The Bible is just a crutch. God is a belief system that man created to make ourselves feel better. We like to be drawn into a story, and that’s what this old book is – a story. Passed down from generation to generation, probably embellished and changed as the years have passed. It’s a myth, something to make us feel better.
That’s the argument, that God and Christ and Adam and Eve and the Bible represent are a story. And I wholeheartedly agree.
There’s something about humanity that loves stories. We’re drawn, for some reason, to engage in worlds and events and struggles that somehow seem much larger than our own mundane existence. We shell out 20 bucks to go see a movie, or spend hours devouring a great novel. When we allow ourselves to, we daydream – convince ourselves for a moment that we are a character in a story. We identify with them, with all of it. We can’t get enough.
Ever wondered why? Why is it that even the most practical person you meet is inexplicably drawn towards great stories? What it is in us that is so intrigued by struggle, life, death? We as humans have many differences – different cultures, different tastes, different thoughts on the way the world works. But every single one of us loves stories.
Ever the one to question our reasons for doing things, I wonder. Why do we, as supposedly rational, purely biological beings gravitate so to stories? The easy answer is that we do it to escape, but I think there’s more to it than that. Some people feel they are drawn to stories to forget about their troubles for a while. Others because they are bored. Others because it’s just something fun to do. Different reasons, but same result.
I’ve been struggling with putting a fictional story together for a while now, and I’m hung up on the conflict. The conflict seems to have potential everywhere, but nothing materializes in my head as I think through possible scenarios. It’s been enough of a stumbling block to keep the idea in embryonic form, cryogenically frozen while I work 70 hours a week. I can’t work on it without conflict, because I recognize that the conflict is the central part of this, or any, story.
It’s an accepted truth that stories, plays, movies and the like have similar pieces to them, postmodern bizarreness notwithstanding. For the most part, all of these artistic forms of expression have characers, plots, themes, etc. They all go along a curve, introducting characters, introducing conflict, gradually building towards the climax, and finishing with the denouement. It’s a formula we know works, because it’s a formula we all relate to in some strange way. We can identify with it.
We all have drama and conflict in our lives for some reason. Much of this can be chalked up to the evolutionary struggle for life and death. But many people die in spirit long before they die in the flesh. Though we live long lives, continue our lineage, and generate wealth to protect our offspring once we pass, far too many of us feel as though we haven’t truly lived.
It’s strange….we are drawn to stories, but we don’t think there’s a story for us. We wish there were, but say to ourselves that the real world doesn’t work that way. But in the back of our minds, we feel as though we didn’t do…something. We feel as though there was some other life we were meant to live, some story we were supposed to be involved in, some part we were born to play. But after looking and looking and looking, we fail to find the answer, and draw the fatal conclusion that there must not be an answer at all.
But what if there is? What if there’s a reason why we feel drawn to stories. What if there’s a reason we feel we were meant to play some role in a big, important story? What if there’s a reason why we run into so much hardship and struggle and…conflict?
What if there were a climax to that story? What if there was indeed a big battle going on? What if we had a role in that battle, both for ourselves and those around us?
Sounds wishy-washy. Sounds silly and childish. Makes us uncomfortable to even think about. But if we stop for a second, think about the fact that every single person we know is enthralled by stories and myths and fairy tales…and we have no earthly idea why….and when we think of our own lives, we for some reason long for a similar drama, a similar tale to be involved in, a similar glorious life to lead….
…is it still that silly? Are stories petty and meaningless, or are the revealing deeper truths about themselves. This big storybook that talks about apples and fig leaves and floods and a baby in a little town that grows up to die for us…is it a crutch, or could it possibly be an amazingly compelling argument for why we act the way we do and have the longings we have? What if the crazy guy standing on the concrete block in the campus quad shouting at the top of his lungs about how there’s some great cosmic battle between good and evil going on right now in our schools and offices and streets….what if he was right? What if we have a big important role to play? What if we experience tension and hardship and pain and suffering because we really were being opposed by something or someone?
What if there’s something behind these fairy tales after all?Follow @intentionally