No B.S Friday: Some illusions, nice illusions, are no longer tenable.
I kinda wonder if the challenge of our times is shed our illusions.
And maybe that’s just the nature of growing up. At some point you have to let go of the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny, and come to grips with a world on the other side of those illusions.
And they’re nice illusions. And they’re illusions that serve a purpose. They help us believe the maybe the world is a magical place, full of magical beings who want to give us money and chocolate.
That’s a nice thing to believe, right?
But at some point, the weight of evidence stacks up, and we just can’t hold on to those illusions any longer.
There comes a tipping point. And it’s often well after the point where any clear-eyed evaluation of the facts would lead you to a new understanding of reality.
But we hang on to our illusions.
Because they serve a purpose. Either they form part of our understanding of the world, and they inform the way we navigate it.
Or it just feels better to believe things are a certain way. We like to think about ourselves or the world in that way. It just feels better.
Like, what 4-year old wouldn’t want to believe that there’s a magical rabbit with an infinite supply of chocolate?
And so I feel like more and more of us are coming face to face with our illusions. We are understanding ourselves in a new way. And we are understanding the world in a new way.
And perhaps that’s to be expected. The internet age has made information super-abundant. Society has become super-saturated with info.
The evidence on the other side of our illusions just stacks up higher and higher.
But, the realities we find ourselves waking up into are often difficult to accept.
For example, I know for a lot of people, they never really thought all that much about the government before Covid came along. Politics was just something you had to endure every 4-years or so, as all the placards went up and parties fought it out to see who got the right to collect your bins.
But now, the government is in your face. It has to be. There’s a pandemic. Tough choices had to be made.
Some of those choices were the right ones. Some weren’t. But there was no escaping it.
If you were living under the illusions that politics didn’t touch you, that illusion is now busted.
And now there’s a more challenging reality to face – the idea that politicians – a bunch of regular, flawed individuals, who are themselves under the influence of all sorts of interest groups – are making decisions that impact you in a massive way.
That was always true, but many people lived with the comfortable illusion that they were above politics. That it didn’t touch them.
Sorry to burst your bubble, bud.
But I see this happening everywhere. People are seeing the world in a new way. They are seeing themselves in a new way.
And what we’ve got is a nation full of drug-addicts going on detox.
I like what the journalist Chris Hedges says:
“The nature of illusion is that it’s designed to make you feel good. About yourself, about your country, about where you’re going – in that sense it functions like a drug. Those who question that illusion are challenged not so much for the veracity of what they say, but for puncturing those feelings.”
Yep. People are angry that the world they thought existed, just actually doesn’t.
And they’re angry at the people waking them up.
But my hope, I guess, is that on the other side of this we have all shed some illusions, and that we begin to live with more clarity and more consciousness.
But we’ve probably got a bumpy ride between here and there.