Our generation is witnessing a continuous degradation. This degradation is made visible through the shift of our interest from values and principles to a materialistic love for money and objects. We show a profound attachment to our house, our car, different valuable gadgets, and we treasure them at all costs. So who in this world still values the soul as the most important thing in life? And who has time to care for it as they should?
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23). If the most precious thing we have is our soul, why is it often treated with so much indifference?
The portrait of Dorian Gray
Have you ever wondered what your soul would look like if it took a human form? Based on this idea, Oscar Wilde imagines a tragic drama through the character of Dorian Gray. A young man of rare beauty and distinct personality, Dorian has his portrait painted by his friend Basil, who decides to immortalize his image in an impressive painting. When Gray sees his portrait, he realizes how ephemeral his youth is compared to the eternity of the image in the picture. For this reason, he makes a deal and sells his soul in order to preserve his youthful physical appearance, remaining eternally young. The portrait not only takes over the aging process, but also has the role of reflecting the young man's soul and to mirror the changes in his degrading conscience.
Noble Gray, initially an innocent and simple character, lets himself be guided by his older friend, Lord Henry, who draws the boy into the trap of a hedonistic lifestyle. In a society obsessed with appearances, Dorian allows himself to taste pleasures, vices and emotions that slowly take control over him. In search of the beauty and essence of life, his soul is deceived by adventurous flings, quarrels, and even murder. There are moments when Dorian perceives evil solely as a means to achieve his selfish notion of beauty.
The changes in his portrait are revealed over 18 years, during which the painted Dorian Gray becomes a monster, a reflection of all the sins his physical self has committed. Wrinkles and warts appear on the face of the picture; the scalp loses its hair, the skin becomes stained; his gaze lost and his smile dejected. In contrast, Dorian Gray has the same young and angelic appearance he had before compromising his soul. In the end, beauty turns out to be just a mask for him, and youth - a deception.
Is the body the mirror of the soul?
I return to this question in the conclusion: Is the body the mirror of the soul? The answer is ‘no’. To believe that the soul expresses itself through the body is to think superficially. At the same time, let’s not reject the idea that a beautiful body can reflect a beautiful soul. On the contrary ‒ that would be ideal. But the main conclusion is that we shouldn’t consider physical appearance a reference for morality, no matter how innocent, noble and elegant someone looks. We often tend to let ourselves inspired and guided by appearances. Remember what God told Samuel: “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
Even if your soul has already begun showing traces of lies, deceit, and other vices, remember you too can achieve a spiritual renewal by following the Bible’s principles – in Ezekiel 3:26 it is written: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh”.
Until this promise is fulfilled, take care of your soul!