Do you remember the number from Disney’s Jungle Book in which King Louie sings, “I wanna be like you. I wanna walk like you, talk like you do.”? It sums up the fatal flaw in the human condition. Beneath all the world’s vanity, ambition, greed, lust and violence there is a kink–something twisted and a distortion in the way we’re wired.
It can be summed up as the desire to be like someone else. “I wanna be like you…I want what you have. I want your success. I want your wealth. I want your good looks. I want your connections. I want your power. I want to be you…” The root of “I wanna be like you” is a deeper conviction that I don’t want to be me. I’m dis-satisfed with me. I don’t like what I have. I want more. From this root desire to be someone other than who we are comes all possessiveness. “I not only want to be like you, but to be like you I want what you have.” From that root comes all crime, violence, lust and greed.
This gnawing discontent drives our relationships. It drives our economy. It drives our politics. It drives our love life. It drives our whole fallen society. It’s humanity’s default setting. It’s the way we’re wired. It is there in the story of the garden of Eden. Our first parents were content with who they were and their relationship with God and with one another. They lived in harmony with all things, and they knew their rightful place; but the tempter made Eve aware of what she lacked, and the temptation was to eat of the knowledge of the tree of good and evil and thus “be like God.” So he got Eve to see God and say, “I wanna be like you…I want what you have…”
All of this is fairly simply and straightforward, but there is another distortion. There is a mirror image of this fallen-ness–a form of this twistedness that is even more perverted and sick. It is when we say not, “I want to be like you” but “I want you to be like me.” Now the fallen son or daughter of Eve does not wish to be like others and have what they have, instead they want the other person to conform to them and their wishes. This person does not desire to be like God, he has already made himself God for he expects all to say to him, “Thy Will be Done.” This is the person who is not only right about everything, but expects everyone to fall in line behind them. Read More.