Occasionally I am confronted by a person who would tell me a lie straight to my face. He would do this with ample conviction, so much so that it’s hard to believe he recognizes he is not telling the truth. When I run into situations like this, after the initial shock, I try to look at myself; can this person be me?
Do I lie? Of course I do. We all do. Some more than others. A person who claims to always be speaking the truth is, most likely, untruthful…
The thing is that on many instances, we feel so uncomfortable with lies and half-truths we tell, that we convince ourselves our fiction is actually a matter of fact. Deep inside we know better, but the more we need to cover up, the more we start to believe these are not really lies. We make up a reality that fits our then-current needs.
I remember years ago, in the aftermath of the Monica Lewinsky affair, reading an interview with a source close to Bill Clinton. That person explained that Clinton talked himself into really believing that his stint with Lewinsky was not actual sex. I have no doubt that even if he did (so believe,) deep inside him, the grain of truth remained, scorching and disturbing. Yet, in order to convince others, one must first convince himself. It is a sorry case as once we lie, a disharmony is immediately formed within; a discord that shatters any inner peace we may aspire to achieve. It is the essence of the word Shanti; its true meaning in Sanskrit. Shanti is typically translated in the West as peace and bliss, but these are just the results of Shanti; for as by itself it means that our thoughts, words and actions are one and the same. If we feel we must lie, at least it’s worthwhile bringing some mindfulness to the process and doing it without denial. A stain on the soul is worse than a stain on a dress.
Learned from: a lying incident