Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pharisees and the Double Bind?


The Double Bind
The double bind is a type of cognitive dissonance wherein you are "damned if you do and damned if you don't." Jesus referred to the technique of the “double bind” when he chastised the Pharisees for their “thought stopping” riddle regarding swearing by the temple, which meant nothing, versus the more binding oath of swearing by the gold of the temple (Mt. 23:16-17).


Contradictory and/or complex bits of information communicated simultaneously causes temporary confusion and disorientation (e.g., The harder I try to understand, the more I will never understand. Understand?) The Pharisees were intimidating (emotion) and demanded others to agree. They also wanted to solicit behavior and modeled it for others. Such a divisive presentation of information in a controlled environment and in pressured conversation induces most people to respond by a temporary suspension of thought. There you are, in front of a Pharisee, and you are under pressure. They are also dangling your eternal fate over your own head, baiting you to comply. Resistance isn't futile, but it is often difficult under certain circumstances. This causes adaptation of behavior to fit the circumstance created to establish dominance and manipulative control over the will of the individual.

That's one way that thought reform can go to church or meet you at the door when you arrive.