Honesty and Dishonesty

The facts are in – almost everyone acts dishonest at least occasionally.

Seemingly most of it entails situations which don’t have much importance to the individual lying.

So those of us who think we practice complete honesty and transparency may find ourselves from time to time lying or engaging in something not quite transparent. 

The Matrix Experiment found most people will cheat to some extent

https://www.elsevier.com/editors-update/story/publishing-ethics/a-fascinating-experiment-into-measuring-dishonesty

 

“Over 40,000 people, from all walks of life, participated in The Matrix Experiments.

What did we find?

  • On average, people solved four problems but reported solving six.
  • Nearly 70% cheated.
  • Only 20 out of the 40,000 were “big cheaters”, people who claimed to have solved all 20 problems. They cost the experiment $400.
  • We also found more than 28,000 “little cheaters” who cost the experiment $50,000.”

One study has shown up to 60% of people lie

“The study, published in the journal’s June issue, found that 60 percent of people lied at least once during a 10-minute conversation and told an average of two to three lies.”

https://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/article/umass-amherst-researcher-finds-most-people-lie-everyday-conversation

Men and women lie for distinct reasons:

““Women were more likely to lie to make the person they were talking to feel good, while men lied most often to make themselves look better,” Feldman said.”

” “It’s tied in with self-esteem,” says University of Massachusetts psychologist Robert Feldman. “We find that as soon as people feel that their self-esteem is threatened, they immediately begin to lie at higher levels.”

https://www.livescience.com/772-lie.html

So possibly it boils down to self-esteem.  If our self-esteem gets mostly genuine and we practice impeccability with our words, thoughts and actions we might lie a little bit less.  In doing this it gets very helpful to realize while we aim for 100% honesty, the first step of this may come in remaining honest with ourselves and when we discern we have lied to ourselves, stop it at the level of belief and thought so the poison doesn’t flow well from our mouths.  This means non-judgement, positive or negative.  It also means we will do our best to practice feeling loving toward ourselves individually.

In my own life, this provided an opportunity to use honesty to improve my life.  In work, it meant telling the truth about products and services so customers could make their decision based on facts with little embellishment.  It also meant telling my friends and family the truth more consistently.  Mostly I found I had to say less.  I didn’t have to support anyone with false embellishments or unnecessary compliments as making someone feel better about themselves with a lie will sooner or later get discovered and my credibility with them would suffer and the relationship would weaken seriously.

I have looked at my beliefs about myself.  The teachings from parents as a child served as helpful contradictions.  My mother gave me statements about me being a special person with extraordinary talent and ability and my father told me I would never amount to anything unless I learned to work hard for everything and this would start with deprecating statements about my behavior.  I had a lot of shame to overcome and it’s not all gone.  This affords me the opportunity to work with it consistently.

A new belief which helped me had to do with first accepting I had ultimate worth on the eternal scale of value, this served me until the realization came regarding the nonexistence of self.  No self, no self-esteem needed.  This contradicted the pop psychology of its reverse theories.  In this model, all seems connected to doing and actions which come from beliefs, thought, and feelings.  Seemingly we a feedback cyclicity of thoughts producing feelings and behaviors feeding back on prevailing beliefs many of which wound up erroneous.  In changing the beliefs and stopping the limiting thoughts from guiding actions I had to do less to keep myself honest.  It also meant offering less up in unsolicited feedback, something which seemed to prevail in the “meetings” of the twelve-step cult I attended for a couple of decades.  One of the best actions I took had to do with getting away from it and the toxicity in words spoken there, when really the only thing which worked well came from the love in unspoken support.  Knowing I am loved and encouraged to love myself made me feel love for myself and others almost unconditionally.

Since moving on from there I have made beneficial and limiting decisions about my life and I dedicate myself, imperfectly, to improving beliefs, thinking, and behaviors and calling up humble, loving feelings for myself.  Much of this has come in taking better care of my body and general health.  Along the way I have been able to genuinely help some others, giving me more loving feelings in general.

In the ongoing set of conclusions, having a multifaceted set of perspectives helps me to less judgmental conclusions and statements.  Looking at what I say based on observations before I say them – this takes a lot of mindfulness to do it effectively and I have sometimes gone to almost angry extremes to defend my stated perceptions about situations only to have to make amends for the behavior in stopping myself from doing it again and making things right in my best way possible.

Honesty it seems, ought to concern the truth and truth comes from knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt.  Reporting what happened, how I thought and felt seems like about all I can do regarding this.  Mostly, I strive to practice concise brevity as it gets too easy to slip into conjecture and verbose rhetoric.  In the utmost sense it looks like the less I believe about anything, the better as it leaves me more open to varied interpretations and perceptions which may have more objectivity.  If this seems self negating and contradictory, that will turn out a reader perspective.  I tend to characterize it more as a paradox like many other things human.

Everything-we-hear-is-an-opinion-not-a-fact.-Everything-we-see-is-a-perspective-not-the-truth.-Marcus-Aurelius

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

©2017MHumunculero

A THREE-FOLD FILTER

In my most existentialist beliefs, I learned to view my “self” (egoistic construct as coping mechanism?) in three relationships.

  1. my relationship to myself

  2. my relationship to others

  3. my relationship to God or divine source

All of this I had pondered as a teenager, who, having massive insecurities, questioned my consciousness and the illusion of existence.  Mahayana Buddhist philosophy seemed a way toward the inner peace of knowing I didn’t exist and nothing was real.  My job seemed about learning and practicing the eight-fold path, in the NOW.  Much of this awareness seemed to come from psychedelic experiences.  In short, the best trips involved the knowing and feeling of connectedness to the fundamental forces which unify the seeming ALL.  Later, in discovering the Eight circuits of consciousness in Leary’s model, it seemed I had bounced between the seventh and eighth circuits in the perceptions of in and out of body experiences, missing a much of the sixth circuit (metaprogramming).

The main divine connection felt like the motherlode of all, the feeling of complete connectedness which started physically and eventually got perceived as “pure” consciousness.  This perception and how it feels remains tangible and at once unfathomable and infinite beyond physical perception.  To label it otherwise seems like a blasphemy except for purposes of illumination.  It can take many forms which can work to model traits, actions and characteristics of various entities in the accomplishment of my purpose.  Finding purpose seemed the fundament, even though the “I” had little idea as such.

I acted in vain to define myself through others and my relations to them.  This reality tunnel mostly failed because I had little purpose and no realization of its presence or formation.  In this my ego gravitated to self-annihilation in a limited set.  This wound up in self-deprecation and self-loathing to the point of the desire to painlessly dissolve and disappear from this world.  This state proved painfully unrewarding.  It seemed like a denial of hedonism giving only frustration, shame, and depressions which seemed unending. Still trapped in the belief telling me intellectual understanding provided a solution and solace little progress occurred.

It must have happened via too much drug use in various combinations this thinking eventually said as the beliefs of parents, professionals and preachers worked as the predominant patterns.  Charismatic Christianity and the attendant nonsense served like a way out of the mess of all of it in my early twenties leaving only too much angst about life.  Finally, it gave way to some lesser materialist viewpoints of those around me and I once again took on the phony embrace of my perception of the American Dream.  My earlier pre-Christian views got submerged beneath the religiosity and my hypocritical practice of it.  Once again, more angst about life.

In my early and mid-thirties, it seemed apparent this way of living did not work well and my obligation to personal responsibilities slipped out the window.  Finally, at thirty-four years old a basic plan emerged.  Get away from the drugs and people who use drugs.  I did it and exchanged that addiction to the cult obeisance of the cult of Narcotics Anonymous.  This I embraced along with intellectual and contrived meditations of the Tao, seen and unseen.  The eight-fold path also got corresponded with the 12 Steps of NA, at first seemingly very open and accepting of other correspondences to the cult.  Fortunately, the most powerful tool in overcoming addiction – peer support worked to knock the malady down and got me to realize the self I had formed previously and presently.  I saw the folly of attempting to discover my “true self” and who I am or had been and the overblown significance in my belief system in those times.  After years of practice in those steps and living the lies of an apologist via tolerating believers, I knew I didn’t have a disease and the “program” as very toxic unless adapted to a more humane, less self-deprecating model.  I sought less and less peer approval in developing self-esteem and began to live my life as I saw fit with confidence.  It took about fifteen to twenty years to realize the program didn’t serve me and I didn’t need to count votes pro or con amongst peers who remained or left the “Program”.  In this a self-got realized and actualized.  I had an identity with less contrivance out of social, professional, and familial acceptability.  I had embarked on a more genuine relationship with myself with less ego traps.

Still, there seemed a great deal of selfishness so I consistently performed unselfish acts.  Some had ulterior motive in a caretaking sense, others out of duty to others, and others still for the joy of doing something unselfishly.

In the mid to late teens, I wanted to depend on others for my view of myself instead of using them as a reflection of my actions and attitude which I grew into later. It seemed to get out of control in my mid-twenties to early thirties due to self-delusions resulting in erroneous perception filters and erratic actions.  I took everything too personally, felt threatened constantly and used my words as poisoned munitions against myself and others – beliefs and behaviors which have taken many years to replace.  Today, still a work in progress.

I have much affection for many friends, family, and lovers.  I attempt to find out what makes them feel loved and if it doesn’t compromise my self-care, I give to them.  It gets a little tough when I engage with people who have behaviors which I tend to take personally so I strive to stay away from those situations and appreciate them at a safe distance.  In my drive to be loved by others, I must pay attention and determine if I am seeking reciprocation from the unwilling and willing yet incapable of it.  Most of my disappointments with others have origins in the latterly so constant vigilance with a minimum, if not devoid of self-judgement seem necessary.

From this value comes in taking care of me so I can serve others and myself in a realization of the all connectedness I feel when out of the self-created anxieties of daily life.

©2017mhumunculero