In A Rumor of Angels (1969), Peter L. Berger describes believers as a “cognitive minority” whose standards of knowledge deviate from what is publicly taken for granted. Berger wrote about “plausibility structures.”
People need the social support of a like-minded community in holding that a given account of reality is plausible. When such support is weakened, people need to muster a strong personal determination in order to maintain their awareness when their experience is out of line with the beliefs of those around them.
Maintaining your grounding and inner sense of happiness requires massive focus when the culture around you is asleep, in a consensus trance, heightened today by social media, most of which is an addiction to practicing a mythology of limitation and suffering. Try to break free and like two lobsters in a bucket no one escapes. They keep pulling each other back in.
Berger’s is a social and psychological analysis of the situation in which people find themselves, quite apart from the truth of what they may experience as true. “It is, of course, possible to go against the social consensus that surrounds us,” Berger notes, “but there are powerful pressures (which manifest themselves as psychological pressures within our own consciousness) to conform to the views and beliefs of our fellow men.” This is precisely the experience of anyone living in a dominantly unconscious culture.
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