Submarines and large ships are built to exploit compartmentalization. If one section springs a leak, the crew quickly isolates that section from the other compartments in order to protect the whole vessel from flooding and sinking.
Humans have a similar compartmentalized mental structure. Thus, an otherwise apparently sane person can have one compartmentalized section (isolated from the sane sections) that believes or practices startling bizarre things. We see this in religion, politics and all other activities of the human mind. And thus fortunately, with these protective mechanisms, our your U-Boats (get it?) do not sink even though a part of us is flooded with bizarreness.
To me, this is not surprising because of my understanding of how the mind is actually composed of many-selfs (see here). Compartmentalization is a fantastic protective mechanism. In US politics, for instance, Federalism can serve a similar function. Federalism allows states or providences to experiment on their own and if they fail, the whole nation does not fail and can recover easily while it learns. But I resist the temptation to wax political any further.
We all compartmentalize — all of us. It is one of the ways our minds work. I see compartmentalizing all around me. In medicine, I get to know people very intimately. I am amazed daily how deeply neurotic and dysfunctional some of our compartments can be and yet most of us can still hold jobs, drive cars and have relationships.
My Related Posts:
- My Cognitive Narratives: Index post of “Self” related posts