Control is an illusion

We’ve all met that alpha person who seems like they have the world by the scruff of the neck. They seem calm, collected, confident, and powerful. I have no doubt that there actually are people like this, but I think they are the anomaly, not the norm. Most of the alphas we interact with are not really the well adjusted masters of reality they appear to be. They don’t have anymore control over the world, or its phenomena than anybody else. The fact is they are probably little more than control freaks.

Human control is an illusion. And yet, so many of us stake our identities, fortunes, and futures on things which only God has in his hands. The scope of human vision is too near sighted, its reach is too short, its abilities too finite, and its understanding too incomplete. We are not the masters of our destiny, nor are we the captains of our own souls. We strive and fail, our hopes disappointed, and our destinies imperiled, simply because we have bought the lie that we can be in control of all outcomes.

Even in religion we hear this lie reinforced. There are teachings which say if we pray so many times, or in such and such a way, God will do what we want.  Or, if we send out positive vibes, then the universe will grant us a better life.  Or, if you fulfill these religious duties (fasting, pilgrimage, alms, animal sacrifice, incense burning, repeating mantras) your sins will disappear.  Some pastors, who claim to be Christians, have told their congregations that having a “great attitude” and obeying God, will leave them more financially secure, socially stable, and free from pain.  Let me be clear, there is no fence that humans can build, which can hedge us from pain.  Not even Jesus managed to live a life free of pain.  Jesus chose not to escape all pain, because that is not what humanity’s fate holds.

Humanity invented the idea of control, because we feel insecure.  Somewhere deep inside, in a place we aren’t willing to investigate (lest we inadvertently come face to face with the truth we’ve been trying to avoid) we know that we are small, weak, and needy. We hate to think of ourselves as pitiful, so we’ve concocted the myth of control.  But, we truly are pitiful.  We truly are at the mercy of God.  This is why men build cities, and women wear make-up.  The city and the make-up are both vain attempts to insulate ourselves from the ever encroaching onslaught of entropy.  They act as a covering for our protection, and a refuge from  the deep knowledge of true spiritual poverty.  They give us the victorious impression that we have something of superlative worth to offer the world.

The myth of control is a useful fiction, because without it men would go Godly or else go totally animalistic.  He would either lose his soul, or willing surrender it to God.  It aligns with the Myth of Progress.  Our evolutionary scientists and Darwinian sociologist have sold us on the idea that Progress is an intrinsic component of the mechanisms of the Universe.  The line goes like this, “As surely as the Universe keeps perfect time, the animals will continue to become more adapted and more intelligent.  Humanity too, once constrained to lead a dreary tribal existence, is now Civilized (they usually say this word without attempting to hide the conceit) and technologically advanced.”  Contrary to what the Progress proponents would have us believe, the real scientists every day affirm the intrinsic chaos in the universe.  They call it entropy.

That’s why Atheism is has never been about correctly describing the Universe as it is, or ascribing oneself to the “right, true belief, which accords with actuality”.  It is about control.  Since man’s attempts to tame God with religion and pageantry did not succeed, we decided to evolve.  That evolution has lead us to Atheism.  Now we can control God by saying that he does not exist.  But, aah, did the universe become any less chaotic?  Did it become any safer?  Only in one way.  The Atheists have removed the supposed chaos of an Almighty God who might require everything of them.  And, this is their great victory.  Only it is the victory of the blind man over the prowling lion. Sometimes you can choose not to see the dangerous thing which promises to swallow you whole.  For what ever reason denial makes us feel more secure.

I said before that their is no fence which can defend a person from pain.  I said before that Athiesism is an attempt to fool ourselves into feeling secure.  I said before that control is an illusion.  Not one of them amounts to true security.  The man who is truly secure, is he who surrenders his future to the Almighty.  Placing your faith in Jesus Christ does not render you immune from life’s woes, it makes you secure in God’s presence.  No longer must humanity walk alone through the tragedies and victories of daily life, because Jesus has promised his disciples never to leave or forsake them. The control freak may achieve mastery over outward circumstance, having insulated himself from the harm of chaos (even that is unlikely), but he is still a slave to his own anxieties.  The man who surrenders all to God, and accepts whatever blessing or trial may come, has been set free of worry.

Every man must take great precautions to prevent the harmful effects of his own foolish actions, lest he show himself to be doubly a fool.  He must work hard, earn money, and store up for a rainy day.  He must be diligent to show himself as one approved, a workmen worthy of his calling.  He must make a series of wise, biblically informed decisions, which will safeguard him from the deprivation which comes with laziness and fecklessness.  But this isn’t control, its responsibility.

God has granted men the honor of causation.  He allows that some things be in our hands.  Since man is made in the image of God, it is only right that God would entrust us with certain responsibilities.  Among these are working to provide for ourselves and each other, procreating, and managing God’s resources within and upon the earth.  Responsibility is one of the blessings God has given us.  It is one of the ways He honors us.  That is why I am so alarmed by our culture’s collective shirking of responsibility.

Control is an illusion, but responsibility is a mandate!

  • There’s no such thing as humans being in control
  • He who is always endeavoring to control everything is the most insecure person
  • We have invented this “useful fiction” to feel security
  • Man has always attempted to bring order from out of chaos
  • The Myth of Progress -C.S. Lewis
  • Atheism is about being in control
  • The truly secure man is the one who puts his faith in Jesus Christ
  • Even though control is an illusion, responsibility is very real