Ten Commandments of Everyday Living: 5
honest in deed and truthful in word – avoid exaggeration and
compromising the truth for the sake of a good line.
extent to which we can be honest in our dealings with ourselves and the
rest of the world is the measure our self-acceptance.
we lie we are concealing a part of ourselves.
Why do we need to do that? That
is what a spiritually aware person needs to find out.
We also need to find out the ways in which we lie because much
lying is done largely unconsciously.
But let us deal with one thing at a time.
intentional lie is the one that is designed to create a certain kind of
impression upon the recipient. The reason for the deception is not the
same thing as the reason why we lie.
The reason for the lie will pertain to the details of the
situation; the reason why we lie
pertains to our own disinclination to expose some part of ourselves of
which we are only too aware – or we would not be trying to mask it with
it is written on a form, delivered in an interview or told in casual
conversation, the intentional lie is saying that we know that we
ourselves, what we have to bring to the situation, what we intend doing or
what we have done are not good enough.
And that is what should concern a spiritually aware person because it is
towards that perceived deficiency that he should be sending attention. Why
is it not good enough? How
can it be made good enough? The
spiritually aware person knows -or needs to learn- that he is given his
time in incarnation to attend to such things, not to cheat himself through
cheating others. To
understand the need for the deception is far more useful than simply
feeling guilty because we have said or done something dishonest.
a lie sets in motion its own train of consequences and we should be aware
of this; but the immediate issue is the denial of self and the damage done
by this. Each lie is an act
of disownment and the cumulative effect of this is destructive of a
person’s chances of finding self-acceptance and being given acceptance
intentional lie is a dangerous thing and should be handled with care: it
will make a weakness weaker. As
people working on self, can we risk this?
We should at least identify the aspect of ourselves we are
indulging before making the deception.
each year we deal with a considerable number of people who, despite the
fact that our web site gives so much freely, try and confuse our systems
to get yet more from us without paying.
It is for them to know what good they think that this can do.
there are what in England, at least, are called ‘white lies’.
White lies are those used to avoid mentioning matters that are
considered socially embarrassing or likely to cause hurt to another.
In terms of personal integrity, white lies are generally considered
more acceptable, socially and personally.
Unwisely so. We may say that we use white lies in order to spare another
but this is an effect, not the basic cause of the lie: the basic cause is
in that part of ourselves that hates the discomfort of knowing we have
caused hurt, embarrassment and disappointment, regardless of the
aspirants are often rather proud of that part of themselves that attests
to their sensitivity, but anyone
trying to sort out his or her
own truth should watch those white lies because they can be very
pernicious, giving as they do, agreement and endorsement to the
expectations that another has of us.
If we simply want a quiet life then we may be happy to enter into
this kind of deal, but if we are trying to live more authentically and
freely, we need to watch out for the white lie.
In its acquiescence it may be more damaging than the overt lie used
intentionally to manipulate a situation.
are not responsible for the expectations of others; they are.
If we take on that task we are acquiescing to the tyranny of their
expectations in our lives. Those
with Libra strong in their charts and planets in Houses 7&8 need to be
particularly aware of this tendency to bring confusions, complications and
powerlessness into their lives by the use of white lies and economies
involving the truth. Aries
and House 1 cannot be bothered with pretence: they are focused and direct
which is why their energy is strong and invigorating.
am not saying do not ever tell white lies as a kindness to another; I am
saying, consider the implications of needing to give a person what they
want to hear, and who, really, this lie is serving, and then let the
circumstances decide whether it is justifiable or not.
lie from a place of strength and self-control is a very different thing:
then we do not call it a lie but conscious dissemblance.
Professional veneers mask the mood and inclinations of the
personality holding that function. We
accept that and would not like it if it were otherwise.
spiritual traditions encourage students to use conscious dissemblance as a
way to shake off a constricting identification with a certain way of
presenting self and to release creative
capacity. It is wholly
manipulative in intention, but not necessarily of others.
teachers are dissemblers and they have to take full responsibility for
this. They will pay a very
high price if the dissemblance falls to the level of a lie.
How and why they dissemble is for the teacher to know and for their
students to eventually understand as a necessary part of the coming-of-age
process. At the beginning of
the association a student is not ready for this realisation, and it is
from this unreadiness that so much guru worship originates.
easy to detect than the intentional lies are the lies that we tell
ourselves on an almost continuous basis by way of self-justification and
explanation. Sometimes the
explanations are voiced to others, sometimes not; almost always they will
be used to explain why we have not or will not be doing something.
catch yourself in the process of backing out of an arrangement in which
you no longer want to be involved, a piece of work that you have not
completed, a diet that you want to give up, a payment you do not want to
make, or the question you do not want to have to answer.
You will find out a great deal about yourself and about the process
of lying to ourselves. (We
might as well make our lying useful to us.
We do enough of it!)
inventions are very revealing of what we fear people will judge and
despise us for. So the
bone-idle person speaks of busyness, and the friendless person of too many
unwelcome social engagements.
The person who is afraid of the challenge will say that he is bored
or unconcerned by matters that confront him.
The loveless will claim a lack of interest in love, and the person
who does not want to exercise will use health problems as an excuse.
The person who fears ordinariness or emotional disclosure will
exaggerate and try to be humorous.
British humour is based upon the creation and recounting of a falsified,
more controlled relationship between self and other, or self and the
circumstances which have taken place.
It is, at heart, evasion of the unpardonable offence of being
ordinary, having human reactions, some of which may be painful and
undignified, to the things which we experience.
We call it irony although another term for it is dysfunctionality.
are all examples of the way we lie to ourselves.
So accustomed to doing it, we are barely aware of what we are
doing; so accustomed to passing it off as the truth that we are
disconcerted to find it is in fact lying.
said it is not what we do not do
that matters but the reasons that we give for not doing it.
Through these justifications and excuses, spoken or unspoken, we
are creating a reality from a fabric of lies and getting further and
further away from the truth of ourselves.
Much illness is caused by this process of needing to find excuses.
will be angry if we lie and are found out because it is like being found
with our pants down. Students
get embarrassed and then very angry with teachers who challenge their
explanations and excuses even though they may be suffering like hell in
the grip of barely conscious self-deception, and even though there will be
precious few occasions in a lifetime to have the strategy exposed (and
lying of this kind is always part of a strategy).
Catching one lie is like getting a good hold on a piece of
bindweed: it is possible to pull away the lot.
If the opportunity is resisted then a student will have to lie even
harder to try to prove the teacher was wrong.
That is the nature of lying: it has to be sustained by more lying.
lose many students each year to this process, but this month’s Letter
of the Month is from one
who has held her ground and understands the point of the process if not
all that is involved. Her
courage is remarkable and so too will be the rewards.
be honest and direct is a great freedom.
It releases us from complications and misunderstandings and
restores self-worth. It gives
us back our lives to make a fresh start.
It encourages us to say why
not to a challenge, instead
of falling back on cannot.
It releases more energy than you can possibly imagine.
And the interesting thing is that despite all our fears, the
repercussions of being honest are never as negative over time as those
resulting from a lie.
Prove it to yourself.
first just listen to yourself giving our intentional lies and making
are you doing it? What are you trying to conceal?
Understand this first before resolving to stop.