Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive dissonance is the disconnect between what we think or believe is true and acting as if it were not. It can also be the other way around… acknowledging what is false and acting as if it were true. Either way ‘cognitive dissonance’ is the disconnect between beliefs and actions.

It is often easier for us to see it in others than in ourselves. We may deride them for being a hypocrite, for not practicing what they preach or not preaching what they practice. In doing so, we may well incriminate ourselves for being the same. Cognitive dissonance seems to be a universal dis-ease.

I think there may be many reasons for us being this way… security in a belief system, uncritically accepting what we are told, the lack of humility to accept that we may be wrong, an over-confidence in authority, a lack of trust in the sciences, ‘fake-news’ is more entertaining, or even “who gives a shit.” Speaking of which, it seems that the most significant times when cognitive dissonance is ‘healed’ is when ‘the shit hits the fan’ and we are forced to reconstruct our world-view to match reality.

We are living in such a time, and a super shit-storm is building (biosphere and civilization collapse). Now is the best time for us to scrutinise our beliefs AND our actions. The chances are high that one or both are ‘screwed’. One way to really live and find meaning in living is to overcome cognitive dissonance. For many that should mean… religion and beliefs in a god have to go. For many that should mean believing what science is telling us about the past, present, and future. For me, today on my birthday, it is accepting the reality that I’m not superman/supernatural, and never will be however much I would like to maintain cognitive dissonance and believe otherwise.