From the Sydney Morning Herald. Story
I was pondering how fundamentalism of any kind might best be described psychologically. Perhaps one definition would be a near total lack of awareness of the mediating mental processes that fall between perception and reaction. In that mental space between input and output, rigid ideology substitutes for mature observing ego--that more sober and wise, third mental eye that steps back and conducts a bullshit inspection of one's own thoughts, motives and reactions.
The conspicuous absence of observing ego seems to be a constant condition of mental life for the fundamentalist. It also seems that this is the temporary state of affairs when our tribal warfare switches are thrown in reaction to a major threat. Observing ego goes out the window and we all become fundamentalists.
So another way to look at fundamentalism would be that it is a mind in a constant state of mobilization for war: hypervigilant, always overcompensating and admitting no ambiguity that could soften the warrior's armor. Does that sound a lot like paranoia? Yep.
I know that I'm far from the first person to note the association between fundamentalism and paranoia. To be sure, these are not the kinds of people we would want overseeing our lives. Unchecked, they might deal with a nettlesome observing ego by physically chopping it off.
You may be getting sick of me bringing this up, but again we're talking about threats to immortality systems and the death anxiety these threats arouse. As I suggested in an earlier post on the subject, compensatory reactions to death fears can paradoxically lead to escalations in collective death anxiety, which is exactly what the fool carrying the sign in the photo above is accomplishing in his own little way.