Lying Is A Protective Measure - Grasshopper
TV doctor Gregory House told us "everybody lies." What he didn't tell us was the rest of the story.
We lie to protect ourselves. It serves a grand purpose when a big, muscular man asks us if we were the person who sprayed his dog with a garden hose. "Not me" is the prudent and protective answer.
"Honey, does this dress make me look fat?" The proper and prophylactic lie is always to say "No."
Whether we're protecting our own person or the feelings of another, we lie. That seems totally acceptable to me.
Where lying deceives us is when we do it to preserve our image. "I would never do such a thing." Lie!
The result of telling the truth is losing the lie we made up about ourselves – a fate worse than death for many of us.
We will go to great lengths to protect this image – one that is made of wet cardboard.
Lying props up this image, but all the lying takes its toll on our mental well-being. We always have to remember all the lies we've told about ourselves before we respond. That takes a lot of computing power, which drains us.
The moment of freedom is the day we stop pretending we're the image that we attempt to portray every day. The weight of the lie is lifted and we no longer have to be whom we want others to see. We can just be.
We no longer have to protect a false image. When we let it fall by the wayside, we tap into who we are without our image. Who we really are is absent of explanation and it says so much without uttering a word.
Who you are cannot be named. It's like the ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao-Tzu reminded us in the opening verse of the Tao Te Ching: "The Tao that can be explained with words is not the Tao." The verse goes on to say, "We desire to understand the world by giving names to the things we see, but these things are the effects of something subtle. When we see beyond the desire to use names, we can sense the nameless cause of these effects."
I'm reminded of the famous interview Richard Nixon gave to David Frost 3 years after he resigned as President of the United States. There was nothing he could admit to in that interview that would have caused him personal jeopardy because he had an ironclad presidential pardon from President Gerald Ford. But he continued to lie. For what reason? To preserve an image he had of himself that didn't match up with the abundant facts to the contrary.
You can lie to your grave by living your lie. But I submit you'll have a much more peaceful life when you let your image die.
All the best,
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