Denial is often viewed as a failure of acceptance. When viewed as such, denial seems irrational. But, of course, it isn’t. Denial is an affirmation of status quo. Denial is an insistence on what subjectively is. Reality changes non-stop. But mind doesn’t. Mind first creates an illusion of permanence and then clings to its own version of reality. How wondrous!
Denial is an essential part of our survival know-how. Accept the coping legitimacy of denial.
But denial is more than just survival. Denial is evidence of our remarkable ability to re-create reality to fit precisely with our moment-specific needs.
Denial is customized perception, a pattern-hold, an amazing unconscious (!) transformation of the stone-hard reality into a soft pillow of the mind-specific dream-world. There is a dream-weaving magician inside each and every one of us.
Denial is the 8th Wonder of the world.
Make it the 1st Wonder! No denial – no status quo – no peace of mind. After all, how can there – objectively – be any status quo in this unceasing river of reality-flow? Yet, thanks to denial, we do experience luxuriously-subjective sense of stability. Denial – as primitive of a defense – is a primary tool of psychological survival.
Of course, this is not a recommendation of denial as a coping stance (the unconscious takes no orders!) but merely an acknowledgment of its inevitability and of its primitively-adaptive power. Being on the outside of denial is hard. First thing we want to do is to confront the person in denial. While this may or may not be our eventual course of intervention, I believe, it is a good first step to appreciate the primitive survival logic behind denial (as well as its amazing reality-makeover power).
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Last reviewed: 9 Jul 2011