Cognitive Dissonance Exemplified

Moments ago, I walked to the front door of the building where I work. There, right up above me, two jet plains flew, almost nose to tail. Maybe 20, 30 plane lengths separated them. The one in the front was blowing a ‘normal contrail’. The one behind was blowing a long, persistent, hanging contrail.

At the moment I looked up, another coworker came up behind me and said ‘what are you looking at?’. We’ve never discussed anything ‘unusual’ before.

I said ‘hey, why are those two planes flying so close together? And why is the back one blowing a trail and the front one isn’t?’

Without a moment’s pause, no hesitation of any kind, he said ‘they’re at different altitudes, one is, like, 20,000 feet higher.’ I said ‘no they’re not, they’re exactly the same size! Okay, which one do you think is higher, then?’ He replied ‘the front one.’ I said ‘that’s the one that’s not blowing a trail, what, are you saying the air’s colder at the lower altitude?’

Again, without pause, with the speed of a snake, he said ‘the back one, then.’ I let it go at that point.

I’m posting this to exemplify that when someone wants to, or needs to, remain asleep, sleep they will. I found it stunning, but also instructional. I’ve sort of had to fight the urge to try to convince, awaken, or convert people to ‘seeing what’s going on’, and have more and more resisted that urge. It’s ‘don’t try to teach a pig to dance – it won’t work and it will piss off the pig.’

That said, I have, indeed, successfully converted a few folks, over time, who screamed and yelled at me at one point, and now, later, quietly agree.

Alejandro, you replied ‘converted? Converted to what?’. Forgive me for using that somewhat emotionally loaded word.

By ‘converted’ I meant 'helped people through a change of consciousness/awareness where they could not previously ‘see’ spray planes blowing contrails, and where, later, they could ‘see’ them, acknowledge them, admit they existed. Getting beyond the ‘they wouldn’t, they couldn’t!’ blockage of awareness that the subconscious erects in the form of cogntive dissonance to protect itself from unpleasant/unwelcome thoughts/concepts/ideas.

The people I am referencing previously thought/believed ‘those are normal airplanes – those trails are the result of condensation, nothing more.’ Now, those same people think ‘those are not normal airplanes. Plane engines don’t do what I’m seeing right now, normally.’ I assisted them in making that conceptual transition.

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