Last night I had some very strange dreams and woke up feeling a bit disoriented. But I proceeded to initiate my day as I normally do. You know, in front of the mirror brushing my teeth, washing my face, combing my hair. But something about my reflection was nerving me out–the “me” in my mind was not the “me” in the mirror.
Self-perception can be a problem.
Marian Keech and her cult group known as The Seekers claimed they’d received a message from the inhabitants of planet Clarion telling them that the world was about to be destroyed. Luckily, thanks to their faith, the Seekers would be rescued by a flying saucer. So on the evening of December 21, 1954, they sat around together waiting for the apocalypse. The Seekers waited and waited but nothing happened. However, instead of admitting that they’d been wrong, they said it was thanks to their prayers that God had decided to prevent the destruction.
When reality attacks our illusions, we try to rationalize the irrational. This tendency to seek consistency when there is inconsistency is known as cognitive dissonance. In other words, we lie to ourselves when we aren’t happy with the truth.
So am I really me or just somebody else?
Bibliography: Leon Festinger. “When Prophecy Fails”. Harper-Torchbooks. New York. 1956.