You get your first taste of it when you’re little. You find your Christmas presents in your parents’ closet in early December, or maybe some older kid just tells you that Santa Claus isn’t real.
What the hell? What the hell is this? Some freaky psyop run by your parents, just for kicks? And all the other parents are in on it too? And Hollywood? All those movies and TV specials about Santa were just lies? How far does this go?
What is this strange reality?
Ah well. We’ve all got to grow up sometime. From now on you only believe in real stuff, like the Tooth Fairy.
Thus begins a maturing process of discovering the various ways you’ve been deceived about what’s real which, hopefully, continues for the rest of your life.
When you get a bit older you might start gathering information which causes you to realize that some of the people in your life might not have been telling you the truth about some things. Soda and Pop Rocks can’t really cause a dangerous explosion. Your eleven year-old friend probably hasn’t “boned” every girl in class. You actually haven’t been seeing Dad much since the divorce.
And that’s usually about as exciting as it gets for a while, because you’re a young person trying to learn how to function in the world and you can’t learn if you believe everything you’re being taught is a lie. But that period of credulity doesn’t last long. Not if you’re lucky.
Maybe you start questioning this religion thing. It sure seems weird how they tell you you’ll be rewarded with eternal bliss if you espouse a belief system around which entire empires have been wrapped, which still to this day influences political thought and makes a whole lot of money for some people, but you’ll be tortured forever if you don’t. That sounds made up. Like the sort of thing you’d make up if you were trying to manipulate a large number of people into believing something that benefits you.
And maybe that opens up a bunch of other areas of exploration. Maybe it’s no big deal if someone loves somebody who’s the same gender as them.