In another forum, a discussion around catastrophic events lead to these points. This is how the mind behaves when run by the ego concept of being separate.
Firstly, the mind is not satisfied to simply have experiences. It needs to organize and categorize them in some way – good/bad, more/less, happy/sad, etc. People tend to jump to conclusions to ‘tidy things up’, even if there is insufficient evidence for a conclusion. Loose ends cause uncertainty and anxiety, which most people wish to avoid. (and this is the seed of resistance) If conclusions can’t easily be found, people look to ‘authorities’ to provide “reasons” and reassurance and often, blame.
If those conclusions satisfy (by resolving anxiety), they come to form the underpinnings of belief. We then look for information that supports our beliefs and tend to reject information that does not. Ego wants to know it’s right and will make others wrong to support this.
For many people, beliefs become part of their identity. For example, a statement like “I am an American who believes in freedom of the press and the right to bear arms.” That is not just a political position but part of both what they believe in and who they see themselves to be.
It’s the association of those beliefs with identity that makes events like 9/11 or the financial meltdown more difficult. It is not just a difficult and consequential chain of events but a challenge to beliefs and personal identity. There is not only cognitive dissonance, but emotional and personal dissonance as well. It gets very personal. This greatly amplifies the fear factor and inclines people to join bandwagons or belief systems and take sides.
It’s notable that when people are afraid enough, they switch into ‘fight or flight’ mode. Blood vessels are constricted in the digestive system and frontal lobes of the brain to provide energy to the limbs. This lets you run fast but it also makes you more stupid. If there is not a resolution, the stress can continue, increasing the likelihood of irrationality. Delusion and denial would certainly be consequences if they are seen as a means to relieve anxiety.
The trick is in learning the truth of who you are. The unchanging silent peace within. When integrated deeply enough, the storms of life will blow without disturbing that center. Instead of bringing fear and anxiety, the storms blow it away. No craziness, no denial needed. Peace within begets peace without.