aletheia

live in denial

11:02 AM

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“The worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves. We live in denial of what we do, even what we think. We do this because we’re afraid. We fear we will not find love, and when we find it we fear we’ll lose it. We fear that if we do not have love we will be unhappy.”
Richard Bach

Many studies and research have been made about lying, deceit and self-deception. Why we lie and the ways we deceive; why we make stories to justify our choices and our deeds; why we receive selectively information; why we hide, even from ourselves, some things behind the realm of unconsciousness; why we interpret inaccurately the world around us, although our senses are made to receive information as it is. 

"Aletheia" (αλήθεια) is the greek word for truth and it's used from ancient times to nowadays. Its literally meaning is what is not being hidden and it implies both factuality and sincerity. To be true is to be sincere with the facts; with what actually is happening.

This sounds so simple to define and so easy to follow. Yet, our brain sometimes sets up obstacles, consciously or unconsciously, to prevent this truth be revealed. Robert Trivers, professor in anthropology and biological sciences, in his book Deceit and Self-Deception: Fooling Yourself The Better Fool Others, seeks the causes of deception and self-deception in many aspects: evolutionary logic, nature, neurophysiology, immunology, psychology, history, war, religion, etc. He concludes that we often concede in self-deception, because in this way it's easier to deceive others.  

Evolutionary trait, competitive edge, social convention, psychological illness, fear of any kind, no matter what a lie is, it offers only a short-term easiness. Nothing remains hidden under the sun (Greek maxim). And, if we can't be truthful all the time, we can at least be aware of it and its consequences.

References
Trivers Robert, Deceit and Self-Deception: Fooling Yourself The Better Fool Others, Penguin (London), 2013.
aletheia - wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aletheia
Robert Trivers - roberttrivers.com

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