Saturday, February 7, 2015

A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance

Festinger's (1957) cognitive dissonance theory suggests that we have an inner drive to hold all our attitudes and beliefs in harmony and avoid disharmony (or dissonance). (Link)

Some people will uphold a belief even if proven wrong "...because of the uncomfortable feeling that comes from investing in something or believing in something that turns out to be wrong. Because people prefer to think of themselves as intelligent..."


Cognitive-dissonance is just one of many biases that work in our everyday lives. We don’t like to believe that we may be wrong, so we may limit our intake of new information or thinking about things in ways that don’t fit within our pre-existing beliefs. Psychologists call this “confirmation bias.” (Link)  I see this often in religious faiths - the idea that to learn/read about another religious faith or theology/philosophy/scientific idea causes fear and so the person rejects learning and thus denies him or herself the opportunity to increase their knowledge and awareness. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Age of Aquarius

The Aquarius Constellation

"A happy man or woman is a better thing to find than a five-pound note. He or she is a radiating focus of goodwill; and their entrance into a room is as though another candle had been lighted."
-Robert Louis Stevenson, Puerisque (1878)

"The soul that is united with God is feared by the Devil as though it were God Himself."
- St. John of the Cross, Counsels of Light and Love

"The next great truth which obtrudes itself upon our rapt attention, and which produces a shock of glad surprise, is the realization that the spiritual realm is no less material than the physical. It is merely composed of smaller particles, responding to shorter force-waves with more rapid vibrations; and in its aggregate manifestations to sight and touch attuned to sense it, it is just as firm and real as are the manifestations of physical matter to the physical senses."
-Daniel Augustus Simmons, The Science of Religion (1916)

Our prayers are answered not when we are given what we ask, 
but when we are challenged to be what we can be.