Ervin

Currently important to me. When is it ok to lie acording to your understanding of Daoist scriptures?

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Hi,

 

I am interested in an opinion of practising Daoists as to when is it OK to say lies? If I was a German living in Germany during the second world war, I would lie about whether there are any Jew's hidden in my house in order to save their innocent lives. Yes, I know it's a pretty serious scenario, but In that case I am certain I would lie.

 

Now how about if you are in a situation that's not so serious, but it would save an innocent from an unjust oppressive imposition on his/her life? But its a fairly big lie that has to be maintained for a long time.

 

Thanks

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I'm probably wrong, but I hear this as the eternal cry of teenagers everywhere railing against the injustice of there parents rule (or more likely I'm just personalizing it).  One rule of thumb is if you have to make a Hitlerian comparisons then the thing you're trying to rationalize is probably not good. 

 

Generally lies for personal gain, are bad.  In my view they tend to be a bit slipping down the hill of morality.  It feels like you're saving something but in the end you'll find yourself in a bad place.  Hmnn, perhaps in Taoist terms, bad Te.   Taoist default towards simple and lies move away from that.

 

Lies to help others.. suppose it depends on the situation.  Sometimes taking the punishment, just or not, makes you a little stronger person and you can move on from the incident.  What seems bad now, won't be so bad later, just a part of life's craziness.   And craziness happens.  Don't go to extremes to avoid it all, suck it up, clear your mind, keep going forward. 

 

In taoist terms, wu wei, do nothing, take the punishment, and if you ignore the mental anguish that we create for ourselves, we find its not so bad.  Sometimes in the course of life its actually barely a minor hiccup, though at the time its full of drama.

 

On the other hand if its serious, you've weighed the consequences and worst case scenarios then taoism is also about skillful means, learning to harmonize in your environment.  If certain actions will create a more harmonious place then it might make sense.  I kinda feel the Golden rule is still in effect, how would feel if others lied to you in a similar situation?  And how would it be if you kept having to repeat the lie.

Edited by thelerner
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Daoism isn't moralistic. Unlike the Confucianist, the Daoist will not base their actions on a list of "dos" and "don'ts", but on a holistic evaluation of the situation at hand. My advice to you would be: Ask yourself which course of action will likely bring about the least harm to everybody involved - not just momentarily, but in the long run.

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I tend to look at the two related issues of 'truth' and 'trust'.  If you could only really depend on one, which would it be?

 

I'm one who favors trust over truth because at the end of the day, I can trust there is a reason for non-truth.   How far that trust will extend to the actual person may vary. Meaning, if I have an acceptance that everyone will at some time in their life not want to share something or reveal something or be put in a position to answer something.  I trust that their decision to want to hide or lie is likely their business and reason, even if it was something about me.  But if I feel that sort of action was to such an extent (over time and frequency) that I no longer really felt I could trust them, then I've got my answer too.  I don't accept them less, I just don't need to spend my time around them. 

 

Would they have such trust in you like that?

 

The bigger problem is that you will likely hate yourself more than they will hate you..so it may come down to your inability to handle your decision on the matter.   And that could eat away at you.   This might just mean that your the type which heavily favors truth over trust... not sure, it is just a small working theory I am happy to know which side I like to stand on.

 

And there is nothing to really maintain unless you're the one having the discomfort with it, otherwise you would trust in the decision.

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I read somewhere that there is a physiological response to being lied to. I have no idea of what the counterpart to the one attempting to maintain a lie would be, but I suspect there is one.

 

Just something to think about.

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I read somewhere that there is a physiological response to being lied to. I have no idea of what the counterpart to the one attempting to maintain a lie would be, but I suspect there is one. Just something to think about.

 

Interesting point.  I do think there is a frequency which might get setup by the difference between what the person knows (holds in) and says (let's out).    I was once shown a method to determine any lie... I just choose not to use it.  

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Thanks, all of you. I suppose I will just go with the truth.

 

Thanks

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Hi,

 

I am interested in an opinion of practising Daoists as to when is it OK to say lies? If I was a German living in Germany during the second world war, I would lie about whether there are any Jew's hidden in my house in order to save their innocent lives. Yes, I know it's a pretty serious scenario, but In that case I am certain I would lie.

 

Now how about if you are in a situation that's not so serious, but it would save an innocent from an unjust oppressive imposition on his/her life? But its a fairly big lie that has to be maintained for a long time.

 

Thanks

 

the closer one is to dao, the more whole one is, and this is associated with a feeling of sage like innocence.

 

in innocence, what need for duplicity?

 

too, when one sees so deeply, there is no need to be trapped by the mind of another.

 

Are you harboring Jews within this household?

What you are looking for is not here.

 

Is this a lie, or does the sage simply see much more deeply into what the questioning Nazi truly desires?

 

Often in conversation we lie without even thinking about it. Many people say can you help me with this but don't mean that at all... they don't want you to answer if you can help or not, they want  you to come and help them. Many of us who increase our sensitivity develop an awareness of the conflict between what is spoken, and what is actually being asked for. Until we understand the difference, we might unintentionally react to these innocent duplicities found in every day speech.

 

Some sages in the mountains will say I don't know to any question they are asked, because in the end, anything I attach to knowing blocks some other equally wonderful perspective. Zhuangzi says anything can be right or wrong from some perspective. There is a saying, those who know, don't speak; those who speak, don't know.

 

So perhaps it is simply a matter of greater acceptance and trust resulting in the discovery of greater depth and purity.

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Its just an opinion, but, perhaps more beneficial than the question as posed , would be to ask onesself what factors would one consider in making the decision.Then ask oneself what weight would every consideration carry vs the others in every situation imagineable. Because the odds are no ones response is likely to shift your values. You will defy anyone who decides other than yourself, and agree with whomever agrees. Duh !

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Care to test this? Ok, You should tell the truth and hold true to your own honesty and wash your hands clean of their fate.

 

.

.

.

 

 

See, you havent changed your mind, you just rejected what differed. Youre asking what right and wrong are but you think you already know.

Edited by Stosh

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isn't there a guy on your shoulder how records everything you have done in your life and when you are at the last bus stop he reports everything to those Celestial Bureaucrats and you are judged accordingly? I think it's the same guy in Egyptian version ( as a feather thingy) and Christianity ( you know the story).

 

But I think if he wrote in his book "Ervin lied to Nazis to save a Jewish child, that's minus two karma points...goes to level 24 sector 7 next time to learn about... carpentry... because he had not done that one yet..." Are you getting the point?:P:P:P

 

/********/

Fair warning though, if you have anything close to kundalni thing going, it is strongly advised NOT to lie. I have heard many first view accounts on how people "on the ride" said if they intentionally lied the energetic consequences to them were horrific ( but mostly angina:P ) 

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Posted (edited)

A lie is not always a lie - it can and should be viewed as a tool in many cases.

Certainly the Hitler comparison is just such a case.

 

There are many robotic closed loop groups, people and situations that one can find oneself confronted with and in which a "lie" is simply nothing more than an effective way of moving the robots away from robotic targeting and robotic sleeping unthinking reactive mind-meld. They cannot help themselves and in a sense they are completely and utterly deadened by their positions and trance illusion. And - they can hold your life in their hands if you hand it to them.

 

If you do not move around much the chances you need to lie are much less - but if you are moving around in some of the more edgy places or in some edgy subjects and moralities - a lack of being up-front is sometimes the best course of action. At the same time - it is often just being yourself and setting out on a new way is how to best break up the mold and help stuck energies move again.

 

Overall "lying" is not being truthful to oneself - but it is also not honorable to hand yourself over to fools. Pride is not something to value - it is identification and grasping.

 

So much grey area - but less cloudy than living in fear of retribution - fear has no positive value - but if your instincts truly tell you to lie and lying is not something you take lightly, then it is probably because it would be a useful tool and not a compromise of your way.

Edited by Spotless
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I don't know much about daoism, but my experience taught me that in general acting in such way that I don't have to lie is better than asking if lying is good. And if you have to lie I think it is always better to work with the truth carefully then to lie completely. Sometimes simply not telling more than what is needed can help a lot. However simply living in a way that you don't have to lie is the best.

But yes lying to save others or not hurt them is not bad as long as it is done with intention to help them.

My 2 non-dao cents.

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There are cases where one's statements are technically truthful, yet designed to hide what really matters.

 

And there are statements in which a truth that would be hard to communicate has been modified, yet the intention behind them is honest and good.

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Posted (edited)

Having told not so few of them myself, I think its time to say what needs saying.  I Had a brief conversation with a total stranger this weekend, and she told me at least three lies in the first three sentences out of her mouth. A lie is an attempt to deceive, the point is to present a false view of the actual state of things so that the person being lied to cannot react and behave in manners consistent with the real world as it stands. 

If one is dealing with someone who is an enemy , it makes sense to deprive them of the ability to act appropriately , lying to those who you respect or care for is a usurpation of power. There's no excuse in good intentions , its still a usurpation of power.  One of the things she lied to me about was when I pointed out a factoid about a bird, she wasnt looking at it but pretended she was , the second was when I told her a factid , and she pretended she knew what it signified, and the third was when she approached small talk , saying Wow you could really get lost out here, To which I said , not really , its a one way road. 

There was no call to bullshit me , no welfare to preserve ,no teaching to convey ,, and while I figure there was no harmful intent , I know that she lies because she wants to present herself in an amenable light , which is ironic, because I don't think dishonesty is beneficial to me. 

So , No , the lying about everything undermines what might have been of value to her , which she could've brought up instead. 

The exposure of flaws enables one to know the extent to which they are not doing themselves well in actuality . 

Eventually the bull has become so pervasive , that to just 'tell the truth' is seen as a vice.   How is that, all - for good intentions ? 

 

So If someone calls any of you, or me, a liar and bullshit artist, well we should instead take that as a sort of compliment about our savvy and it implies that we have this hidden beneficial intent stacked up somewhere, Right? 

Edited by Stosh
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In silence the only person we lie to is our self.

 

 

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If you don't have responsibility to fellow human beings. 

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Well, I have already admitted that when I am home on my own property I allow my illusions and delusions to come out to play.  When they do I get to thinking that all is well on the planet and all people are living in peace and contentment.

 

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12 minutes ago, Marblehead said:

Well, I have already admitted that when I am home on my own property I allow my illusions and delusions to come out to play.  When they do I get to thinking that all is well on the planet and all people are living in peace and contentment.

 

I agree they are not, and for ones own sanity , one needs to find a cut off point for the concern one might aim at others. But I wouldn't expect classical virtue to draw that line at zero.

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All my lines are drawn in sand so that they can easily be moved.

 

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1 hour ago, Marblehead said:

In silence the only person we lie to is our self.

 

Some say that this is the only kind of lie we should never commit.

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2 hours ago, Marblehead said:

In silence the only person we lie to is our self.

 

 

 

Hmm what about a lie of omission?

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Posted (edited)

If not specifically addressed to MH, 

IMO,.. ch 38 if ....A truly good man does nothing, Yet nothing is left undone.

Then lies of omission are not excused by , active participation -or lack thereof.

"Oh! What A Tangled Web We Weave When First We Practice To Deceive" Scott

Edited by Stosh
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2 hours ago, Michael Sternbach said:

 

Some say that this is the only kind of lie we should never commit.

Good thing I didn't place any value judgement on what I said.

 

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