Monday, December 24, 2012


The chief obstacle to the attainment of self-consciousness is that we think we have it. One will never get self-consciousness so long as one believes that one has it. There are many other things we think we have, and because of this we cannot have them. There is individuality or oneness —we think we are one, indivisible. We think we have will, or that if we do not have it always, we can have it, and other things. There are many aspects to this, for if we do not have one thing, we cannot have another. We think that we have these things, and this happens because we do not know the meaning of the words we use.

There is a definite obstacle, a definite reason why we cannot have consciousness as we are. This chief obstacle in the way of development is lying. I have already mentioned lying, but we must speak more about it, for we do not know what lying means because we have never studied this question seriously. Yet the psychology of lying is really the most important part of the study of the human being. If a man could be described as a zoological type, he would be described as a lying animal.

I shall leave out all external lying and take only a man's lying to himself about himself. This is the reason why we are in the state in which we are now, and why we cannot come to a better, a higher, a more powerful, more effective state of consciousness. According to the system we are now studying we cannot know truth, because truth can be reached only in objective consciousness. So we cannot define what truth is; but if we take it that lying is the opposite of truth, we can define lying.

The most serious lying is when we know perfectly well that we do not and cannot know the truth about things and yet never act accordingly. We always think and act as though we knew the truth. This is lying.

When I know that I do not know something, and at the same time say that I know, or act as though I knew it, it is lying. For instance, we know nothing about ourselves, and we really know that we know nothing, yet we never recognize or admit the fact; we never confess it even to ourselves, we act and think and speak as though we knew who we are. This is the origin, the beginning of lying. When we understand this and follow this line, and when we try to connect this idea with everything we think, everything we say, everything we do, we will begin to remove the obstacles which lie on the way to consciousness. But the psychology of lying is much more difficult than we think, because there are many different kinds of lying and many very subtle forms hard to discover in ourselves. In others we see them comparatively easily, but not in ourselves.

Q. If we do not know what truth is, how do we know when we lie?

A. You know that you cannot know the truth, and if you say you do know, or can know it, it would be a lie, because no one can know the truth in the state in which we are. Do not think philosophically, take it in relation to facts. People speak about everything as though they knew. If you ask a man whether there are people on the moon, he will have an opinion about it. And so with everything else. We have opinions about everything, and all these opinions are lying, particularly about ourselves. We do not know about states of consciousness, or the different functions, or the speed of functions, or their relation to one another. We do not know about how functions are divided. We know nothing, yet we think we know about ourselves. All we have is opinions, and they are all lies.

Q. If all opinions are lies, should we avoid opinions?

A. You must know their value. The first lie we tell ourselves is when we say 'I'. It is a lie because in saying 'I' we presume certain things: we presume a certain unity and a certain power. And if I say 'I' today and say 'I' to-morrow, it is supposed to be the same 'I', when in reality there is no connection between them. We are in this present state because of certain obstacles or certain facts in ourselves, and the most important fact that we do not understand is that we have no right to say 'I', for it will be a lie. When you begin to observe yourself you will see that it is really so: there are 'I's in you which do not know one another and never come into contact. For instance, begin to study your likes and dislikes and you will see that you can like one thing one moment and like another thing another moment, and the two are so opposed to one another that you will realize at once that those 'I's never meet. If you observe your decisions you will see that one 'I' decides and another has to carry out the decision, and this one is either unwilling to do it or never heard about it. If you find one thing one does not lie to oneself about you will be very exceptional. Being surrounded by these lies, born and educated in these lies, we cannot be any different from what we are; we are just the result, the product of this lying.


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