Lying to Save Others

What is the lie to save others?

Have you ever received a phone call and just let it ring and sometime later said “Sorry I missed your call,” and perhaps even offered, “My ringer was turned off,” or “I was in a meeting?”

What is a lie but the opposite of honesty? What are half truths but lies?

Justifying a lie due to our assumption that we are saving another from suffering does not disqualify an untruth. The opportunity to tell the truth in every situation is an opportunity to develop the skill of gentleness. The truth does not have to hurt. It is pride that makes it seem so.

Words are triggers that activate unresolved emotions. When we lie, our repressed emotions become associated with assumptions. They swim together, like schools of fish. The more these repressed emotions (complexes) are pushed deeper into the personal unconscious, the greater the anxiety we consciously experience.

To make sense out of the conditions of life, ruminating mind is constantly drop a fishing line into our personal unconscious in an attempt to discover value and meaning. Inevitably a complex is going to bite, and we will be forced to deal, not only with unresolved emotions, but with the assumptions they cling to.

Only the active seeker/seer will recognize that reactions to present conditions in life are rooted in past memories or assumptions/desires regarding the future; fear of not attaining our desires, or fear of losing them.

Complexes may take on the appearance of an archetype to help the ego identify a theme. Archetypes are like the alphabet of experience. They provide us with a blueprint for recognizing experience and the options available to navigate experience, as a result of freewill.

Have you ever watched a televised talent show and wondered how contestants without talent could have ever thought they had a chance of qualifying? The audience and judges laugh and the shattered performer ends up saying something in their defense, like,

“all my friends think I’m great!”

When we lie we assume that withholding truth is a greater service to another, rather than allowing them to confront how their behavior affects others. This could be the most tragic thing about lying to save others: by trying to spare another hurt we are preventing them from acquiring information that could make a big difference in their future. We assume we know this.

So why do we lie to save others? Is it really to spare another from suffering or is it our preoccupation with needing approval?


Harpa, Reykjavik, Iceland