Taking Time To Disengage vs. Having an Escapist Mentality  

Red_Elf 46F  
677 posts
6/12/2017 6:48 pm
Taking Time To Disengage vs. Having an Escapist Mentality


I guess from the time I was a kid, I haven't really been a fan of escapist mentalities. Now, I'm not talking about an appreciation of fiction writing or films. These are things I know, and, hopefully, you do, too, are actually fictional in nature. They might be useful for understanding humankind, their plight, their emotions, their history and possible futures. Most people read these things for pleasure and gain insight into their own daily struggles from what they absorb. They aren't escapist tales they tell themselves to avoid the less pleasant aspects of reality.

I'm talking about when people are out of touch with the daily reality of their lives.

Maybe they go back to a clearly dysfunctional relationship. Maybe they do that more than once. Maybe they do it more than 5 times. Regardless, each time they do it, they are imagining a future unlike their past experience, and usually with little, to no, evidence suggesting that anything, at all, has changed in any significant way. They are repeating the same patterns, but expecting different results. Now, I may personally do this once to give someone another chance if they think they can do better...or if I think something has changed...but as soon as I see it hasn't...NOPE...and...NEXT.

Sometimes people get stuck in a backwards loop of reflection, "I really had it so much better __________." Again, I really can't stomach this. So the fuck what? What do you have to gain from such a thing? How does that help you live better, today, right now?

That actually drives me a little bit crazy.

Then, finally, the religious thing just smacks of so much escapist mentality and magical thinking that it makes me want to hurl. IMHO, at best, religions are based on archaic values that really don't hold up in today's world, meaning that people embrace a form of alternative reality, or a set of alternative facts, which we all are fans of these days, aren't we? This alternative reality fairly consistently disenfranchises people from other walks of life, best case scenario. At worst, it leads them to harm others.

You don't have to be religious to be a good person. No one has to be religious to believe in the golden rule. There is nothing religious about it. If you do want to be a good person, it's almost all you need. I say almost because what is best for someone else isn't necessarily what is right for me. This means some inquiry is in order from time to time, but it's an excellent place to start and maintain a good deal of focus on if you care at all about being a good person.

On the other hand, people can just embrace life and actual fiction, things often discouraged by the church, to enjoy that which can give pleasure and imagine another kind of a future, which allows them to change the present.

Engage in some actual transcendental sex if you want to really want to feel fully alive, engaged, and in the moment. You want to feel some positive energy? Just go to a huge party where sex is encouraged and celebrated, consent is understood by all, and opportunities abound for having fun. Never have I experienced a drop in positive energy the way I have walking away from a party like that...because the energy built up in a situation like that is as palpable and as easy to recognize as the sun is when it comes up in the sky in the morning every day.

If you want to reflect on the past, reflect on what went right, what went wrong, and how you can do better in the future rather than getting stuck there. Make it productive.

You want to have better relationships? Use tools to change the relationship you have so that it gets better, or start again with someone more suited to you. Stop Groundhog Daying your experiences.

You want to be a better person? Become a secular humanist. Have ideals and goals and make them reality.

You feel stuck? Go watch a movie, marathon watch a fictional series, read a novel. Believe it or not, these actual fictional accounts can sometimes be the break our brain needs to help us disengage and find new and innovative solutions to our problems that no amount of getting stuck can do for us.

These forms of disengagement from the day to day of our daily experiences can be healthy, good, and fun for all, renew our understanding of our existence, and help us come up with solutions that we'd otherwise never consider.

So, if you need a break, take a break. Actually take a step aside and experience something new. Don't let yourself get stuck in an escapist mentality. There is nothing good that can come out of it. We all deserve better than than what that will produce.

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ProfPlayful 55M
3859 posts
6/12/2017 7:00 pm

I know a lot of people with escapist mentalities as you describe them. Sadly, these people seem the least inclined to believe they can improve the world by changing themselves. These are the people most likely to believe that everyone else needs to change.

Especially the religious.

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Red_Elf replies on 6/12/2017 8:23 pm:
Well, I can assure you, I definitely think other people need to change. I'm just not holding my breath!

pocogato12 66F  
26861 posts
6/13/2017 3:34 am

I have not held my breath in years-not fun and no point. I follow not organized religion after trying on a few of them. I am a better person for stepping outside all of them and picking friends who are individuals that matter

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Red_Elf replies on 6/13/2017 7:22 pm:
Yeah, since my breakup last summer, I've become a lot more careful about the friends I choose. I think it will serve me well in the end.

KItkat1415 56F  
19755 posts
6/13/2017 8:13 am

I have lost "friends" for saying what you just wrote but I sincerely wanted them to stop their destructive cycles where emotional injury (theirs or someone else's) was part of that cycle, leading them back to their version of god and supplicating was all they could do.
Useless, am I right?
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Red_Elf replies on 6/13/2017 7:29 pm:
Yeah, this post won't speak to them. It's more here to reaffirm what a lot of us know to be true, but haven't ever taken the time to adequately articulate.

Sometimes it is hard to maintain a sense of one's sanity when the whole world has gone mad. And the whole world has, almost entirely at this point, gone mad. Voting for Trumplefluffer was most certainly an exercise in escapist mentality.

discreteSteve62 54M  
1950 posts
6/23/2017 3:02 am

I find it interesting that a lot of religious people ask, "How can you be good without god?"

My response is, "I can be good by choosing to be good; I don't need to be promised an afterlife reward or threatened with an afterlife punishment."

There are all sorts of juvenile contradictions one can find in religion. A classic is, "Can god make a rock so big he can't lift it?" But those in themselves aren't enough to really lead someone to abandon religion after indoctrination from childhood.

The lines of reasoning that moved me from doubt to abandonment of religion were judgement and faith. According to doctrine, one will be judged on one's deeds in life, and receive either eternal reward or eternal punishment (or possibly purgatory). One of the very high priority things one is judged on is belief in and reverence for god. However, we are supposed to have been given senses and ability to reason -- but we're supposed to abandon senses and reason and believe in god on the basis of faith instead. Is it fair to judge us on the basis of belief, when we're given senses and reason as the only way to perceive everything else? And yet other doctrine says we're judged justly. Getting the wrong answer on the basis of incomplete information is not a fair test.

Pascal's Wager says that we should believe, just in case religion is true. But even aside from belief being a conclusion we make on the basis of available information and reasoning not being a choice, I see the test as why we should be required to believe without any information other than multi-generation translations of books that are transcriptions of ancient oral tradition.


Red_Elf replies on 6/23/2017 5:25 am:
And my defense against Pascal's wager is why the hell would I waste the only life I've been given on religious dogma that feels inauthentic and would cause me to waste my life energy on something I think is a pile of crap when there are so many other amazing things I could be doing, like, having a gang bang?

Ok, I've never had a gang bang...but point made.

discreteSteve62 54M  
1950 posts
6/24/2017 1:33 am

Ok, I've never had a gang bang...but point made.

Hahaha!

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Red_Elf replies on 6/24/2017 6:35 am:
I'm pretty sure I was trying to talk my ex into visiting that one. He's such a shit, though. He'd tried to push and push and push me to go to a sex club, and then I liked the idea of going to this one and he got all fascist and weird about it. I most definitely needed a divorce.

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