I know there’s a Marvel movie that uses this as part of it’s title. And it seems an appropriate title for the world as it currently exists. It’s a multiverse in the sense that it seems more and more each day that there are people in different universes and realities – often universes and realities that have no relationship with one another.
Our politics is a multiverse of madness. Listen to one source and you’ll hear what they are concerned with, how they are interpreting events, and what they are upset about. Often there are circular arguments that feed into themselves. Often they make it sound like they are the righteous ones who are valiantly fighting off the barbarians.
Listen to another source and you hear their concerns, interpretations, and what they are upset about – and those things are completely different. There are a completely different set of facts and truths. And they no relation to the other universe at all.
One source makes it sound like everything is normal. The other makes it sound like we are on the verge of a second civil war. Different sources use different language and emphasis and spin to talk about FBI raids, people assaulting FBI offices, and the legalities of emails, files, and documents – often just depending on who the target of such things are. Realities are about as far away from each other as possible – and growing further apart.
Christianity in America is a multiverse of madness. Different branches of Christianity are doing the same thing as our politics. I read an article yesterday about the split happening in a denomination and the author was urging people to leave, being sure to throw in labels of his opponents and making them look as bad as possible, and essentially arguing that things should go his way and the church should serve his desired “orthodoxy.” Read another article and you’ll feel like you are in a different universe and reality. And the two have no relation with one another.
This list of multiverses is rather large actually – going well beyond politics and religion. In some sense, there are as many multiverses as there are people. The question is do we continue to pull our own universe further and further away from others or do we share some reality with others somehow. If we keep pulling ourselves apart then we are drifting towards individualized chaos, or maybe we could call it a version of hell.
We need others. We need others for our own sanity. But that’s really difficult when it seems that so many others are living in completely different and shut off multiverses of madness.
It is madness because far too many people have become more concerned with being right than anything else. We’ve over emphasized the left hemisphere of the brain – the part that values right and wrong, data, analysis, science, etc. These things aren’t bad in and of themselves. But as with most things, an over emphasis on these can be harmful.
We are severely lacking a focus on the right hemisphere of the brain – the part that is more abstract, creative, and empathetic. It’s the part that allows us to care about other people. It’s hard to have empathy for someone who is so distant that they might as well be in a different multiverse.
As followers of Jesus, we are called to care about others. Even in a multiverse of madness. It seems to be more radical each day to care about others – to have empathy. But without this, we really will go mad.