I am doing a two-part series on lying in the Huffington Post. I thought I’d add another layer to it with my weekly website blog. So, here goes.
Lying never really works, even good lies have a bad side. The reason lying never really works is because even the compassionate liar (the person who lies to make someone feel better), is feeling superior. He thinks he knows what’s best for you. At some level, he thinks he’s special – the wise one. It becomes an ego trip to some greater or lesser degree.
People love telling lies when it makes them feel special. And it makes them feel special when the lies make them look like they have information that no one else has. The lie is always the liars own creation … and he can decorate it in ways that make him look smart. Again, an ego trip.
Unfortunately, many men have become leaders because they invented great lies and convinced their community to believe the lies. Worst example – Adolph Hitler; he learned that a lie spoken repeatedly becomes the truth. And that’s what he did. He simply said the same lies about superiority again and again, until he convinced a nation of people to believe him. He lived his lies in every way, until it destroyed him and his nation of followers.
Might I ask you this without offending you? How can there be 1,000 religions, all telling different stories about God? Certainly, someone began the stories, and they cannot all be true. If they were all true, then there would be only one religion. It seems that religions are founded on some truths, but also on some lies. This is not a statement against religions. It is simply something worth noticing.
Spiritual lies about God and the universe are difficult to disprove. That is why the lies about God having a personality or a God having a scorecard on each of us can exist for a thousand years and go undetected. How can you prove it’s not true, other than your intuition saying, “Hmm, I wonder.” Because of the unexplainable nature of spirituality, the starter of spiritual lies is protected from being exposed.
Also, what makes a lie undetectable is the confidence with which it is spoken. When a lie is spoken with an air of certainty, when it is spoken without hesitation – the liar has credibility. Listeners believe what they hear without contemplation.
Lies have become so commonplace in the world that when a person of truth comes along, and speaks the simple truth, listeners feel confused. They have to drop their tradition of believing what everyone has insisted is true. Unfortunately, many will choose to silence the truth teller and stay with the lies that they’ve accepted as true.
Socrates was silenced for being a truth teller about the nature of mankind. Abe Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King were also silenced for telling the truth about everyone’s right to live freely. Mahatma Gandhi was silenced for telling the truth about India’s right to be free as a nation of people. Joan of Arc was condemned to execution by burning because she defied the lie that the king was the highest power of all. Indeed, when people have to drop their lifetime investment in a lie, in order to absorb the truth, they will do desperate things to silence the truth teller.
Think about when you’ve lied. What compelled you to do that? Was it that you got people to pay attention to you? Was it that you got to feel superior because you had the inside scoop? Were you doing it to make someone else feel good, and yet – isn’t that taking on an air of superiority (I know what is best for you)?
Whenever we play games in our relationships – we’re lying, aren’t we? Although you can feel like there is a gain coming from the lie, there is a tremendous loss – you are losing your soul. I don’t mean you are casting it into hell. Your soul’s role is to live by the truth, and anything less than that is a loss of integrity. What greater loss can there be?
How do we stop lying? Stop taking pleasure in it. Unlearn the Art of Lying by stopping right in the middle of a lie and saying, “I’m sorry. I’m up to my old habit. Please let me start again.” This isn’t easy to do, but when you do it, you experience a true feeling of human dignity, and an incredible new world of truth opens to you.
I write this, not only to share with you, but also to help me understand the complex psychology of lying more deeply. What might you add as a comment to give further support to the practice of truth-telling?
Thank you and Blessings
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