In simple terms, dissociation is the psychological response to traumatic stress, but also the separation of oneself from thoughts, feelings, memories, and surroundings.
Dissociation is increasingly used by us humans to cope with something incompatible and inconsistent with how we identify with ourselves, how we perceive ourselves, or how we would like to become.
We are aware that a simple experience such as a fast food meal is overall damaging for our health, for our life, but also the life of other creatures and the environment. A simple meal often comes either in a plastic bag, or container, with soda being carried in a cup with a plastic straw. And also the processes that need to happen for that specific meal to end on our plate are nicely wrapped by marketing. Selling you the experience, the end product.
We are using mental gymnastics to dissociate ourselves from the negative consequences of our actions. We do need to know how the meat was made. We simply want to eat it.
The case for making an omelette
If you want to make an omelet, you gotta break some eggs. You want to get that juicy protein going, protein that will help you feel good, live a prosperous life, create new technologies, and push the boundaries of human progress. You gotta do what you gotta do. Dissociation works for you.
We do not care where our trash ends up, as once we do our civic duty of separating the glass from plastic. We can move on with our lives. We did our job.
We choose to unconsciously close our eyes when facing the micro-realities we need to touch on a daily basis.
If we would have to dissect each part of these micro-realities, we would probably go insane.
Dissociation is the veil the mind pulls over something that happened to us. Human progress has brought larger doses of mental input, combining those with even larger doses of diversity. Of course, the quality of life has increased, and we added more years to the human lifespan. But this comes with a price on our psychological engine.
We have more discrete bits of input than ever before
We pull up additional veils of dissociative mechanisms so that we can deal with the bits.
You fill up your glass and chug it in one shot, you light up your plant and inhale the smoke or buy a new object you can throw in your heavy backpack unconsciously making sure you won’t get pushed away when the giant wave of input comes after you.
You build walls. You want to make sure that your beliefs stay in one place. You do not want to know what is on the other side of the veil.
You are walking on a chain you do not want to break.
Your morals are already set.
And self-continuity will prevail.