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Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive Dissonance

There is an epidemic in the world today on the psychological phenomenon called cognitive dissonance. Everyone is susceptible to cognitive dissonance to one degree or another; however it seems to be especially prevalent in the Western world today.

Cognitive dissonance refers to psychological or emotional distress which can be sensed when faced with new information or a new reality that contradicts deeply held beliefs or belief systems that have always been valued as purely true.

This psychological phenomenon appears especially among people who have been victims of TV commercials and other brainwashing methods and propaganda.

This is also true of cult members who are led by a charismatic leader or those who belong to some other authoritarian system, including punitive parents and religious and/or political indoctrination.  Here is an example, in Spain it is unthinkable for an MP to vote against a proposal of his own party; “voting discipline” is what they call it.  But what if the MP does not believe on the proposal as it contradicts his personal or moral values? It seems he is left with two choices; either agree with something he does not believe in or concede his position to someone else more willing to go with the flow. What happens then to true justice or independent thinking?

Sometimes it feels as if we are still living in the “dark ages” where individualism is punished and collective reasoning ;even if faulty; is rewarded.  Hasn’t that type of mentality been the root of every horrific decision in our history? Have we forgotten what happens when we blindly give power to others or when we choose to turn a blind eye? Some people tend to do this in order to delude themselves into thinking if one can abstain from taking a stand/making a choice, then one is not responsible for the consequences…this type of faulty reasoning is exactly what is harming our current society. We need people willing to take a stand and to do so intelligently so as to not end up hurting the very cause they are trying to protect.  

Another good example of cognitive dissonance and denial are religious fundamentalists who while professing the Bible is infallible have to be in denial of the fact that there are numerous internal contradictions and inconsistencies between the ethical teachings of the Old Testament which often justifies homicidal violence vs the non-violent ethic of Jesus, which prohibits homicidal violence.

Intelligent people when confronted by contradictory beliefs or ideas that mutually exclude, tend to be open and reflective. These type of people are usually willing to change their mind after reevaluating their previous positions; looking carefully, honestly and retesting. They re-evaluate the credibility of the two positions and then make the decision to approve or reject new information depending on the evidence presented before them.

A closed, distracted, uninformed, ignorant, too busy, addicted mind or intensely conservative mind, cannot; for various reasons, be it time, belief inclination or political will; be able to look at the new evidence. To look at new evidence would go against their entrenched beliefs, therefore they may unconsciously or reflexively reject new information; even if the evidence is overwhelming and proves to be true.

Opinion leaders and agents of disinformation like to proclaim simplistic explanations of complex events superficially plausible; especially when corporate or state interests are at stake.  These entities employ crafty communications experts who are true geniuses when it comes to “Quote and Explain Propaganda”; to reflect this, they use concise sentences and quotes which are actual propaganda.

In a fast  moving world, we have gotten so used to being fed information rather than taking the time to do our own research, to seek various sources beyond google and  You Tube and to study and analyze the information presented before us.  We have become a robotic, lazy society which no longer cares for the “why” of things; we simply care to satisfy our basic needs and egos…such attitude makes us easier to control as it is a breeding ground for ignorance.

Our educational system more and more has become a reflection of this.  Our children are taught robotically; robotic behavior is rewarded while the child who questions is made to feel like the outsider.

Sadly books no longer constitute a great part of Society’s education. More and more we are used to googling things for a quick answer. Most of the time we don’t make the effort to search for any information that may contradict the previous answer given to us by google. We fail to realize that doing a proper research would constitute our ability to seek different perspectives from various sources, to reflect and make one’s own choice.

Most people don’t take time to do this because they live under the belief that someone else will handle it; as such they hand over their power.  Others have become too lazy as researching may take too much time; either way they avoid the responsibility of thinking for themselves.

Even very complex situations such as invasions or attacks against sovereign nations often are given only simplistic explanations whose opposite points are rarely exposed by the media.

False flag operations are pre-planned events, propaganda, intelligently orchestrated so they can justify going to war. Examples of false flag operations are; the Reichstag fire of Berlin, Operation Northwoods and the Gulf of Tonkin episode.

These false flags (accepted as true by most people) are capable of deceiving supposedly intelligent senators and representatives and/or presidents (of course you also have to wonder how many of our so-called leaders are part of the lies, helping cover up crimes and injustices instead of seeking and exposing the truth as it is)

Dissonance does not only occur at a major scale; it starts individualistically. When we choose to listen to simplistic explanations but refuse to take a look at the other side, we are simply choosing to execute ignorance over intelligence; handicapping the development of an open mind. It is easy to be fed information; it is harder to research, recalculate and to challenge preconceived notions.

The sad truth prevailing today is that many citizens simply want to be led by a charismatic leader or an attractive Prime Minister or President.  The same goes in a smaller scale; many people are willing to accept a lie as truth simply because the lie does not challenge their reality. They rather not rock the boat and allow injustices to continue. They allow ignorant hurtful attitude to others as it is masked behind a smile and hypocritical charisma…Why? sadly because; whether at a large or small scale; many people are incapable of using what may already be a stagnant critical pattern of thinking.

We have all seen the image of the so called 3 wise monkeys; there is something sad and truthful about them as they cover their eyes, mouth and ears. They transmit a most worrisome message, which through time and ignorance has been taken out of context and its misguided translation regarded as wisdom. They transmit the message of blind obedience, or blind belief.  In reality what modern society has done is twist its original meaning into the following “Do not see, speak or hear anything that may sound painful even if is true”.  At that rate truth is lost over charismatic lies. At that rate, we are begging to become slaves, puppets, easy to manipulate. At that rate we are becoming cowards instead of warriors; followers instead of leaders.  At that rate society will live not in the slavery of the past but in modern slavery, one that is not impose on us but chosen.

Perhaps it’s time we search for the true meaning of the 3 wise monkeys; its true meaning will challenge your beliefs and change your pattern of thinkin.  Although I will not go too much into the history behind the 3 wise monkeys, I want to offer you a brief synopsis: Lacadio Hern; known to the Japanese as Koizumi Yakumo; was a Greek/Irish Philosopher and Writer who specialized in the study of Japanese “Wisdom” and “Traditions”. During his search for the meaning behind the figurines of the 3 monkeys he had once seen as a child, he came to discover Japanese “Proverbs”.  He chose to apply his life and learnings to properly help westerners understand the real meaning behind Japanese proverbs, discipline, history, traditions and art. To his amazement, he was confronted with the reality that most people who have seen these figurines, had no real understanding of the actual meaning behind them or what they are to represent.  The original meaning of the proverb used in Japan was: Be of good mind (train your mind), Speech (give an informed opinion or remain silent) and Action (Strive to do what is right even when no one else is doing it).  Nowadays however, we have these figurines being widely used to describe a very ill society where by pretending not to see, hear, or hide from action; we are supposed to be wiser.  In other words “I am illuminated because I bury my head in the sand” vs introspection and self work.

Let us not forget; whenever there is a crowd of followers, there has to be a leader. How sad our world will be if we were to continue picking leaders not based on intelligence and strength but based on congeniality and hypocrisy.  I don’t have all the answers but my personal advice would be start with yourself.  Start becoming the “HERO” of your own story; after all society will only change when each person decides to take the necessary steps and do the arduous but rewarding work needed within self development.

“IGNORING THAT WHICH YOU DON’T WANT TO SEE, IS A GOOD WAY TO END UP AT THE WRONG DESTINATION”

Sofia Falcone


Sofia Falcone

Sofia Falcone
I passionately believe one person can make a difference. I write from my own experiences and interests. It is my greatest hope that by writing about my own challenges and hopes, others may feel inspired to believe more in their inner power and to fully embrace themselves.

Reprinted on crystalwind.ca with permission from Sofia Falcone.

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