The Truth About Lying

Mankind has come a long way but we’re still pretty brutal with each other on a fairly routine basis. And I don’t mean insults or cruelty, although those things are becoming increasingly popular unfortunately. What I mean is that we’re so judgmental of those closest to us.

Because some people some where at some time invented the word trust and the words lie and betray, and the phrase let me down, people have come to see these things as absolutes in much the way more and more people see politics. Because you’re one way doesn’t mean you can’t see 598 Relax and Succeed - If we could look into each other's heartsor enjoy the benefits of another way. There’s times in life when one political reaction might prove better than another, just as there are times in life where the truth is not as neat a thing as our judgmental minds would like it to be.

Say your beloved Mom is undergoing chemotherapy and she’s asked you to go wig shopping after she starts to lose her hair. Even if she looks worse than you’ve ever seen her look, are you lying if she asks you how she looks and you tell her “great!” with a big fake smile? No, that’s not lying unless you’re far too literal for healthy human relations. That is clearly an act of love to anyone who’s even remotely in touch with the healthiest parts of themselves. But it doesn’t even have to be that dramatic.

If we say people don’t like lying, what is it they don’t like? It creates a more unpredictable future, so more tension. They don’t like that it also means they have to take into account an ongoing future uncertainty regarding everything the “liar” says to them. And that applies to their past dealings as well, so they wonder about any other potential fallout or false assumptions. And it gets seen as a violation of our commitment to that person. All of that has value and meaning, but it’s not the whole story. Because if we look at why people lie (and everyone does it all day long, they just don’t perceive the things as lies in many cases) , then 598 Relax and Succeed - Most people don't really want the truthwe quickly see that in a huge number of cases the lies only exist to protecting the feelings of the person they’re talking to, someone else, or themselves.

The first two—protecting who you’re talking to, and protecting someone else—those are pretty common and they’re probably easy for you to imagine. But what is it to protect yourself? A good example comes from my younger years. I was dating a stunningly attractive girl that every guy I knew expressed envy over and I agreed. Every time I looked at her I couldn’t believe how lucky I was. But you know what? Beautiful girls often have people focus on their beauty when they’re young. And so they forget that people will love them for who and how they are—that they’re beauty is a separate issue. And so despite the fact that they’re the most beautiful people in any society, they are often commensurately insecure about being beaten out by someone even more attractive.

Over time that insecurity built because there was no action to remove it, but there was steady additions to it. Eventually it gets cumbersome then onerous and finally it’s exasperating. The only thing that was unattractive to me about my girlfriend was that she was constantly questioning my dedication to her. She never realized what an insult that was. And it also resulted in a lot of angry jealous rages which were embarrassing for me as a young man, and it was on more than a few occasions quite extreme.

What those reactions would encourage me to do is lie. Not to really conceal anything meaningful. But because it’s easier on the relationship. So when I was visiting her, would I 598 Relax and Succeed - We are very good lawyerswant to tell her I was at a mall buying shoes from a girl I went to school with that I’ve bought shoes from for 10 years? No. Because that would far too likely lead to an evening-wasting argument about why did I buy them from her rather than from a store two minutes closer? So instead I would lie and say that I was playing video games in a friend’s basement. And that lie is a bad idea, because if she finds out about it she either won’t believe my reasoning and she’ll trust me even less, or she’ll be furious about my reasoning.

So sure, long term the truth as we know it is better. But we would all do well to be a bit more accepting and tolerant of less-than-perfect behaviour. Because unless we’re going to all do that ourselves—and I know that’s not actually possible or desirable—then we really have no business holding other people to what are ultimately inhuman standards. More people lie for good reasons than bad ones. They’re often trying to be kinder, not more selfish.

So be kinder yourself. Let more go. Don’t be so defensive, so busy and so judgmental. Your lack of tolerance will do as much damage to your heart as to your relationships. Relax. See as much value in getting along as you do in being right. And don’t hold people to standards that you yourself couldn’t honestly meet. The world isn’t better when we’re all perfect. The world is better when we’re all open-minded and tolerant.

Have yourself a great day.

peace. s

Other Perspectives #36

504 Relax and Succeed Rebuttal - Apologies don't mean anything

This perception is so common that it’s actually at the heart of much of the world’s interpersonal strife, and it gets applied in a very self-serving manor. So if it’s you who accidentally over-committed yourself and you genuinely feel bad, then you offer a genuine apology, you’ll expect it to be taken sincerely. But we’re all personality types, and if you’re the type that likes to help you’ll get caught accidentally over-committing throughout your life. This is not you failing to be sincere about your apology, it’s simply the other side of you being a dedicated helper. You do feel badly about how things resulted for the offended party, but it’s not like that’s what you were aiming for. It’s a by-product of who you are. So daydreamers are creative but often late because they’re daydreaming. They aren’t failing the all-important you if they sincerely feel badly when they’ve kept you waiting. But they also don’t owe it to you to change their entire personality just to cater to your desires, rules or promises. Because if we make them timely we’ll also lose some very valuable and important aspects of their creative personality. If you make Einstein have a tidy office he may very well not become Einstein. And the same goes for every personality type. Some are good at schedules and organizing but bad at taking direction from others. Others are terrible at leading but are good confidante’s. Some are good confidantes but they’re terrible in group settings. Every coin has two sides, so stop asking other people to be one-sided coins just because that’s what you want. If you stop and really think about it a moment, you don’t want to be held to this standard either because it’s absolutely impossible. If you’re messier than your roommate, you can’t suddenly adopt their standards any more than you can suddenly drive as well as them, or feel comfortable singing in public because they can, or lose your fear of heights just because they don’t have that fear. We each are ourselves. We can change to a degree, but only in our own time through our own sense of things. So if your lover hits you then yes, they are capable of changing but that doesn’t mean they’ll figure out how. So their apologies are sincere but you simply have to accept who they are and you might have to end that relationship if they’re not going to make that change asap. Either way, that’s still not them failing you, that’s them being raised to have counter-productive life strategies. But just like you can’t change yourself for the better instantly just by knowing what “better” is, neither can they. So stop asking for the impossible. Accept who you’re with whether they’re late, or messy, or horny or violent and then act accordingly. Don’t stay in unhealthy situations, but at the same time, don’t equate apologies with commitments to change because those are two different things and even most commitments to change are little more than sincerely well-intentioned efforts to be someone we ultimately are not.

peace. s

Note: Everyone who posts or shares a quote does so with the very best of intentions. That said, I have created the series of Other Perspectives blog posts in an effort to prevent some of these ideas from entering into people’s consciousness unchallenged. These quotes range from silly to dangerous and—while I intend no offense to their creators—I do use these rebuttals to help define and delineate the larger message I’m attempting to convey in my own work. I do hope you find them helpful in your pursuit of both psychological and spiritual health.

Theatre of Life

You’ll use words like wish, or you whine, or you say should or wrong, but whatever reasoning you use, you want something to be a way other than the way it Is. But you don’t get healthy by getting what you want, you get healthy by surrendering all wants and what is exposed is the Isness of life. You just have one problem. You don’t want it the amazing, miraculous, beautiful way it Is, you want it the way you want it. And I’m here to tell you that you’re a great big spiritual baby wallowing in your own egotistical neediness.

454 Relax and Succeed - Life is too importantStop whining. Stop using words to invent expectations and consequences when you could instead just be quiet-minded and immersed in your life. And then you’ll be able to see the work of art that is the story of your life (Lighting and Sets by God). So let’s use an analogy so you can really hold on to the idea:

An Ego is like a person who goes into a theatre and then bitches through the whole movie. They disrupt everyone around them. They talk over dialogue, they complain about every aspect of the film and the theatre. And whether it’s a tense scene, a love scene or even a funny scene, it all feels the same to the Ego. They just sit and bitch because the script isn’t doing what they want it to. And so goes their life. Their time in the theatre ends up being an unpleasant existence instead of an inspired life.

The Spirits on the other hand have become wise. They don’t invite negativity into their life, and so the Spirit is seated in the theatre quietly. Unlike the Ego, the Spirit lets the film wash over them, and they allow each scene to be what it needs to be in order to tell the story of the film’s narrative—in this case, the story of the life they call “theirs.” The Spirit’s life goes up and it goes down. It includes tragic lows, yes. But those are what create the contrast that allows the highs to be so glorious. If you accept that relationship then suddenly it all levels out in a very cool spiritual way.

This is what the philosophical comedian Andy Kaufman was getting at. Have you seen Milos Forman’s brilliant film Man on the Moon? It’s about Kaufman, who was famous for a comedy act where he was basically an asshole. He was an asshole to the media, he was an asshole to David Letterman, he was an asshole in his comedy shows, and he was even an asshole in the wrestling ring. But here’s the catch. Andy was into Transcendental Meditation. And he had 454 Relax and Succeed - The human race has only one reallyreasons to have a clear mind. And those things allowed him to see the Truth. And the Truth was that it was okay if he was an asshole—as long as people got to see the asshole lose. And that’s what Andy did.

Andy’s stage was the theatre of life. He got thrown off Letterman to uproarious cheers from the audience. He looked pathetic when the crowd’s chants scared him, and they cheered at his fear. The best was the ring though, where he would taunt the audience and enrage them, only to be pummelled into oblivion by some meaty giant. And the crowd would go berserk with happiness. And inside, Andy’s bloodied body would smile, despite the fact that a lot of the audience actually thought he was an asshole. Because he didn’t care what they labelled him. He cared about the fact that they experienced thrills and a sense of joy by watching him get crushed. That’s the movie that was playing in Andy’s theatre.

What people think of you or any thing else is irrelevant to your enjoyment of the movie you’re watching. As I’ve said before, the Dalai Lama lived in exile and they shot Gandhi and imprisoned Mandela. You can be super-good and there’s still going to be people that hate you. So don’t cultivate opinions.

Don’t sit in the theatre trying to tell yourself nice stories about what you see on life’s screen. Just let it happen without comment and you will have done as the Buddhist’s say and you will have let it go. You will have experienced acceptance. You will be allowing the story to flow. So don’t pose a life on facebook that’s designed to tell a story make your ex’s jealous. Go live a life that makes you happy. And do that by simply letting the film unfold. Don’t ruin it with negative commentary. Just sit in the theatre and quietly behold the wonder that emerges from the greatest director of all, Creation.

peace. s