White hats go with the good guys.
Black hats go with the bad buys.
Even I know that.
Except, in truth, I don’t.
While we assign only good qualities to the light and bad qualities to the dark, with the soul, there are no real values assigned. To anything.
We like to think of God bringing us the light into our lives. But God has his finger in the darkness of our lives, too.
And Jesus. The lightbearer. Holiness. A really long, ahhhhhhhh. The halo.
Light is good.
But Jesus descended into hell. And during that trip he had to resurrect himself. Some challenge. In the unseen world, he had to create a miracle.
What a guy.
So how can the unseen world be so bad (even if it is dark), if that is where Jesus performed the greatest miracle of all time?
Nightmares come to us in the dark, to be sure. But so do dreams. And the restoration of our bodies, minds, and hearts.
So what’s the deal with light?
Well, it makes it easier to see with our eyes.
I wonder what we should call that sense of ours (heretofore unnamed) that makes its way around the unseen world.
I have studied souls that burst with light. One was so bright, so full of light, that I couldn’t make out the actual structure of the soul. Like having a spotlight shining into your eyes all the time.
Naïvely, I thought, hey, with this much light, this guy must have a great soul.
(Every time I make an assumption during a God study, I am wrong. Never been right. Not once.)
It turned out, it was the most evil soul I had ever come in contact with. Swept the evil categories award with one hand tied behind his back.
Or some such anthropomorphism.
I don’t think the light was there to intentionally blind me. Or anyone else sticking their nose in to check it out. It was most definitely a state of the soul.
The destructive aspect of hatred (aka, hell-of-the-Bible) is definitely a place of fierce light. If your soul sources from there, you bring a lot of light with you.
Fire isn’t always a good thing.
I wanted to write this post because I wanted to address the phenomenon of the dark soul.
We hear about dark nights of the soul. These are the strained times that a soul goes through. Where direction is lost and the sense of connection is broken.
But beyond that, a mere description of an experience, there is such a thing as a completely black soul. A soul with no light in it whatsoever.
The soul functions in a mode of growth. A healthy soul grows. Flourishes. An unhealthy soul loses its energy and creates a toxic environment.
Ever want to study why a person is bitter all the time, study his soul.
It will be like looking at an abandoned lot in Detroit. Only good for rats and an occasional wildflower.
A healthy soul will feel like a vibrant forest: a living thing that gives off oxygen; and seeds, which can be food; shade; leaves that insects can tuck into; and places for wildlife to hide.
It is the soul that deals with the seen (light) and the unseen (dark). If a soul isn’t healthy, if it has gone without contact with God for a while, then it deals with both the seen and the unseen in unhealthy ways.
Which causes us a lot of trouble in our world
You have a bunch of people – which we do – filling both realms with bitterness and resentment, and you have today’s newspaper.
A soul of light is one that plays in the field of God’s love.
A dark soul is one that knows the ways of the unseen world. It is the soul that serves God as his sword. The warrior soul.
In this case, darkness is nothing more than a state of being. A facility to navigate a realm.
Not up-to-no-good. The owl of the spiritual world. Knowing its way around the shadows and the echoes of the night.
It does take a different sense – one that our world doesn’t recognize yet – to function in this manner.
A soul of light, on the other hand, can utilize all of its senses (a recent count is 21) in manipulating real life.
Those who hunt in the irreality of life, on the other hand, like a blind person, call on a different combination of sensual input. And guide themselves through life using a different standard of rules.
Perhaps this just muddies the waters for you; confuses you.
We want things to be clear cut and defined. Good is this, bad is that.
But with the soul, there is no good and bad. There is strength and weakness. And weakness is only a waiting.
A waiting for strength to return.
Our challenge as Christians is learning how to reconnect malignant souls with God. It’s a challenge, not only because it is an approach that hasn’t been considered before in these terms, but also because a failing soul is an unresponsive soul (as we well know from our own experiences).
Think of people as gardens. If a garden has gone to seed or has become a repository for junked cars, and you want to put it to its original use again, you don’t stand there and judge the soil in front of you.
Instead, you find the means to remove what is stopping you from planting there, and you do what it takes to restore the soil so that it can support life once again.
This should be our key word for our Christian mission.
It was what Jesus did during his lifetime.
And if it was good enough for him,
Then it’s the best thing in the world for us.