The American Heritage Dictionary defines cognitive dissonance as "A condition of conflict or anxiety resulting from inconsistency between one's beliefs and one's actions, such as opposing the slaughter of animals and eating meat."
From the viewpoint of esoteric work, cognitive dissonance is a ubiquitous condition to which the human is so inured to that most of it even goes unnoticed. A world heavily relying on lies cannot help producing this in any person with a conscience. The further compartmentalization of little 'I's and the eventual formation of buffers (i.e. 'thought-proof' mental compartments) is an eventual result of ignoring cognitive dissonance. All these are harmful for the Work since they dull the inner senses and isolate one from reality when the objective of the Work is precisely the opposite.
The somewhat more positive side of the discomfort produced by cognitive dissonance is that it is a warning system against loss of internal integrity. This can sometimes be of advantage – though rigid prevention of personality disintegration means that the personality becomes stuck at a primitive level. Only a process of disintegration allows the foundation of a person's personality to change, and that is the basis of any significant development.