Modern man lives like a hospital patient. He endures while connected to various tubes and machines that pump him with air, medicine, and nutritional syrup, but as soon as medical intervention is removed, his real state of pain and illness is revealed, assuming he is able to survive. The illnesses of today are alleviated by the “treatment” of manufactured pleasures, distractions, and status schemes that dull the longing for God just long enough to hide the fact that the sick individual is spiritually dead.

The anxiety of today’s man is so intense that his days must be enveloped by worldly distractions and games to give him enough meaning to proceed for another 24 hours. He wakes up, unrested, to reach immediately for the dopamine glow of the smartphone. He begins work for a company that has monetized for profit one or several human vices, and puts on the actor’s mask of pretending to like his job and his transsexual coworkers with neon purple hair. He burns out his adrenal glands with several cups of coffee to push through mindless work tasks because he needs the money to sustain a lifestyle above his means that is necessary to distract him from a spiritual reality whose truth he refuses to accept. The smartphone is caressed dozens of times a day in the hopes a dating match will save him, or that a sexy nude picture from a new lover arrives to shove the mind into the gutter of lust. These solutions don’t quite do it, so it’s time to reach into the medicine cabinet for psychoactive drugs, or take microdoses of hard drugs, or munch on sugary unfood, and when that doesn’t alleviate the pain, there’s always marijuana and alcohol. And during all this, the eyes and ears are continually bombarded with entertainment in the form of electronic music, viral stories, outrages, and political news, and finally the nightly meal has arrived to be gorged on, and then some more entertainment and perhaps the night can be capped off with pornography, masturbation, sex, or a sleeping pill. All of this must be done to suspend the subconscious terror within that his soul has died, is dying, and will die, that it lives for absolutely nothing.

You landed at the top of a mountain, but it’s cold and lonely. The air seems thin. You fear that you may perish, so you start the descent at a mild trot, but the slope is too steep. Now your feet are moving faster than you can handle, stomping one after the other, and it’s just a matter of time until you lose control and tumble over, but you’ve reached a flat clearing and come to a stop. You turn back around and look at how far you’ve descended, but before the remembrance of God can enter your mind, you feel compelled to descend some more, to make sure you are safe with the others. A lifetime of descending to the very bottom of the valley, of going “with the flow,” of taking the path of least resistance, of swallowing the medicine the doctor prescribed, of chasing the lie of “moderation,” when all you had to do at the summit where you started was pound your chest in humility and yell, “Lord, have mercy on me!” You think the descent will stop at the valley, but you’ve been deceived—there is still much further to go. You’ve gone too far down and the devil takes away your will to climb back up, and so you continue to descend just to delay the inevitable, thinking that maybe things will be okay in the end.

The soul is dying. The terror is spiritual. The more sex, drugs, and entertainments you seek, the more that reality is hidden from you. Your life becomes a carefully produced movie directed by Satan himself. He ensures your days are filled with activities that keep your gaze away from the ongoing descent, because all that is needed for you to change direction is to understand the truth that you are descending, to feel the terror of eternal judgment and be frightened by it, and then to look back up the mountain, throw away all of Satan’s meaningless toys and distractions, and begin to climb back up.

Read Next: Secular Lifestyles Create Ceaseless Anxiety