While coining neologisms the other day I came up with the word “fauxion.” A mixture of “faux” meaning fake and “fashion.” There are many different layers to the concept. The most basic and innocent being our attempts to alter our physical appearance in order to present an image to others that is not a true representation of ourselves. Makeup, clothes, dying our hair, wearing a hat to cover baldness – all the basics of physicality. Everyone knows it’s a perpetrated fraud yet there is no offense in it.
Fauxion extends beyond the purely physical though. We all undergo multiple shifts in our personalities as the days progress and the audiences around us change. You behave differently around your parents as opposed to your co-workers, to local shop keepers, to your lover. Most of these changes are totally under our manipulative control, but of course the unconscious often enhances or sabotages even our best efforts – but that merits a lengthier discourse.
Lets face it, the majority of what we present to the world and what they in turn present to us – from people to products is little more than a well crafted lie. Very little of what we see and experience on a daily basis from even those closest to us is true in the purest sense of the word.
For the most part we revel in self delusion and admire it in others. No one likes to step off the carousel. So what makes us step off? What encourages us to put our glasses on (without rose tint naturally) so that we may more accurately assess the world around us? It’s rarely an epiphany born of an unbridled desire to seek pure truth. After all – every religion in the world is based on myths – the ultimate embodiment of fauxion – manipulations designed to elicit a sense of law, order and morality amongst an otherwise unruly group of animals.
Usually an epiphany is not born of light but of darkness. If you gain that knowledge it’s not just a matter of personal enrichment – it gives you something that no one else has. You’re the bearer of a secret(s) that is not privy to anyone else. It’s the desire to get the upper hand over your own life and that of those around you – to find the wizard behind the curtain. To in essence not leave it up to God to be the only one to know all the answers, but to be in on the big secrets yourself. To basically become God yourself. After all – what was created by us can be discarded by us as well.
There are passionate abusers of free speech all across the internet, keyboard crusaders, who amuse all except their victims. They blaze across the internet attacking all in their wake – elders, women and children are not exempt. One can hardly call it a blaze of glory for a cause, because the only vaguely sought after objective is merely mass destruction for destruction’s sake. It often reminds me of an almost comedic sketch. A coward puts a bag over their head in the hopes no one (namely their boss or their mother) will recognize them and they charge into a space – despite no declarations of war from anyone. And there they are, catapulting bad grammar and expletives at targets both near and far while perched atop a mouse.
I walked into a library the other day and saw with interest that of the dozen or so computers in front of me that were occupied by people of various ages – each and every one of them was not focused on looking up books – they were all staring at Facebook. Seeing the blocks of “friends” portraits it kind of struck me – is it not a bit like a modern day secular Iconostasis?
Admittedly we don’t worship our friends, but the comparison is not as far off as you might think. We look to our friends for comfort in hard times and to share good tidings with when things are going well. In fact, the relationship is – on a realism level – far more rewarding in that there is the possibility of interaction and feedback. I know many think that God talks to them, but in all honesty it is really your inner voice just telling you what you want to hear anyway. Which brings me to another point:
I’ve never felt a reciprocal feeling when being in a place of worship. Looking at Icons or even statues of Jesus, Buddha or whatever imagery your place of worship has (outside of those who don’t have such things of course) – they are all figures that are incapable of movement. They have to put up with you staring at them, ranting and raving at them or falling all over them with kisses. But keep in mind, they can’t see you or hear you. They’ll never say something you don’t want to hear because the voice is coming from within your conscience – because you see they can’t talk either.
In many ways the irony of worship is that it is not us submitting ourselves to those symbols – they are in submission to us. They can’t escape us because we made them. They are not animate in any way – so they are prisoners of our will. They are placed where we want them, they are subjected to whatever we wish to do to them and best of all – they’ll never complain. If they displease us in any way, we can remove them and replace them – just like defriending on Facebook.
Our relationship with those we entrust our deepest feelings to is just the ultimate form of domination and yet we ourselves ironically often claim that it is we that are at the mercy of the will of God.