Why Would Anyone Try To Escape Reality?
What is Escapism? Well, here is the definition.
Definition of escapism
: habitual diversion of the mind to purely imaginative activity or entertainment as an escape from reality or routineEscapism | Definition of Escapism by Merriam-Webster
Is there something wrong with a party or a beach vacation? Is it wrong to watch a movie or to read an entertaining book? No, but consider the definition of rest, Rest | Definition of Rest by Merriam-Webster. We all need rest, but can we survive or prosper in a permanent state of rest and relaxation?
- What happens when we habitually escape from reality or routine? What happens when we refuse to engage with the world as it is?
- What happens when we believe we have the “right” to exist in a permanent state of “rest”? What happens when we turn our desire to escape reality or routine into some sort of ideology?
- What happens when we refuse to think about troubling problems?
- What happens when we refuse to think about God?
To a Secularist, Escapism is just running away from our problems. To a Christian, Escapism is running away from God, not trusting in Him, not relying upon Him for our rest.
Imagine being Jonah, a prophet who tried to run away from God.
Jonah abhorred the people of Nineveh. He had no desire to save them from the wrath of God. So, he refused to trust in God and accept His command.
God is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. He has existed forever and will exist forever. God is scary holy. Do we want to think about Him? Do we always want to obey Him? We should, but our pride demands otherwise. In our natural state, we see ourselves as the center of the universe, not God. We don’t want God; we want to be God. So, we put anything we can before God.
Yet we need answers.
- What is the purpose of life?
- Who made me? Why?
- What is the difference between right and wrong?
- What happens to us when we die?
When we escape, we escape from seeking answers. We escape from knowing the Truth that God is God, that “I” am not God. We escape from knowing God and His Truth.
What do we think about instead of God? We think about our idols. We escape to our idols, the things we put before God.
- Sex. Instead of dealing with reality, we try to divert ourselves with pleasurable thoughts and activities. The usual shorthand for that is wine, women, and song. That means pornography, using others and being used by others for sex, alcohol and drug addiction, and doing our best to dwell in a fantasy world composed of movies and books (if we bother with learning how to read). Carried to the extreme, such an obsession with “pleasure” is obviously self-destructive.
- Stuff. Although most escapists avoid work, it is possible to escape into work. However, when we escape into stuff, we think of work only as a means to gaining possessions. We don’t take pride in our work. We gain no satisfaction from work. Instead, we measure ourselves by the status and the sense of security our possessions give us. Therefore, when we too much prize stuff and we work only to gain more possessions, we are most pleased when other people do the work.
- Science. Because we can easily equate science with truth, we can hide from the truth by standing behind the word “science.” Thus, our world is filled with a variety of scientific claims. Almost anything we want to to believe someone has called “science.” Although the word “science” sounds innocuous, the word “science” gives us power. If we can convince others and ourselves that our “facts” are scientific, then we can convince many people, including our self, that our facts are true. Hence, many who follow the science are just propagandists masking their propaganda as “science.”
- State. It is surprisingly easy to easy to escape into the power of the state. We don’t have to think about it. We just have to do what the powerful demand that we do. We just have to trust “other” people, supposed “experts” who are happy to tell us what we want to hear, to run our government.
- Self. What does it mean to escape into our self? Do we have to become catatonic? No. Consider that when we seek escape, we seek escape from what can be unpleasantly real, the truth. Therefore, when we escape into our self, we set our self up as the arbiter of truth. How does that work? When we idolize our self, our self becomes our god, the god that “knows “the truth because everything must revolve around “me.” The truth is whatever makes “me” happy, that is, what is true is what makes “me” happy. A lie is whatever makes “me” unhappy.
So it is that when we carry it to the extreme, Escapism becomes an excuse for lying to others and self-deceit. Instead of worshiping our Creator, we worship idols of our own making. Instead of working for the glory of God, we create excuses to sacrifice ourselves and others to our idols.
To Be Continued
- Part 2: The Consequences of Idol Worship
- Part 3. What It Truly Means To Fear The Lord
- What is Escapism? – Simplicable
- Escapism – Wikipedia
- ▷ Escapism: The art of creating problems by running away from problems (psychology-spot.com)
- 15 Attributes of God: What They Mean and Why They Matter (biblestudytools.com)
- 5. Characteristics of God | Bible.org
- Characteristics of God – List of Divine Attributes in the Bible (crosswalk.com)