This last week has been kind of a rough week. Throughout the last week I have been thinking a lot about how hard it is to deal with the loss of my world view. At first I felt freed by leaving everything behind, and to a degree I do still feel freed. I feel a weight has been lifted, but in many ways the previous weight has been replaced by other things. I find that I am having to reexamine everything about my life. I am having to deal with family issues related to leaving. I left in the first place so that I could stop lying to myself and others. I left so that I could stop pretending...
I remember hating that guy in The Matrix... The bald guy who betrayed them all and got most of Neo's team killed. He is sitting down to a big steak dinner with Mr. Smith and betrays them all for the sake of getting plugged back into the matrix so that he can forget reality. I HATE HIM though today I find that I am beginning to understand him. I never understood him before. How could you want to live in a fake world? How could you want to escape reality so badly that you would willingly accept a lie? He did not want to feel the pain anymore. He did not want to deal with the crappy conditions of the real world. He did not want to fight.
I also think a lot about Orson Scott Card's book Xenocide. I think of Li Qing-Jao the "godspoken" girl living on the world of Path. In her world the gods manifested themselves to the "godspoken" through rituals. The godspoken were compelled to perform these rituals to please the gods. The rituals were really intense things. Li Qing-Jao had to trace wood grains on the floorboards of her house anytime she displeased the gods. Turns out that the "godspoken" on Path were really purposely given intense OCD by government entities to help control them. Even after a cure was administered and they were no longer compelled by their OCD to perform the rituals Qing-Jao continued to do it. She wanted to prove to the gods that she did not need them to compel her to be righteous, that she would willingly humble herself. She did not believe that it was OCD. She did not believe that it was the government controlling them. Despite the OCD being taken away she still had faith in the silent gods. Card painted her as a tragic and noble character. One who lived by faith and conviction. (It is just such themes in Card's books that lead me to believe that he is not actually a true believer.)
These characters are drastically different from each other in their motives, but both ultimately end up choosing to live a lie. The matrix character chooses directly to leave reality behind. Qing-Jao, though shown the truth rationalizes is all away and continues to actually believes the lie.
I kind of want to be plugged back into the matrix. I kind of want to be in the believer camp again. I think I find that I want it because it is easier than completely reexamining all of my thoughts and beliefs. It is nice to believe, but there are some things about the church that I just can't accept. The problem is that the church itself openly says that it is an all or nothing situation. You are either all the way in, or all the way the way out. You cannot really be a member of the church and be a fence sitter. You cannot just halfway believe. It is all a package deal.
I was never a very "good" member, but I did believe. I may have had my doubts all along the way, but I have mostly believed it was true. I may have been unhappy with the culture. I may have felt unworthy. I may have viewed myself as a huge sinner, but I ultimately believed. I have not regularly attended for about a year and half, and I did not miss going. It has been only during these last two months that I started to let go and actually dropped the belief that I miss it. In some ways I wish I still believed.