Invented worlds, and the pursuit of happiness

Invented worlds, and the pursuit of happiness

Let’s consider a progression of invented worlds throughout the past few centuries, beginning with industrialization, right up to today’s world of smart phones and social media.  This broad overview is a continuation of my analysis of the red pyramid world view (seeing the world in which we live as a material world in time only).  Consider how the world is striving for happiness in a one-dimensional world, and what this has meant for religion, especially Christianity.

The following look at invented worlds is admittedly too brief and too generalized, but it will serve as a basis for further thought and conversation. What matters most is the way some have realized how to manufacture newer, more enticing “worlds” of human experience. Some people discovered that a red pyramid world could be manipulated to be even more red and more pyramid-like with fewer men and women at the top and more people trapped below, bound to support invented worlds and their inventors. As you will see, invented worlds were manufactured one upon another, capturing people in artificial worlds that take us farther and farther from the real and substantive life that God freely and wonderfully provides.

Industrialization brought more than mass production.  It moved the center of life from the hands of those in the home to machines in the factory, from relatively few material goods essential for living to production of things that would fill a house, but not support a home.

Industrialization was followed by “scientific” insistence on a material-only world, plus evolutionary theory set in motion by Darwin but hijacked by a corrupt human nature eager to be rid of god as the absolute authority. Industry, “science,” and evolution began to constrict human consciousness to a material world in time alone.  At the same time, husbands and fathers were absent from the home and distracted by the new power of making choices provided by wages in cash and ways to spend those wages.

Evolutionary thinking intensified the conviction that life was short and material. Happiness was made of things that are man-made and the time available to get and enjoy things was short.  And the gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” was growing ever larger.

The ideas of Freud are illustrative of a perfect storm that was made of desperation for happiness in time that was quickly passing. Life as “sex” was welcomed by people for a few reasons. First, sex was more intensely pleasurable than any other experience of getting something. Second, sex was more available more of the time and relatively cheap – sexual gratification could even be taken. Thus, a culture of smaller red pyramids followed life in the big, material, temporal, manufactured, and now predominantly sexual world.

Then came the age of power. Cash made the human experience electric. Electricity provided for the development of electronic media and a new level of mass production. Actors could now capture their labor on film and so capture the devotion of the population, being paid over and over again for something they had only done once. Athletes had to compete over and over again, but their compensation now came from hundreds and millions of people who could listen to or watch from a distance (and manufacturers could pay for the opportunity to inflame the desire for material things by that same media).

Technology has provided the latest, steepest, and reddest top of the pyramid. Now people can be trapped all day long (and for some, all night long) by a device that gives them the experience of absolute control and infinite choices – for a price. Shopping, entertainment, gaming, and sexuality is now omnipresent, secret, and in isolation.  Electronic media, funded by controlling the lives of people, also drown and buried any remnant of liberation that would come through truth and grace. Organized religions were exposed as being just another human means of capturing and so living off the fears and desires of people. People now claim to be “spiritual” in as much as doing so contributes to happiness, but no longer want to be “religious,” as it seemed to undermine happiness – at least material happiness in time.

Today, the nearly universal conviction is that all religion is invention and the history of what claimed to be Christianity bears this out. Compare that history with Jesus, who declared that His kingdom was not of this world and explained that one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions. Next week we will begin to explore a completely different world view – green V world, and a term I refer to as “Christianity X,” which flows from it.

To hear related content, listen in to this podcast episode.

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