Friday, March 25, 2011

Cognitive dissonance and 2012

Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance. They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and actions. Dissonance is also reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying. It is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology.

Experience can clash with expectations, as, for example, with buyer's remorse following the purchase of an expensive item. In a state of dissonance, people may feel surprise, dread, guilt, anger, or embarrassment. People are biased to think of their choices as correct, despite any contrary evidence. This bias gives dissonance theory its predictive power, shedding light on otherwise puzzling irrational and destructive behavior.

A classical example of this idea (and the origin of the expression "sour grapes") is expressed in the fable The Fox and the Grapes by Aesop (ca. 620–564 BCE). In the story, a fox sees some high-hanging grapes and wishes to eat them. When the fox is unable to think of a way to reach them, he surmises that the grapes are probably not worth eating, as they must not be ripe or that they are sour. This example follows a pattern: one desires something, finds it unattainable, and reduces one's dissonance by criticizing it.
The Great Disappointment of 1844 is an example of cognitive dissonance in a religious context.
True-believer syndrome demonstrates carrying a post-cognitive-dissonance belief regardless of new information.
Mayan calendar and Gregorian Calendar

Is 2012 any different than 1618 or 2407 other than the fact we’re living through it? Remember 2000!

There has recently been still another revival of the talk about the end of the world. Once again newspaper articles are being written and public meetings held, both in America and in Great Britain, where more or less sensational statements are made to the effect that the end of the world is now due, and may be expected at any moment. Ever since the outbreak of the Great War in 1914 the prophets have been exceptionally busy in this direction, and on several occasions groups of people have actually sat up all night waiting for the end. ...
Lecture delivered by Emmet Fox at Victoria Hall, London, on September 6, 1933.

There is a simple test by which anyone can tell a true teacher from a false one.
It is this:
If he points you to his own personality; if he makes special claims for himself; if he says that he has received any special privileges from God that are not equally accessible to the whole human race anywhere; if he attempts in his own name or in that of an organization to establish under any pretense a monopoly of the truth about God, then, however imposing his credentials, however pleasing his personality may be, he is a false teacher, and you had better have nothing to do with him.

If, on the contrary, he tells you to look away from himself, to seek the Presence of God in your own heart, and to use books, lectures, and churches only as a means to that one end, then, however humble his efforts may be, however lacking his own demonstration may seem, he is nevertheless a true teacher and is giving you the Bread of Life.

You are what you really believe yourself to be. You experience what you really believe yourself to be. All there is to any phenomenon is our belief in it. There is no difference between the thing and the thought of the thing. We often hear it said thoughts are things, but the actual truth is that things are thoughts. From this it follows that when you “un-think” a thing it is disappears. The world you live in is the world of your own beliefs. You created it by thinking it, and you can destroy it at any moment by un-thinking it.

Again I would impress upon the reader not to forget the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind (usually called in medical books, the unconscious) is that part of your mentality of which you are not aware. You may be unaware that you have been holding a certain thought or a certain belief, and yet it may be in your subconscious, and if so it will affect your life, in spite of the fact that you did not consciously know of its existence. You probably picked it up in childhood.

Alter Your Life

Emmet Fox 1938

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