Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Truth about Lying

It is easy to be morally outraged and hurt by the lies of others. But as artists, one's integrity is not measured by outrage at the behavior of others -- it is measured by our own individual artistic and personal honesty. If we value the "wealth" that being genuine can bring, then our integrity will be important to us and we will express ourselves accordingly.

Nietzche claimed that the lie is a condition of life. While this may be true, it is my own assertion that sadly, lying is more an extreme condition of some people's lives than of others. It is important to note that people are not as naive as some imagine and that more credibility is lost on one who possesses a dishonest, gossipy frame of mind than by one who just tells the occasional white lie....just as holding back and not telling the truth with our artistic expression can come across as stale or disingenuous if we do not create art with open hearts that express our own personal truths.

*Note to subscribers. This post was published last night in draft form. I hope no one was too confused by the incomplete version that was mailed to you. ;-)


Stacy Zimmerman said...

I am hands down the biggest liar I know. I come from a long line of liars, some with good intent, some who lied out of malice, some out of ignorance, some just wanting to gain control of the situation at any costs, even if it meant defiling the truth. Some just to be mean. I lie because the thought of confrontation is just too terrifying, and sacrificing the truth is far less painful, at least initially. Over the years I have learned to limit my lies, for the most part. I don't make shit up for fun anymore. I've outgrown it. If I'm telling a lie it is usually because I don't trust the listener with my own personal truth. If it has anything to do with my private, highly guarded inner self, you can bet I'm not telling any more than I have to. Like I said, the relief is only temporary; karmic law eventually does come back to collect on the lies I've told. But as a coping strategy, as a way of avoiding intimacy at any cost,as a means of keeping people at arms length away from me, the lies will continue. At least until I discover a better way of coping.

Stacy Alexander said...

It is amazing that anyone can address this issue with such clarity and...honesty as you have. Taking a look at oneself and being honest with what one sees is the first step in moving beyond the pain of lies as well as so many other debilitating issues. You are courageous for taking this first step. Some people go through their entire lives pointing fingers and blaming without doing what you have just done.

The other day, I was listening to Yoko Ono talk about the Buddhist notion of the "ripple effect"...Toss a pebble into still waters and watch the effect reach across the entire surface to the edge. The context of her talk addressed connectedness and how all actions effect all people.

Our lives can be so deeply effected by lies....our own, those of others, long after the liar has stopped speaking. However, we can make the decision to simply turn in a new direction, abruptly, regardless of the "long line of people" who have effected us adversely. We have the capacity to reapply the energy that those negative things create into our art and into the rest of our lives and to make something good out of it all. I firmly believe this after emerging, myself, from the emotional prison that type of toxicity can manifest.

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