Spiritual images and themes are like chemicals, if they aren’t put together in the right way disaster can result. Most people don’t realize the power of the psyche and the diverse forces in it. Matters related to evil, occult, and demonic phenomena are not to be toyed with either in life or entertainment. This does not mean that such themes can’t be constructively explored within a movie, book, or other art form. Buy if they are, it should be done in a way that is psychologically and spiritually valid.
Have you ever watched a movie or television show involving themes of evil or the occult and wondered to yourself, “Where is this going to take me?” That’s a good question to ask. This type of material is used more and more nowadays to add a layer of intrigue to a plot or storyline. Are you ever curious about the intentions and spiritual maturity of the writer, or writers, who created the story you are taking in? To use the chemistry analogy, are these themes and symbols being played with, or are they actually being put together by someone who knows, understands, and appreciates what he is doing? Is the story the creative expression of a psychologically and spiritually mature person (e.g., a C.S. Lewis or J.R. Tolkien), or is it the frenzied brainchild of a group of Hollywood writers with no particular talent other than their ability to pour random chemicals into a pot and stir?
The symbols, images, and ideas within a movie, television show, book, or computer game act as seeds within the unconscious. They seek out their own soil and take root when a favorable opportunity presents itself. Some will bear wholesome fruit, but others will become invasive, choking weeds. It is truly important to screen and evaluate the images and stories that pass before your mind (and especially those of your children). If you consume a movie as unthinkingly as you consume movie popcorn, your values and beliefs will be affected just as unconsciously.
Copyright © Andy Drymalski, Ed.D.
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