"Dreams feel real when we're in them. It's only when we wake up that we realise that something was actually strange"
- Leonardo DiCaprio: 'Inception' movieDeconverting from Christadelphianism is like awakening from a dream. In dreams we have the illusion that we are living in reality. But it is a make-believe world in which strange things can happen.
Perhaps we can fly in our dream, or meet diseased relatives or friends. We may be chased by wild animals or face terrifying danger. We can have happiness or sadness. We can re-live events from our past or be transported into the future. Crazy things can happen in dreams; but we accept these bizarre events without challenging their sanity. For a period of time dreams suspend the reality of our lives and we move into an altered state where anything can happen.
It is extremely difficult, if not impossible to shake ourselves out of a dream. We have to wait until the dream begins to break up and we slowly regain our senses. We reach to turn off the alarm clock and struggle to readjust to the reality that it was all a dream. Sometimes if the dream was very real and upsetting it can be a shock to realise that it was all just a dream with no meaning. Some dreams can affect us for the remainder of the day; either to upset us or to put us in a confident mood.
That's how we Ex-Christadelphians felt when we awoke from Christadelphianism and faced the shock that the crazy things that we believed and did as Christadelphians was like a dream in the night that has now past. The cold, harsh reality of opening our eyes to a life without God, Christ, miracles, prayer, resurrection, judgement, eternal life and all of the other metaphysical things that we interpreted as reality during our Christadelphian dream.
At the time, the Christadelphian reality of our dream was all so real. Others shared our dream and our delusion. It re-enforced our conviction that it was we who were living in reality and that secular society was experiencing a sinful dream that rejected our creator.
But gradually we began to doubt. Increasingly things in our Christadelphian dream no longer made any sense. We started to think that perhaps we were not living in realty; that there must be another layer of consciousness above our spiritual reverie. It was a tremendous battle to shake ourselves free from the slumber of faith and force our reluctant minds to connect up with what was really going on in the Universe.
Waking up to reality was like walking into a cold shower. We gasped that we had been so foolish to have believed all that stuff; relying on such flimsy and vacuous evidence. But after overcoming our shock we felt the reassurance that the dream was behind us and the delusion was over.
In the Sci-Fi 'Illusion' movie, the central character Cobb, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, uses technology to enter other people's dreams. But as he descends deeper into the dream world, having dreams within dreams within dreams, he risks loosing his grip on reality outside his dream state. So he carries a totem of a small spinning top to allow him to know if he is living in reality or a dream. If the spinning top does not slow and fall he knows that he is locked into a dream and that what he is experiencing is not real. But if it spins and then falls over he knows that he is in the real world and not a dream.
Christadelphians carry no such device to inform them that they are dreaming. Their convictions about the metaphysical world are as real to them as the crazy events that happen in dreams. They are in a religious altered state with no reality check.
All that we Ex-Christadelphians can do is to patently chip away at their dream and explain to them that what they think is reality does not make any sense. One by one they will awake and shake their heads in disbelief that they were so blinded by their somnolent indoctrination. Then they will thank us for connecting them up with reality in the real world.
The following video clip shows Cobb and his colleagues in the Inception film finally awakening from the deepest layers of their dream world and walking free into reality. In the final shot Cobb flicks his spinning top but does not wait for the answer. He knows that he is finally free from the cursed dream. The top slows and begins to wobble on the table before the camera cuts to black. His joy is akin to the happiness of Ex-Christadelphians who have managed to awake from their Christadelphian dream of metaphysical delusion.