The Intended Experience

Clues in a Barren Wasteland

One of the biggest implications of believing in God is the idea that everything you encounter in life has to be for something. It can be a very difficult thing to come to terms with, and the weight of it is so great that I think it results in many Christians living narrow lives.

I am not talking about reconciling the existence of dung beetles. I am talking about reconciling the existence of fundamentally distinct sets of values, feelings and experiences. I alluded to this once already, when I expressed the idea that a thing seems untrue if it can be totally ignored. Here, I am addressing the idea that if a thing is claimed to underlie all other truths, it must be found somewhere within them.

A plethora of experiences vie for our senses, each capable of inundating them. Each of them has a life of its own—a paradigm, with its own goals, its own disasters, and its own ultimate meaning. Even in the short span of a fictional movie, we find ourselves cheering for the hero to complete his quest, and cringing at the possibility of the villain’s success. We become intensely interested in the destruction of magic rings, the wisdom of aliens, and a host of other strange things.

If our beliefs about the real world are accurate, they have to explain—or at least be compatible with—our feelings about everything else. Our interest in the hero’s success is the same as our interest in the triumph of good over evil. Our feelings about the vengeance of the anti-hero are equivalent to our real thoughts on justice. But what of the stranger and more esoteric things in the world of art? What is being stirred within us by the glowing cities of fantasy and science fiction? What of Stanley Kubrick? What of the stranger things in reality?

Is this mere curiousity and wonder, or is it something else entirely?

To believe that the universe is built upon some great truth is to believe that there is a tinge of it in everything. The only alternative is to suggest that there are things that contain none of it. But I cannot believe that these imagined lands—these rich works of visual art and fiction—have nothing to do with the truth. They set a fire alight in me, and I know that they are touching upon something which is not fictional at all. Some of the speculation that makes up these grand stories may one day be reality.

If I were to return to a religious faith in the real world that could not account for these feelings, and that had no relevance to them, I would be professing faith in a creed destined to leave me less human and farther from the truth. For nothing is truly invented by humans that was not already part of reality, and everything that is real is a small piece of the truth.

I shall never divide my mind along such a sharp line as to relegate a single human paradigm, which inspires wonder in me, to the realm of the irrelevant.

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4 Responses to “The Intended Experience”

  1. Stephanie Says:

    Good. I’m sharing this one.

  2. … You have single handedly caused a spike in views that has turned the previous month into a flatline on the graph.

  3. Stephanie Says:

    *bows*

  4. I still think one of the greatest arguments for the existence of God is that we all think sunsets are beautiful.

    As an aside, I know you’re talking about the implications of believing in God, but I felt obliged to mention that not (necessarily) believing in God can still be accompanied by a feeling that everything has a purpose. I believe in a greater truth but I have no reason to believe that if / when we find it, it will be anything comparable to our ideas of a God.

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