Fanaticism is an extreme degree of adherence of a person to any concepts, ideas or beliefs, manifested in the absence of a critical perception of the chosen system, as well as an extremely negative attitude and lack of tolerance to other ideological positions. Such a commitment is similar to a blind, unsupported and unjustified faith, therefore fanaticism is most common in the religious sphere, but not limited to it (this includes political views and national, musical and subcultural), including any of the spheres of human manifestation where there is division people regarding choice, belonging, and taste.
What is fanaticism
Extreme fanaticism - a definition that is not so common, people usually express their inclinations or preferences in a moderate degree, not brought to the absurdity of despotism and imposition. But in critical versions, fanaticism acquires rather destructive, harsh and tyrannical manifestations with imposing the will and choice of a fanatic, as well as exposing people with other thoughts to punishment, torture, and sometimes death.
Fanaticism is the definition of one of the polarities of a human relationship to a phenomenon, a concept, a personality, an idea, on the other side of which there is an indifferent attitude connected with the absence of any emotions regarding the chosen trait. To be in one, that in another extreme position, not every psyche is capable, usually people hold their own opinion, not imposing on others, and do not criticize the choices of others, which is called tolerant relations. In most countries with a developed internal psychological culture, it is precisely tolerance that is present, and those dominated by totalitarianism and dictatorship build their ideology on a fanatical perception of the ideas of society.
The difference between fanaticism and commitment is that, with fanatical worship, it is possible that a violation of generally accepted social norms is possible, for the sake of his own passion, a person is described as unstable emotionally and mentally, being an obsessive idea. Often a fanatical attitude towards something is part of the picture of a psychiatric illness (usually the manic phase of psychotic disorder or schizophrenic delusions). Thus, a simple commitment to an idea may look like a strange behavior and a person, rather, will cause a feeling of strange, while the fanatic’s actions pose a threat to him and his public life or security, and the feelings felt by other people from encountering such a person is usually in the spectrum of fear (from anxiety to horror).
Fanaticism rejects alternatives and is ready to sacrifice every second (up to its own life or the lives of others), is guided in its actions, being an active form of manifestation, exclusively striving to achieve the goals of ideals, completely ignoring the legal, ethical, and social norms. Such a person can be compared with a deaf person who is incapable of perceiving your criticism, with a blind person who does not see the destructive consequences of his own actions, with a madman who lives in parallel reality with other laws. Reaching out to the fanatic's consciousness is problematic and sometimes simply impossible, basically one can only try to limit their activities and avoid contact, in order to avoid influencing their own destiny.
In determining fanaticism, an important feature is the presence of comrades, since the phenomenon is not individualistic, but massive. For fanatical following, a crowd and its leader are required - this is one of the mechanisms of origin and control. The crowd, swung emotionally charismatic leader becomes easier to manage than an individual. When talking face to face, there may be critical questions and comments, an internal protest is easily felt, whereas, being in a crowd, the feeling of responsibility for the consequences is removed and the person does what the people around him do. Consciousness at such moments openly and there you can put any thought and idea, and if you later discuss with his fanatic his world view, he will perceive beliefs that do not correspond to his opinion through the prism of the negative, possibly considering attacks or insults.
Such a mechanism has remained since ancient times of existence, when the reaction of a group of people, as one organism, where everyone does not really think, was aimed at the survival of the species. Roughly speaking, before the leader pointed out where the enemies and the whole tribe fled the enemy to destroy. In order not to be erased from the face of the earth itself. Fanaticism has the same mechanism, ancient and strong, and the moral qualities of the manager of ideas often leave much to be desired. So it turns out that the dialogue and calls for critical thinking do not work, the cessation of fanatical activity is possible only by force, with the use of force substantially exceeding the capabilities of the fanatic himself.
Fanaticism is an example of primitive, unconscious faith, decomposing which into its components, you can see the skillful manipulation of human consciousness. And not the truth of his faith and choice. When communicating with a person, signs of fanaticism can be seen, which consist in not separating good and bad, acceptable and criminal - the system scanning the world is simplified to the point that everything that concerns his faith is correct and acceptable, and everything that is different is bad, condemned and must be fought or destroyed. A fanatic often cannot justify such a position, or these explanations do not have a logical connection (the answer to the question “why do you think I am bad?” Can be “do you wear trousers instead of a skirt”).
In an attempt to enter into a productive dialogue and find the truth or at least somehow establish a person’s contact with reality, expanding the prism of his perception, irreversibly encounter a reluctance to argue about the possibility of his mistake. Such people are infinitely self-righteous and do not want to think about your words, rather they will rush to beat you for unwanted speeches. This characteristic is to see the negative and enemies in people who express other ideas and fight with people (often physically), instead of fighting with phenomena and ideas. So, a person who is a believer will bring up his willpower so as not to steal and inculcate such a worldview to children, and a fanatic will shoot thieves.
There are also emotional signs of fanaticism, including excessive emotionality, and the intensity of emotions will be high, and the range low (available ecstasy, when in contact with the source, fear, if you feel the fragility of the built concept and hatred, when confronted with dissidents). In relation to the world, pride prevails, with the thought of the insignificance of those who do not support the idea, but such assurances of their uniqueness and supreme position are doubtful, since the fanatic himself is a closed personality.
Fanaticism can relate to anything, some of its forms are accepted and quite normal in society (football fanaticism), while others cause fear and a lot of resistance (religious). The word itself is quite widespread and can be used not always authenticly of the situation, but if based on a scientific definition, then the medical classification of behavioral disorders, emotions and perceptions distinguishes fanaticism: religious, political, ideological, scientific; fanaticism of sports, nutrition, art. The last three are the least destructive in their manifestation and more often the negative consequences are reduced to disputes with relatives and supporters of other positions. While the first three are able to push people to crime and dangerous acts. The degree of manifestation is hard and soft fanaticism, which determines how far a person can go in pursuit of their goals.
Religion and the sphere of beliefs, perhaps the most auspicious of all human for the development of fanaticism. As a way of manipulating mass consciousness, any religious structure is ideal, having a concept inaccessible to objective verification, a leader who explains interpretations and a set of rules, usually promising a lot of goodies to someone who will obey and the terrible punishment of apostates. Fanatical adherence to religious concepts is due to fear. Moreover, at the beginning of his conversion, a person seeks reassurance and protection in the faith, trying to get rid of fear and get hope, instead, he receives only what changes the source of fear, having chosen a lord for himself, and finds himself in an even bigger situation in his horror. And if earlier fear was in the social sphere, where the most terrible thing that could have happened is killing, then there are things in religion that are more frightening than death. It is this feeling of fear that pushes a person towards violence against those who think differently, intolerance towards other people's manifestations. Remember at least one person who does not experience wild horror - he is unlikely to rush at others, while the frightened begins to defend himself, including the attack.
People who have faith, show a lot of patience and love for any manifestation of the human soul, and often even the perception of negative features is positive with the hope of change. They also perceive their own god as loving and accepting, understanding and forgiving, and the opposing dark forces do not frighten them, they only force them to concentrate in order to win in opposition.
The fanatic is afraid of everyone: the deity - for the punishment of his sins, the dark force - for the threat of torment, the head or high priest - for condemnation or deprivation of blessing. Each step takes place in tension, requiring tight control, which ultimately applies to the outside world and the suffocating requirement to comply.
Many religions condemn the fanatical manifestations of the faith of their adepts, criticizing such behavior and forcing a person to return to the real world and worthy interaction, since some manifestations of fanaticism contradict the very religious concept. But we should not forget that some trends of faith, on the contrary, are pushing people towards such blind pursuit, encouraging people to commit antisocial actions. Behind such an attitude is usually a man himself far from faith, soberly assessing the situation, but using the feelings of believers who have come under his influence to manipulate in pursuing their own interests.
There are certain types of personality that are subject to the emergence of religious fanaticism, usually people who have an accentuation of character in a schizoid, hysterical, or stuck type. Such people often fall into totalitarian sects or independently turn another religion into a farce with grotesque own evidence of faith in their manifestation.
How to get rid of fanaticism
Liberation from fanatical behavior is aimed at developing critical thinking, restoring adequate perception, and working through the image of a cult. Any fanatical pursuit is inherently psychological, emotional, and chemical dependence (if narcotic substances are not used, then periodic states of ecstasy and adrenaline rush cause the human body to independently produce opiates in the required quantities). Accordingly, getting rid of fanaticism involves many similar points with getting rid of dependence. In the process of a joint critical analysis of the concept presented, the presence of contradictions, destructive moments and little-open manipulation of the fanatic can reach a certain point, and then begins breaking.
During such periods, the support of people not connected with fanatic society is very important, because in an unstable state of losing landmarks, a person sees the world as gray (ecstasies are gone), hostile (no one hugs when he just entered) and confused (no one knows where black, and where is white). It is very easy to return back to the world of addiction and infantile existence, and this can be hindered by a new organized life, in which there will be people with successful experience of leaving the influence of a religious cult.
Objectively, the former fanatic needs psychological help and long-term therapy, with the same degree of seriousness with which drug addicts and victims of violence are rehabilitated, but only a fanatic in his past role has been subjected to both violence and dependence. Often this is a family problem of the system type and it is necessary to rehabilitate not only one person, with a high probability in his close environment there will be people who have this or that dependence, showing excessive cruelty, despotism, manipulation of feelings. If you do not pay enough attention to changing the whole way of life, it will be like an addict trying to tie up, sitting in a den with friends, and having a new dose at home in the kitchen cupboard.