Some of my posts lately have been about faith and conversion (what can I say, Lent) so a recent post by Rod Dreher caught my attention. He asks his readers what their moment of clarity was, when they realized everything they had formerly believed was just a lie.
The responses, of course, are all over the place: conversions from feminist/wiccanism to Catholicism, from a rock-ribbed conservative to leftism, from Methodist pastor to atheist. Except for a few troll responses they are all worth a read.
The pattern is something like this:
- Person subscribes to Thought System A.
- Person meanwhile picks up fragments of ideas from other thought systems and stashes them away in his mental baggage. His heap of broken images.
- Some event makes him realize how many of those fragments contradict system A. He is shocked at first, then tries to reconcile them.
- Eventually (perhaps after years) he finds he cannot reconcile them. He begins to realize he is dealing with (at least) two conflicting thought systems, A and B.
- The shiniest fragments in the pile, the strongest impressions, make him choose the system that best fits them.
I don’t think all conversions are equal, just read the examples in the first link, some are quite dumb: the old system was shed with nary a struggle because – get this – it contradicted mainstream thought. Any fool can conform to society.