Noēsis Video Series

The Anatomy of a Lie

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Hi.  This is Tony from Noēsis.  And that’s no lie.  Why did I just say that?  Because I’m here today to talk about the growing human propensity to lie.  Let’s not judge it.  Let’s look for traceable patterns. 

Let’s start with a basic truth.  “All Lies Await Discovery.”  Once we lie, it goes south from there.  We need to manage our lies–and it’s exhausting.  In no time, innocent parties are sucked into these distortions we create.  And we didn’t intend that, so this growing complexity guarantees the discovery of the lie.  It’s like adding weight on top of a cheap card table, and then being surprised when it collapses.

WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?  I think I might be able to help here. 

We all know the truth, or how could we fashion a lie?  So, what is it about the TRUTH that drives us away, toward the flimsy nature of a lie.  Now we’re asking the right question?  There is a very knowable dynamic that weighs on all of us.  Don’t beat yourself up.  You didn’t choose it.

We’re judged every day.  And we’re judged against a standard of perfection.  With perfection as our standard, we’re in a fight with ourselves, one we can never win.  Here’s how it works.

This bar next to me represents the standard of perfection that we’re judged against.  Let’s put a mark on this line, about 3\4 of the way to perfection.  Let that mark represent the vest we can do.

The best we can do won’t get it done.  We stagger out of the gate.  You see where I’m going here? In nature, a shortcoming of any kind is a survival issue.  So, if a bird has a fractured wing, that shortcoming will end its life.  Are we so different that that bird?  How do we camaflouge the fear that we’ve come up shorter than perfection?  We lie.

This would explain the rather silly nature of many of our lies.  We don’t want our shortcomings to be discovered.  When they are anyway, maybe we need a new plan.  In any system based upon meritocracy, the lie fills the space between what’s required of us, and what we were capable of giving.  

Here’s a call to action.  Try it on for size.  For a whole day, hear yourself speak the plain truth, and then watch how well those around you handle the truth.  You thought the simple truth would diminish you.  Instead, the vulnerability of your truth can silence a room.  People know a leader when they see one.  They will emulate you.

We’re a species in feefall.  These simple observations and exercises are the choices of a species in recovery.

I recommend it.  Thank you.

About this Video:

Evolving human beings moved about in tightly-bound systems of collaboration.  We harbored no secrets; we told no lies.

Modern humans harbor an average of 15 secrets.  Still, we shame our friends into privacy by our gossip.  People we call friends are driven into privacy, so hurt are they by our words.  Privacy is unnatural to a collaborative being.  

Once we tell a lie, it quickly goes bad from there.  We need to manage our lies.  It’s exhausting.  Why are we lying?  The mechanism is knowable.

We are judged against the standard of perfection.  We feel the need to create false merit, to camoflauge our shortcomings.  How do we create false merit?  We lie.

Noesis views unnatural behavior with great empathy.  Take a look.



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