As children, most of us would have experienced the unbridled joy of being unrestrained: We were allowed to be tactless in our actions, running amok in the living room and leaving trails of destruction in our wake, be it a bunched of messed up magazines, or even a broken utensil. Our parents forgave us for our thoughtlessness (although sometimes a spanking would be in due), simply because we were kids, infantile caricatures of adult human counterparts which most of us would become (some don't, like a friend of mine who died from a traffic accident when he was 11).
As children, not only were our actions uncoordinated, our imagination and incredulous flights of fancy were, in a paradoxical sort of way, a "normal" process of growing up: Through a process of trial and error, and guided by our ever-watchful parents, we sieved through the actions and thoughts that would ultimately aid us in our future endeavors, as well as those that are detrimental to us, which we would do well to avoid at almost all costs.
Growing up is, therefore, a tedious process, and sometimes kids tend to be a little more frivolous in their beliefs. Through scores of fairytale books and other fantasy tales passed down from word of mouth, children are constantly bombarded with a whole myriad of fairy tales and other make-belief friends.
If a child has been raised on a diet of Peter Pan and his amazing adventures, a malleable, child-like mind will be attuned to this fictional character, and while the indoctrination may not be intentional (after all, parents do not indoctrinate children with Peter Pan's gospel of truth), a child who has yet to discern between fact and fiction may, in time, believe in the tales of Peter Pan.
As a child grows older, he or she gradually sheds away the innocence and ignorance of childhood. Gradually, as the growing child begins to learn and sieve through the vast myriad of truths and reality around him or her, the realization that Peter Pan or some other mythical creature that the child has held so dear in his or her heart is but a mere fickle of imagination begins to dawn. Reality begins to sink in, and the child in transition begins to grapple with the realities of the real , savage world, where evil sometimes (or most of the time, depending on your philosophical point of view) triumph, and good people are vanquished. Starving children dropping like a myriad of flies somewhere in the deep expanse of the Saharan Dessert. Depressing events tend to jolt our senses, and as we ascend into adulthood, we realize that the "feel-good" factor of the fairy tale variety does not necessarily transcend into reality.
Holding On To Infantile Beliefs: Filling the Void Left By Father Santa
Logically, as full-fledged adults, our ability to ascertain facts and distinguish them from myths and hearsays are supposedly more mature and developed than our infant counterparts. Some factors, however, create havoc with our sense of rationality and logic, leaving behind a confused and fuzzed logic that blinds us and confuses with what is truth and what really is a pack of lies.
As adults, there is always a lingering tendency for us to cling onto a piece of our childhood, a kind of reminisce that isn't exactly a bad thing, although a morbid obsession with the realms of the twilight zone cannot be a good reflection of a healthy, adult mind.
In a bid to hold onto this historical piece of ourselves, many adults have taken to faith to fulfill a void left behind by our departure from our wry imaginations. God, it seems, becomes the summation of this lost character we look up to in childhood: Peter Pan and his magical abilities, Father Santa and his awe-inspiring ability to deliver presents to every children on the planet. These are omnipotent, omniscient and benevolent qualities we have, at some stage of our infantile lives, attached to our imaginary friends, and for some, the attraction and comfort derived from this seemingly harmless virtue is too difficult to resist.
Christians, in particular, attribute this trait to a "born again" phenomenon: By being a born-again Christian, a person begins to surrender his or her thinking faculties with regards to the deity in question, and in tandem with his or her infantile roots, the born again Christian assumes the same beliefs and behavioral instincts of a infant.
Such a degeneration of the human intellect is a scary thought: Imagine, for example, if the doctor, for some unexplained, bizarre reason, insists on dishing out the bible and saying a litany of prayers, instead of using the trusty stethoscope and attempting to find out the nature of your ailment. Or the engineer who blesses the building instead of using the correct mechanical instruments to ascertain the structural integrity of a building.
If the world is dominated by swarms of infantile humans clinging snugly to such infantile behavior, the world will be a very bleak place to survive in.
Unfortunately, adults do not have the luxury to dwell and linger in such phantom-like beliefs. As discerning adults, we need to depend on our mental faculties to perform numerous tasks, as well as protect ourselves from all manner of harm. Believing wholeheartedly that God or some imaginary being will deliver you from the crutches of evil in any given situation is not only foolish, it becomes detrimental if one puts too much faith into the healing effects of the deity, when a simple jab from the good-natured doctor would have solved a world of problems.
In sum, as adults, it is time for us to say goodbye to the remnants of a long-ago childhood, and embrace a godless, free-spirited future with logic, rationality and passion as our steering wheel.
"With so many mindbytes to be downloaded, so many mental codons to be replicated, it is no wonder that child brains are gullible, open to almost any suggestion, vulnerable to subversion, easy prey to Moonies, Scientologists and nuns."