I had a rather strange dream last night that went something like this:
I was in a pool with a group of people that I seemed to know well. There was, however, one young person, a middleschooler perhaps, that was continuously bothering me. He would simply not let up. Finally, in a surprising at of violence, I grabbed this kid by his neck and threw him under the water. The preteen subsequently almost drowned. I eventually revived the kid, but instead of apologizing, I, at first, intimidated him to motivate him to leave me alone. Then, out of fear of what would happen if the kid reported these events to an authority, explained that his near death by drowning had been entirely unintentional (which actually was true).
The reality of the dream is this: that within me there is a startling violence, an untamed rage, an unthinking hatred. How strange is it that we could endowed by our Creator (Love) with such unLoving qualities. This dream actually reminded me of something I read yesterday regarding universal behavior within the animal kingdom:
…genocide, rape, war, gang violence and murder and suggests that these cruel and incomprehensibly violent behaviors are firmly rooted in our evolution. Males are more violent than females because we lived in groups in which raping and murdering were advantageous reproductive strategies.
If this is true, then I suppose that this is not entirely without explanation from a theistic point of view, especially if we take Hick’s soul-making theodicy seriously. Thus, the weirdness of our human predicament is not an explanatory weirdness, but an ethical and existential one. We are stuck in a body that is, in some sense, partially programed to do, in Paul’s words, “what we hate.”¹ (But this by no means absolves us of moral responsibility, for it still seems that we have some control over our actions. There are some days during which I am not quite sure about this though.)
I awoke with great joy to find that the events that had “transpired” only occurred in a dream, but there is a very real lesson to take from these “unreal” occurrences: that I am a sinner. This is a lesson that I need to appreciate more fully and more often, for it is quite important if I am serious about overcoming my selfish self and making sure that my weird dreams do not begin play out in this weird reality.
1. This actually might be further support for the Crick–Kant-Hick view of life because it seems that our own desires are set against us by our very evolutionary biology, yet we have a desire to transcend those very desires.