Cognitive Dissonance

I have cognitive dissonance on my mind.

According to Wikipedia, cognitive dissonance is the excessive mental stress and discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time. This stress and discomfort may also arise within an individual who holds a belief and performs a contradictory action or reaction.

Maybe it’s an aging thing. How much contradiction can one live with? Accept?

Generally if I value X and I do Y a big psychic GONG goes off. These days mostly if I value X, I do X or  X+0.01. Pin drops. Tink. Barely a blip on my internal radar.

But every once in a while there is a disturbance in the force. Today I got an email that contained in part “I look up to you so…” GONG! GONG! GONG! Big psychic GONG!

It took me a bit to figure out what was creating the dissonance. I have, and value, tremendously, a wide variety of mentors whom I’ve had the benefit to have over the years, people I look up to, respect. But, and, yet, one of the big reasons I never loved all things higher education was the implicit expectation to create “mini mes.” I still consider my PhD mentor my scientific father but had and continue have no desire to be that impactful to another human.

Hmm. And random. What sets off your internal GONG?

One comment on “Cognitive Dissonance
  1. soulcruzer says:

    Cognitive dissonance is an old friend of mine. So much so that it doesn’t cause me stress or discomfort any more. I’ve settle on the belief that everything is ultimately and illusion, and therefore not real, and not worth holding on to with any degree of rigidity. I’ve been reading some quantum physics stuff, well probably more spirituality dressed up as quantum physics, and one idea is that everything is consciousness, instead of matter, a scientific materialism would hold. The Beatles were on to something with that “I am you and you are me and we are altogether…” My actions, reactions, and interactions with the external world are reflections of me as consciousness. Or maybe, i’ve just been sitting in front of this computer too long…