Anyone else willing to confess to being a little… messy? I’m definitely a person who’s comfortable with clutter… to a degree. But fairly regularly, I hit a point where I can’t get any work done until I clean and organize my space – my room, my office, whatever. It’s like I can’t really think straight until everything is in its place.
As humans, we have an innate desire for order. Remember Inside Out? That Pixar movie that showed us the emotional interior of a person, where we met our 5 core emotions – Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and… Disgust?
I was so confused the first time I saw that movie… how is Disgust an emotion, let alone a core emotion? But it turns out the psychologists behind the film are right. One of the most basic human experiences is disgust.
Most basically, disgust is a reaction to things that don’t belong. We have strong disgust reactions to foods we don’t like and dead smells. Psychologists tell us that our brains evolved to feel disgust at those things because they could be deadly to eat – poisonous or rotted.
But as we continued to develop, that emotion got transferred to other things too. Sometimes we feel disgust when we encounter people who aren’t like us. Maybe they’re dirty or have different ways of dressing than we do. So we feel disgust when we encounter them.
At its most insidious, this disgust can get turned into religious beliefs. We look down our nose at people who believe differently from us or have a different moral code. We treat them as dirty, sinful, less than.
That’s not just something we came up with on our own. The Bible actually has a lot of laws and religious codes about who’s clean and who’s not. Who’s holy and who’s a sinner. Why are those divisions in there? What was God’s purpose in delivering those to us?