Many incorrectly display their life and reality as they are. They practice the embellished wishful thinking, ignoring the hard facts, but heavy and solid. This happens due to a very prevalent method of avoiding reality, which we use almost all day. When I write this article, I also use this technique, divert the mind and attention away, sublimate my thoughts into text. When you read it, you are also distracted by the very content of this article, delve into its core essence, perhaps carefully make your way into the analysis of each word. Both sides somehow limit the breadth of their consciousness by escaping from reality and shifting the focus of information.
Most of the time, he word escapism means, first of all, “escape from reality”, escape from the worries and problems in the outside world and, perhaps, in the internal world as well, into the world of various simulations and simulacra, accessible to the human mind. In the general scheme, escapism could be called all things that have the ability to artificially limit an individual’s consciousness, i.e. focus on more specific events, things, discarding more global and huge ones in their significance.
We are all escapists in one way or another. We are simply forced to be distracted by our irrational dictated nature, which has generated such a huge excess of consciousness and self-awareness. As a result, we need to keep it at a constant level, providing for a normalized balance of the two elements, so that they always do not go beyond the healthy level of what is allowed. Too high a level of awareness really interferes with functioning as a living being and may result, in extreme cases, in clinical depression.
The facts show, that people don’t really like life itself, they like a means of escape from life itself, which, typically, does not shine with its variety of entertaining and exciting things on a daily basis, an inherited evolutionary platitude. What is life for many living beings? As a matter of fact, this is incessant, every-second survival, obtaining energy, which must be constantly extracted either from plants or other living creatures, fighting for the so-called place under the sun in flora and fauna, and last, the final goal of a living organism is reproduction of its own kind. The classic survival of people in the midst of wild, unfriendly nature has been replaced by survival among their own kind, but already in the stone jungles.
As a result of evolutionary ability of people to socialize, primitive societies began to form, and then it grew into larger clusters of cities, states, countries with their own decentralized management system. Civilization has been gradually developed, various formations have been gradually replaced throughout the history of its existence since its very appearance. Eventually, in a post-industrial society, most segments of the population have reached more free time at their discretion. The basic needs of many people in this period of the development of civilization were sufficiently closed and satisfied. What remains next? Then it remains to fill the very “void”, that was generated by an enough amount of free time aside from mere survival.
Thus, every particular person is simply forced to fill this devouring void due to the curse of an excess of higher intelligence, compared to the other sentient organisms. Otherwise, the existential void threatens numerous emanations of boredom, unpleasant, toxic thoughts, oozing disappointing verdicts and truths about their position in the grand picture of the Universe and in life itself. They really take on anything just to seal up this gaping existential hole of existence. They run away from themselves, they run away from their inner and outer essence, because, in fact, it is repugnant to them. If a person is left in solitary confinement, without the opportunity to be distracted by anything, sooner or later he will go crazy. That’s how they, beings, to whom evolution has given a fatal over-developed consciousness, must hide in the abysmal depths of escapism, the world of distraction and simulacra.
Subsequently, the human race has been practicing escape from itself and reality since ancient times. Numerous primitive tribes have created colorful myths, legends, narratives about their high position in the world, engaged in primitive art. Thereupon, the first signs of culture have developed. Of course, it may be argued that culture is also an element of distraction, since a person at an subconscious level tends to associate themselves and their belonging to a certain group, tries to become similar to them, to become an indefinite component and to disolve among them.
All this can be explained by the fact, that they are disgusted by their natural beginning, they are being lost in the middle of this dangerous and inhospitable world, their uncertainty scares them and throws them from side to side. To be uncertain means to contemplate your natural nakedness and fearfulness and vulnerability. It was to be expected, that excessive consciousness and self-awareness would lead to disgust and repulsion for their innate being, from hopelessness in the face of their predetermined fate, from the world into which they were thrown even not by his own unfree will.
Suppose, they had began to analyze the world around them and themselves candidly. So what they had noticed in the first place, that they were hiding in the depths of his mind, constantly running away from the reality, because of the unrestrained, endless distraction. Any person, looking into a crystal-clear mirror, cleansed from years of bouts of desertion from their being into the world of illusions, was horrified by their vile, extremely imperfect nature, their total cosmic loneliness, a strongly palpable sense of physical and mental limitations and cloying artificiality of the environment.
As a result of introspective research, they are horrified by their such base, sordid ubiquitous nature, which accompanies them throughout their life. It turns out, that they are not significantly different from other living beings, although they put themselves above on a glorious pedestal of honors and valor. Their entire everyday activity is reduced to performing routine tasks: waking up, eating, bathing, defecating, working, numbering the mind, houseworking, falling asleep. Certainly, I assume, this state of affairs would not suit more than one human being. Consequently, it is necessary to invent some merits and accomplishments of higher nervous activity, something that separates us from the world of pure primitivism of the animal sphere.
Throughout the existence of the entire civilization, more than a dozen contributors to human intellectual potential have appeared: outstanding mathematicians, physicists, chemists, philosophers, musicians, artists and other people. All of them have changed the usual stream of life, made it more bearable and not as burdensome and inconvenient as it always had been without cutting-edge, revolutionary means in the old days.
But let’s look behind the intriguing curtain of all these figures, did they really have such a sharp and urgent intention to change the world, or did they just want to make a name for themselves with their sophisticated inventions? In fact, the answer is not so complicated, they all ran away from themselves and reality, solving the problems of reality in parallel, used intellectual resources for their passion, which protected them from that excessive self-knowledge, changed one unit of energy for a unit of visible result. Thus, dissipating into the matter, they gained an ephemeral meaning of their existence.
All their titles and achievements in certain fields of science and art are not different from an escape from themselves. They put on themselves and hide behind significant names, that merely mean what method they choose to run away from themselves and reality. In society, this kind of “desertion” is considered extremely honorable — the more a person has earned a title for themselves, the stronger respect for them in society, the more competent they will look in the eyes of others. Their level of dominance in their head and in the heads of other representatives of this species will soar several points higher.
In career field, such a phenomenon as workaholism, or a trivial hobby for one’s kind of activity, which brings prosperity to a person, is also a kind of escapism. Most people’s work takes on average 1/3 of a day, which allows them to pass the time faster and occupy their attention with activities, that generate income that allows them to ensure the most comfortable life. However, there are a small number of those, who are so passionate about their work, that they completely try to spend as much time as possible on it, immerse themselves completely in it. This case may exhibit excess of inner anxiety, from which the individual wants to neutralize by his escape into a certain kind of activity, to completely isolate himself from the collision with the facts of reality to a narrower solution of problems; to drown out the voice of consciousness as much as possible.
In everyday life, aside from careers, people also anesthetize their minds with various activities and hobbies, consumption of ready-made media content. Movies, TV shows, books, games, music are the main ways to dull the mind and distract yourself from reality for a while. This can be considered the most striking and outstanding consequence of the fact, that no one really likes life. Since if they liked it so passionately and unconditionally, there would be no such strong craving for leaving it for every possible virtual worlds.
Another way to block a vast existential hole in life is a hobby. The pleasant pastime, to which you can devote all your free time, distracts no worse than blind consumption of content. With the advent of occupation in life, a person also gains meaning, become more dependent on the object of their reverence. Sometimes, if such an opportunity falls, a hobby completely sucks a person into the nature of its content, they no longer notice, that they are, feeling of presence is blurred completely or partially, time flies imperceptibly and fleetingly, all their attention is absorbed by their hobby and the resolution of tasks and challenges, created by the essence of it. They have achieved the peak of his dissolution into existence, become an imposter of quasi-nonexistence. Indeed, in the process of their additional activity, they give little account of their existence. Their self-awareness is at a level closer to zero.
In conclusion, we can say, that we were born not only as unprotected animals individually without the help of society, but we ourselves are incapable of maintaining the universal integrity of our inner shell without resorting to escapism. Many of those, who confess their great love for life, in fact, take for addiction to life an underlying love of escaping from reality. This huge wrong assumption allows such intellectually highly developed beings as humans not to notice very serious flaws in life, while trying to get away from it in all possible ways. Many “gifts” and “goods” of life that the human mind can comprehend are actually designed to kill existential boredom, the routine, the implicit and explicit monotony, the generational life wheel, the trivial burden that is imposed on all living organisms, and which, alas, cannot be avoided by being alive.