6.10.2011

The Unseen World And Cognitive Dissonance


"Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded 
as real.  If quantum mechanics hasn't profoundly shocked you, 
you haven't understood it yet.  
Niels Bohr             
                                                                                  
                                                 The Unseen World 

Niels Henrik David Bohr was a Danish physicist, philosopher and footballer, who made foundational contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922.   Wikipedia

Bohr, obviously a highly respected and honored figure in the scientific world, understood and studied that which is invisible to the human eye, the 'things that cannot be regarded as real'.

Take, for example, the visible light spectrum.  This is the range of electromagnetic frequencies that can be seen by the human eye.  Please see the wavy line with the arrow labeled 'Visible light' in the graph below.

The 'Visible light' band is what we can see.  It is an extremely narrow band, approximately 1%, in relation to the complete range of known frequencies to exist around us.  We are unable to see the other approximate 99% of the light spectrum and activity that surrounds us.  

http://cnx.org/content/m42444/latest/?collection=col11406/1.7

The unseen, electromagnetic activity and the way this activity responds and performs is the basis for quantum mechanics.   This activity is all around us and is US.  It is an energy field, a Quantum Field, that structures, supports and vitalizes the 'human' form and all other living forms on this planet and off this planet.  We are electromagnetic creatures.

Our hearts beat, blood flows and the brain processes.  The central nervous system and main organs also run on some kind of energy.  There is an abundance of energy needed to keep this all going on a 24 hour/7 day, moment- by-moment basis.  And it is not just the food and water energy.

Lynne McTaggart wrote a book titled The Field that comes from a scientific angle on this subject.  Her work is highly recommended.

Another piece of interesting and supporting information on this topic:
8 Eminent Scientists Who Believe(d) In The Paranormal

Cognitive Dissonance  
Conflict With New Information

The invisible world is a key factor in determining the flow of our life.  A potential stumbling block that may inhibit the journey to discovering the miraculous, unseen world around us has been termed Cognitive Dissonance.  It is always helpful to understand definitions of words to give us a clearer picture of a concept.

From The Free Dictionary and Dictionary.com:  

cog·ni·tive  [kog-ni-tiv]
adj.
1. of or pertaining to the act or process of knowing, perceiving, remembering, etc.; of or relating to cognitioncognitive development; cognitive functioning.
2. of or pertaining to the mental processes of perception, memory, judgment, and reasoning, as contrasted with emotional and volitional processes.

dis·so·nance  (ds-nns)
n.
1. A harsh, disagreeable combination of sounds; discord.
2. Lack of agreement, consistency, or harmony; conflict: "In Vietnam, reality fell away and dissonance between claim and fact filled the void" (Michael Janeway).
3. Music A combination of tones contextually considered to suggest unrelieved tension and require resolution.

con·so·nance  [kon-suh-nuh ns]
n.
1.  accord or agreement
2.  correspondence of sounds; harmony of sounds

Clumping
                                                                                                                                                    
As a society, we have the propensity to clump together in terms of cultures, religions and other special interests.  In these clumps, the same understandings, beliefs and lifestyle choices are shared. There is perceptual (cognitive) agreement (consonance) between everyone.   
When we go outside of our clump, we meet and mingle with those that may have different viewpoints and lifestyles.  If we decide to investigate different viewpoints that are not within our circle of knowledge, we may hit resistance and conflict (dissonance) because the new knowledge may not conform or fit into our present knowledge base.

Sometimes the cognitive dissonance is so great that we return and seek placement in our familiar, pre-established comfort zone.  In 8 Fundamentals Of Conscious And Subconscious Mind, there is an explanation for this: 

'6  Contrasting Ideas Cannot Be Held Simultaneously.  Pain and joy are unable to peacefully coexist in the mind.  This duality produces a constant state of confusing thought processes and eventually affects the nervous system.  Dysfunction in some regard is the outcome.' 

It Is Okay.  It Is Normal.

If we truly seek to reach and operate from new platforms, new ways of thinking and Being, then Cognitive Dissonance is the usual route in the beginning.  It is okay.  It is normal.  It can take time and a willingness to see things differently, to accept new paradigms and new feelings.  

Our mental and emotional fields change when we progress down avenues of shifting values.  These changes create an actual redistribution in and reconfiguration of the energy mass and material that make up the totality of Who We Are.  

That is why there can be real physical, mental and emotional discomfort when taking a detour from the 'norm'.

Take it easy.  Take it slow.  

Attempting to force anything new or unsettling at the onset will only build more barriers and slow down absorption and integration.

Further insight from Wikipedia on Cognitive Dissonance:

[1] The phrase was coined by Leon Festinger in his 1956 book When Prophecy Fails, which chronicled the followers of a UFO cult as reality clashed with their fervent belief in an impending apocalypse.[2][3] Festinger subsequently (1957) published a book called A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance in which he outlines the theory. Cognitive dissonance is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology.

The theory of cognitive dissonance in social psychology proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by altering existing cognitions, adding new ones to create a consistent belief system, or alternatively by reducing the importance of any one of the dissonant elements.[1] It is the distressing mental state that people feel when they "find themselves doing things that don't fit with what they know, or having opinions that do not fit with other opinions they hold." [4] A key assumption is that people want their expectations to meet reality, creating a sense of equilibrium.[5] Likewise, another assumption is that a person will avoid situations or information sources that give rise to feelings of uneasiness, or dissonance.[1]



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