A Seductive Story
The lesson begins on the day we’re born. We learn about cold versus warm, hungry versus satisfied, or being left all alone or held in the warmth of our mother’s embrace.
And so as the lesson continues; we learn that late in the afternoon the cheerful sun goes to sleep and leaves us in the dark. The dark is where we are left cold, scared and alone. Next we learn about plants, animals and people, how they taste and act and behave. Then one day the lesson gets real: we learn about death. We learn that pretty flowers wilt or get eaten by bugs, animals can get sick and then are no longer around. And finally we learn that the mother who provides the warm embrace will, some day, pass away, and that we will suffer the same fate.
And so as we learn more about the horror and beauty of the world, we discover things that are even worse: injustice, famine, pandemics and even genocide. Loss of hope.
And we know in our heart that those pretty flowers are not coming back, that our beloved dog is gone forever and whatever disease or dictator caused all the death is not going away; and even worse, we are powerless to fix the injustice, stop the dying or even punish the ruthless dictator.
So as we sit in a dark corner crying, we are told a story. Death isn’t final, there’s a better place where we go afterwards. We don’t have to say goodbye forever to our parents that we love so much, we get second chance. And those mean and evil dictators will be cast into eternal hellfire.
This is a seductive story. As a child we believe it. We surround ourselves with others who believe it. It makes us happier and helps us to sleep at night. And this is how the story took root and flourished.