardia can refer to heart as the blood-pumping organ of the body but like its Old Testament counterpart, it more often communicates a much broader and deeper spiritual reality. We generally associate the brain, the central nervous system, as carrying on the function of thinking. However, the Bible treats the heart as an organ responsible for originating “thoughts, reasoning, understanding, will, judgment, designs, affections, love, hatred, fear, joy, sorrow and anger.” Medical science even confirms that these feelings and consciousness affect man’s physical heart and health for bad or good, depending on the character of the attribute. According Thayer, the term embraces what is the center of all physical and spiritual life, “the vigor and sense of all physical life,” and “the center and seat of spiritual life…” This includes “the soul or mind as it is the fountain seat of thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavors, understanding, faculty of intelligence, will and character.” The point is this. What the Bible says about heart and soul is of creative importance, and carries with it one of the keys to unlocking a life of spiritual blessing or releasing destructive curses. Modern man and medical science make quite a fuss over physical heart disease and the need to take care of diet and exercise to stay healthy. Yet, the contribution of the psyche to sustaining a healthy life is often not given much focus. Christ says that evil thoughts defile man. They make man unclean. It is not what we eat or drink. He says it is what we think and say that make us unclean, causing evil actions and that this takes place in the heart (meaning soul). (Mat 15:18,20) This condition is not treatable at the local pharmacy. No— Lipitor nor Crestor nor any other heart medicine can address this condition. Grace, mercy and forgiveness do not come in the form of capsules and pills but they do enter the blood stream through faith to make us pure. Christ Himself proclaimed: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Mat 5:8) It follows that believers in His Way would share in this His spiritual anatomy.
In the 1930s, American historian, author and philosopher, Will Durant was approached by a person who proclaimed that he would commit suicide if Mr. Durant could not give him some reasons why life was worth living. This prompted Mr. Durant to seek the meaning of life from noted luminaries, leaders and philosophers of his day. Many would not respond. Many said they did not know. Others stated that if he found out to let them know. People still want to know. One person responding observed this: “Men kill one another at first with sticks and stones, then with arrows and lances, then with phalanxes and cohorts, then with cannon and musketry, then with dreadnoughts and submarines,then with tanks and planes; the scale and grandeur of construction and progress are equaled by the scale and terror of destruction and war. One by one the nations rear their heads in pride, and one by one war decapitates them.” Now to that list of man’s killing art, we can add nuclear warheads, terrorists strapped with suicide bombs, predator drones, and the like. One could argue that the scale has been tilted toward destruction and war.
The refrain for Jesus’ warnings about emerging evil from the heart can be found in modern psychology. The word “psyche” means soul. Psychology is the study of the soul. World-renowned psychologist, Carl Jung observed that:
And writing in the days of the Iron Curtain:
“…Nowadays particularly, the world hangs by a thin thread, and that thread is the psyche of man. Suppose certain fellows in Moscow lost their nerve or their common sense for a bit, and then the whole world is in fire and flames. Nowadays we are not threatened by elemental catastrophes. There is no such thing in nature as an H-bomb—that is all man’s doing. We are in great danger. The psyche is the great danger. What if something goes wrong with the psyche? And so it is demonstrated in our day what the power of the psyche is, how important it is to know something about it. But we know nothing about it. ”
Today, with the high level of fear and insecurity felt by people and nations of the world, the thread seems more fragile and thinner than ever. The irony of ironies it seems is that the turmoil is centered on the world religions, Christianity and Islam. The risk is that great masses of people may fall into a collective unconscious that Jung teaches can erupt in an uncontrolled evil fashion. Such an eruption can relapse a society, almost unknowingly to them in the midst of its influence, into “shocking barbarism” as seen in Germany under Hitler and the Third Reich. The Germans fell prey to the psychic danger. In 1959, Jung made the observation that the more successful man becomes with science and technology the more diabolical are the uses to which man puts the inventions. The past 60 years have proved Jung prophetic, as weapon system after weapon system have been developed and used in war. We now have unmanned, Predator Drones targeting and delivering deadly missiles from 50,000 feet. Satellite and computer technology have given the world smart bombs guided with GPS precision, but not always based on accurate intelligence from human sources. The barbarism continues in face-to-face confrontation with beheadings and torture on the one side, matched with torture, kidnappings and secret prisons by the other. The rule of law is either bent or broken. Moral high ground has slipped into the dark underworld and leaves no one standing in light. The dark shadow projection of both sides is erupting into barbarism and reason is completely powerless. Jung explains:
Gen. Petraus Warns Christians Quran Burning Endangers Troops
A Florida church has announced plans to mark the 9/11 recognition with the burning of copies of the Quran. Such a demonstration of contempt for the entire Islamic faith does nothing but enrage the flames of hatred and dissension of both religions. It is anything but a demonstration of love for your enemies or even love for your neighbor. It may well be a confirmation of evil imagination and the Jungian analysis of psychic danger in our midst. Gen. Petraus warned today such conduct would further endanger our troops.
Maybe it is no coincidence that Jesus was speaking to the masses attracted to him at Sermon On The Mount where he was heard to say:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. 43″You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
© 2010, Steve Drinkard. All rights reserved.