Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Live Them

That would be us. For, depending on how you look at it, God became man so that man might become God. Or, Brahman became Maya so that Maya might become Brahman. Or perhaps Truth became falsehood so that falsehood might become Truth.

The enigmatic Christian esoterist Boris Mouravieff wrote that “We live in a world ruled by lies. Lying and stealing are the dominant elements of human character whatever the race, creed or caste. Whoever says that this is not true simply tells another lie. Man lies because in a world ruled by lies it is not possible to for him to do otherwise.... [T]he progress of this civilization, which is the fruit of an intellectual culture, considerably increases the need for lying.”

I believe it was Burke who said that culture “reconciles a man to everything,” no matter how foolish or barbarous the custom. But some cultures are so immersed in the Lie that they cannot help producing lying liars, most dramatically in the Middle East, but obviously here in the United States as well, only in a more subtle form. For example, the pressure of political correctness is an instrument of coercion designed to reconcile you to the infrahuman lies of the left.

In conducting a psychological evaluation, patients are often motivated to lie--to make it appear that they are better off than they actually are, or worse off than they actually are, or that one thing is responsible for their distress when it is actually another. And yet, a part of them knows they are lying and is uncomfortable with the fact. In his heart, even absent a divine commandment, man (a normal man, anyway) knows that he should not lie. Why is that? Why this grudging respect for a thing called truth, even among cynical postmodernists who are too jaded to believe that such a thing exists?

We live in a world of forces. Just as human beings are tripartite entities consisting of body, mind and spirit, there are physical forces, mental forces, and spiritual forces. In the spiritual-intellectual realm, truth is a force. There is a counter-force which we call "lying," which, if you think about it for even a moment, has probably had a greater impact and influence on the world than Truth. Or at the very least, it is a constant battle. Truth is always embattled on all sides, just as light is surrounded by darkness. Darkness, on the other hand, is not necessarily surrounded by light. Not for nothing did Jesus crack that the adversary “was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own substance, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

This is an interesting statement, for it suggests that lies are somehow a "human substance," somewhat like a spider that spins a web out of its own body. Truth, on the other hand, is not, and cannot be of human origins. It is somehow anterior to us, and it is only for us to discover or remember it--what Plato called anamnesis. And oh what a tangled web we weave, compared to the spider.....

You'd think it would be uncontroversial to utter a simple truth, but you'd be wrong, wouldn't you? If you don't believe in the force of falsehood, try sharing a controversial but banal truth at one of our elite universities, such as "men and women are fundamentally different and, on average, excel at different things," or "children do better with a mother and a father than with two mothers and two fathers," or “racial quotas hurt blacks," or “some, if not most, cultures are patently sick." It seems that to carry Truth is to pick up a cross and paint a target on one's back.

Animals cannot lie. While they can have certain naturally selected mechanisms of deception, they cannot live a lie (actually, as an astute commenter mentioned the other day, it might be possible if the luckless pet has a particularly nutty owner, like James Wolcott). But living a lie is in the normal course of events for human beings. Talleyrand once remarked that language was given to man so as to conceal his thoughts. Interestingly, this problem is fully recognized in scripture, as the very first conversations recorded in the Bible are a tissue of lies. The serpent lies to the woman, the woman transmits the lie to the man, and the man lies about it to God. The very emergence of self-consciousness seems to be inseparable from lying. Isn’t that interesting?

A cursory glance at history--or at the idiotorial pages of the New York Times--establishes the fact that lying is absolutely fundamental to human existence, even though the idea wasn't systematized until the early 20th century, in the works of Freud (the good Freud) and his followers. In particular, the psychoanalyst W.R. Bion developed a sophisticated epistemology (or sophistemology, for short) showing how a vital lie is at the basis of most all forms of psychopathology. He made the provocative observation that the lie requires a thinker to think it, whereas the truth does not, for it simply is. We discover truth, but it takes a thinker to concoct the lie (and, I might add, a brilliant thinker such as Marx or Chomsky to create the most grandiose lies). And once the lie is in place, it causes the psyche to enter a sort of parallel universe, for it constructs itself on the foundations of that primordial lie.

In my own colorful terminology, I have called these internalized lies "mind parasites." I believe the term is an accurate one, for it is meant to convey the idea that a vital lie that lodges itself in the psyche is not static, but takes on the characteristics of the host, so to speak. I remember once discussing this with my analyst. I don't remember the exact context of the problem I was whining about (or if I’m lying about not remembering) but he said words to the effect of, "What do you expect? It's as smart as you are."

Ah ha! In other words, the mind parasite has at its disposal all of the marvelous hi-tech machinery of the mind. Therefore, it can easily justify itself, elaborate itself, gang up on the truth, intimidate healthier parts of the psyche. It's like a dictator who uses legitimate means to come to power, but then corruptly uses all of the levers of power to stay there and eliminate opponents--similar to how liberalism gradually morphed into the leftism which now controls the Democratic party.

Just as freedom and truth are necessarily linked--i.e., no one who is living a lie is actually free--those who are in thrall to the lie are slaves. While they may enjoy a subjective sense of freedom, it is an illusion. In fact, they have forfeited their freedom and are attached to a spiritually suffocating demon generated out of their own psychic substance, just like the above referenced spider.

Think of a vivid example that comes readily to mind--the Islamists. Is it not obvious to one and all (er, no) that they are absolutely enslaved by artificial beings of their own creation? And that they want everyone else to be enslaved by the same demon? Does this not demonstrate the insane power of demons and the lies they propagate? And how the liberal media simply treats the lie as another variety of truth? You know, who are we to judge? The Middle East is just too complex.

There are personal mind parasites and collective mind parasites. Many cultures revolve entirely around monstrous entities that have been engendered by whole communities, such as the Aztec. Here again, it would be wrong to say that the Aztec had a bloodthirsty god--rather, it clearly had them. Thousands upon thousands of human beings sacrificed to satisfy this god's appetite for human blood, elaborate mechanisms set up to supply fresh bodies, the heart of the sacrificial victim cut out by the officiating priest who would himself take a bite out of it while it was still beating. A whole society of Jeffrey Dahmers trying desperately to allay their existential anxiety by vampirically ingesting the life force of others. The head-chopping Izlambies are just the latest edition of this primordial anti-religion. But you undoubtedly know some people in your own life who do the same thing--hungry ghosts who "feed" on the spirit (or blog) of others.

In all times and in all places, human beings have looked for ways to objectify, worship, and appease their self-created demons. This is preferable to having them run around loose in one's own psyche. Take again the example of the typical beast of Islamist depravity. How would one even begin to tell him: "you have a persecutory entity inside of you that your life revolves around. You have placed it outside of yourself, in the 'infidels,' so as to make your life bearable, for it conceals a truth that is too painful to endure. Would you like to put down that meat cleaver and talk about it?"

To a large extent, this dynamic is at the heart of more mundane politics as well. For those who do not experience George Bush as a demon, it is almost impossible to understand those who do, any more than we can really understand the motivations of the Aztec. The collective mind parasite has a grammar and logic all its own, inaccessible to all but initiates into the Lie.

You don't actually want to get that close to an intoxicating Lie of that magnitude. It's not safe. Better to observe it from a respectful distance. Otherwise, you will find yourself pulled down into a false world of counter-lying rather than simple truth. You cannot create an artificial "good demon,” which is what secular leftists are trying to do when they aren't creating bad ones. Those critical critics who criticize my "negativity" probably think I am engaging in the former--heatedly countering the lie--when I am calmly engaged in the latter--simply affirming the truth. This is the inner meaning of "resist not evil." Resist it in the wrong way, and you come into its orbit.

For a demon operates through a combination of will and imagination. You may think of perverse will as the male principle and perverse imagination as the female principle. Together they beget the demon child that then controls the parents, taking over both will and imagination. Consider how so much art and academic nonsense is nothing more than the elaboration of the perverse imagination--ideological superstructures giving cover to lies of various magnitude. Think of how much "activism" is simply the angry agitation of the perverse will.

Truth is a living thing, a Being that cannot be reduced to the idolatrous systems of men, especially corrupted men who do not honor Truth to begin with. Most modern and postmodern ideologies and philosophies are opiates for elites too sophisticated for such nonsense as Truth. But like all misused drugs, “Lies gravely affect our mind; they distort the undeveloped organs of the Personality, upon which depends the effort that must lead us to the second Birth.... Even more, lying makes the man who aspires to evolution go backwards” (Mouravieff).

Why is that? Maybe because the Truth became falsehood so that falsehood might become Truth.


Dr. Sanity said...

Regarding animals living a lie: I knew a man who was a vegetarian and who decided that his new kitten would have to be a vegetarian also. I remember pointing out to him that while humans were omnivores, cats were simple carnivores and that this did not seem a good idea. "It will be good for him," was his response. Within a year, this man had the most psychotic cat I have ever seen. Eventually, he had to put the cat down because it had become violent and attacked everyone (particularly his crazy-making owner). I don't think he ever acknowledged his part in the psychosis.

Robert said...

Thank you again for your insights. One small thought along this line:

One leftist canard is that ignorance leads to sin. e.g. The answer to crime is education. But rather reality usually works the other way: sin leads to ignorance.

When I sin, that is will and act in a way I know to be wrong, act opposite to the truth, to make my mind comfortable with my actions (else guilt will destroy me) I must work to justify myself, convince myself that reality is something else, lie to myself. Hence my mental picture of the world must diverge more and more from reality. That is, I make myself stupid. This, of course makes it easier for me to sin in some new area, since the truth within me that I must deny to act so is smaller.

A conservative Christian.

Will said...

>>Is it not obvious to one and all (er, no) that they are absolutely enslaved by artificial beings of their own creation?<<

Some esotericists make a distinction between Lucifer and Satan, the former being a pure "opposing principle", necessary for Creation to exist, the latter being a perversion of the former, created and given substance by human fantasy.

Satan, "father of lies", then, is given a kind of independent life as a thought-form desirous of its own existence - it demands more fantasy, more lies to make itself more substantial. This is why every negative passion, every lie, builds on itself, magnifies itself into addictions that can never be quenched.

I think at some point, the "temporary insanity" of anger can then become permanent insanity, particularly when the collective fantasy (perverted imagination) reaches a critical mass. At this point, those caught up in it have no chance of saving themselves - they have to act out their insanity in riot and mob.

If, as I believe, the Divine current is intensifying in the world, there will come, is coming, an every-increasing polarity - those who channel the Divine Imagination as Truth, and those who pervert it into fantasy and lies. Attempts to reconcile the two, to seek appeasement, are preposterous lies in themselves. These two modes of consciousness can never "understand" one another. "The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness knows it not."

dilys said...

This version (and this) amplify the comment about "the Father of Lies," and the connection between lies and murder. At base, though not always in our uncertain experience, there is an inviolable distinction: the realm of Truth and where there be Lies. Taqiyya comes to mind:

"the twin techniques of “Taqiyya” and Tu-Quoque have been relied on [for jihad].
“Taqiyya” is the religiously-sanctioned doctrine, with its origins in
Shi’a Islam but now practiced by non-Shi’a as well, of deliberate
dissimulation about religious matters that may be undertaken to protect
Islam, and the Believers. A related term, of broader application, is
“kitman,” which is defined as 'mental reservation...' "

It is easy to self-deceive with a dollop of self-righteousness; attention to the allegiances of will and where imagination lands, as well as the fruit of thoughts and behavior, can help show which territory is which.

The Bunnies said...

I'm not sure if this is true or not, but I heard somewhere that in the Middle East there literally isn't even a concept of truth. Rather, there is only "that which is beneficial to state" and "that which is not." Hence, countless people in Middle Easterne countries who believe both that Osama is a hero for perpretrating 9/11 and that it was all just an elaborate conspiracy by Mossad. Both can't be true an any actual sense, but both enhance the hero/victim mindset, so both in fact are true.

Therefore, supposedly certain Middle Easterners are impervious to lie detectors because they don't feel that internal cringe that Westerners do when they lie.

Does anyone know if this is true or not?

Anne said...

What’s worse than believing one’s own lies is the sick compulsion to emotionally feel something as true, when logically you are quite consciously aware it’s a lie. People do all sorts of damage to themselves. They might internalize the unfounded criticism of others, or conversely they may refuse to acknowledge their mistakes. Others might force themselves to belong to a religion they know is wrong because it’s less painful to doubt themselves than to realize that their omnipotent parental figure is actually flawed – that would leave them devoid of the sense of security they desperately crave.

Someone yesterday commented they don’t understand why in some religions personal property is viewed as a distraction, or worse yet an evil. I would like to respond to that, if you don’t mind.

One day I began thinking intently about all the good and bad in the world, all the wars that had been waged, billions of people past and present who lived, loved, planned, struggled, cried, hoped and died. When I snapped out of my reverie, I looked at my own life and was disgusted by how petty and insignificant most of my concerns are. Suddenly nothing I own and very little of what I did seemed to matter in view of the big picture.

You and I can occasionally contemplate the things I mentioned, but there are some people – Yogis, Buddhists, and others who dedicate their entire lives and minds to contemplating these things, and they can become very wise in certain ways. Their followers, who are not so advanced, want to learn and emulate them. Rather than improving their minds and allowing the physical to follow, some followers force themselves to change the outward things first, whether they are spiritually ready for that sort of change or not. I think they misunderstand – they interpret their teacher’s disinterest in material possessions as a sacrifice, when in actuality it is nothing of the sort. To the teacher, material possessions genuinely do not matter. It’s a question of point of view and priorities.

Will said...

>>Why is that? Maybe because the Truth became falsehood so that falsehood might become Truth.<<

Hmm, there's the question. Was the Fall necessary in order that we achieve self-awareness and eventual partnership with the Creator?

On the individual level, this would certainly seem to be so.

Gagdad Bob said...

O felix culpa!

Or, as Joyce put it, "O foenix culprit!"

I guess the question is, was the snake on a higher or lower plane?

Will said...

>>I guess the question is, was the snake on a higher or lower plane?<<

Or Judas?

Lisa said...

I believe it is a snake on a motherfu#@in plane! ;0)

Aussie Bruce said...

Just found this blog and love it.
But I have a problem, which is that tho I've spent my 50 years trying to believe in spiritual explanations, the 'materialistic' ones work better.

I've lived in and studied many cultures, Hindu, Confucian, Muslim, aboriginal. I don't think any of them even has a notion of Truth as we westerners understand it. The words they translate as truth actually really mean Propriety, which is completely different - don't rock the boat, tell people what they want to hear, these are very common in non-western cultures.

Why is western culture different? Having grown up in a masculine world, now gone, where we settled our differences in non-fatal fisticuffs, I find other cultures the males are weak, yes even effeminate, so they are basically cowards (from our perspective) and would rather acquiesce to power. Parasites (is there a better word?).

We old 'white males' (who did all the wickedness in the world) respect each other due to mutually assured violence. Truth comes, in my view, from warrior communication - the need for effective battle commands.

I could go on, but I simply point out that anyone who has a cosmic belief in Truth or Humanity will have it badly shaken in a traditional Indian, Chinese, African (whatever) village. Until the eyes glaze over and they adopt some lie of excuse ('it's all America/Britain/Somebody Else's fault...'). Which is a serious affliction in the west nowadays.

Anyway keep it up, I'd like to be persuaded that I'm wrong, please please give me a reason to carry on!

Anonymous said...

Lisa - lolol . . .

Thank God H'wood finally had the courage to make a film about the ever-present danger of having snakes take over a plane filled with innocent passengers!!

Look for sequel: Crocs On A Cruise Ship -

will said...

whoops, Lisa, that was me, Will, w/snakes and planes and crocs and cruise ships . . .

Lisa said...

Yeah, Will, I can't wait till they expose the dangers of Nazi Snakes on a Plane! Hollywood is always sooo cutting edge!

Sigmund, Carl and Alfred said...

Absolute home run piece.

I remain astonished that you wrote a whole post on deceit and did not once mention politicians.

gumshoe1 said...

"I guess the question is, was the snake on a higher or lower plane?"

this topic,
and your post,Bob,
brought back to mind a book i'd
seen in the past(i haven't read it beyond the reviews and the author's website)...the author regards the Greek Cosmos as represented by the
didactic sculptures of the Parthenon to be a direct inversion of Old Testament Bible-Torah teaching....snake,self-awareness,apples(the Golden Apples of the Hesperides),a paradisal garden,etc....where the snake is the *enlightener* of mankind,
not his deceiver.

we gotta problem here.

the author(who states his Christian orientation)
has written several books on the topic (ie "what is Greek religion all about?"),and it would appear he disagrees with a long line of "classical authors" and anthropolgists,who tend to see the Greek pantheon as poly-theistic and fairly chaotic.

Jacob Burkhurdt is generally considered the authoritative
academic voice on the topic
(or was before PoMo set in),
and one gathers Mr Johnson's theories would be news to him,
and the rest of classical academia as well..( i even tried to get an
emailed reply from VDH on the response).

"The Parthenon Code: Mankind's History in Marble" (Hardcover)
by Jr., Robert Bowie Johnson

I can't endorse the author or his work,and at some level it has the
whiff of an anthropolgical thriller
not unlike the DaVinci Code(even down to the title)...but the author has clearly done some legwork.

Johnson's book poses the
history as a full-on battle,
and puts forward his views of the Parthenon as the Greek society's record in stone of this battle.

there is in fact a (limited?) tradition of Hebrew condemnation
of Greek mores and behaviors
and specfically Hellenistic-era
behaviors (one imagines the ancient Greek endorsement homosexuality to be at least one major point of condemnation by the Hebrews)

PS - in addtion to VDH,
i also wrote a rambling email to
Dr. Santy about it...which she undoubtedly binned immediately.

i'll still take credit for pointing her to Hicks'
"Explaining Post-Modernism,tho.

Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, the snake as hero is an old heretical gnostic idea (the bad kind, i.e., Gnosticism, as opposed to gnosis). Then again, as Will pointed out, it may just be an allegory for something that was inevitable given the metaphysical structure of the cosmos, that is, the relative as manifestion of the Absolute. Either way, to the extent that we remain hypnotized by the relative, we are Schnooks on a Plane.

Connecticut Yankee said...

I was struck when I was studying Greek (classical and New Testament) by the professor's remark one day that the Greek word for truth (aletheia) is related to Lethe, the river of forgetfulness in classical mythology. Aletheia is that which is un-forgotten or remembered or kept in mind-- which perhaps suggests that lies function by causing people to forget the truth, not just deny it or distort it. Lying seems to induce a kind of permanent amnesia in some of its practitioners.

Years ago I came across Scott Peck's second book (People of the Lie), in which he drew connections between narcissistic disorders and habitual lying. That opened my eyes to the true extent of the narcissistic pathology in my extended family and the huge amount of damage caused by the lies that were told. Lots of therapists talk about "family secrets"; I'm beginning to think someone should write a casebook of "family lies."

Gagdad Bob said...

Ah yes, The Lies that Bind.

Connecticut Yankee said...

Maybe "the lies that blind," too.

Van said...

Ahh! You're synchronistically beating me to the post topic again! Although I guess if I'd been counting the commandments... ah well.

Remember that the big daddy legitimizer of all leftist thought, ol' couldn't Kant proclaimed in the preface to his Critique of Pure Reason: “I have found it necessary to deny knowledge, in order to make room for faith”.

Why ANYONE would bother reading a single word more of his in the pursuit of Truth and understanding, I can not for the life of me understand. He not only declared his intent to deny, twist & lie about 'how things are' but in the same breath declared that it was ok to lie, cheat & steal... as long as your motives were good - setting the pattern for what would become the leftist game plan for the next 200 years: The Ends DO justify the means.

You'd think that that would have gotten him a big red "L" for liar branded right on his forehead - or at least a really big whopping wedgie. So much for Philosophy meaning “love of wisdom “ or even a respect for Truth.

I'm really enjoying this series of Posts!

Van said...

"In fact, they have forfeited their freedom and are attached to a spiritually suffocating demon generated out of their own psychic substance, just like the above referenced spider."... "...wrong to say that the Aztec had a bloodthirsty god--rather, it clearly had them...""...The collective mind parasite has a grammar and logic all its own, inaccessible to all but initiates into the Lie...""...This is the inner meaning of "resist not evil." Resist it in the wrong way, and you come into its orbit..."

Oh... there is so much in that, you've got the Mt. Everest of the Vertical depth there!

grant said...

Sri Aurobindo asserted that even the most deluded, demon-ridden person (like your meat-cleaver wielding Islamofascist) contains a certain core element of uncorruptible truth-consciousness, which he called the "Psychic Being." This element, present in all people, unerringly knows the truth, and is in fact composed of of a kind of truth-substance. This, if true, and I think it is, explains why "everyone has a grudging respect for the truth" because at a very deep level, everyone does in fact "know" truth and knows it very intimately by the very certainty of identity.
Therefore, when contemplating people who live in the thrall of lies, it is comforting to remember that when their "web of lies" is ever loosened, the truth awaits them as an automatic default setting.
As Aurobindo saw it, everyone is going to return to truth in the end. Those who do Yoga, or are in the process of leaving regular consciousness for the better consciousness of the "psychic being" are simply getting there faster. It is, in the end, a matter of efficiency.
All slaves, Islamofascists, liberals, psychopaths, etc. make grindingly slow progress towards truth by small increments in each succesive life that they undergo, and eventually they too will be advanced enough to look back on still-deluded souls and cluck in concern.
I say these things to leaven what looks like a bad situation with the optimistic perspective of the long view.
Aurobindo held that the victory of light is inevitable. Darkness may make temporary advancements but will not prevail. That's no excuse to slack off on one's own spiritual journey but may keep one from feeling frenzied, angry, vengeful, etc. A stern dissaproval and corresponding stern action are warranted against lies and liars but hate, anger, or any kind of vital emotions are wrong movements in response lies, liars, and evil.