October - November 2001


Lies, lies in my papa's looks
Lies, lies in my history books
Lies, lies like they teach in class
Lies, lies, lies I catch on way too fast
Fire, fire upon your wicked tongue
Lies, lies, lies you're trying to spoil my fun

- Keith and Mick, Rolling Stones

Lies are not just a way of concentrating power by gaining control; lies are a means of becoming the very master of the universe, in one's own mind. This is extremely stressful. It never lasts forever. Enormous work is necessary to maintain a false world, or a false self. Worst of all, it's all unreal while it lasts.

There are no lies that do not involve sex, death or money.

Lies are born of pain, in particular, the pain that we are not in control of our lives. They are an attempt to gain control of our reality. The less in control we felt as a child, the more we learned to lie. Usually, as Brad Blanton and others point out, we lie by withholding. This is the seeming halfway ground between lies and truth: secrecy. Secrecy is upheld by many rationales. Most of them are lies.

But often, people outright and overtly lie about how they feel, about what is motivating them, whether or why they did something, what they have in their history, what they want or what they need. Since all lies come back to sex, death or money, lying is clearly intended and practiced by most people as a survival tactic, but it's one that works out a lot like eating your own leg for dinner.

Lies divide us internally. We live one reality with one person and another with another person. To do this, we need to split ourselves up, and separate off the "other identity" from a person from whom we are concealing facts of that identity. I am not saying this is immoral. I am saying it's exhausting and doomed to fail. We can hope we fail by being found out; the other way to fail is to have these two or more "parts" of who we are take on such powerful lives of their own that each forgets the other exists, which is one of the more common forms of crazy.

We may say we are lying or withholding out of shame rather than survival, but shame is perceived as a matter of survival or else we would not dare rewrite the universe to cover it up.

I believe that there are two kinds of relationships, ones in which people are honest with one another, and ones in which they are not. The real divisions between the supposed types of relationships in this world are not between monogamy and polyamory, or one kind of monogamy or another, or one kind of polyamory or another. Not at all. In one kind of relationship, people are honest about how they feel and what they do, and in the other they are not.

Usually we lie because we were taught to, and because we feel we had no other choice in the matter. It is not our fault that we lie, but it is our option to learn to tell the truth: to be real.

Telling the truth is such an act of surrender and requires so much trust and guts we can truly say that it's an act of faith. Telling the truth is a religious experience you can have every day. In the beginning it may seem to repel love, but what what is repelled by the truth was something other than love. Where there is love, telling the truth will make set love free.