In 1982, I saw the Dark Crystal. It scared the hell out me. Never before had I seen puppets and animatronics move in such a disturbing manner. I dreamed of the scaly Skeksis for weeks. They were truly terrifying. The characters physical persona mimicked their functions in the story – evil looked and acted evil, and innocence looked and acted innocent. It made for a good story – cut and dry. Enter happy boy on a sunny day. All is well in the realm. A dark magic appears and drains the light and the happiness with it. A quest is born. Struggle pursues. A sacrifice is required to restore balance. An unlikely hero steps forward. Darkness is defeated through a purposeful offering. Restoration is found. Evil is exposed and innocence is exalted. Balance.
Richard Beck writes a blog entitled Experimental Theology. In a recent post he speaks of the dark triad – personality traits that align with the darker nature of humanity in the form of narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. In his post, Richard writes about his experience with prison ministry. Those locked in a box will do anything to get out. But what of those that are not in a box and act in the “da ku toraifōsu” – the principalities and powers? I do not believe the “principalities and powers” refers only to the spiritual beings, rather both spiritual and physical authorities. These powers require a sacrifice, but balance is rarely restored – if it was ever there to begin with. The dark triad rarely looks dark, and no sacrifice is needed if evil is not present, right? This makes for a better story. A terrifying story where the “good guy” acts both evil and innocent, and the “bad guy” is elevated and justified…all to get out of a box we built ourselves.