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Danger: Cognitive Fusion!


Cognitive fusion

Cognitive fusion is the mind state of not being able to see thoughts as thoughts.

is the state of mind in which we are so fused with our thoughts that they appear to be synonymous with fact. Most suffering in the world is the result of being fused to our beliefs.  In this state, we have such strong identification with and/or attachment to our thoughts and beliefs that we are unable to see what is in fact the literal truth—that our thoughts are nothing but insubstantial mental constructs.  Comedian George Carlin coined the term Brain Droppings—that’s the value I try to assign to my thoughts and beliefs. Health and happiness are optimized once we learn that the brain just keeps secreting thoughts, and that we can develop the skill of watching them appear and disappear just as if we are watching clouds appear, float across the sky, and disappear. This skill is gradually developed after years of mindfulness practice.

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2 Responses to Danger: Cognitive Fusion!

  1. Pamela Lynn August 4, 2012 at 10:59 am #

    interesting, though makes me wonder why if unreal, these thoughts would develope…perhaos from a memory ?

    • Larry Berkelhammer August 7, 2012 at 10:14 am #

      Pamela,
      Thanks for your comment. Many people, like Woody Allen, still spend their lives in psychoanalysis trying to figure out where their thoughts come from. They can afford it and it probably makes their lives richer in some way. However, if you look at the behavioral science research from the last ten years, it becomes clear that trying to figure out where thoughts come from and what they mean is simply an interesting endeavor, but that if we want to genuinely improve health and wellbeing, the most evidence-based path is to practice acceptance for all our thoughts and feelings rather than to analyze them. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, known as ACT is the newest, evidence-based form of psychotherapy and self-help. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acceptance_and_Commitment_Therapy

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