Fortifying Your Fantasy World With Coincidences
From Brandon Cox’s blog:
Jesus’ followers are constantly being tested – not in the sense that He’s trying to make us fail, but in the sense that He’s preparing us to pass. He tests us through trials and troubles, just as a craftsman “tries” or purifies metals in intense and melting heat. But the toughest of tests isn’t loneliness or loss. It isn’t suffering. It’s praise.
When I was a believer, my belief that “everything is a test” really helped fuel the elaborate fantasy world that I lived in. I spent every day engrossed in the “spirit realm”, and I was always connecting events in my real life to events in the fantasy. I could connect any person’s actions to the personality of their spirit and the history of their “past lives”. I knew that when bad things happened to me, it was the work of demons. These sorts of occurrences really solidified the “proof” in my mind of the supernatural. Everything had a lesson or a purpose, and I saw evidence of it every day.
You’ll often hear believers state, “There are no coincidences”. This is the fuel that drives the engine of their belief. When you’re seeing proof of God’s existence 10-12 times a day, it’s ludicrous for someone to tell you it’s not real. I mean, come on. I talk to my spirit guides every day. Don’t tell me they’re not real.
A Purpose-filled life, or fuel for a delusion?
I suppose you could argue that it gave me purpose, but when I look back on this time, I see something else. For a good 4-5 years, I lived in the spiritual equivalent of the Matrix. When I went to college and discovered what scientists do to figure out if something is real, my whole world crumbled. I had been 100% convinced of everything I believed, but it didn’t matter, because the very foundation that I had built my reality on had been flawed.
I suddenly realized that all the things I was seeing and doing in my life could just be in my imagination. I thought it was ludicrous to suggest otherwise before, because the experiences I had were so strong. I didn’t realize the power of the human mind to deceive itself. It truly is an amazing thing.
If I hadn’t have been walked through step-by-step in how the mind can be fooled, I wouldn’t have believed it myself. It would be like if someone told you that your own spouse, whom you talk to every day, only existed in your mind. Ridiculous! Many theists beliefs have that level of reality in their mind.
What do you care what people believe?
This is another reason why I am often at odds with people who think we shouldn’t question religion. I think they don’t realize how terrifying it is to know that for the last 5 years, your entire world was pure fantasy. All your thoughts, all your goals, all that “living for the next life”… pointless.
I often compare religion to the movie The Truman Show. Living a fantasy may seem like it would be nice, but in reality, people want the truth. And it’s ultimately better to not waste the precious few moments we have on this Earth chasing something that’s not real.