You rabble—how long do I put up with your scorn?
How long will you lust after lies?
How long will you live crazed by illusion?
Psalm 4:2 (The Message)
My first post for 2014! I know it’s been a while, however a lot has happened in my life since Christmas. I hope-dear reader-that the New Year is a blessed one for you.
If I were to take a spiritual “diagnostic” of our society today, I would say that we’re a society that lives on illusion. We have created illusions for ourselves without ever peeking behind said illusions to find what’s really happening.
Don’t believe me? Look at how we created religion to give us the illusion that we can put the Divine in an ecclesiastical box. We created “financial security” and fooled ourselves into thinking that our investments, pension plans and real estate will give us such security. As a nation-along with others-we have the illusion that our nuclear weapons and high-tech military gear will make us somehow “invincible” on the global stage. We create the illusion of living vicariously through our celebrities either through reality TV or entertainment news. We dog our environment with our lifestyles and live with the illusion that God told us to “subdue” the Earth.
Living on illusion keeps us from seeing what’s really going down in our world and in our lives. The religion illusion keeps us from truly seeing the Divine for what who He/She really is; and keeps us from fully engaging fellow human beings. The illusion of financial security keeps us locked in a lie that our net worth will save us, instead of realizing that we can’t eat money nor will our houses comfort us in times of difficulty. Our illusion of military strength makes us hated in the world since we disable ourselves to have peaceful dialogue with other nations. And the illusion of our vicarious living through entertainment causes us to lose sight of what’s really going in our lives, while giving us a false sense of “inclusion” with someone else’s story. We wreck our global environment under the illusion of “subduing” the Earth, and don’t realize the damage we’re doing now and to future generations. I could go on, however this post would be as long as War and Peace by the time I was done.
However, I believe that God is going to shatter our illusions. The Psalmist in the above text asked how long will we live “crazed” by illusion. Our illusions are driving us crazy and keeping us from living sane lives-the lives God wants us to live. God will (if not already) shatter our illusions. The illusion of religion is being shattered as people begin to see that it cannot address the issues of the day and is sputtering in the Western world. The illusion of financial security is being shattered as our global financial portfolio resembles The Picture of Dorian Gray, Americans still face foreclosure despite all the best intentions, pensions and investments designed to give our later lives ease have been devalued-all with no relief in sight. Our military illusion is being shattered as the US found itself in two concurrent quagmires-Iraq and Afghanistan-that’s killing thousands of lives, bankrupting our economy further, and giving fuel to terrorist cells gunning after us. Our entertainment illusion is shattered as people grow up and tire of the drivel presented to them over mass media. And the illusion of Earth subduing is being shattered as Earth fights back via storms, droughts, rising temperatures, and her slow winnowing of the overpopulating parasite called Man.
Then once our illusions are shattered and reality sets in, what then? What happens when we no longer look to religion? When we can rely on our “wealth” to protect us when it’s worth shit? When America-and other superpowers-find themselves shells of their former selves; or collapsed like Rome of antiquity? When we can no longer escape our lives through entertainment, but have to live life head-on and face the realities therein? What will happen when we have less to eat, to drink, or when we lose a fat chunk of our population?
What will happen when illusions get shattered? Something for us to think about in 2014.
*Think that’s an apparition in the above photo? Nope, it too is an illusion. It’s an old shirt (or cloth) shot through a window along with a reflection from the outside. The photo’s contrast and other image settings tweaked to give the above appearance!