The Reign of Comus by Lorenzo Costa
(from Comus – Wikipedia)

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 routine

Escapism | 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 1:1-3 New American Standard Bible

The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, the great city, and cry out against it, because their wickedness has come up before Me.” But Jonah got up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship that was going to Tarshish, paid the fare, and boarded it to go with them to Tarshish away from the presence of the Lord.

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



  1. This is a good post Tom. We cannot respond to the madness of our world if we ignore it or we’ll eventually succumb to it. My otherwise very smart brother outright said he prefers tp live with his head under a rock. I can also tell his preferred method of escapism is traveling and making life better for his family. Not bad things on their own, but definitely ways to avoid the hardness and call to action that truth can bring.

    1. @Tricia

      I understand your brother’s attitude, but God did not promise us life without suffering. On the contrary, He promised us much grief before we experience joy.

      It is said by some that we cannot legislate morality, but every law — everything our government does — is a reflection of what our society thinks is right and what our society thinks is wrong. That includes whether we will treat each other justly. Therefore, every law is a battle between good and evil.

      In the pursuit of their idols, sinful people will fight for vile laws, and without steadfast opposition, they will get what they want. Hence, when good people make the decision to walk away from the running of our government, by doing so they make the choice to legislate immorality. When we don’t fight bad laws, we give them our tacit consent.

  2. Well said, Tom. Not valuing reality leads people unecessarily into bondage, which is where Critical Gender Theories, and other toxic ideologies related to this, come from. If we embrace the postmodern axiom that there is no such thing as truth, only power (Derrida), we set ourselves up for continual failure. It’s the opposite of what Jesus said, that the truth makes us free. This is why the Woke left’s biggest enemy is reality, and it’s actually the greatest enemy to what they want, because it will never give them the utopia they dream they are promised by the neo-Marxist ideologues.

      1. It is very strange. I suppose big corporations use government to weed out the competition, like Amazon and others did during the pandemic. That’s also why there are more billionaires in Beijing than in New York City.

        1. @Mel Wild

          The greedy Capitalist is like the foolish man who killed his golden goose. Because of the lies he believes, he thinks himself clever when he kills the goose.

          Every sin begins with a lie. The greedy want to believe they control the politicians they buy, but crony capitalism eventually looks like it did in Germany or like it does now in Communist China.

          I am currently reading “The Tyranny of Big Tech” by Senator Josh Hawley. The book includes a short history of America’s robber barons and what motivated them. Interesting. Not some we spent much time studying in school, of course.

  3. Tom,

    Timely message needed in our Nation to return to realism especially after the long period of isolation during the pandemic.

    Watching TV and listening to political pundits and activists promoting escapism foolish ideas devoid of reality by a vast number of impressionable and vulnerable followers.

    For example, movies depicting supposed shootings and farfetched encounters without showing the real pain and misery by both victims and heroes to profit on escapism instead of reality in my opinion is driving crime increases and folly.

    We all need to return to presenting and facing up to messages of truth and reality of life instead of escapism in the USA and world, in my opinion, because we are not presenting the truth to too many of the vulnerable and impressionable in our Nation and world..
    Regards and goodwill blogging.

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