Ever wished people with new ideas would just shut up already and keep it to themselves? Or secretly desire that people with alternative political agendas other than bipartisanism would just climb back under their rock?

Or secretly hope that all those heathen books with their anti-my-holy-book thoughts in them would just burn already? Then this article is just for you.

Here are seven ways to remain rigidly close-minded in an ever-awakening, consciousness-shifting, progressively-evolving world.

1.) Never question your beliefs

Questioning beliefs is scary. So it’s best to avoid it altogether. Remain in a fixed state. Cling to your basket for dear life. It has all your eggs in it, after all. Use your faith like a shield. Don’t let anything in. Be invulnerable to knowledge.

If anything seems even remotely threatening to your faith –which you’ve precariously built into a wall from the outdated steppingstones of sycophants past and which looms precariously upon the quicksand of ill-reason and sentimental flotsam– simply ignore it, suppress it, or just allow cognitive dissonance to safely wash it away.

The warm, comforting security blanket of your belief will keep you nice and cozy against a scary, never-fixed, ever-changing world.

2.) Practice apathy, not empathy

Whatever you do, don’t put yourself in another person’s shoes. They probably stink worse than yours do anyway. Leave empathy to Jesus or Buddha or Muhammad.

They are more versed in compassion and turning the other cheek. Stick with apathy. Be as indifferent about others as possible. If you give them too much attention, they’ll just rock your all-too-comfortable boat.

Don’t rock your all-too-comfortable boat! You need it to remain afloat atop the stormy seas of the unknown that constantly threaten to drown you. Cling to your pietistic and/or irreverent ego. The ennui will pass, and the certainty of what you think you know will wash over you and keep you “level-headed.”

3.) Don’t think outside the box

The box is warm and safe. The box is the state. The box is the church. The box is nationalism and patriotism. The box is anything you’ve been preconditioned into believing is necessarily the case, even if it isn’t. Stay in it anyway. The box is your safe place, and you want so badly to remain safe, comfortable, and secure, right?

There’s no reason to make yourself uncomfortable. And you can always decorate the box. Though I would stay away from art, especially radical art. It would just corrupt your safe place. It would bring too much color to your colorless view of the universe. Black and white is just fine.

4.) Don’t be open to new ideas

If, however, you actually manage to climb outside the box, make sure you never read anything. Stick to that holy book handed down to you from your forefathers. You know, the one reeking of self-righteousness and parochial values deemed uncouth by the passage of time. Read it anyway.

Quote it often. If someone gets in your face about a new idea that might propel the human race forward, lean on it like a crutch and stop their blasphemous momentum. New ideas are sacrilegious at worst and dangerous at best. Better to just ignore them. Once again, cognitive dissonance can be your knight in shining armor and save the day.

5.) Be intolerant of people who are different

Stick to generalizations. Stick to believing that those “others” from Whereveristan are all just immoral savages who want to destroy everything you hold dear. Best to just bomb them and be done with it. They bomb us; we bomb them. An eye for an eye, right? Who cares if our bomb kills innocent people?

It’s their fault for growing up in a third-world country instead of making something of their lives. Chock it up to collateral damage and simply get right with God & country. Who cares if those innocent people’s family members get pissed off and join radical extremist groups that just want to watch the world burn. That’s in “God’s hands.”

6.) Take authority very seriously

Never question authority. Whether it’s the state’s authority or the church’s. These structures are sacred and built to keep you safe and secure in your creature comforts. The state’s hired thugs guard all your things, things, things, while safeguarding the illusory borderlines between us and them.

The untaxed church guards the sanctity of your ascent into life eternal while sugarcoating death and relieving you of existential angst. Don’t worry that this means you’ll have to live a fear-based life instead of a courage-based one.

And don’t worry that you’ll be paranoid for the rest of your life. Who cares if authority consists of fallible, mistake-ridden, imperfect naked apes just like you. They know what they’re doing.

7.) Stick to self-righteousness

Make sure to take yourself too seriously. Imagine everything revolves around you. Force people into respecting you, your nation, your political bent, and your religion. And if they don’t, use the ad hominem approach. Attack their character instead of their ideas. Or just appeal to authority. Point at your nation’s principles or your holy book, while making sure to ignore any principles or books they might be pointing out.

It’s so easy it’s stupid. Before you know it, you’ll have taken yourself so seriously that you can’t see anything else but the enormity of your all-encompassing, obese ego that fills up the box you’ve pigeonholed yourself into. Who cares if you’ll have to remain the butt-end of the cosmic joke. It’s all a joke anyway. God forbid you laugh.

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