“By denying scientific principles one may maintain any paradox.” — Galileo Galilei
Find out if you are doing this in order to maintain the boundaries of your beliefs.
What is a paradox
There are many types of paradox. A paradox involves contradictory-yet-interrelated elements that exist simultaneously. Often a seemingly paradoxical conclusion arises from inconsistent or inherently contradictory premises and arguments. Today, many people find themselves dealing with paradox in their lives. This results from the paradigm conflict between science and mythology.
Does this sound familiar? Are you denying scientific, historical and logical facts in order to maintain your “belief” in religion? Does your belief system teach you to deny any scientific or logical reasoning that might threaten your sacred ground? The result is stressful. A paradox creates doubt. Doubt is uncomfortable even scary. Which one of the positions is correct? So, in order to reduce discomfort, and doubt one must learn how to maintain these paradoxes.
Cognitive Dissonance is a psychological term describing the distressing mental state one experiences when confronting ideas, beliefs, or values which conflict with your current worldview. When someone experiences cognitive dissonance, it can be very scary. It shakes the foundation of your reality. When something simply doesn’t fit into the existing worldview or paradigm and this causes mental and physical pain. So, some choices must be made. One must either reject the new conflicting information or modifies their existing paradigm to align with the new information.
When an open-minded person encounters this situation they use facts, and logical reasoning to sift through the new information. And so through the use of critical thinking to either reject the new information or and modify their paradigm if the new information is valid. This means an open-minded person will change their opinions about reality as new valid information is encountered. Being able to do this critical to your overall health and wellness.
For those entrenched in belief systems based on mythology cognitive dissonance is not just painful it is scary. This is because their identity and main relationships are tied directly to the belief system. Their bonds are based on the shared cultural narrative. In unhealthy cultures, outward expressions of this revelation may not be possible. For example, in some countries leaving the State recognized religion is punishable by death.
Where Cognitive Dissonance Strategies Start
Cognitive dissonance often beings in childhood. Parents pass down lifestyle, religious, political, and personal opinions. Children trust their parents. Consequently, beliefs and prejudices become deeply ingrained. Religious institutions further this brainwashing with groupthink manipulation. Repetition of dogma and rewarding the parroting of religious prejudice is rewarded. Independent thinking is punished. Protecting their customer base is essential.
As you might imagine continued brainwashing accomplishes this task. To maintain a paradox one must immerse themselves totally in the propaganda, and groupthink manipulation tactics. Otherwise, the conflict between fact and fiction causes mental and physical discomfort. It can become a catalyst for deeper psychological harm leading youth to the onset of schizophrenia. It leads to doubt and depression which can also spiral downward. As a result, it is imperative to keep up the groupthink manipulation which is able to deny the facts that conflict with their beliefs. Deny at all costs any fact or idea that contradicts the mythology of the religion.
This is what Galileo was talking about. This is why many people deny the facts that conflict with their beliefs. Don’t let this be you.
How the Paradox Conflict Manifests
When an open-minded person encounters a paradox they reason out the conflict. They will alter their beliefs to incorporate this new evidence. However, a deeply religious person will automatically reject anything that threatens the mythology or doctrine of their paradigm. This conditioning normally prompts them to immediately engage in reinforcing propaganda to strengthen their belief system. It doesn’t matter if the thoughts and behaviors are irrational or illogical. They become agitated and angry because their beliefs are their very identity.
For instance, when someone believes that everyone outside of their belief system is evil they view outsiders as enemies. However, if they encounter an outsider who is honest, kind and gentle this can make them uncomfortable. They don’t why they feel this way. Cognitive dissonance can’t reconcile the outsider being anything but evil. The outsider isn’t acting the way they expected. So, they are faced with a personal paradox, evil being nice? They must either accept the flaws in their belief system and change them. Or, reinforce their belief system in some manner that will make that belief more extreme, such as avoiding the outsider.
Sadly, what often happens is they go to their trusted spiritual leader. They explain how they met a nice person outside the flock. The paster will tell them this is an attempted deception of the Devi. And, so they must reject the outsider. Everything is done to keep up partitions and boundaries. You must be isolated from anyone that might influence you to view facts that could undermine the mythology of the paradigm. This is the tactic of brainwashing and a major component of groupthink manipulation.
The Way Out of the Paradox
The paradox from the conflict between science and the mythology of religion causes cognitive dissonance. Maintaining your sanity requires one of two options. Immerse further in groupthink manipulation to block out the facts from the fiction. Or, move beyond the confines of organized religion. Not all religions are harmful. Only those that create boundaries and restrictions dictating values and thought. As a result, these are harmful because they adversely affect our ability to reason.
Some religions have more boundaries than others. For example, Taoism and many forms of Paganism have fewest constraints over freethinking. These systems encourage the exploration and development of your own path. This contrasts with the boundaries of Western organized religion. The Abrahamic religions (The Western Organized Religions of Semitic origin including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) are also the result of an eclectic combination of earlier traditions. Their doctrine, dogma, and beliefs are the rebranding of earlier Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian and Assyrian mystery religions.
Thankfully, you don’t have to join a religion to engage in spiritual exploration. All you need to do is learn and practice the processes. There’s a huge difference between religion and spiritual exploration.
If this article resonates, there are more on our blog. Also, you may be interested in learning about our blended learning process. This is our curriculum which we use to teach several mind-expanding tools. It also aligns the Hero’s Journey. This is the term Joseph Campbell gave the pattern of consciousness development. Our learning process is available in two forms. You can take part in the virtual learning module or in our workshops.
Image from Google.