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|What we are told|
Imagine that there is a great ocean liner like the Titanic. It is sinking and all the people try to get off. Unfortunately, 98% of the passengers drown, but 2% are able to get onto lifeboats. Now a generation has passed, and the passengers on the lifeboat think that being on a lifeboat is normal, and they do not remember that there ever was an ocean liner, or if they do recall the days of the liner, they are told about how horrible it was back then, and how much better off they are on the lifeboat. The fact that 98% of the passengers were lost and eaten by sharks does not dismay them as long as they are part of the 2% on the lifeboats.
To make the allegory more pertinent, we need to remember that "periodic continence" was always permitted at best as a lifeboat. It was always supposed to be an emergency escape hatch. It was never intended to constitute normal everyday practice.
In order to leave the lifeboat and return to where he belongs, a passenger first has to overcome his shock at realizing that the ocean liner didn't sink despite everything that he has been taught his whole life. He has to trust his eyes and say, "Look, I see it right over there." Then he has to overcome the fear-mongering that will try to keep him from returning. But when he finally arrives at the ship, imagine his astonishment to see that the band is still playing, faithful passengers and crew have kept everything operational. The ship will still take him across the ocean to the other side. And it will do so with beauty and decorum and generosity in place of the ugliness, wretchedness, and deprivation that characterized life wandering aimlessly in a lifeboat.