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Changing Paradigms creates Cognitive Dissonance

In February we began an exploration of Paradigms – Belief systems upon which a society is organized. We entertained the notion that since the dominance of Science in the past 200 years our society has held a predominant belief in the solidness of matter and the separation of mind and body. The “truth”, validated at the time by Newton, dominates industrial society

However, in the last 100 years, science has validated an emerging belief in a wholistic universe, where the microcosm reflects the macrocosm, where energy is fluid, going from wave into particles and back again based upon the response (beliefs) of the observer. This belief, based in the work of Einstein and validated by quantum physics, is the emerging truth in today’s society.

Each month we will explore one contradicting assumption that may create cognitive dissonanc, attempt to understand behavior that emerges from it and discover ways to implement the new truth into our own lives.


CURRENT: There is an objective world independent of the observer, and our bodies are an aspect of this objective world.  

EMERGING: The physical world, including our bodies, is a response of the observer. Physicists have found that even passive observation of quantum phenomena can actually change the measured result. We create our bodies as we create the experiences of our world. (Emerging)

If my belief is solidly placed in the CURRENT paradigm, then all I can do is observe the events that happen in my life. I cannot “magically” make anything happen. Oh, I can make a plan, but everyone knows that God laughs at plans. I can try to be a good person, but I can’t help it if someone makes me angry and I seem to have a lot of angry friends. I watch TV commercials and look for signs in my body that I might have this or that disease and I’d better ask my Doctor for medicine. I can’t help it if my body breaks down – that’s just what physical things do. It’s a good thing that mental stress doesn’t affect the physical body, because its impossible for me to relax. I can’t help it if my life isn’t the way I wanted it to be – that’s just the luck of the draw and I’ve always been behind the 8 ball. My motto is “life sucks and then you die”.

If my belief is solidly placed in the EMERGING Paradigm, then I know that I am the one who is creating the experiences in my world. I create through the energy behind my thoughts and my E-motions. I can observe my body’s reaction to my mental stress and decide to learn relaxation and meditation.  I can observe the events of my life to learn what my current emotional state is, and then decide to change it. Years ago Joseph Murphy said if you don’t like the circumstances you are in, ask yourself “What would a person have to believe to find themselves here?”  It’s a great question for navigating through the Emerging Paradigm.  Another question revolves around how quantum physics circles back into spirituality. There appears to be a Source for the energy of the universe. That Source has been called God, Goddess, Universal Mind, Love, All that is, The Name that can’t be said.  Through the ages there have been wayshowers who have connected with this Source and taught spiritual traditions like Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, Eck, Abraham, Táhirih and Bahíyyih, Khema and Uppalavanna, Mary Magdalene, ( and countless more). These wayshowers tell us how to create materially by aligning our frequencies with the Energy of our Souls.  

Cognitive Dissonance occurs when we hold contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values. We experience stress when we say or do something that goes against one or more of our values.    For example, “I know that stress compromises my immune system but I can’t help being angry a lot of the time. Just look at what I’m going through and you’d be angry too!” In its essence that statement says – I know that how I think and feel mentally affects my body and it is possible to do something (Emerging Paradigm), but given my circumstances, there is nothing I can do about being angry (Current Paradigm). Another example: “ I can’t help the way I am. I can’t change so I won’t even try (Current Paradigm), but maybe I could watch a meditation video on YouTube and see if it would help me (Emerging Paradigm). A few weeks later “I’m feeling more relaxed by meditating and I just watched a vide on Tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique) and I might try that (Emerging Paradigm), but I can’t tell my family and friends I’m into this heathen meditation and New Age stuff, so I’d better keep it quiet or just not do it anymore (Current Paradigm).  And on and on the dissonance goes until we settle in one direction or another.

I invite you to think about examples of cognitive dissonance you have in your own life based on the 2 different paradigms (assumptions) presented here. If you like, write them down and email them to me. Without using your identity, we can explore more in the April article!  In Gratitude and Love, Jill

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