EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Paul shares his personal technique for first finding and then speaking the truth as he himself sees the truth.
THE CRITICS EXPLODE! “Anyone could see Fenwick Humpingpost was destined to drown in the white water of the Arkansas River. It was only a matter of when. You might recall Fenwick was from the Hartsel branch of the Humpingpost clan. The less than fully loaded branch of the Humpingposts. Only the good Lord knows what always possessed Fenwick to refuse a life vest whenever he rafted the white water of the Arkansas. Only the good Lord knows. And only the good Lord knows what always possesses Paul Sunstone to think he’s onto something with his blog posts. In ‘Speaking the Truth’, the fool has yet again gone and plunged himself into crashing white water without a life vest, and this time, without even so much as a raft.” — Gus “Gunning Gus” Johnson, The Blog Critic’s Column, “Leper’s Gulch Gazette”, Leper’s Gulch, Colorado, USA.
THE CRITICS GO NOVA! “Paul Sunstone is quite possibly the internet’s sole blogger capable of inflicting upon even the most calm, restrained, and rational readers a burning lust to witness the fool’s bloody demise at the hands of a vicious itinerant band of serial axe murderers.” — Merriweather Sterling, Blogs of the Day, “The Daily Burtie”, Berwick-Upon-Tweed, England, UK.
(About a 3 minute read)
As far as I can see, most of us are not trying to take advantage of anyone — or to hurt anyone — when we lie. More often, we’re just trying to protect ourselves. Sometimes we’re seeking approval, but mostly we humans are just trying to protect ourselves when we lie.
But that’s not the most curious part of it to me.
Here’s what I think is the most curious thing about lying: Our motives for lying are not nearly the biggest cause of our lying. Our motives cause a whole lot of our lying, but our motives are not the biggest cause.
The biggest cause seems to be that we are confused about how to tell the truth. Confusion is never a motive for anything, but it sure can be a cause.
Specifically, we are confused about how to speak the truth as we ourselves see it.
Of course, we can be pretty competent at speaking the truth as other people see it. Our formal educations have usually seen to that — even when they’ve seen to nothing more than that. Speaking the truth as other people see it comes all but naturally to most of us.
We can easily speak the truth as others see it, but so often — so very often — we are tongue-tied to speak the truth as we ourselves see it.
Technically, that might not be lying, but it’s usually a mystery whether it is or isn’t lying. An observer often cannot tell the difference between someone who is really lying and someone who is merely not speaking the truth as he or she sees it.
Unnecessarily lying to others is bad enough, I think, but it can be downright lethal to lie to ourselves. Lethal to our authenticity.
Speaking the truth to ourselves — if to no one else — is absolutely crucial if we want to be our own man or woman, and not merely the puppet of others.
I think this is a good rule to follow. I think it’s a simple guiding star. To cut through the confusion in order to speak the truth, simply ponder a matter until you at last arrive at a view or opinion of it that yourself cannot genuinely doubt.
To speak the truth you see, speak what you cannot personally doubt is the truth.
And when you’re only talking to yourself — that’s when you most owe it to your audience to be honest with them. Speak to yourself what you yourself cannot honestly doubt, even if you speak only lies to the rest of the world. Do it if you want to be — as much as possible — your own creation. And that’s to say nothing of doing it to be true to yourself.