What is Unreality? It is the creation of a controllable substitute for reality, a house of cards, a false life that excludes from its borders anything that would challenge us or take us out of our comfort zones; it excludes therefore the Holy Ghost. Art and fiction are not necessarily examples of Unreality, for art and fiction can convey elements of reality that non-fiction can not. But our lives can be examples of a kind of fiction that avoids reality rather than imaginatively portraying it or celebrating it.
Tools of Unreality can include
- Drugs, which help us find a false contentment and a seemingly manageable paradise.
- Contraception and Pornography, which help us find sexual pleasure without the great and frightening reality of love and marriage.
- Hand-wringing and Crocodile Tears, which help us to convince ourselves that we are not nearly as selfish as we are.
Of the latter, psychologist Carl Jung said ...
Neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering.
And all these selfish flights of fancy have something in common: avoiding love.
For love is not only willing the good of another (as St. Thomas Aquinas said) but sacrificing and suffering in order to actualize that will.
When Bishop Futon Sheen says that the satanic is nothing other than the "anti-cross", the rejection of Christ's Cross and all that it represents, such as discipline, mortification and suffering, he's describing this Spirit of Unreality.
One of the literary figures that illustrates our human penchant for Unreality is Peter Pan, the Boy who Would Not Grow Up, the Eternal Child who takes any false adventure, any fiction, over Wendy and hearth and home. G. K. Chesterton said of Peter Pan's denial of what is real, of what is scary and demanding ...
He might have chosen love, with the inevitable result of love, which is incarnation, and the inevitable result of incarnation, which is crucifixion.
In our airy never-never land of make-believe, where love does not go beyond what is convenient, where a person's sex and identity is whatever we choose to make it, where money and work have nothing to do with one another, where friends and even lovers are made and discarded in a moment, we live the Spirit of Unreality, we reject (as Peter Pan does) love and the fruits of love: incarnation and crucifixion. We reject what is real in order to avoid the burden of the cross.
And he said to all: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. - Luke 9:23
Unreality is the shirking of the cross. It is a lie. It is untrue. It is a fantasy. It is neurotic suffering, hand wringing, crocodile tears.
Reality is the truth. It is love. It leads to incarnation (making babies), which leads to crucifixion (changing diapers and the heart aches our children put us through).
We live in an antichristian age, an age that rejects both the dirty diapers and the babies that make them, an age of sterility, an age of self-serving artifice, an age of make-believe.
And the Spirit of Antichrist is Unreality.