Cognitive Dissonance and Spirituality

Along my spiritual journey I have met many people from all walks of life embracing various paths within spirituality. The interesting thing was, each of them were convinced their path was the path. I couldn’t help but begin to feel like this was religion all over again. We were so deeply entrenched into our paths that we began to look down upon other people and their path. Who are we to judge some else’s path as being not as important as our own?

One of the major issues I saw people stressing in the spiritual community was/is diet. You have vegetarians, vegans, raw vegans the works! But I began to see the different side of embracing a green diet lifestyle…the people who were a bit radical. They would belittle those who continued to eat meat and dairy, even shamed them for eating such things. There was a lot of ‘meat eater’ bashing going on. Uh, are we in grade school people? To say that one path is more noble than another totally negates everyone elses experience. How can we determine the value of someone elses experience?

Anything we wish to prove, eventually we will prove it. Adversely anything we wish to disprove, eventually we will disprove it. People believe veganism is more healthy than non-veganism. There are studies that support that claim; however, there are also studies that refute that claim. Which one is correct? It all boils down to perspective. Being one way or another doesn’t make you more or less spiritual. It just is what it is -but if you feel it does then that is your truth. There is only one truth, yours.

Once we accept a particular programming, subsequent thoughts and actions must support it otherwise we are in a state of resistance. I love using the phrase “pain exists because resistance exists” because it is so relevant. Sure you may be a vegetarian or vegan but deep down what if that isn’t something you really want to do? What if you love chocolates but you believe chocolates aren’t healthy? Then you are in a state of dissonance. “Chocolate is unhealthy” conflicts with the act of eating chocolate because you believe it is bad. At which point your mind must find a way to justify your conflicting behavior.

Personally, I don’t believe in the notion that specific foods make us sick because there is always an exception. You may say vegetarians are healthier. I’ve personally heard accounts of people who have gotten sick once becoming a vegetarian. What about the folks who drink and smoke heavily and live till old age? But if your truth is that one way is better or healthier than another then you will always find a way to justify why you believe what you believe.

I feel that these anomalies or exceptions to the ‘rules’ we place, are simply individuals whose actions are in alignment with what they believe. Therefore, being no resistance. People who wholeheartedly believe vegan-ism is a healthy way of living and live the lifestyle that upholds that truth are in alignment. Just like for someone who eats fast food everyday and believes fast food isn’t bad for you. These people simply uphold their truths. When we go against our truths, we feel guilty and ashamed for our actions resulting in an internal battle that manifest as blockages.

This can be applied to nearly every aspect of our existence. For instance, you hate your job, yet you continue to work it everyday. We are here to express our divinity in our own unique way, there is no correct or incorrect way to do that. When we go against who we are at soul level, we are making choices that go against our divinity, which results in negative karma being created.

“To deny our own impulses, is to deny the very thing that makes us human.”
Mouse , “The Matrix”

With Love, LH

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