Sublimation 2: Is This In The Bible?

Last time we established that sublimation is basically replacing an unacceptable behavior with an acceptable behavior. We saw that that Freud was into the idea, but is God?

In Matthew 12, Jesus talked about someone who has his “impure spirits” leave, but since he doesn’t replace them with anything, they simply come back to him again. In Galatians 5, we get a list of “acts of the flesh” – behaviors (like hatred and jealousy) that come from our dark side, and we’re told to leave them behind. Then we get a list of the “fruit of the Spirit” – behaviors (like loving and being gentle) that come from God, and we’re told to instead live in them.  Similarly, in Colossians 3, we’re told to “put to death” what belongs to our “earthly nature” with a list of behaviors (like rage and slander), and then we’re instructed to “clothe ourselves” with a very different list of behaviors (like compassion and humility.)

And all of that sounds like … sublimation. So Freud was into it. God seems to be into it. But are you? If not, I’d say it explains some of why you can’t seem to change your life the way you want. Why? I’ll explain next time.