A realization that some come to when they conclude that salvation doesn't exist. They don't focus on the fact that they no longer have to constrict themselves to a grid of morality, but that they are not part of some larger scheme. The disturbing realization that there is no untangible postmortem. There is nothing special about them as an individual, there are no secrets beyond their comprehension that wait them in a great glory filled future, and the very ego they think is keeping them alive dies inside.
The scope and immense nature of this epiphany can clearly be seen. Movies of this time focus on the idea that something is not as it seems, that we are part of a force we cannot even imagine. The Matrix, Fight Club, The Sixth Sense, etc. Is it simply a new ego they seek, or to know that something is truly beyond comprehension?