It is commonly said that everyone lies, but why? Firstly there are little white lies which have little negative impact on life, such as cancelling an appointment because your “car broke down” rather than the truth that you just don’t feel like going. Then there are moderate lies, such as telling someone at the bar that you are a supervisor rather than an intern. Then there are major deceptions, such as telling your wife you were in a late meeting rather than having an affair. Finally, there are horrific lies, such as claiming ignorance of a murder that you committed. Each level of deception is objectively more heinous, but why are all of these lies told?
Lies are told because people are trying to protect their image of themselves in the minds of others.
We lie about the small things like why we cancelled our appointment because we don’t want people to think we are selfish and inconsiderate. We lie about our job because we want to appear to have a higher status in society than we have. We lie about the affair because we want to have the pleasure of the experience while protecting our partner from the pain of the truth. We lie about murder because… well, I can only speculate that it’s because it’s too psychologically traumatising to accept that we committed such an act, or we don’t want to face the life-changing punishment.
All these lies are to protect ourselves from the world. We are afraid of the repercussions of being honest.
As a child we learned that honesty is usually punished in one way or another. Either directly (such a parent punishing us for telling the truth about our actions), or by “missing out” on the rewards that a lie could bring. Slowly most of us chose to tell lies, big and small, in order to get a better deal in life. Lies make us look better to other people, and give us things that honesty would have taken from us. It doesn’t take long before lying is the normal route to take. The justification then becomes the assumption that everyone else is just as dishonest, if not more so. Unfortunately, this is just a psychological defence that simply cannot be true upon closer inspection.
None of these lies benefit our souls. All lies are for the world.
If lies are all for the benefit of our earthly life, the question becomes; do you believe in life after death? Have you heard the thousands of near death stories that testify to that our soul, spirit, or consciousness continues living outside the body? How would accepting this truth change you? Would you keep lying for the gains you get in these few years on Earth?
We know in our heart of hearts that deception is wrong. This is the whisper of our soul.
It actually is possible to be truthful in all ways, although the occasional small white lie may still help as a social lubricant. Yet even these little lies can be replaced by thoughtful and tactful truths. For example, your friend asks if they look nice in a dress, and you don’t think they do. You can say that you think the dress is alright, but it doesn’t compliment their beauty as well as other things you have seen them in. In this way you are showing that this is only your opinion, the dress itself isn’t bad, they are not personally unattractive, and it lets them know that they do look nice in other clothes. It just takes practice to communicate this way. Of course the way you speak helps too. A soft smile and a gentle tone makes all the difference.