Thursday, March 11, 2010


Writers talk about “suspension of disbelief”. In fact, it is the essential ingredient in storytelling, the ability to cause a listener to enter the adventure—to partake of a proposed reality without skepticism. No holding back.

Dreams have this genius. We participate in their reality no matter how birarre.

Falling. Flying. Elevators that go sideways, nakedness that goes unnoticed to a room full of people.

Dreams flawlessly slip from one reality into another; my newborn baby walks and talks while I urgently try to find the class I haven’t been to all semester. I am under water. Slowly, so very slowly, I inhale. The rules of this place are so completely apprehended that the mind no longer questions the laws: the reversal—inhale to exhale—must be seamless in order to breathe underwater.

In dreams there is no choosing to believe or doubt. Disbelief does not exist.

Yes, I am breathing underwater, if only tenuously. And well, it does not feel miraculous. But it feels like I’ve uncovered a new possibility.

Dreams. Could this be an odd template for faith...

… a persistent and birarre model for the suspension of disbelief?

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Renewal. The mind must be, not just trained, but re-newed in order to suspend disbelief.

Can renewal change the mind so it no longer depends on doubt to be the catalyst for courage?

Is it within our grasp to see things as God sees them? Wouldn’t that be perfection?

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly father is perfect. What do you think that means?


Craig and Bethany said...

Do you think that whatever captures our attention also suspends our disbelief? And so perhaps to renew our mind is to change what captures our attention?

And be perfect? I think God wants us to be perfect. Now there's something to capture our attention.

Dana said...

My favorite part is: "a persistent and birarre model for the suspension of disbelief?".

Why is it so hard to suspend disbelief? Why do we think our doubt and intellect trumps everything? What has convinced us that doubt is the trump card?

Daniel and Cerissa said...

Interesting Post!! Love the dream imagery. I’m pretty sure I had that dream a couple nights ago… only I could fly (using a highly complex method of flapping my arms)… and there were people around but luckily I wasn’t naked… I was wearing “tighty whitey’s” (thank goodness)

Regarding Dana's response… Why? My two cents: Doubt is easy and convenient. Most people are not willing to think through the logical implications of what they decide to believe.


Craig and Bethany said...

And just to throw something else in the mix, sometimes our surface beliefs are different than the functional saviors we turn to for relief when things are tough. i.e. food, television, shopping, etc.

Goat said...

Surface believe vs functional saviors--now that is a topic worth pondering in my own life...