Friday, December 3, 2010

To Hell with Closure!

Since the first chapter of ‘The Art of Navigation’ is entitled ‘A Cognitive Dissonance’, I have been getting a lot of questions about this concept during a recent series of radio interviews. As a result, my fascination with this phenomenon has deepened exponentially. 

A cognitive dissonance describes the discomfort that arises when we are holding two conflicting and apparently irreconcilable ideas simultaneously. A simple example would be that we suddenly learn about the serious criminal past of a person for whom we have the utmost respect and with whom we had only positive interactions.

The linear mind immediately wants to reduce the emerging discomfort by rearranging beliefs and perceptions to arrive at certainty, usually at the cost of truth. If we resist this automatic response, however, a beautiful, unexpected and fresh spaciousness can arise that is the more pronounced, the stronger the dissonance.

Profound cognitive dissonances can lead to extended periods of internal silence. We literally don’t know what to think anymore. These episodes naturally allow our attention to merge with the undifferentiated, non-dualistic, and pre-cognitive background awareness that is the source of all existence – a (non)experience that is usually not available because our attention is distracted, mesmerized, and isolated by the unbroken stream of our thoughts.

On deeper examination it seems apparent that the mind’s obsession with certainty and closure is actually a tremendous liability for our natural evolution towards freedom and true Self-realization.

Rather than trying to make a more comprehensive case in this regard, I want to urge you to explore this for yourself and experience the defiant freshness and rapidly increasing openness of resisting the mind’s respective conditioning.

There is a very wholesome excitement that comes out of defying the mind’s dualistic obsession with good and bad, right and wrong, and one-pointed, dead ended certainty.



  1. thank you for the reminder to remember...unexpected and timely relief from a dualisicalltally implanted mind...its "work" was on automatic...separated, self-consumed with closure nondualism synchronicity abounds..with ONE MIND we become One Moment...INTENT

  2. So taking you at your word, you're saying if a person you trust turns out to actually have a serious criminal past that is a good thing because "a beautiful, unexpected and fresh spaciousness can arise"?

  3. Anonymous: what i am saying is that encountering two conflicting and irreconcilable truths can be a great opportunity to transcend our obsession with certainty and with having to have an opinion about everything. The result of letting go and letting them both be true can be the experience of a beautiful, unexpected and fresh spaciousness indeed. I am certainly not saying that it is a good thing if a person i trust turns out to have a serious criminal past. :-)

  4. Hey Felix how do I add you on facebook for some reason I can only subscribe to your page. This is Alex btw SCLA/Camus R.

    1. our facebook name is felixandcarmela wolf. or let us know your facebook name and we'll friend you. :-)

  5. Dear Felix!

    21 December 2012 soon...
    Have you any news about second book publishing?

    Best regards!

    1. no next book for the time being...
      have moved towards the 'zero point' in recent years. :)
      who knows what is on the other side of a black hole though. something here loves writing and there is an intuition that words might be forthcoming.
      warm regards!

  6. our current political climate is a perfect environment to reconcile cognitive dissonance.