Cognitive dissonance is the pressure that builds up in a person when a much-valued truth is brought into question or complained about or attacked.
Cognitive dissonance is a house divided against itself. It cannot stand.
Usually we either seek resolution eventually or have a lightbulb moment that resolves it. Or we can have a nervous collapse or some stress-related event, from arguing with ourselves day after day.
My favorite example is Emile Durkheim, the sociologist, arguing with his father, the rabbi. Durkheim and his father would argue about what was more important – religion or science.
Cognitive dissonance built up and built up in Durkheim until, in a moment of insight, of realization, he made a distinction, which has since become basic to Sociology, between values and facts. His father was arguing values and he was arguing facts and neither the twain had met.
Why do I mention it? Because in this time of chaos, our facts and values are being put under pressure and you may find cognitive dissonance building up.
I want to remind you that that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Cognitive dissonance may lead to paradigmatic breakthrough, as it did for Durkheim. It won’t if we don’t allow it to. It will if we accept it.
With the higher energies squeezing our issues out of us, everything hid is being made known. It’s hard to go through all of this without a few falls and grimaces.
When we’re in cognitive dissonance, our tension goes up. Therefore our awareness goes down. So don’t rely on yourself to remember even what we say here. Right when you need it, you won’t have the awareness to remember what you read.
I hear some movie actor saying in my ear: “Let me make this as simple as possible.” I make it as simple as possible to make it easy to remember.
Allow cognitive dissonance to build and for the answer that solves the dilemma to arise naturally. Don’t fight the process.
Last point, most times I’ve felt the answer came when I got bigger than the problem, saw it from a higher vantage point. The answer usually included both sides of the proposition, but not always.