The primary intent of this document is to demonstrate to the reader how application of the Principle of Coherence can be perverted through denial. (1)
The Principle of Coherence, as we have shown (2), is a powerful tool to identify deception but, as we all should know by now, satan can twist it around - reprogram it, shall we say - to suit his purposes. It is our hope that the Faithful learn how to identify the deception so that they may safely use the Principle of Coherence when it is most needed - now!
Let us review what is meant by "coherence". The Principle of Coherence dictates that when related information comes together, it must make sense and dovetail perfectly, that is, it must be "coherent". There is "internal coherence" and "external coherence".
In "internal coherence" all of the components within a given thought/principle/law/news report must naturally and perfectly dovetail internally; however, that does not mean that what it professes is correct. The proof of correctness comes when that internal given thought/principle/law/news report also dovetails with reality - the external.
When such match occurs, then we can say that the given thought/principle/law/news report has "coherence" internal and external.But when such "dovetailing" is forced, we have entered into the twilight zone of denial.
There is a psychological phenomena called Cognitive Dissonance. (3)
Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, or by justifying or rationalizing them. It is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology.
Dissonance occurs when a person perceives a logical inconsistency in their beliefs, when one idea implies the opposite of another. The dissonance might be experienced as guilt, anger, frustration, or embarrassment.
When the above mentioned motivational drive is activated, the dovetailing necessary for complete internal and external coherence is forced so what was contradictorial - incoherent, that is - now becomes coherent-like; therefore, the conclusion and/or reassurance derived from such "coherence" is all but worthless.
A perfect example of this anomaly - so well exploited by satan - is when prophecy fails.
An early version of cognitive dissonance theory appeared in Leon Festinger's 1956 book, When Prophecy Fails. This book gave an inside account of belief persistence in members of a UFO doomsday cult, and documented the increased proselytization they exhibited after the leader's "end of the world" prophecy failed to come true.
The prediction of the Earth's destruction, supposedly sent by aliens to the leader of the group, became a disconfirmed expectancy that caused dissonance between the cognitions, "the world is going to end" and "the world did not end." Although some members abandoned the group when the prophecy failed, most of the members lessened their dissonance by accepting a new belief, that the planet was spared because of the faith of the group.
Of course, to the above example we must add the tragedy of Jim Jones' group suicide in Guyana, the Heaven's Gate sect (4), etc., etc.
On the other hand.... there are prophecies that failed to come true because they were conditional. One shining example is Jonas' warning the people of Niniveh of its impending destruction [Book of Jonas]; a destruction which did not take place then because they repented and pleaded for Mercy. Of course, Niniveh was eventually destroyed after they went back to the old ways.
While Mary's prophecy if Fatima - which was also conditional - did take place since the conditions were not met.... (5) yet, Her prophecy through Garabandal (6): "... Many cardinals, many bishops and many priests are on the road to perdition and are taking many souls with them. Less and less importance is being given to the Eucharist." has been fulfilled with a vengeance confirming to anyone who has any sense that Her recommendation: "You should turn the wrath of God away from yourselves by your efforts. If you ask His forgiveness with sincere hearts, He will pardon you. better be obeyed; a recommendation which, of course, has not been accepted.
Therefore, acknowledging the fact that Prophets from God exist as well as individual inspirations by the Holy Spirit of God and Marian Apparitions, how does a prophet and/or an individual know that he/she is not being deceived into falling in the trap resulting from Cognitive Dissonance? Quite, quite simple.
First - Just like a Marian visionary, an individual chosen by God to fulfill a key role in the history of mankind, does not "get up in the morning" and say: "I am a prophet and I will speak in the Name of God." That awareness comes slowly until the human being can properly assimilate it. Were the information of the Divine appointment were given all at once, the psychosomatic system of the creature could not endure it.
The best examples of "white" and "black" that we can give takes us to St. John Bosco (7) and Josemaría Escrivá (8). In the case of St. John Bosco - the "white" - it was a gradual awareness via dreams, inspirations, and, above all, seeing the hand of God. In the case of Josemaría Escrivá - the "black" - was a clear case of "wanting to be" ("wannabee" in American slang) what he was not called to be.
Second - How does the "awareness that comes slowly" be confirmed on a day to day basis? The best way to achieve it was published recently in our Divine Inspiration page. Quoting from it:
In all true discipleship, and in the true spiritual development of each disciple, there is first the wonder and the joy of first acquaintance, then comes the long plain stretch of lesson-learning and discipline, when Joy seems so much a thing of the past as never to be recaptured again.
But constant experience of Me, the constant persistent recognition of My Intervening Hand in daily happenings - the ever accumulating weight of evidence in support of My Guidance - the numberless instances in which seeming chance or wonderful coincidence can be, must be, traced back to My loving forethought, - all these gradually engender a feeling of wonder, certainty, gratitude, followed in time by Joy.
Someone may rightfully ask: Why would God allow the "black" version, after all, you claim that God is above all and nothing happens unless God allows it?He allows it for the exact same reason He acted as we read in 1 Kings 22: 1-38
I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. 20 And the Lord said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. 21 And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will persuade him. 22 And the Lord said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.
23 Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee.
There were many prophets whose mouths were moved by a lying spirit, and only one - Micaiah - had the Spirit of God.
This is the method God uses to separate the wheat [the followers of "white"] from the chaff [the followers of "black"]. The light - truth - will draw only those marked for the Eternal Light while the darkness - deceit - will draw those marked for Eternal Damnation.
In the readings for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year "C", we are reminded of a reality that we have explained elsewhere (9) and which helps understand the Divine method to separate the wheat from the chaff. When an individual is born God knows what his/her ending place will be - Heaven or Hell.
First in the Acts of the Apostles we read [our underscoring]:
And the Gentiles hearing it, were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to life everlasting, believed. [Acts 13:48]
Second, in the Gospel of John we read [our underscoring]:
But you do not believe, because you are not of my sheep. My sheep hear my voice: and I know them, and they follow me. 28 And I give them life everlasting; and they shall not perish for ever, and no man shall pluck them out of my hand. That which my Father hath given me, is greater than all: and no one can snatch them out of the hand of my Father. [John 10: 26-29]
Therefore, some method must be set up by God so that a human who is not destined to Heaven, through his/her own free will choose the Eternal Darkness.
Should we "help God" and give a push to whomever we think is going to hell so that he/she gets there for sure? Of course not! On the contrary - they must be warned just in case a child of the light has been entrapped within the web of darkness. (10)
That is why we must never judge an individual; his/her actions in the light of the teachings from God, yes, but his/her final destination, no.
It is imperative that the Faithful remembers that Blind Obedience is not from God. God does not speak from both sides of His mouth - He is Perfectly Coherent.
On the other hand, religious leaders, self appointed prophets, alleged visionaries, etc. are certainly capable of speaking from "both sides of the mouth", and many certainly do, most especially when there is great institutional and/or personal gain involved.
The Dangers of Denial
(2) Principle of Coherence
(3) Cognitive dissonance
(4) Heaven's Gate Sect
(5) Fatima ignored!
(7) The Trajectory of St. John Bosco
(8) Opus Dei References
(9) Mysteries of the Faith
(10) An invitation to key Opus Dei leaders
Issued on April 26, 2010 - Feast of Mary, Mother of Good Counsel - European Union
For Related Documents:
On Brainwashing Techniques
God : Man : Miracles : Parapsychology : Faith : Mind
Mysteries Of God That Allow Us To Better Understand Heavenly Messages