Updated: May 2
If you’ve ever watched Netflix’s Stranger Things series, I think you’ll have a good understanding of the following allegory. If you haven’t seen it, that’s okay - you don’t need to see it. To understand the concept of the Upside Down, imagine a parallel version or alternate dimension of the real world that is comprised purely of of darkness, pain, torture and death. The show chronicles the way that a hole torn through the fabric of the universe was allowing the Upside Down to come through the cracks and invade the real world - the better world.
Here’s the thing - FLIP THAT CONCEPT.
The truth of our world is this: the Upside Down is the world we were born into. And to us, it’s normal. We know nothing else. It’s been this way forever, and though it sucks, we seek to find the good in it. But there is very little good here. There are dirty echoes of goodness and beauty, disgustingly transformed by the touch of evil.
The Right Side Up of our world is there, on the other side of the fabric of the universe. It’s the original version of our world that holds all the beauty and creativity of the Creator.
Imagine this: there was only one dimension to begin with, a magical and beautifully perfect world full of light and life. And then something happened- the dimensions split and the Upside Down was created, with humanity on the wrong side because we had created the chasm.
So from that point on, our dimension separated us from all the true wonder and perfection and goodness of the original, and over time the Right Side Up got further and further from our reality. We’ve gotten deeper and darker and danker and nastier, settling in to embrace the horror, disgust and filthiness of our dimension.
Since the split, the dimension of goodness and beauty has torn through the veil between the worlds, breaking through the shroud with rays of light and life that stun and overpower the darkness and death. But we have almost never allowed the light to penetrate our darkness for long - we’ve grown so accustomed to our obscurity that when illumination peeks in, we hiss and scatter like cockroaches.
There have been a few of us, yearning for the beauty that we can barely see in our filth and shadows, and we dream of the original world to the point where we seek the cracks we know must exist - and we readily find them and bask in the shimmers of light they offer. And sometimes when the light is blinding us, we shrink away and reconsider whether or not we truly wanted to be in the light.
At this point, many of us give up and concede - we decide that the light is not worth the pain, and we walk away from the goodness and delight that we glimpsed through the cracks. Others of us are to stubborn to let it go, and must see it through. We will sacrifice everything we hold dear to pursue breaking out of our darkness. And just when it seems that we have failed, the rift opens up and envelops us into the Right Side Up.
But we can still see and touch the Upside Down - it’s our hometown. Everyone we love is still there, and now we can understand why they are so miserable. We can literally touch the things they can only dream of - and yet they are blind and trapped in a world of pain and emptiness, hoping there’s a better place but having no way to reach it.
This is where I am right now: Upside-Down-born, and Right-Side-Up-relocated. I’m never going back.
But if you’re still in that Upside Down, and you’re looking for hope, that’s why we exist - to reach out and grab your hand through the rift. We’re here for you.