Understandium via pretendium.
As a reader or listener of any story we undergo what is called a willing suspension of disbelief as an attempt to understand the narration, trust the narrator, and interpret why the story is being told toward some underlying idea.
This suspension temporarily undermines suspicion. We are encouraged to have an open mind, but can we honestly do that then resurrect our senses at the end of the drama?
To enjoy any theme demands this—to let fiction entertain for a time is to insight the intent of the author to glean whatever underlying meaning for ourselves that can be siphoned off for future use or self improvement, or to simply be entertained.
This suspension of disbelief is a key point of christianity—the actors and storytellers now expect you to live in this state as a virtuous arrival at something, which is nothing at all.
In real life the story was rejected because it didn’t happen that way, but stories are as plentiful as those who believe them—and grow accordingly to the need that human foibles project into real life what lacks substance by any other view.
If there is any value in the Christ narrative it is this—to temporarily suspend doubt to repose some allegorical meaning or entertain some wishful daydream to escape the doldrums and insecurities of life and death. To demand it’s permanence is to stick humanity right where it is today—stuck in the past arguing a point that gave hope to despair, in which each is a symptom of the other.
Permanently suspending disbelief is impossible, for everyone is already an atheist. Trusting your doubt is as natural as temporarily suspending it to enjoy the show, but it isn’t meant as a permanent state of living—it doesn’t lead anywhere.
Flip the photo.