Friday, April 13, 2012

My Villainous Fantasies, Addendum: Can you be a good Christian and fantasize about being a villain?

A little on psychology, archetype and how the best vengeance is to thrive...

Ganesha, son of Shiva the Destroyer and Lord of Shiva's followers, the ganas.  Not evil even remotely, but provides a good psychodynamic explanation of why it's good to sometimes fantasize about things you're not...

So, who do I fantasize about being when I fantasize about being truly evil?

As a Christian the idea of fantasizing about being evil - or a destroyer - might seem wrong.

In fact, it's been a great psychological exercise for me.  For one thing, I'm becoming re-acquainted with the reasons why love these characters.

For example, consider Edmond Dantes, Count of Monte Cristo, from the last post.  I love him because he so single minded, diligent and self controlled.

But he also reminded me of a personal maxim that I had forgotten: "The best vengeance is to thrive."

Really literally chasing after people who have hurt me would be, well, pretty fruitless and probably a little nuts.  But the mentality of "Bugger you, even if the whole reason I'm doing this is to show you that I'm stronger than that, than what you did to me" is very empowering and, I would suggest, extremely healthy.

In our Christian lives, we don't have a whole lot of different kinds of stories to build ourselves and our archetypes.  I don't think that's bad; I think there's only really one God-with-a-face that we should be worshiping, and that's Jesus Christ.

But it's not like we're not still totemic pagans at heart.  Hence Western - and perhaps also some types of Eastern - story: not gods to be worshiped, but still archetypes to fill that emotional and story gap that the Bible leaves empty.  In other words, we should want to be Christlike, but in reality we're, well... not.  

Story is good, imho, for exploring those un-Christlike qualities that we possess.  If we don't face them as a reality, we can become repressed.  And while suppression (holding back emotion and thought until an appropriate time and expressing them in appropriate ways) is good, repression (trying to hold back emotion forever until we blow like a tea kettle) is very bad.


  1. Well, it bothered me a little. I don't see a clear boundary between the psychological and spiritual - "psyche" even means "soul" in Greek. Also means "butterfly." :-)

    But seriously did bother me a bit. "Is it okay to fantasize about these things? Does it make me less of a good person?..."

    I have rationalizations for "no, it's okay," but I'm still not sure if those are self-honest or mere justifications.