The story I am about to tell you is true. It was told directly to me by one of the principals of the story. The names have been changed as a matter of courtesy and to protect the innocent. The quote to the left by Oscar Wilde is one that I wish I had been aware of before the beginning of this story.
There is much current thought concerning the nature of reality and the world we live in. These ideas are expressed in our movies, and written about in our books, and promoted by our gurus and teachers.
Though Rene Descartes' grappling with the reality of his existence is the usual link to this type of thinking, there is a long history of the concept that reality is only an illusion, dating back to Plato and his man in the cave analogy.
It's current terminology is simulation hypothesis.
Rites of Passage
The 12 Stages Of Spiritual & Physical Evolution
Rites Of Passage:
any ritual or ceremony wherein a participant crosses a threshold demarcating a transformation of their state of being.
This particular definition depends on a cultural awareness and preparation for such a thing we call a rite of passage.
However, there are things in our life and U.S. culture that are considered a rite of passage without such formal recognition.
It is the first part of this famous quote that most people recognize.
However, it is the last sentence that should stir our mind.
How is it that consistency could render us useless?
"There's a sucker born every minute."--(often attributed to P.T. Barnum, though history shows otherwise.)
People will fall for most anything that they think will help them in the moment. The selling of snake oil in days gone by, the current weight-loss pills, the almost daily introduction of a new pain reliever, or depression destroyer, etc.--virtually anything promising to move me away from pain and toward pleasure.
These are the two motivations upon which all persuasion is built.
Christians and pre-Christians are no less gullible.
"Prayer Changes Things."
"God Answers Knee-mail."
"Seven Days Without Prayer Makes One Weak."
I often hear people use the term "blind faith" and it is usually in the context of believing something without reason (rationality) getting involved.
However, there is a place where faith and reason must intersect.
Faith is almost always exercised outside of rational behavior, but never without reason.
Noah believed God and built a boat in the middle of the desert.
Abraham believed God and continued to do what was necessary to make a baby, even though he and Sarah were well beyond their baby-making years.
You see, they had a reason, but what they did wasn't rational.