I do believe that the image of God is in all of us; and that there are a lot of good qualities to every person that He has created. But I think we all know that there are certain issues inside each of us that we have to battle. Those ‘inner demons’ that we find in ourselves are some of the hardest obstacles to overcome, and some of the most frightening things to see reflected in others.
For a Star Trek example, (and really, what other kind of example were you expecting), in “Balance of Terror”, the writing, acting, and directing of the episode compare and contrast Kirk with the Romulan commander. Both are strong leaders, driven, and a little bit tormented. We see how the two captains, in their fight against each other, are really pitted against themselves. They are forced to look deep inside, analyze what they would do, and counter it. There is a similar dynamic between Kirk and Khan in “Space Seed”, though it’s really highlighted more in The Wrath of Khan.
The theme of struggle with oneself is painted in a much more literal manner in “The Enemy Within”. In this episode, Kirk is split into two distinct halves of his personality- one strong, decisive, and confident, but cruel and hedonistic; and the other weak, and self-serving, but kindhearted and intelligent. The two Kirks look at each other and are repulsed by what they see. The worst thing about it is, they realize that the things they hate are a part of their personhood.
In a simpler vein, the episode, “The Alternative Factor”, introduces a character named Lazarus- or rather, two characters named Lazarus- one matter, and one antimatter; one raving mad, and the other calm and collected. By the end of the episode, they are locked forever in mortal combat in a place between universes.
This seems to be a good picture of the inner battle we all face. The question remains, then, just as with Lazarus, “What of us?” Is there an answer? Do we get a happy ending?
(You know what else this reminds me of? Number 6 from The Prisoner. That’s a post for another time, though. Maybe next year?)