Sunday, November 25, 2012

Broken Walls

I apologize for how I write here.  I come back days later and read something I've written and I'm horrified by the typos, some so bad that you loose the meaning of what I'm trying to say.

So, back to my topic. I was thinking of the dangers of walls.  If you could recreate the medieval Marrakesh, which I had been talking about, then the fortress mentality might work.  As I said, I would be a bit envious of it. I wouldn't have to think, or to struggle but simply accept the obvious (which may or may not be true).  It would be a simple, child-like, view of the world.  Now I'm sure that in the new earth to come, it will be that way as our perfect reason will always lead us safe and sound to truth every time . . . and the truth to us would be obvious.  But the great danger of this fortification mentality in this present world view is that your microcosm might be wrong, and indeed a good chance it is wrong, so you would be condemned to error because you live in a world that is is entirely wrong.  Precisely, I think that's what I think the children of medieval Marrakesh because I, of course, don't believe that the Islamic narrative is true.

So, the walls pose a real danger.  You are taken captive by your culture and your life experiences (who you met to persuade you to believe a certain way.)  Now, if they are right, then it is great. Go ahead and build the walls around truth.  But if they are wrong, you are sealing untruth inside like sealing bacteria inside the canning jar along with the pork. It is the great gamble. It is also a great error that we teach inside the walls that our answers are the only logical ones. That the people on the outside are dumb and that is the only reason they don't believe like we do inside the walls.

If you maintain the porous wall, like many Christians, including the Amish must do in this electronic age, then you reap the worst situation. It is where you imagine or teach your children not to go out, yet the outside world is being bombarded inside, and then you will almost always end up rejecting the "truth" inside the walls because you know that they were deceiving you.  Sooner are later those who are exposed to the outside narratives finally realize that those people aren't simply dumb or immoral.  When (those inside the wall) figure out that they have been deceived, they either quickly grasp an outside truth in rebellion or reach a point of total confusion as if there are no answers.  I can think of several evangelical kids who quickly converted to Buddhism  or at least a comfortable American version of Buddhism, without a second thought as soon as they learned that they had been deceived by their evangelical culture.

So it is my opinion that your best route is to tear down the walls and encounter the outside world in a full frontal exposure of the mind and emotions.  Yes, this is dangerous too . . . very dangerous.  But no less dangerous than trying to maintain the porous walls, or taking a gamble that the non-porous holds real truth.  It is the red pill  Vs blue pill dilemma.  I'm a red pill person.  Yes, it is true that like my old evangelical friends proclaimed, if you allow exposure to the outside world (they just say "the world" speaking dualistically) that one of the "isms" of the world will grab them.  That is a real danger especially if they exchange one walled in world for another.

But the greatest danger is a form of nihilism or hopelessness of knowing.  Once deceived  they feel that they can never trust any truth again.  They end up in a kind of hopeless nihilism (just mentioned) or a illogical, somewhat existential, giddiness.  In that later sense (I honestly think most Americans under 30 are at this place) is that true-truth isn't knowable and that isn't a problem. I can still love, hate, enjoy, and live as if something does matter.  But like cashing in the evangelical walled world of intellectual dishonesty they also exchange the evangelical world of pretend  moral purity to a world of pretend meaning.

So, what is the solution?  I may be from a different generation, but I have not given up hope.  While the bridge of reason doesn't reach all the way across the abyss, it is not without merit.  It does point us towards the other side.  With every possible approach to finding meaning, there is a step at the end. As I've said before, we all start in the bottom of a crater of absurdity and there is no easy way out.  Each way, including pure empiricistic atheism or the blah of not caring, all have their difficulties.

I am a Christian and I don't water that down.  I'm not a conformist to the American version of Evangelicalism of this age.  I do allow myself to read and study with vigor all the world views because   I want to know truth at all cost.  This process has strengthened my faith, but it has to be all or none.  You can't just flirt with other world views or you will be enthralled by their deceptions the same way that you were with Christianity's.

I must go. I do want to come back and talk about Craig Thompson again.  I just finished his Carnet de Voyage.  I enjoy his work so much for several reasons including his great candor and talent.  I will talk about that next time but he does represent the majority of those people who left Christianity for that uncertain world of baseless hope.

Once again I am late and will have to come back to proof read.

No comments: