Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Forget Waldo. Where's Satan?

Image via Wikipedia

Religious leaders often tell us that we don't need to look any farther than our own hearts to find God.

But, I've never heard any of them recommend a good place to look for Satan.

I mean if you want to avoid him you should know where he hangs out, right?

Unfortunately  our spiritual shepherds have been reluctant to hand over the GPS.

Luckily, science has stepped into the breach. 

My friends, it turns out that the Prince of Darkness lives in a place that you can't avoid, i.e.,

your brain.


If he had built a little homestead in your mind it would be easy to avoid him. 

But no, His Evil Majesty, had the chutzpah to stake a claim deep in your grey matter.

According to conservation biologist, Michael Soule, in a conversation with journalist  Michelle Nijhuis, (see link below), humans are hard wired to sin.

The proof?

Magnetic resonance and  electroencephalography techniques have been used in the last twenty years to locate the places in our brains that are activated when we 'sin'.

Mr. Soule says that five of the deadly sins, (greed, anger, gluttony, lust, sloth) were all necessary for the early survival of our species. 

It was only with the veneer of civilization, when the survival of the group became important, that our selfish behaviours had to be reined in. 


he warns us that the five, plus the newer sins of envy and pride, are still very much a part of our physiology and it is a constant battle for most of us to manage them.

In fact our self-interest, once necessary for our survival is now destroying the world because it makes us incapable of dealing with big issues like climate change.

Michael Soule is a conservation biologist and a Buddhist.

He feels that people on a spiritual journey are better able to 'moderate' their sinfulness and 'focus on what is needed in the world'.

In other words finding God in our hearts can help us tame the Devil in our brains and maybe save the planet.

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Debra She Who Seeks said...

Wasn't it Solzhenitzyn or someone who said that the line between good and evil is found in every human heart?

The Dancing Crone said...

...the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either—but right through every human heart...

I'm glad he didn't have acces to an MRI machine.

...the line separating good and evil ... transects the trachea... doesn't have the same je ne sais quoi.

Doug Jamieson said...

Sounds right.