The Escape of Believable Unreality

History has seen man move toward ever-more believable unrealities because man does not want to contemplate the truth of existence. From anthropomorphic gods to Theater to Disneyland to Oculus Rift, we see that imagination leads technology in our attempt to escape the brutal truth that existence itself has no explanation, that life is suffering punctuated by death, that all nature (including and especially human nature) is violence upon violence, and that there are no answers to any of this in 10,000 years of philosophy, theology, and science that can adequately and satisfactorily explain it all.

So rather than struggle with and (eventually) transcend these questions, we escape. Either we escape by trying to evolve out of the struggle, toward the techno-cyber-utopia of the Vulcans, or backward to our primate origins through sex, alcohol, base amusement (or its rejection, through moralistic traditional religion). The same sort of primate impulse of categorical, unexamined thinking that leads to the “drink & fuck” mentality is at the root of traditional religious moral absolutism. The people who embrace the sex/alcohol free-for-all as a rejection of religious moralism and think they are “progressive” have merely made a lateral move, just as the original religious moralists of history only made a lateral move (with the exception that their approach at least probably promoted public health and economic productivity a bit more).

Only a few people, in a couple of small sects of three or four major religious traditions in all of history have ever embraced with full force this painful state of man and overcome themselves to a degree sufficient to actually be of service to their fellow man.