How Come There Are So Many Closed Minds?

Lately I have been questioning: why do people get so upset/angry at people who see the world differently than they do?  Why is it so intolerable to some that others don’t have the same beliefs they do?   How come people find it offensive when others question their ideas?

In religion and politics there is so much energy about who is right and wrong.  There are battles between those that say their beliefs are correct and science in wrong.  There are political people that hate those who think differently than they do.  There are people willing to give up their lives in the name of their religious beliefs to prove non-believers are wrong.  Frankly all of this anger, hate and judgment towards those who see the world differently seem like minds and hearts that are closed and that does not seem healthy? 

As a mental health professional and observer of human nature I am often surprised by the responses of those who judge others as wrong and do so with such anger and hate.  The political arena is full of that. Media promotes arguing of differences.  Terrorism is based on that.  Most wars are caused by that.  Religions promote that.  Why is it ok to judge others who think differently, feel differently and look at the world differently as not ok or bad?

My observation is that closed minds do not like to be questioned.  Closed minds are run by ego and are sure they are right.  Closed minds are threatened by other points of view.  Close minds want to be in control.  Closed minds close hearts and the ability to have compassion for others.  Closed minds lack the flexibility to see from the perspective of others.  Closed minds are not fully present.  Closed minds feel fear about what they don’t understand.

What I have observed is that the human mind works on at least two levels of function.  One level is the ordinary mind that is directed by the ego and is about survival and control.  The second level is the higher mind that is about awareness, consciousness, our spiritual nature, and is more the gatekeeper of the heart. 

The ordinary mind level is run by the ego and is judging all things and people in one of two categories - good or bad.  This mind quickly decides what is right and wrong and can get very inflexible.  This inflexibility comes from its own thoughts and fears.  The ordinary mind actually believes what it thinks.  In the self-protection mode of the mind, the heart can close down.

The higher mind is much more comfortable with questions, with ambiguity, with changing ideas and believes and seeks to understand more than to protect.  This makes the higher mind more open and willing to grow.  This also allows the heart to open more fully.

Rigid thinking and protected hearts keep people away and make it difficult to feel compassion and seek understanding of those who see the world differently.  This closed way of being turns most others into enemies and therefore a threat.   This is the cause of most problems in the world and the breeding ground for extremism in the world. 

The best antidote for those who suffer from closed minds is love and its other manifestations compassion, caring and kindness.  With love, growth and awareness the ordinary mind can be saved from itself.