classes ::: knowledge, difficulties, truth,
children :::
branches ::: self-deception
see also ::: admit, closing, facing, needs, opening, the_Truth, turning_away, turning_towards

bookmarks: Instances - Definitions - Quotes - Chapters - Wordnet - Webgen


object:self-deception
object:SD2
class:knowledge
class:difficulties
class:truth

1) It is not okay to masturbate to porn. or at all. masturbation)


--- NOTES
  2020-06-28 - it is like a self-deception to think one can both fulfill ones desires and remember God always. as it it likely the impurities that veil

  anytime one goes against the soul seems self-deception. that includes all movements that dare not be seen in remotely the same area as it. like if I want to take a tylonal, and were to put it beside the soul, I hear "not this but Brahman" "rely on Me alone"

--- CONCEPTION
  I created this note because at some point last night or so I had the sense that yes obviously I am probably^1 deceiving myself. there were two parts.. my particularly dreadful breed of porn taste. I dont want to be masturbating to that. That needs to be removed. That is considered #1 most undeniable of individualized truths. Like near everything I am partially unsure about. But that one I am not.

AHHH! I was trying to meditate upon my HGA, and I was attacked^2 by visions of pornography. images that were on my computer. things that clearly stand in the way. though when I am attacked by the urge, (are visions and urges from the same source? but only visions when one is depleted?), I do not find as offensive as when I was trying to concentrate upon my HGA. but there is a blinding element to their movement. both sexual desire and anger.

and the other thing.. perhaps was that I need to overcome my irritation.? anyway.

when I am absorbed in the movement, there is perhaps some joy.
how can there be joy in anger? joy in the making of noise? of taking some stand?

there are many needs, even if they are not all being satisfied at the same time, ..
humans are such a complex mess.


--- FOOTER
see also ::: closing
see also ::: the Truth, needs
see also ::: admit, facing, turning towards, opening
see also ::: turning away



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if the page you visited was empty, it may be noted and I will try to fill it out. cheers


OBJECT INSTANCES [0] - TOPICS - AUTHORS - BOOKS - CHAPTERS - CLASSES - SEE ALSO - SIMILAR TITLES

TOPICS
SEE ALSO

admit
closing
facing
needs
opening
the_Truth
turning_away
turning_towards

AUTH

BOOKS
Modern_Man_in_Search_of_a_Soul
On_Thoughts_And_Aphorisms

IN CHAPTERS TITLE
1956-01-11_-_Desire_and_self-deception_-_Giving_all_one_is_and_has_-_Sincerity,_more_powerful_than_will_-_Joy_of_progress_Definition_of_youth

IN CHAPTERS CLASSNAME

IN CHAPTERS TEXT
0.10_-_Letters_to_a_Young_Captain
1.01_-_Archetypes_of_the_Collective_Unconscious
1.02_-_THE_PROBLEM_OF_SOCRATES
1.02_-_The_Stages_of_Initiation
1.031_-_Intense_Aspiration
1.03_-_Some_Practical_Aspects
1.05_-_THE_HOSTILE_BROTHERS_-_ARCHETYPES_OF_RESPONSE_TO_THE_UNKNOWN
1.08_-_Stead_and_the_Spirits
1.1.05_-_The_Siddhis
1.13_-_The_Supermind_and_the_Yoga_of_Works
1.22_-_How_to_Learn_the_Practice_of_Astrology
1.24_-_Necromancy_and_Spiritism
1.42_-_This_Self_Introversion
1955-12-07_-_Emotional_impulse_of_self-giving_-_A_young_dancer_in_France_-_The_heart_has_wings,_not_the_head_-_Only_joy_can_conquer_the_Adversary
1956-01-11_-_Desire_and_self-deception_-_Giving_all_one_is_and_has_-_Sincerity,_more_powerful_than_will_-_Joy_of_progress_Definition_of_youth
1958-05-21_-_Mental_honesty
1960_11_14?_-_51
1961-01-17
1968-01-12
1968-09-25
1.jwvg_-_The_Visit
2.07_-_The_Release_from_Subjection_to_the_Body
2.0_-_THE_ANTICHRIST
2.10_-_Knowledge_by_Identity_and_Separative_Knowledge
2.11_-_The_Guru
2.1.4_-_The_Lower_Vital_Being
2.14_-_The_Origin_and_Remedy_of_Falsehood,_Error,_Wrong_and_Evil
2.25_-_The_Triple_Transformation
2.3.1_-_Ego_and_Its_Forms
2.3.2_-_Desire
2.4.2_-_Interactions_with_Others_and_the_Practice_of_Yoga
3.01_-_Sincerity
3.05_-_The_Divine_Personality
3.7.1.01_-_Rebirth
3.7.1.05_-_The_Significance_of_Rebirth
4.1_-_Jnana
6.05_-_THE_PSYCHOLOGICAL_INTERPRETATION_OF_THE_PROCEDURE
6.0_-_Conscious,_Unconscious,_and_Individuation
7.02_-_The_Mind
Cratylus
Sophist
Talks_With_Sri_Aurobindo_1
The_Act_of_Creation_text
The_Logomachy_of_Zos

PRIMARY CLASS

difficulties
knowledge
truth
SIMILAR TITLES
430H - Self-Deception
self-deception

DEFINITIONS

self-deception ::: n. --> Self-deceit.

Guides Spiritualistic term for supposed invisible helpers and instructors belonging to the Spirit-land communicating with people either through mediumship or by a receptive capacity of the person communicated with. While theosophy rejects the explanation offered by spiritualists, it nevertheless teaches that the universe in its webs of being contains many orders of entities existing in all-various grades. Some of these entities can be to any worthy person a source of inspiration. However, the fact that their influence comes from a nonphysical source is no guarantee of the desirability of that influence, but by the very fact of its unknown origin should be scrutinized at once or suspected as to character and source. Nor must we forget in this connection that the possibilities of self-deception are almost infinite.

IDEAL The purposeful ideal is always the next higher stage of development. Ideals that cannot be realized become set phrases and fair promises, which nobody takes seriously and which but enhance self-deception. The ideal of the stage of civilization is culture, but true culture, not that masked barbarism which is called culture. P 3.22.8^M

Omen [from Latin os mouth, as the voice of a god] As in augury and divination, the laws of correspondences and of the interrelation of all parts of the cosmos imply that it is possible to interpret the invisible and to forecast the future by observing visible signs. The right interpretation of omens demands knowledge and skill, and the subject affords a fertile field for self-deception and quackery. As with astrology, an undue concern with influences tends to subject a person to them; it is advisable to discriminate between what might happen and what must happen.

Psychography Soul-writing; coined by theosophical writers on occult phenomena for various kinds of inspirational or phenomenally produced writing. In its highest sense it may mean writing under the influence of inspiration from a high source, whether within or without the nature of the writer, as when one writes things which in his ordinary state of mind he would be incapable of rising to. Or it may refer to physical mediumship, where the writing is produced unconsciously by the astrally controlled hand of the medium, and the ideas come from some source in the astral light. It can also include automatic writing of various kinds, and writing by precipitation. As regards the advisability of seeking or cultivating such powers, any practice which involves a surrender of control, either of the mind or the body, to an extraneous influence is detrimental. A writer in full possession of his faculties may by sincere aspiration draw upon higher sources within himself or upon the aid given by those Helpers who stand ready to respond to such aspirations. Self-deception, however, is one of the commonest failings of human nature.

self-abuse ::: n. --> The abuse of one&

self-deceit ::: n. --> The act of deceiving one&

self-deceiving ::: deceiving oneself, marked by self-deception.



QUOTES [3 / 3 - 361 / 361]


KEYS (10k)

   1 Mortimer J Adler
   1 Marcus Aurelius
   1 Arthur Schopenhauer

NEW FULL DB (2.4M)

   11 Alice Miller
   9 Sam Harris
   8 Thomas Merton
   7 The Arbinger Institute
   6 Marcus Aurelius
   6 James Baldwin
   5 Pema Ch dr n
   5 Mark Twain
   5 Jon Krakauer
   5 Friedrich Nietzsche
   5 Cortney S Warren
   5 Ch gyam Trungpa
   4 Neel Burton
   4 L E Modesitt Jr
   4 Carl Sagan
   4 Brennan Manning
   4 Bertrand Russell
   4 Barry Eisler
   3 Steven Pinker
   3 Stefan Zweig

1:There are genuine mysteries in the world that mark the limits of human knowing and thinking. Wisdom is fortified, not destroyed, by understanding its limitations. Ignorance does not make a fool as surely as self-deception. ~ Mortimer J Adler,
2:Sometimes I speak to men and women just as a little girl speaks to her doll. She knows, of course, that the doll does not understand her, but she creates for herself the joy of communication through a pleasant and conscious self-deception. ~ Arthur Schopenhauer,
3:If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance who is harmed. ~ Marcus Aurelius, Meditations,
1:Nationalism is power hunger tempered by self-deception. ~ george-orwell, @wisdomtrove
2:Only one deception is possible in the infinite sense, self-deception. ~ soren-kierkegaard, @wisdomtrove
3:Human beings have a demonstrated talent for self-deception when their emotions are stirred. ~ carl-sagan, @wisdomtrove
4:Strange bonds of trust and self-deception tend to grow between journalists and their subjects. ~ sam-harris, @wisdomtrove
5:The fundamental factor of self-deception is this constant desire to be something in this world and in the world hereafter. ~ jiddu-krishnamurti, @wisdomtrove
6:Of all forms of deception self-deception is the most deadly, and of all deceived persons the self-deceived are the least likely to discover the fraud. ~ aiden-wilson-tozer, @wisdomtrove
7:Everything of value that people get from religion can be had more honestly, without presuming anything on insufficient evidence. The rest is self-deception, set to music. ~ sam-harris, @wisdomtrove
8:The most transformative experiences people have - bliss, devotion, self transcendence - are currently anchored to the worst parts of culture and to ways of thinking that merely amplify superstition, self-deception, and conflict. ~ sam-harris, @wisdomtrove
9:[Optimism] is not about providing a recipe for self-deception. The world can be a horrible, cruel place, and at the same time it can be wonderful and abundant. These are both truths. There is not a halfway point; there is only choosing which truth to put in your personal foreground. ~ sonja-lyubomirsky, @wisdomtrove
10:First, what does truth require? It requires us to face the facts as they are, not to involve ourselves in self-deception; to refuse to think merely in slogans. If we are to work for the future of the city, let us deal with the realities as they actually are, not as they might have been, and not as we wish they were. ~ john-f-kennedy, @wisdomtrove
11:Many of my fellow atheists consider all talk of &
12:First, what does truth require? It requires us to face the facts as they are, not to involve ourselves in self-deception; to refuse to think merely in slogans. If we are to work for the future of the city, let us deal with the realities as they actually are, not as they might have been, and not as we wish they were. [... ] The truth doesn't die. ~ john-f-kennedy, @wisdomtrove
13:Every one of the world's "great" religions utterly trivializes the immensity and beauty of the cosmos. Books like the Bible and the Koran get almost every significant fact about us and our world wrong. Every scientific domain - from cosmology to psychology to economics - has superseded and surpassed the wisdom of Scripture. Everything of value that people get from religion can be had more honestly, without presuming anything on insufficient evidence. The rest is self-deception, set to music. ~ sam-harris, @wisdomtrove
14:What I feel for you is contempt. But it's nothing, compared to the contempt I feel for myself. I don't love you. I've never loved anyone. I wanted you from the first moment I saw you. I wanted you as one wants a whore - for the same reason and purpose. I spent two years damning myself, because I thought you were above a desire of this kind. You're not. You're as vile an animal as I am. I should loathe my discovering it. I don't. Yesterday, I would have killed anyone who'd tell me that you were capable of doing what I've had you do. Today, I would give my life not to let it be otherwise. Not to have you be anything but the bitch you are. All the greatness that I saw in you - I would not take it in exchange for the obscenity of your talent at an animal's sensation of pleasure. We were two great beings, you and I, proud of our strength, weren't we? Well this is all that's left of us - and I want no self-deception about it. ~ ayn-rand, @wisdomtrove

*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:Self-deception helps us deceive. ~ David Livingstone,
2:The worst of all deceptions is self-deception. ~ Plato,
3:Self-deception is nature; hypocrisy is art. ~ Mason Cooley,
4:When my wits fail me, I resort to self-deception. ~ Dean Koontz,
5:No satisfaction based upon self-deception is solid. ~ Bertrand Russell,
6:Sometimes her capacity for self-deception disturbed her. ~ Mary Balogh,
7:The essence of bravery is being without self-deception. ~ Pema Ch dr n,
8:The essence of bravery is being without self-deception. ~ Pema Chodron,
9:Nationalism is power hunger tempered by self-deception. ~ George Orwell,
10:Self-deception can be more comforting than self-knowledge. ~ Russ Roberts,
11:Self-deception is sometimes as necessary a tool as a crowbar. ~ Moss Hart,
12:We are all capable of great self-deception when it serves us. ~ Holly Black,
13:Self-deception is a pessimistic definition of optimism. ~ William T Vollmann,
14:Rationalization may be defined as self-deception by reasoning. ~ Karen Horney,
15:The fallow soil of loneliness is fertile ground for self-deception. ~ Dean Koontz,
16:Avoidance of self deception is a matter of integrity not comfort. ~ Orrin Woodward,
17:The fallow soil of loneliness is fertile ground for self-deception. ~ Dean R Koontz,
18:one of the most fascinating and effective kinds of lying is self-deception. ~ David Brin,
19:Only one deception is possible in the infinite sense, self-deception. ~ Soren Kierkegaard,
20:Beware of altruism. It is based on self-deception, the root of all evil. ~ Robert A Heinlein,
21:I was aware of the self-deception, but man will do anything to live with himself. ~ Blake Crouch,
22:A degree of self-deception, she said, was an essential part of the talent for living. ~ Rachel Cusk,
23:They who learn the lesson of self-deception too well shall perish by that deception. ~ Frank Herbert,
24:Human beings have a demonstrated talent for self-deception when their emotions are stirred. ~ Carl Sagan,
25:She liked to ‘leave dishes to soak’, an act of self-deception that I’ve always abhorred. ~ David Nicholls,
26:When our heroes turn out to be sleazebags, self-deception is easier than facing the facts. ~ Jon Krakauer,
27:Most of our platitudes notwithstanding, self-deception remains the most difficult deception. ~ Joan Didion,
28:Strange bonds of trust and self-deception tend to grow between journalists and their subjects. ~ Sam Harris,
29:The two biggest self-deceptions of all are that life has a 'meaning'and each of us is unique. ~ David Byrne,
30:Love is self deception. I am a living creature. Hate is only self love. I am a double feature. ~ Henry Rollins,
31:The path of truth is profound—and so are the obstacles and possibilities for self-deception. ~ Ch gyam Trungpa,
32:self-deception as the preliminary to public deception is almost automatic. —WALTER LIPPMANN, ~ Stephen Jay Gould,
33:How poetic you are," she said. "I've a notion that poetry is the highest form of self-deception. ~ Gregory Maguire,
34:The "passion for incredulity" can produce as much self-deception as the uncritical will to believe. ~ Colin Wilson,
35:Brains are survival engines, not truth detectors. If self-deception promotes fitness, the brain lies. ~ Peter Watts,
36:and there was only one revolutionary virtue which he had not learned, the virtue of self-deception ~ Arthur Koestler,
37:He who knows himself, knows his Lord' means, among other things, that self-deception prevents knowledge. ~ Idries Shah,
38:No one was ever injured by the truth; but he who persists in self-deception and ignorance is injured. ~ Marcus Aurelius,
39:Roland had taught him that self-deception was nothing but pride in disguise, an indulgence to be denied. ~ Stephen King,
40:Of all the problems in organizations, self-deception is the most common, and the most damaging. ~ The Arbinger Institute,
41:People always have been and they always will be stupid victims of deceit and self-deception in politics. ~ Vladimir Lenin,
42:Once a person has been poisoned by self-deception, he can't make decisions about himself as neatly as all that. ~ Kenzabur e,
43:It may be that the deep necessity of art is the examination of individual's and society's self-deception. ~ Robert Motherwell,
44:Love of another is merely empty flattery and self-deception for one who cannot accept himself without pretense. ~ L E Modesitt Jr,
45:There are some people to whom muddled thinking and self-deception are the two most unforgivable crimes in the world. ~ Margery Allingham,
46:Perhaps the most tragic way that self-deception harms us is that we start believing our lies and we teach them to others. ~ Cortney S Warren,
47:The farther away you are from the truth, the more the hateful and pleasurable states will arise. There is also self—deception. ~ Bodhidharma,
48:One major cost of self-deception is that we use painful life experiences to justify being non-ideal versions of ourselves. ~ Cortney S Warren,
49:Maturity is the ability to sort the portions of truth from the accepted lies and self-deceptions that you have grown up with. ~ Alexei Panshin,
50:I worry about anthropomorphism as a form of self-deception. (The Christian religion is an anthropomorphic account of the universe.) ~ A S Byatt,
51:The fundamental factor of self-deception is this constant desire to be something in this world and in the world hereafter. ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti,
52:What destroys us most effectively is not a malign fate but our own capacity for self-deception and for degrading our own best self. ~ George Eliot,
53:Food, clothing and shelter — these are the basic needs. Beyond that, if you want anything, it is the beginning of self-deception. ~ U G Krishnamurti,
54:Heraclitus called self-deception an awful disease and eyesight a lying sense.” —DIOGENES LAERTIUS, LIVES OF THE EMINENT PHILOSOPHERS, ~ Ryan Holiday,
55:humans have an evolved capacity to engage in self-deception in order to navigate through life in a delusional state of blissful ignorance. ~ Gad Saad,
56:No prize , however great can justify an ounce of self deception or a small departure of the ugly facts. ( Notes from Underground) ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky,
57:This is what Ania will pay for: not only her inaction, but her self-deception, for narrating away evil while staring it in the face. ~ Jessica Shattuck,
58:In a competition for mates a well developed capacity for self-deception is an advantage. The same is true in politics and and other contexts ~ John Gray,
59:In a competition for mates, a well developed capacity for self-deception is an advantage, The same is true in politics and other contexts. ~ John N Gray,
60:The urge to catalog the myriad blunders in order to “learn from the mistakes” is for the most part an exercise in denial and self-deception. ~ Jon Krakauer,
61:Individual will, reason, compassion, and character are not strong enough to consistently defeat selfishness, pride, greed, and self-deception. ~ David Brooks,
62:To benefit by others' killing and to delude oneself into the belief that one is being very religions and nonviolent is sheer self-deception. ~ Mahatma Gandhi,
63:Deception and self-deception are intimately intertwined. We fool ourselves in order to fool others, and we fool others in order to fool ourselves. ~ Clancy Martin,
64:At the most basic level, self-deception is fooling ourselves into believing something that is false -- or -- not believing something that is true. ~ Cortney S Warren,
65:If tempted by something that feels 'altruistic,' examine your motives and root out that self-deception. Then, if you still want to do it, wallow in it! ~ Robert A Heinlein,
66:If tempted by something that feels “altruistic,” examine your motives and root out that self-deception. Then, if you still want to do it, wallow in it! ~ Robert A Heinlein,
67:I wanted to go back over what I had so fleetingly experienced step by step, relishing in retrospect by virtue of that magical self-deception we call memory. ~ Stefan Zweig,
68:Lean into the sharp points and fully experience them. The essence of bravery is being without self-deception. Wisdom is inherent in (understanding) emotions. ~ Pema Chodron,
69:People who believe that they are strong-willed and the masters of their destiny can only continue to believe this by becoming specialists in self-deception. ~ James Baldwin,
70:I'm a bartender. I like recipes. They're concretes. Was the drink recipe for seduction one shot charm and two shots self-deception, shaken, not stirred? ~ Karen Marie Moning,
71:love no one until you can love yourself, for love of another is merely empty flattery and self-deception for one who cannot accept himself without pretense. ~ L E Modesitt Jr,
72:People who believe that they are strong-willed and the masters of their destiny can only continue to believe this by becoming specialists in self-deception. ~ James A Baldwin,
73:Zeno would also say that nothing is more hostile to a firm grasp on knowledge than self-deception.” —DIOGENES LAERTIUS, LIVES OF THE EMINENT PHILOSOPHERS, 7.23 ~ Ryan Holiday,
74:self-sacrifice is one of a woman's seven deadly sins (along with self-abuse, self-loathing, self-deception, self-pity, self-serving, and self-immolation). ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach,
75:One of the greatest obstacles I see to our fashioning a rational approach to spirituality is to have religious superstition and self-deception masquerade as science. ~ Sam Harris,
76:Self-deception ultimately explains Japan's plight. The Japanese have never accepted that change is in their interest - and not merely a response to U.S. criticism. ~ Paul Samuelson,
77:Self-esteem isn’t a crime. Self-love isn’t something to be earned. Most importantly, loving your fat body as it is is not delusional and does not amount to self-deception. ~ Jes Baker,
78:If good and evil are continuous, any crime can be linked with any virtue. Imposture merges away into self-deception so that only relatively has there ever been impostor. ~ Charles Fort,
79:It’s not accurate knowledge about the self that allows peace of mind; it’s the bit of self-deception that helps us bounce back from setback and trudge on through failure. ~ Sam Sommers,
80:Self-deception comes from not having enough psychological strength to admit the truth and deal with the consequences that will follow when the truth is acknowledges. ~ Cortney S Warren,
81:The instinct for self-deception in human beings makes them try to banish from their minds dangers of which at bottom they are perfectly aware by declaring them non-existent. ~ Stefan Zweig,
82:In the horrifying calculus of self-deception, the greater the pain we inflict on others, the greater the need to justify it to maintain our feelings of decency and self-worth. ~ Carol Tavris,
83:The mask of self-deception was no longer a mask for me, it was a part of me. Night lifted it, laying bare the stifled truth below; but there was no one to see except myself, ~ Robert W Chambers,
84:Self-deception is a constant problem as we progress along a spiritual path. Ego is always trying to achieve spirituality. It is rather like wanting to witness your own funeral. ~ Ch gyam Trungpa,
85:I fear my own self-deception, for my corrupt heart lies even to itself. I offer no defense against Your judgment, for if You, Lord, kept a record of sins, who could stand? ~ Saint Augustine of Hippo,
86:If people are innately saddled with certain sins and flaws, like selfishness, prejudice, sort-sightedness, and self-deception, then political reform would seem to be a waste of time. ~ Steven Pinker,
87:For that’s how it is, we cover up our mistakes and failings, we invent stories that put ourselves in a more favorable light. Self-deception is perhaps the most human thing of all. ~ Karl Ove Knausg rd,
88:People hide truths about themselves from themselves. Such self-deception is a coping mechanism, and to one extent or another, most people begin deceiving themselves when they're children. ~ Dean Koontz,
89:In all of history, we have found just one cure for error—a partial antidote against making and repeating grand, foolish mistakes, a remedy against self-deception. That antidote is criticism. ~ David Brin,
90:How much rationality and higher protection there is in such self-deception, and how much falseness I still require in order to allow myself again and again the luxury of my sincerity. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
91:Therefore, Christ crucified is the foundation of all honest and everlast- ing joy. No self-deception is necessary to enjoy it. Indeed all deception must cease in order to enjoy it to the full. ~ John Piper,
92:I am without illusions; what would the Senate do with me, an inexperienced legislator who lacks the faculty of self-deception, essential requisite for wanting to guide others? ~ Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa,
93:Often, it’s not accurate knowledge about the self that allows peace of mind; it’s the bit of self-deception that helps us bounce back from setback and trudge on through failure.

(Page 115). ~ Sam Sommers,
94:The human heart is so steeped in self-deception that it can easily outrun its own lies. It can use even meticulous honesty as a form of dishonesty, a way of saying to God, “Look how honest I am. ~ Andrew Klavan,
95:Our myths are so many, our vision so dim, our self-deception so deep and our smugness so gross that scarcely any way now remains of reporting the American Century except from behind the billboards. ~ Nelson Algren,
96:The myth of true love is one of the greatest self-deceptions ever embraced by the female sex. It’s right up there with the ridiculous notion that money can’t buy happiness and size doesn’t matter. ~ J T Geissinger,
97:It is only when we have the courage to face things exactly as they are, without any self-deception or illusion, that a light will develop out of events, by which the path to success may be recognized. ~ Debbie Ford,
98:Lie detectors (should it prove feasible to make ones that are reliable and easy to use) could reduce the scope for deception in human affairs.79 Self-deception detectors might be even more powerful.80 ~ Nick Bostrom,
99:Our myths are so many, our vision so dim, our self-deception so deep and our smugness so gross that scarcely any way now remains of reporting the American Century except from behind the billboards ... ~ Nelson Algren,
100:...how could anyone manage to negotiate their way through life's complexities without at least a smidgen of self deception here and there?"

Alexander Mccall Smith
Precious and Grace. ~ Alexander McCall Smith,
101:It is one of the dangerous self-deceptions of our society to pretend that mechanisms of control do not really exist, and to maintain, without qualification, that we are an economically "free" people. ~ Robert Heilbroner,
102:It is only when we have the courage to face things exactly as they are, without any self-deception or illusion, that a light will develop out of events, by which the path to success may be recognized. ~ John Joseph Adams,
103:Self-deception is the strength of all humans and all human cultures. We delude ourselves into believing that the universe has meaning, that we have a role and an importance in it. We dream grand dreams. ~ L E Modesitt Jr,
104:The areas in which we felt most insecure, unsafe, unloved, uncomfortable, embarrassed, angry, and generally unresolved as a child are the areas that we will be most prone to self-deception as an adult. ~ Cortney S Warren,
105:The road to self-deception is narrow to begin with, but there's always someone ready to broaden it out, for as the proverb says, self-deception is like eating or scratching, it's all a matter of beginning. ~ Jos Saramago,
106:I just can't believe that there won't come a day when people won't be fed-up with being overfed. That they won't get fed-up with the self-deception that all this fantastic food is the whole point of life. ~ Gudrun Ensslin,
107:It is only when we have the courage to face things exactly as they are, without any self-deception or illusion, that a light will develop out of events, by which the path to success may be recognized. ~ Marianne Williamson,
108:Altogether a noble form of self-deception, since the ultimate truth is that if a man is sensual, he will carry sensuality into his friendships too, into everything, including his enjoyment of music and painting etc. ~ Ana s Nin,
109:Illusions, distortions, and self-deception appear to be integral to the way normal, well-adjusted people perceive the world. Seeing things as they really are is associated with depression and low self-esteem. ~ Roy F Baumeister,
110:The sins after the Devil’s heart are the intricacies of spiritual pride, the mazes of self-deception, and the subtle mockeries of hypocrisy where mask hides behind mask behind mask and reality is lost altogether. ~ Alan W Watts,
111:No satisfaction based upon self-deception is solid, and however unpleasant the truth may be, it is better to face it once and for all, to get used to it, and to proceed to build your life in accordance with it. ~ Bertrand Russell,
112:That’s usually the case. Identify someone with a problem, and you’ll be identifying someone who resists the suggestion that he has one. That’s self-deception — the inability to see that one has a problem. ~ The Arbinger Institute,
113:Dreams tell us many an unpleasant biological truth about ourselves and only very free minds can thrive on such a diet. Self-deception is a plant which withers fast in the pellucid atmosphere of dream investigation. ~ Sigmund Freud,
114:If someone can prove me wrong and show me my mistake in any thought or action, I shall gladly change. I seek the truth, which never harmed anyone: the harm is to persist in one's own self-deception and ignorance. ~ Marcus Aurelius,
115:Suppose we were able to share meanings freely without a compulsive urge to impose our view or conform to those of others and without distortion and self-deception. Would this not constitute a real revolution in culture. ~ David Bohm,
116:Some... understand that the correct choice is indeed the more frightening one. In order to avoid this fear, they create a complex mechanism of self-deception that leads them to both fear the incorrect choice and choose it. ~ Yoav Blum,
117:
Suppose we were able to share meanings freely without a compulsive urge to impose our view or conform to those of others and without distortion and self-deception. Would this not constitute a real revolution in culture? ~ David Bohm,
118:
Suppose we were able to share meanings freely without a compulsive urge to impose our view or conform to those of others and without distortion and self-deception. Would this not constitute a real revolution in culture? ~ David Bohm,
119:To pass the barrier, you have to drop your ambivalence and cynicism. Your clever self-deceptions, excuses, and ulterior motives. You have to be ready, even desperate, before you propel yourself beyond your own fear. ~ Karen Maezen Miller,
120:Truth often finds its way to the mind close muffled in robes of sleep, and then speaks with uncompromising directness of matters in regard to which we practise an unconscious self-deception during our waking moments. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne,
121:There are genuine mysteries in the world that mark the limits of human knowing and thinking. Wisdom is fortified, not destroyed, by understanding its limitations. Ignorance does not make a fool as surely as self-deception. ~ Mortimer Adler,
122:If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one ever was truly harmed. Harmed is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance. ~ Marcus Aurelius,
123:The clarifying principle made clear the impermanence of things. It was an illusion, all of it—this life that they clung to, this earth that they battled over—a collective exercise in self-deception. The world was perishable. ~ Thrity Umrigar,
124:The most transformative experiences people have - bliss, devotion, self transcendence - are currently anchored to the worst parts of culture and to ways of thinking that merely amplify superstition, self-deception, and conflict. ~ Sam Harris,
125:There are genuine mysteries in the world that mark the limits of human knowing and thinking. Wisdom is fortified, not destroyed, by understanding its limitations. Ignorance does not make a fool as surely as self-deception. ~ Mortimer J Adler,
126:There are genuine mysteries in the world that mark the limits of human knowing and thinking. Wisdom is fortified, not destroyed, by understanding its limitations. Ignorance does not make a fool as surely as self-deception. ~ Mortimer J Adler,
127:The endless, agonizing recycling of what might have been, soon followed by a litany of rationalizations and self-deceptions as you struggle to reconcile the void between the person you want to be and the person you fear you are. ~ Jon Krakauer,
128:The endless, agonizing recycling of what might have been, soon followed by a litany of rationalizations and self-deceptions as you struggle to reconcile the void between the person you want to be and the person you fear you are.. ~ Jon Krakauer,
129:Here was a torture that Greek inventors of the Feast and the Stone had omitted from their Hades: the Blanket of Self-Deception. A lovely warm blanket as far as it covered the soul in torment, but it never quite covered everything. ~ Jonathan Franzen,
130:It is easy to become the dupe of a deferred purpose, of the promise the future can never keep, and I had fallen into the meanest type of self-deception in making myself believe that all this was in preparation for great things to come. ~ Jane Addams,
131:But it also demonstrates how difficult it is to correct a false belief after people have made an emotional investment in that belief being true. When our heroes turn out to be sleazebags, self-deception is easier than facing the facts. ~ Jon Krakauer,
132:Self-deception is the enemy of wholeness because it prevents us from seeing ourselves as we really are. It covers up our lack of growth in the Spirit of the truthful One and keeps us from coming to terms with our real personalities. ~ Brennan Manning,
133:If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance who is harmed. ~ Marcus Aurelius,
134:To exist is literally amazing—but that same wonder is also burdened with a finite end. There is a self-deception in denying the dark underside of existence, that the question, ‘Why am I here?’ is answered with resounding emptiness.” Jess ~ Matthew Mather,
135:A “no” does not hide anything, but a yes can very easily become a deception, a self-deception; which of all difficulties is the most difficult to conquer. Ah, it is all too
true that, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions. ~ S ren Kierkegaard,
136:Formerly, in solitude and in silence, he had been used to think clearly and sometimes even profoundly, seeing life outside the flattering optical delusion of everlasting hope, of conventional self-deceptions, of an ever-expected happiness. ~ Joseph Conrad,
137:Only two possible reactions to the mimetic contagion exist, and they make an enormous difference. Either we surrender and join the persecuting crowd, or we resist and stand alone. The first way is the unanimous self-deception we call mythology. ~ Ren Girard,
138:The mask of self-deception was not longer a mask for me, it was a part of me. Night lifted it, laying bare the stifled truth below; but there was no one to see except myself, and when day broke the mask fell back again of its own accord. ~ Robert W Chambers,
139:Yes, it is a rich language, Lieutenant, full of the mythologies of fantasy and hope and self-deception - a syntax opulent with tomorrows. It is our response to mud cabins and a diet of potatoes; our only method of replying to... inevitabilities. ~ Brian Friel,
140:If female liberation is to happen, if the reservoir of real female love is to be tapped, this sterile self-deception must be counteracted. The only literary form which could outsell romantic trash on the female market is hard-core pornography. ~ Germaine Greer,
141:Sometimes I speak to men and women just as a little girl speaks to her doll. She knows, of course, that the doll does not understand her, but she creates for herself the joy of communication through a pleasant and conscious self-deception. ~ Arthur Schopenhauer,
142:If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance who is harmed. ~ Marcus Aurelius, Meditations,
143:Defeat is real. It is also temporary. We have to understand both. Faced for what it is, absorbed and met without self-deception, defeat can offer wisdom and motivation. Begin even though you know that you will suffer failure and defeat along the way. ~ Eric Greitens,
144:Self-love isn’t something to be earned. Most importantly, loving your fat body as it is is not delusional and does not amount to self-deception. But believing that you are less of a person just because greedy assholes said so? I propose that is, and does. ~ Jes Baker,
145:The Good News means we can stop lying to ourselves. The sweet sound of amazing grace saves us from the necessity of self-deception. It keeps us from denying that though Christ was victorious, the battle with lust, greed, and pride still rages within us. ~ Brennan Manning,
146:But maybe these were just excuses, something I said to comfort myself. For that’s how it is, we cover up our mistakes and failings, we invent stories that put ourselves in a more favourable light. Self-deception is perhaps the most human thing of all. ~ Karl Ove Knausg rd,
147:...'fundamentalism' and 'liberalism' and terrorism.' These labels only tell us partial truths. We must use them humbly, guardedly, Niebuhr would say, aware of the limitations of our own vision and of our own capacity for misunderstanding and self-deception. ~ Krista Tippett,
148:Prayer, true prayer, does not allow us to deceive ourselves. It relaxes the tension of our self-inflation. It produces a clearness of spiritual vision. . . . It saps our self-deception and its Pharisaism. . . . So by prayer we acquire our true selves.”242 ~ Timothy J Keller,
149:There is nothing disastrous in the temporary nature of our ideas. They are always that. But there may very easily be a train of evil in the self-deception which regards them as final. I think God will forgive us our skepticism sooner than our Inquisitions. ~ Walter Lippmann,
150:We are all worth something,' she said. 'Zottas are not worth more than the rest of us. Self-Deception makes us into monsters. Selfishness is an excuse to busy your empathy. People are basically good. Live as though it was the first days of a better [nation]. ~ Cory Doctorow,
151:Self-deception actually determines one’s experience in every aspect of life. The extent to which it does that—and in particular the extent to which it determines the nature of one’s influence on, and experience of, others—is the subject of this book. ~ The Arbinger Institute,
152:Your freedom it says. What is that? Some kind of illusory concept where the people in charge let you have comfortable distractions. Enough THINGS so that you don't see your chains. I respect your work too much to let you endure that kind of self-deception. ~ Jonathan Hickman,
153:It is a self-deception of philosophers and moralists to imagine that they escape decadence by opposing it. That is beyond their will; and, however little they acknowledge it, one later discovers that they were among the most powerful promoters of decadence. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
154:If you asked me what makes the world go round, I would say self-deception. Self-deception allows us to create a consistent narrative for ourselves that we actually believe. I’m not saying that the truth doesn’t matter. It does. But self-deception is how we survive. ~ Errol Morris,
155:If the defeated and depressed group of disciples overnight could change into a victorious movement of faith, based only on autosuggestion or self-deception-without a fundamental faith experience-then this would be a much greater miracle than the resurrection itself. ~ Pinchas Lapide,
156:People always have been the foolish victims of deception and self-deception in politics, and they always will be, until they have learned to seek out the interests of some class or other behind all moral, religious, political and social phrases, declarations and promises. ~ Vladimir Lenin,
157:... I cannot give without questioning my motives. Does giving have to do with generosity, or with the selfish comfort it brings? The self-deception it offers, when the truth is one has little, or nothing, to give? If one keeps giving, will one be good enough to be loved one day? ~ Yiyun Li,
158:Brains are survival engines, not truth detectors. If self-deception promotes fitness, the brain lies. Stops noticing— irrelevant things. Truth never matters. Only fitness. By now you don't experience the world as it exists at all. You experience a simulation built from assumptions ~ Anonymous,
159:If anyone can give me good reason to think that I am going astray in my thoughts or my actions, I will gladly change my ways. For I seek the truth, which has never caused harm to anyone; no, the person who is harmed is one who persists in his self-deception and ignorance. 22 ~ Marcus Aurelius,
160:Brains are survival engines, not truth detectors. If self-deception promotes fitness, the brain lies. Stops noticing—irrelevant things. Truth never matters. Only fitness. By now you don’t experience the world as it exists at all. You experience a simulation built from assumptions. ~ Peter Watts,
161:For James, disgust with American hypocrisy and self-deception was pointless unless accompanied by an effort to give America reason to be proud of itself in the future. The kind of proto-Heideggerian cultural pessimism which Adams cultivated seemed, to James, decadent and cowardly. ~ Richard M Rorty,
162:Meditation is not a matter of trying to achieve ecstasy, spiritual bliss, or tranquillity, nor is it attempting to become a better person. It is simply the creation of a space in which we are able to expose and undo our neurotic games, our self-deceptions, our hidden fears and hopes. ~ Pema Chodron,
163:I'm interested in memory because it's a filter through which we see our lives, and because it's foggy and obscure, the opportunities for self-deception are there. In the end, as a writer, I'm more interested in what people tell themselves happened rather than what actually happened. ~ Kazuo Ishiguro,
164:Man can try to name love, showering upon it all the names at his command, and still he will involve himself in endless self deceptions. If he possesses a grain of wisdom he will lay down his arms and name the unknown by the more unknown - ignotum per ignotius - that is by the name of God. ~ Carl Jung,
165:[Optimism] is not about providing a recipe for self-deception. The world can be a horrible, cruel place, and at the same time it can be wonderful and abundant. These are both truths. There is not a halfway point; there is only choosing which truth to put in your personal foreground. ~ Sonja Lyubomirsky,
166:As a grandiose self-deception, war is o' the same magnitude as religion. We embrace war or religion—usually both at the same time—as a means o' defeatin' death, but neither o' them do a blinkin' thing but sanction dyin'. Throughout history, Death's best friend has been a priest with a knife. ~ Tom Robbins,
167:We all practice self-deception to a degree; no man can handle complete honesty without being cut at each turn. There's not enough room in a man's head for sanity alongside each grief, each worry, each terror that he owns. I’m well used to burying such things in a dark cellar and moving on. ~ Mark Lawrence,
168:In order to become whole we must try, in a long process, to discover our own personal truth, a truth that may cause pain before giving us a new sphere of freedom. If we choose instead to content ourselves with intellectual “wisdom,” we will remain in the sphere of illusion and self-deception. ~ Alice Miller,
169:Much of the man was a mystery to me, but this I understood well enough. We all practise self-deception to a degree; no man can handle complete honesty without being cut at each turn. There’s not enough room in a man’s head for sanity alongside each grief, each worry, each terror that he owns. ~ Mark Lawrence,
170:As a grandiose self-deception, war is o’ the same magnitude as religion. We embrace war or religion - usually both at the same time - as a means o’ defeatin’ death, but neither o’ them do a blinkin’ thing but sanction dyin’. Throughout history, Death’s best friend has been a priest with a knife. ~ Tom Robbins,
171:Humans are born with a susceptibility to that most persistent and debilitating disease of intellect: self-deception. The best of all possible worlds and the worst get their dramatic coloration from it. As nearly as we can determine, there is no natural immunity. Constant alertness is required. ~ Frank Herbert,
172:The one truth that would help us begin to solve our ethical and political problems [is] that we are all more or less wrong, that we are all at fault, all limited and obstructed by our mixed motives, our self-deception, our greed, our self-righteousness and our tendency to aggression and hypocrisy. ~ Anne Lamott,
173:Geographically speaking, you can't get to where you want to be unless you know where you are the begin with. You need a reference point. Similarly, you can't get to where you want to be in life until you are willing to admit where you are to begin with. Self-deception makes that next to impossible. ~ Andy Stanley,
174:This is desperation you're witnessing,” he says, gripping her. All at once, the thought occurs to him that what he's expressing is not love but hysteria, rising out of his own emptiness. He is in the grip of inflated speech, exaggeration, all the insincere locutions of opacity and self-deception. ~ Charles Baxter,
175:Humans make a machine, and then fool themselves into believing that their own brains are no better than the machines. This allows them to believe that their creation, the computer, is as brilliant as their own minds. But it’s a ridiculous self-deception. Computers aren’t even in the same league. ~ Orson Scott Card,
176:I reread this letter several times. I could scarcely deny its authorship or its ugliness. All I could plead was that I had been its author then, but was not its author now. Indeed, I didn’t recognise that part of myself from which the letter came. But perhaps this was simply further self-deception. ~ Julian Barnes,
177:It was fascinating, how people could be so reluctant to recognize blackmail, how eager they could be to convince themselves it was something else, even something fundamentally mutually cooperative. And sometimes it seemed the more powerful the individual, the greater the capacity for self-deception. He ~ Barry Eisler,
178:Caught In The Undertow
COLIN, worshipping some frail,
By self-deception sways her:
Calls himself unworthy male,
Hardly even fit to praise her.
But this tactic insincere
In the upshot greatly grieves him
When he finds the lovely dear
Quite implicitly believes him.
~ Christopher Morley,
179:We never see the one truth that would help us begin to solve our ethical and political problems: that we are all more or less wrong, that we are all at fault, all limited and obstructed by our mixed motives, our self-deception, our greed, our self-righteousness and our tendency to aggression and hypocrisy. ~ Thomas Merton,
180:I think that there is an ongoing conspiracy in the philosophical community, an organized form of self-deception, as in a cult, to simply all together pretend that we knew what "first-person perspective" (or "quale" or "consciousness") means, so that we can keep our traditional debates running on forever. ~ Thomas Metzinger,
181:This lack of coverage had been convenient for the US and other Western governments because it enabled them to play down the extent to which the “war on terror” had failed so catastrophically in the years since 9/11. This failure is also masked by deceptions and self-deceptions on the part of governments. ~ Patrick Cockburn,
182:Many of my fellow atheists consider all talk of 'spirituality' or 'mysticism' to be synonymous with mental illness, conscious fraud, or self-deception. I have argued elsewhere that this is a problem - because millions of people have had experiences for which 'spiritual' and 'mystical' seem the only terms available. ~ Sam Harris,
183:We feel lonely now and then and long for friends and think we should be quite different and happier if we found a friend of whom we might say: “He is the one.” But you, too, will begin to learn that there is much self-deception behind this longing; if we yielded too much to it, it would lead us from the road. ~ Vincent Van Gogh,
184:Thus we never see the one truth that would help us begin to solve our ethical and political problems: that we are all more or less wrong, that we are all at fault, all limited and obstructed by our mixed motives, our self-deception, our greed, our self-righteousness and our tendency to aggressivity and hypocrisy. ~ Thomas Merton,
185:First, what does truth require? It requires us to face the facts as they are, not to involve ourselves in self-deception; to refuse to think merely in slogans. If we are to work for the future of the city, let us deal with the realities as they actually are, not as they might have been, and not as we wish they were. ~ John F Kennedy,
186:That her own self-deception and self-absorption, her own slavery to the society and family in which she had been brought up, had reduced this blameless man to a weeping wreck struck her as horrific. She saw more clearly than she had ever seen before that she must change, or keep hurting the people who truly loved her. ~ Shamim Sarif,
187:If you do have to look at polls, you should do it no more than once every few days, to get a general sense of the state of the race. I've seen the work on information overload, which makes people depressed, stressed and freezes their brains. I know that checking the polls constantly is a recipe for self-deception and anxiety. ~ David Brooks,
188:An ideology is a complex of ideas or notions which represents itself to the thinker as an absolute truth for the interpretation of the world and his situation within it; it leads the thinker to accomplish an act of self-deception for the purpose of justification, obfuscation and evasion in some sense or other to his advantage. ~ Karl Jaspers,
189:Good science is more than the mechanics of research and experimentation. Good science requires that scientists look inward-to contemplate the origin of their thoughts. The failures of science do not begin with flawed evidence or fumbled statistics; they begin with personal self-deception and an unjustified sense of knowing. ~ Robert A Burton,
190:Freedom like charity, begins at home. No man is worthy to fight in the cause of freedom unless he has conquered his internal masters. He must learn control and discipline over the disastrous passions that would lead him to folly and ruin. He must conquer inordinate vanity and anger, self-deception, fear, and inhibition. ~ Jack Whiteside Parsons,
191:When virtuous mental attitudes, like mindfulness, respect, and compassion, are invoked to justify nonvirtuous acts like hunting, fishing, and eating animal products, the mental attitudes are insincere. They are self-deceptions that we create to justify habits that in our hearts we know are wrong, but to which we have become attached. ~ Norm Phelps,
192:Brains are survival engines, not truth detectors. If self-deception promotes fitness, the brain lies. Stops noticing—irrelevant things. Truth never matters. Only fitness. By now you don’t experience the world as it exists at all. You experience a simulation built from assumptions. Shortcuts. Lies. Whole species is agnosiac by default. ~ Peter Watts,
193:This business of 'kidding yourself' worries me. I don't even know how much self-deception I'm involved in. It's hard to get down to the truth about yourself. Any time I feel like I'm finally being honest with myself I wonder if there's some deeper truth I'm shying away from. It amazes me how I can know something and avoid it at the same time. ~ Seth,
194:Self-deception is like this. It blinds us to the true causes of problems, and once we’re blind, all the “solutions” we can think of will actually make matters worse. Whether at work or at home, self-deception obscures the truth about ourselves, corrupts our view of others and our circumstances, and inhibits our ability to make ~ The Arbinger Institute,
195:For example, if (as Dawkins argues) deceit is fundamental in animal communication, then there must be strong selection to spot deception and this ought, in turn, to select for a degree of self-deception, rendering some facts and motives unconscious so as not to betray—by the subtle signs of self-knowledge—the deception being practiced. ~ Richard Dawkins,
196:My message to you is this: Pretend that you have free will. It’s essential that you behave as if your decisions matter, even though you know they don’t. The reality isn’t important; what’s important is your belief, and believing the lie is the only way to avoid a waking coma. Civilization now depends on self-deception. Perhaps it always has. ~ Ted Chiang,
197:My message to you is this: pretend that you have free will. It's essential that you behave as if your decisions matter, even though you know they don't. The reality isn't important: what's important is your belief, and believing the lie is the only way to avoid a waking coma. Civilization now depends on self-deception. Perhaps it always has. ~ Ted Chiang,
198:The willingness to experience and accept our feelings carries no implication that emotions are to have the last word on what we do. I may not be in the mood to work today; I can acknowledge my feelings, experience them, accept them—and then go to work. I will work with a clearer mind because I have not begun the day with self-deception. ~ Nathaniel Branden,
199:Cognitive dissonance doesn’t leave a paper trail. There are no documents that can be pointed to when we reframe inconvenient truths. There is no violence perpetrated by the state or anyone else. It is a process of self-deception. And this can have devastating effects, not least on those who were the subject of chapter 4: the wrongly convicted. ~ Matthew Syed,
200:The instinct of self-deception in human beings makes them try to banish from their minds dangers of which at the bottom they are perfectly aware by declaring them nonexistent, and a warning such as mine against cheap optimism was bound to prove particularly unwelcome at a moment when a sumptuously laid supper was awaiting for us in the next room. ~ Stefan Zweig,
201:You bet I write disaster fiction. We have compiled a disastrous record on this planet, a record of stupidity and absurdity and self-abuse and self-aggrandizement and self-deception and pompousness and self-righteousness and cruelty and indifference beyond what any other species has demonstrated the capacity for, which is the capacity for all the above. ~ John Irving,
202:But that delusional urge is only one of the varieties of self-deception that encourage us to believe we know another human being and, for that matter, ourselves. This faith in having the measure of others really becomes unstuck when you begin to consider how many you’d acknowledge as having the measure of you. That number dwindles before your eyes. ~ Zia Haider Rahman,
203:In other words, it requires deliberate self-deception, including a constant effort to repress or block out unpleasant possibilities and 'negative' thoughts. The truly self-confident, or those who have in some way made their peace with the world and their destiny within it, do not need to expend effort censoring or otherwise controlling their thoughts. ~ Barbara Ehrenreich,
204:No man engaged in a work he does not like can preserve many saving illusions
about himself. The distaste, the absence of glamour, extend from the occupation to the personality. It is only when our
appointed activities seem by a lucky accident to obey the particular earnestness of our temperament that we can taste the comfort of complete self-deception. ~ Joseph Conrad,
205:Self-deception is like this. It blinds us to the true causes of problems, and once we’re blind, all the “solutions” we can think of will actually make matters worse. Whether at work or at home, self-deception obscures the truth about ourselves, corrupts our view of others and our circumstances, and inhibits our ability to make wise and helpful decisions. ~ The Arbinger Institute,
206:It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.”
― Leo Tolstoy, The Kreutzer Sonata
tags: beauty, delusion, goodness, lies, self-deception, wisdom 4754 likes Like
“I think... if it is true that
there are as many minds as there
are heads, then there are as many
kinds of love as there are hearts.”
― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina ~ Leo Tolstoy,
207:We are all members of the same flawed species. Putting our moral vision into practice means imposing our will on others. The human lust for power and esteem, coupled with its vulnerability to self-deception and self-righteousness, makes that an invitation to a calamity, all the worse when the power is directed at a goal as quixotic as eradicating human self-interest. ~ Steven Pinker,
208:I have a disdain,” he says, “for complicated fancy equipment because it takes a lot of time to learn how to use, and I’m suspicious when the distance between the raw data and the final conclusion is too long. It gives you plenty of opportunity to massage that data, and human beings are notoriously susceptible to self-deception, whether scientists or not.” Ramachandran ~ Norman Doidge,
209:There is no greater shackle than self-deception. A man who denies his heart, either through fear of personal consequence—whether regarding physical jeopardy, or self-doubt, or simply of being ostracized—is not free. To go against your values and tenets, against that which you know is right and true, creates a prison stronger than adamantine bars and thick stone walls. ~ R A Salvatore,
210:The search for spirituality is, first of all, a search for reality, for honesty, for true speaking and true thinking. At least from the time of the Delphic oracle’s first admonition, Know thyself, the arch-foe of spirituality has been recognized to be “denial”—the self-deception that rejects self by attempting to repudiate the essential paradox that is our human be-ing. ~ Ernest Kurtz,
211:It would be a marvelous thing if in the process of your listening—unemotionally, not sentimentally—to what is being said … you could really understand sorrow and be totally free of it; because then there would be no self-deception, no illusions, no anxieties, no fear, and the brain could function clearly, sharply, logically. And then, perhaps, one would know what love is. ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti,
212:Homo religiosus invents religious symbols, which he venerates and worships to save him from facing the finality of his death and dissolution. He devises paradise fictions to provide succor and support... In acts of supreme self-deception, at various times and in various places he has been willing to profess belief in the most incredible myths because of what they have promised him. ~ Paul Kurtz,
213:What is awakening? Awakening is the cessation of self-deception! Religion is self-deception; fate is self-deception; the idea that there is no death but only continuation is a self-deception! Real awakening is to acquire a scientific mind, it is to meet face to face with the bare realities, and it is to leave the spiritual fallacies and fantasies! And this is real awakening! ~ Mehmet Murat ildan,
214:Satan was accustomed to say that our race lived a life of continuous and uninterrupted self-deception. It duped itself from cradle to grave with shams and delusions which it mistook for realities, and this made its entire life a sham. Of the score of fine qualities which it imagined it had and was vain of, it really possessed hardly one. It regarded itself as gold, and was only brass. ~ Mark Twain,
215:To return to the basic idea, you must see that there is a difference
between your True Self and your False Self. The True Self
is the essential you. It is pure, unconditioned, natural, spiritual.
It has nothing to do with ego-competition, pretense, self-deception,
pride, vanity, arrogance, and other negativities that keep a
man afraid. All such items belong to the False Self. ~ Vernon Howard,
216:The reason this book has been so instrumental in helping people to resolve conflict is that it opens readers to how they have helped to create the very problems they have attributed to others. This is the essence of the self-deception solution— discovering how each of us has the problem of not knowing we have a problem. This is the realization that makes conflict resolution possible. ~ The Arbinger Institute,
217:Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception. ~ Mark Twain,
218:The statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception. ~ Mark Twain,
219:Had Beta been French, perhaps he would've been an existentialist, probably though that would not have satisfied him.
He smiled contemptuously at mental speculations, for he remembered seeing philosophers fighting over garbage in the concentration camps.
Human thought had no significance; subterfuge and self-deception were easy to decipher: all that really counted was the movement of matter. ~ Czes aw Mi osz,
220:It is true, the Zen-man’s contempt for conventional and formalistic social custom is a healthy phenomenon, but it is healthy only because it presupposes a spiritual liberty based on freedom from passion, egotism and self-delusion. A pseudo-Zen attitude which seeks to justify a complete moral collapse with a few rationalizations based on the Zen Masters is only another form of bourgeois self-deception. ~ Thomas Merton,
221:It is probably true that almost all atheists stand for the values of reason and freethought. I will attempt to put these values in more substantial terms. There is the belief that inquiry and doubt are essential checks against deception, self deception, and error. There is the belief that logic and the scientific method is the only way the world can arrive at an agreement on the truth about anything. ~ Richard Carrier,
222:Ultimately the body will rebel. Even if it can be temporarily pacified with the help of drugs, cigarettes or medicine, it usually has the last word because it is quicker to see through self-deception than the mind. We may ignore or deride the messages of the body, but its rebellion demands to be heeded because its language is the authentic expression of our true selves and of the strength of our vitality. ~ Alice Miller,
223:One of the great self-deceptions--and one of the great foolishnesses--is to tell yourself, Only I will know. Only you will know that you are a liar; only you will know you deal unethically with people who trust you; only you will know you have no intention of honoring your promise. Whose knowledge or judgment do you imagine is more important? It is precisely your own ego from which there is no escape. ~ Nathaniel Branden,
224:Man is an evasive beast, given to cultivating strange notions about himself. He is humiliated by his simian ancestry, and tries to deny his animal nature, to persuade himself that he is not limited by its weaknesses nor concerned in its fate. And this impulse may be harmless, when it is genuine. But what are we to say when we see the formulas of heroic self-deception made use of by unheroic self-indulgence? ~ Upton Sinclair,
225:To such perseverance in willful self-deception Elizabeth would make no reply, and immediately and in silence withdrew; determined, that if he persisted in considering her repeated refusals as flattering encouragement, to apply to her father, whose negative might be uttered in such a manner as must be decisive, and whose behavior at least could not be mistaken for the affectation and coquetry of an elegant female. ~ Jane Austen,
226:Two mirrors, opposite and facing each other at perfectly parallel angles, viewing themselves through the other, the view as deep as infinity... Love was a way to live forever in a single moment, and it was also a way to see yourself as you had never actually seen yourself, and made you realise – having done so – that this view was a more meaningful one than any of your previous self-perceptions and self-deceptions. ~ Matt Haig,
227:Like Karl Kraus [Wittgenstein], was seldom pleased by what he saw of the institutions of men, and the idiom of the passerby mostly offended his ear - particularly when they happened to speak philosophically; and like Karl Kraus, he suspected that the institutions could not but be corrupt if the idiom of the race was confused, presumptuous, and vacuous, a fabric of nonsense, untruth, deception, and self-deception. ~ Thomas Szasz,
228:Confession is the God-given remedy for self-deception and self-indulgence. When we confess our sins before a brother-Christian, we are mortifying the pride of the flesh and delivering it up to shame and death through Christ. Then through the word of absolution we rise as new men, utterly dependent on the mercy of God. Confession is thus a genuine part of the life of the saints, and one of the gifts of grace. ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer,
229:According to Stoic philosophy, when we assign intrinsic values like “good” or “bad” to external events, we’re behaving irrationally and even exhibiting a form of self-deception. When we call something a “catastrophe,” for instance, we go beyond the bare facts and start distorting events and deceiving ourselves. Moreover, the Stoics consider lying a form of impiety—when a man lies, he alienates himself from Nature. ~ Donald J Robertson,
230:When it came to the war, he believed that the “consent” of the governed had been, in his phrase, “manufactured.” Hence, as he wrote, “It is no longer possible…to believe in the original dogma of democracy; that the knowledge needed for the management of human affairs comes up spontaneously from the human heart. Where we act on that theory we expose ourselves to self-deception, and to forms of persuasion that we cannot verify. ~ Tim Wu,
231:For us, then, life is a confidence trick we must run on ourselves, hoping we do not catch on to any monkey business that would leave us stripped of our defense mechanisms and standing stark naked before the silent, staring void. To end this self-deception, to free our species of the paradoxical imperative to be and not to be conscious, our backs breaking by degrees upon a wheel of lies, we must cease reproducing. Nothing less will do. ~ Thomas Ligotti,
232:People who believe that they are strong-willed and the masters of their destiny can only continue to believe this by becoming specialists in self-deception. Their decisions are not really decisions at all—a real decision makes one humble, one knows that it is at the mercy of more things than can be named—but elaborate systems of evasion, of illusion, designed to make themselves and the world appear to be what they and the world are not. ~ James Baldwin,
233:Feynman's cryptic remark, "no one is that much smarter ...," to me, implies something Feynman kept emphasizing: that the key to his achievements was not anything "magical" but the right attitude, the focus on nature's reality, the focus on asking the right questions, the willingness to try (and to discard) unconventional answers, the sensitive ear for phoniness, self-deception, bombast, and conventional but unproven assumptions. ~ Philip Warren Anderson,
234:Sometimes I think the urge to believe in our own worldview is our most powerful intellectual imperative, the mind's equivalent of feeding, fighting, and fornicating. People will eagerly twist facts into wholly unrecognizable shapes to fit them into existing suppositions. They'll ignore the obvious, select the irrelevant, and spin it all into a tapestry of self-deception, solely to justify an idea, no matter how impoverished or self-destructive. ~ Barry Eisler,
235:Sometimes I think the urge to believe in our own worldview is our most powerful intellectual imperative, the mind’s equivalent of feeding, fighting, and fornicating. People will eagerly twist facts into wholly unrecognizable shapes to fit them into existing suppositions. They’ll ignore the obvious, select the irrelevant, and spin it all into a tapestry of self-deception, solely to justify an idea, no matter how impoverished or self-destructive. ~ Barry Eisler,
236:A few of the managers we spoke with for this book worried that the tour of duty framework might give employees "permission" to leave. But permission is not yours to give or to withhold, and believing you have that power is simply a self-deception that leads to a dishonest relationship with your employees. Employees don't need your permission to switch companies, and if you try to assert that right, they'll simply make their move behind your back. ~ Reid Hoffman,
237:It’s easier to accept lies by invoking a misguided alibi of tolerance and mutual respect than to live outside the cone of public approval. This is clear in every recent national debate over abortion, marriage, family, sexuality, and rights in general. Many of us are happy to live with half-truths and ambiguity rather than risk being cut out of the herd. The culture of lies thrives on our own complicity, lack of courage, and self-deception. The ~ Charles J Chaput,
238:Sometimes I think the urge to believe in our own worldview is our most powerful intellectual imperative, the mind’s equivalent of feeding, fighting, and fornicating. People will eagerly twist facts into wholly unrecognizable shapes to fit them into existing suppositions. They’ll ignore the obvious, select the irrelevant, and spin it all into a tapestry of self-deception, solely to justify an idea, no matter how impoverished or self-destructive. And ~ Barry Eisler,
239:Poor feeling hijacks thinking for self-deception: to hide harsh truths, avoid action, evade responsibility, and, as the existentialists might put it, flee from freedom. Thus, poor feeling is a kind of moral failing, indeed, the deepest kind, and virtue principally consists in correcting and refining our emotions and the values that they reflect. To feel the right thing is to do the right thing, without any particular need for conscious thought or effort. ~ Neel Burton,
240:The web of hypocrisy of today hangs on the frontiers of two domains, between which our time swings back and forth, attaching its fine threads of deception and self-deception. No longer vigorous enough to serve morality without doubt or weakening, not yet reckless enough to live wholly to egoism, it trembles now toward the one and now toward the other in the spider-web of hypocrisy, and, crippled by the curse of halfness, catches only miserable, stupid flies. ~ Max Stirner,
241:By contrast, the late-modern and post-modern self has in essence no essence. To this fragmented, fluid and compartmentalized self, denial, far from being an aberration, is only to be expected. This, however, is not just a change in world-views. Freud himself was quite clear that the unitary self of even the healthiest, ‘integrated’ person was permanently under siege. The self could never be fully socialized; denial and self-deception are part of being human. ~ Stanley Cohen,
242:One spiritual writer has observed that human beings are born with two diseases: life, from which we die; and hope, which says the first disease is not terminal. Hope is built into the structure of our personalities, into the depths of our unconscious; it plagues us to the very moment of our death. The critical question is whether hope is self-deception, the ultimate cruelty of a cruel and tricky universe, or whether it is just possibly the imprint of reality. ~ Brennan Manning,
243:It was just over thirty years ago that I had the dramatic out-of-body experience that convinced me of the reality of psychic phenomena and launched me on a crusade to show those closed-minded scientists that consciousness could reach beyond the body and that death was not the end. Just a few years of careful experiments changed all that. I found no psychic phenomena - only wishful thinking, self-deception, experimental error and, occasionally, fraud. I became a sceptic. ~ Susan Blackmore,
244:Such people neither steal, nor murder, nor commit adultery, but do good according to their abilities. But . . . they must close their eyes and ears to the injustice around them. Only at the cost of self-deception can they keep their private blamelessness clean from the stains of responsible action in the world. In all that they do, what they fail to do will not let them rest. They will either be destroyed by this unrest, or they will become the most hypocritical of all Pharisees. ~ Eric Metaxas,
245:Self-deception is a defining part of our human nature. By recognizing its various forms in ourselves and reflecting upon them, we may be able to disarm them and even, in some cases, to employ and enjoy them. This self-knowledge opens up a whole new world before us, rich in beauty and subtlety, and frees us not only to take the best out of it, but also to give it back the best of ourselves, and, in so doing, to fulfil our potential as human beings. I don't really think it's a choice. ~ Neel Burton,
246:If... deceit is fundamental to animal communication, then there must be strong selection to spot deception and this ought, in turn, to select for a degree of self-deception, rendering some facts and motives unconscious so as not to betray - by the subtle signs of self-knowledge - the deception being practiced.' Thus, 'the conventional view that natural selection favors nervous systems which produce ever more accurate images of the world must be a very naive view of mental evolution. ~ Robert Trivers,
247:Every one of the world's "great" religions utterly trivializes the immensity and beauty of the cosmos. Books like the Bible and the Koran get almost every significant fact about us and our world wrong. Every scientific domain -- from cosmology to psychology to economics -- has superseded and surpassed the wisdom of Scripture. Everything of value that people get from religion can be had more honestly, without presuming anything on insufficient evidence. The rest is self-deception, set to music. ~ Sam Harris,
248:The weak are not a noble breed. Their sublime deeds of faith, daring, and self-sacrifice usually spring from questionable motives. The weak hate not wickedness but weakness; and one instance of their hatred of weakness is hatred of self. All the passionate pursuits of the weak are in some degree a striving to escape, blur, or disguise an unwanted self. It is a striving shot through with malice, envy, self-deception, and a host of petty impulses; yet it often culminates in superb achievements. ~ Eric Hoffer,
249:Deception…all life is deception, for without deception few can face the cold impartiality of the universe or the fact that it will go on and we will die, never benefiting fully from what was or at all from what we have struggled to create, but striving against the darkness of self-deception. Yet…the struggle in itself has meaning because the universe only exists. Merely existing, the universe lacks meaning, and only a deceptive being can bring meaning to the impartial fact of meaninglessness. ~ L E Modesitt Jr,
250:Most of our platitudes notwithstanding, self-deception remains the most difficult deception. The tricks that work on others count for nothing in that very well-lit back alley where one keeps assignation with oneself: no winning smiles will do here, no prettily drawn lists of good intentions. One shuffles flashily but in vain through one's marked cards- the kindness done for the wrong reason, the apparent triumph which involved no real effort, the seemingly heroic act into which one had been shamed. ~ Joan Didion,
251:Every one of the world's "great" religions utterly trivializes the immensity and beauty of the cosmos. Books like the Bible and the Koran get almost every significant fact about us and our world wrong. Every scientific domain -- from cosmology to psychology to economics -- has superseded and surpassed the wisdom of Scripture.

Everything of value that people get from religion can be had more honestly, without presuming anything on insufficient evidence. The rest is self-deception, set to music. ~ Sam Harris,
252:Although to be driven back upon oneself is an uneasy affair at best, rather like trying to cross a border with borrowed credentials, it seems to me now the one condition necessary to the beginning of self-respect. Most of our platitudes notwithstanding, self-deception remains the most difficult deception. The tricks that work on others count for nothing in that very well-lit back alley where one keeps assignations with oneself: no winning smiles will do here, no prettily drawn lists of good intentions. ~ Joan Didion,
253:Willpower: "This virtue, like moste virtues, is ambiguity itself. People who believe that they are strong-willed and the masters of their destiny can only continue t obelieve this by becoming specialists in self-deception. Their decisons are not really decisions at all - a real decision makes one humble, one knows that it is at the mercy of more things than can be named - but elaborate systems of evaion, of illusion, designed to make themselves and the world appear to be what they and the world are not. ~ James Baldwin,
254:Today's children and grandchildren are entitled to be aware, they are entitled to believe what they saw and felt as children. They need not force themselves into blindness. They have paid for such enforced blindness with physical or mental disorders whose real causes remain concealed for so long. If they stop conniving in such concealment, they will have a real prospect of freeing themselves of the chains of violence and self-deception, and then they will no longer claim sacrifices from their own children. ~ Alice Miller,
255:Trivers, pursuing his theory of the emotions to its logical conclusion, notes that in a world of walking lie detectors the best strategy is to believe your own lies. You can’t leak your hidden intentions if you don’t think they are your intentions. According to his theory of self-deception, the conscious mind sometimes hides the truth from itself the better to hide it from others. But the truth is useful, so it should be registered somewhere in the mind, walled off from the parts that interact with other people. ~ Steven Pinker,
256:No man's really any good till he knows how bad he is, or might be; till he's realised exactly how much right he has to all this snobbery, and sneering, and talking about 'criminals,' as if they were apes in a forest ten thousand miles away; till he's got rid of all the dirty self-deception of talking about low types and deficient skulls; till he's squeezed out of his soul the last drop of the oil of the Pharisees; till his only hope is somehow or other to have captured one criminal, and kept him safe and sane under his own hat. ~ G K Chesterton,
257:People are always talking about it being their duty to find their way to their fellow men — to their neighbour, as they are forever saying with all the baseness of false sentiment — when in fact it is purely and simply a question of finding their way to themselves. Let each first find his way to himself! And since hardly anyone has yet found his way to himself, it is inconceivable that any of these unfortunate millions has ever found his way to another human being — or to his neighbour, as they say, dripping with self-deception. ~ Thomas Bernhard,
258:Those who know in their hearts that they are not really necessary -- and are entirely replaceable-- must inevitably be tempted to misrepresent the nature of their work and build up a false notion of its importance. A further alienation from truth takes place, a further loss of contact with reality. And one thing we can be sure of is that self-deception, whether on the level of the wind and the rain or on that of spiritual reality, must always come up against the real sooner or later, and that its destruction is very painful. ~ Charles Le Gai Eaton,
259:Those who know in their hearts that they are not really necessary -- and are entirely replaceable-- must inevitably be tempted to misrepresent the nature of their work and build up a false notion of its importance. A further alienation from truth takes place, a further loss of contact with reality. And one thing we can be sure of is that self-deception, whether on the level of the wind and the rain or on that of spiritual reality, must always come up against the real sooner or later, and that its destruction is very painful. ~ Charles le Gai Eaton,
260:We might erroneously believe that maitri is a way to find a happiness that lasts; as advertisements so seductively promise, we could feel great for the rest of our lives. It’s not that we pat ourselves on the back and say, “You’re the greatest,” or “Don’t worry, sweetheart, everything is going to be fine.” Rather it’s a process by which self-deception becomes so skillfully and compassionately exposed that there’s no mask that can hide us anymore. What makes maitri such a different approach is that we are not trying to solve a problem. ~ Pema Ch dr n,
261:Words bend our thinking to infinite paths of self-delusion, and the fact that we spend most of our mental lives in brain mansions built of words means that we lack the objectivity necessary to see the terrible distortion of reality which language brings. Example: the Chinese pictogram for ‘integrity’ is a two-part symbol of a man literally standing next to his word. So far, so good. But what does the Late English word ‘honesty’ mean? Or ‘Motherland’? Or ‘progress’? Or ‘democracy’? Or ‘beauty’? But even in our self-deception, we become gods. ~ Dan Simmons,
262:The philosophy of tough love is based on the conviction that no effective recovery can be initiated until a man admits that he is powerless over alcohol and that his life has become unmanageable. The alternative to confronting the truth is always some form of self-destruction. For Max there were three options: eventual insanity, premature death, or sobriety. In order to free the captive, one must name the captivity. Max’s denial had to be identified through merciless interaction with his peers. His self-deception had to be unmasked in its absurdity. ~ Brennan Manning,
263:In the forward to Richard Dawkins’s popular book The Selfish Gene, Trivers reasoned: If . . . deceit is fundamental to animal communication, then there must be strong selection to spot deception and this ought, in turn, to select for a degree of self-deception, rendering some facts and motives unconscious so as not to betray—by the subtle signs of self knowledge—the deception being practiced. Thus, the conventional view that natural selection favors nervous systems which produce ever more accurate versions of the world must be a very naïve view of mental evolution. ~ Anonymous,
264:My wife of more than forty-years shot herself yesterday afternoon.

At least that is what the police assume, and I am playing the part of grieving widower with enthusiasm and success. Life with Sarah has schooled me in self-deception, which I find--as she did--to be an excellent training in the deceiving of others. Of course I know that she did nothing of the kind. My wife was far too sane, far too rooted in the present to think of harming herself. In my opinion she never gave a thought to what she had done. She was incapable of guilt.

It was I who killed her. ~ Richard Mason,
265:Those who train wholeheartedly in awakening unconditional and relative bodhichitta are called bodhisattvas or warriors—not warriors who kill and harm but warriors of nonaggression who hear the cries of the world. These are men and women who are willing to train in the middle of the fire. Training in the middle of the fire can mean that warrior-bodhisattvas enter challenging situations in order to alleviate suffering. It also refers to their willingness to cut through personal reactivity and self-deception, to their dedication to uncovering the basic undistorted energy of bodhichitta. ~ Pema Ch dr n,
266:The Christ we find in ourselves is not identified with what we vainly seek to admire and idolize in ourselves—on the contrary, he has identified himself with what we resent in ourselves, for he has taken upon himself our wretchedness and our misery, our poverty and our sins…. We will never find peace if we listen to the voice of our own fatuous self-deception that tells us the conflict has ceased to exist. We will find peace when we can listen to the ‘death dance’ in our blood, not only with equanimity but with exultation because we hear within it the echoes of the victory of the Risen Savior. ~ Thomas Merton,
267:If she really were what she pretends to be, everything would have been wrong, everything I did and said and tried to get her to see, it would all have been monstrous. But her innocence left her a very long time ago, and she never noticed. She eats only grass, but she has a meat eater’s heart. And she doesn’t know it, and no one has told her. Maybe they don’t care enough about her to take the chance. What should I do? How many different truths are there, and what justifies them? What a person believes? What a person accomplishes? Self-deception? Is it only the result that counts? I no longer know. ~ Tove Jansson,
268:As long as you regard yourself or any part of your experience as the "dream come true," then you are involved in self-deception. Self-deception seems always to depend upon the dream world, because you would like to see what you have not yet seen, rather that what you are now seeing. You will not accept that whatever is here now is what is, nor are you willing to go on with the situation as it is. Thus, self-deception always manifests itself in terms of trying to create or recreate a dream world, the nostalgia of the dream experience. And the opposite of self-deception is just working with the facts of life. ~ Ch gyam Trungpa,
269:For I am—or I was—one of those people who pride themselves on their willpower, on their ability to make a decision and carry it through. This virtue, like most virtues, is ambiguity itself. People who believe that they are strong-willed and the masters of their destiny can only continue to believe this by becoming specialists in self-deception. Their decisions are not really decisions at all—a real decision makes one humble, one knows that it is at the mercy of more things than can be named—but elaborate systems of evasion, of illusion, designed to make themselves and the world appear to be what they and the world are not. ~ James Baldwin,
270:Richard III's monologue is not unlike Adolf Hitler's speech to his General Staff on 23 August 1939, in its utter lack of self-deception. The lack of self-deception is striking because most of us invent plausible reasons for doing something we know is wrong. Milton describes such rationalization in Paradise Lost in Eve, both before she eats the fruit of the forbidden tree and afterwards, when she justifies inducing Adam to eat:
So dear I love him, that with him all deaths
I could endure, without him live no life.
(Pl, IX. 832-33)
Eve makes this profession of love for Adam at the moment when she is, in effect, planning to kill him. ~ W H Auden,
271:She discovered, when it was too late, that she had mistaken the means for the end—that riches, rightly used, are instruments of happiness, but are not in themselves happiness. In this wilful blight of her affections, she found them valueless as means: they had been the end to which she had immolated all her affections, and were now the only end that remained to her. She did not confess this to herself as a principle of action, but it operated through the medium of unconscious self-deception, and terminated in inveterate avarice. She laid on external things the blame of her mind's internal disorder, and thus became by degrees an accomplished scold. ~ Thomas Love Peacock,
272:In the main, I agree more with the artists than with any philosopher hitherto: they have not lost the scent of life, they have loved the things of 'this world '—they have loved their senses. To strive for 'desensualization': that seems to me a misunderstanding or an illness or a cure, where it is not merely a hypocrisy or self-deception. I desire for myself and for all who live, may live, without being tormented by a puritanical conscience, an ever-greater spiritualization and multiplication of the senses; indeed, we should be grateful to the senses for their subtlety, plenitude and power and offer them in return the best we have in the way of spirit ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
273:In the main, I agree more with the artists than with any philosopher hitherto: they have not lost the scent of life, they have loved the things of 'this world'—they have loved their senses. To strive for 'desensualization': that seems to me a misunderstanding or an illness or a cure, where it is not merely a hypocrisy or self-deception. I desire for myself and for all who live, may live, without being tormented by a puritanical conscience, an ever-greater spiritualization and multiplication of the senses; indeed, we should be grateful to the senses for their subtlety, plenitude and power and offer them in return the best we have in the way of spirit. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
274:People who believe that they are strong-willed and the masters of their destiny can only continue to believe this by becoming specialists in self-deception. Their decisions are not really decisions at all— a real decision makes one humble, one knows that it is at the mercy of more things than can be named— but elaborate systems of evasion, of illusion, designed to make themselves and the world appear to be what they and the world are not…..

I had decided to allow no room in the universe for something which shamed and frightened me. I succeeded very well— by not looking at the universe, by not looking at myself, by remaining, in effect, in constant motion. ~ James Baldwin,
275:The self-deception of slave owners and proponents of slavery is well documented by the historians Eugene Genovese and Elizabeth Fox-Genovese in their book Fatal Self-Deception: Slaveholding Paternalism in the Old South. Slavery was not perceived by most slaveholders in the nineteenth century to be an exploitation of humans by other humans for economic gain; instead, slaveholders painted a portrait of slavery as a paternalistic and benign institution in which the slaves themselves were seen as not so different from all laborers—black and white—who toiled everywhere in both free and slave states; further, the South’s “Christian slavery” was claimed to be superior. ~ Michael Shermer,
276:Medicine labours to restore 'natural' structure or 'normal' function. But greed, egoism, self-deception,and self-pity are not abnormal in the same sense as astigmatism or a floating kidney. For who, in Heaven's name, would describe as natural or normal any man from whom these failings were wholly absent? 'Natural,' if you like, in a quite different sense; archnatural, unfallen. We have only seen one such Man. And he was not at all like the psychologist's picture of the integrated, balanced, adjusted, happily married, employed, popular citizen. You can't really be 'well adjusted' to your world if it says 'you havea devil' and ends by nailing you up naked to a stake of wood. ~ C S Lewis,
277:Harris: Yes. In fact, self-deception might have paid evolutionary dividends in other ways. Robert Trivers argues, for instance, that people who can believe their own lies turn out to be the best liars of all—and an ability to deceive rivals has obvious advantages in the state of nature. Now, clearly many things may have been adaptive for our ancestors—such as tribal warfare, rape, xenophobia—that we now deem unethical and would never want to defend. But I’m wondering if you see any possibility that a social system that maximizes truth-telling could be one that fails to maximize the well-being of all participants. Is it possible that some measure of deception is good for us? ~ Sam Harris,
278:In Buddhism, we express our willingness to be realistic through the practice of meditation. Meditation is not a matter of trying to achieve ecstasy, spiritual bliss, or tranquillity, nor is it attempting to become a better person. It is simply the creation of a space in which we are able to expose and undo our neurotic games, our self-deceptions, our hidden fears and hopes. We provide space through the simple discipline of doing nothing. Actually, doing nothing is very difficult. At first, we must begin by approximating doing nothing, and gradually our practice will develop. So meditation is a way of churning out the neuroses of mind and using them as part of our practice. ~ Ch gyam Trungpa,
279:Does trying to understand the universe at all betray a lack of humility? I believe it is true that humility is the only just response in a confrontation with the universe, but not a humility that prevents us from seeking the nature of the universe we are admiring. If we seek that nature, then love can be informed by truth instead of being based on ignorance or self-deception. If a Creator God exists, would He or She or It or whatever the appropriate pronoun is, prefer a kind of sodden blockhead who worships while understanding nothing? Or would He prefer His votaries to admire the real universe in all its intricacy? I would suggest that science is, at least in part, informed worship. ~ Carl Sagan,
280:While originating in acts of imagination, orthodoxies paradoxically seek to control the imagination as a means of maintaining their authority. The authenticity of a person’s understanding is measured according to its conformity with the dogmas of the school. While such controls may provide a necessary safeguard against charlatanism and self-deception, they also can be used to suppress authentic attempts at creative innovation that might threaten the status quo. The imagination is anarchic and potentially subversive. The more hierarchic and authoritarian a religious institution, the more it will require that the creations of the imagination conform to its doctrines and aesthetic norms. Yet ~ Stephen Batchelor,
281:If you look at your average contemporary person, the potential for tragedy is immense. The people and things we love and value are strewn across the globe. Any number of health disasters can befall you or them.
The truth is depressing. We are going to die, most likely after illness; all our friends will likewise die; we are tiny insignificant dots on a tiny planet. Perhaps with the advent of broad intelligence and foresight comes the need for confabulation and self-deception to keep depression and its consequent lethargy at bay. There needs to be a basic denial of our finitude and insignificance in the larger scene. It takes a certain amount of chutzpah just to get out of bed in the morning. ~ William Hirstein,
282:Socrates is a shining example of a man who bravely lived up to his ideals, and, in the end, bravely died for them. Throughout his life, he never lost faith in the mind’s ability to discern and decide, and so to apprehend and master reality. Nor did he ever betray truth and integrity for a pitiable life of self-deception and semi-consciousness. In seeking relentlessly to align mind with matter and thought with fact, he remained faithful both to himself and to the world, with the result that he is still alive in this sentence and millions of others that have been written about him. More than a great philosopher, Socrates was the living embodiment of the dream that philosophy might one day set us free. ~ Neel Burton,
283:Inability to face up to the sufferings undergone in childhood can be observed both in the form of religious obedience and in cynicism, irony, and other forms of self-alienation frequently masquerading as philosophy or literature. But ultimately the body will rebel. Even if it can be temporarily pacified with the help of drugs, nicotine, or medicine, it usually has the last word, because it is quicker to see through self-deception than the mind, particularly if the mind has been trained to function as an alienated self. We may ignore or deride the messages of the body, but its rebellion demands to be heeded because its language is the authentic expression of our true selves and of the strength of our vitality. ~ Alice Miller,
284:All their lives, they will force themselves to offer their parents something that they neither possess nor have any knowledge of, quite simply because they have never been given it: genuine, unconditional love that does not merely serve to gratify the needs of the recipient. Yet they will continue to strive in this direction because even as adults they still believe that they need their parents and because, despite all the disappointments they have experienced, they still hope for some token of genuine affection from those parents. Such futile striving can have fateful effects on adult children if they are unable to free themselves of this urge. All it results in is delusion, compulsion, pretense, and self-deception. ~ Alice Miller,
285:My dear lady,’ he was saying, ‘what is madness? I can assure you that the more we study the subject, the more difficult we find it to pronounce. We all practise a certain amount of self-deception, and when we carry it so far as to believe we are the Czar of Russia, we are shut up or restrained. But there is a long road before we reach that point. At what particular spot on it shall we erect a post and say, “On this side sanity, on the other madness?” It can’t be done, you know. And I will tell you this, if the man suffering from a delusion happened to hold his tongue about it, in all probability we should never be able to distinguish him from a normal individual. The extraordinary sanity of the insane is a most interesting subject. ~ Agatha Christie,
286:As a matter of face, Zen is at present most fashionable in America among those who are least concerned with moral discipline. Zen has, indeed, become for us a symbol of moral revolt. It is true, the Zen-man's contempt for conventional and formalistic social custom is a healthy phenomenon, but it is healthy only because it presupposes a spiritual liberty based on freedom from passion, egotism and self-delusion. A pseudo-Zen attitude which seeks to justify a complete moral collapse with a few rationalizations based on the Zen Masters is only another form of bourgeois self-deception. It is not an expression of healthy revolt, but only another aspect of the same lifeless and inert conventionalism against which it appears to be protesting. ~ Thomas Merton,
287:One cannot properly drink without self-deception: the lips have to deny the liquor that just passed down the throat. It was surely for the relief of drunkards that the Lord God did not write upon the stone tablets the commandment: thou shalt not lie. The word has to deny the addiction. Among the tribe of alcoholics, lying is a badge of honor - the truth is first an indiscretion, later an affront, and finally a source of despair. If you truly drink, you have to announce to all and sundry that you do not drink; if you admit you drink, that means you do not truly drink. True all-out drinking has to be concealed; anyone who reveals it is giving in, confessing to helplessness, and all that remains for him is weeping, the gnashing of teeth, and the 12 step program. ~ Jerzy Pilch,
288:Her face was wet with tears.

A foreigner in the world of the emotions, ignorant of their language but compelled to listen to it, I turned into the street. With every step I marvelled more at the extent of Marian's self-deception. Why then was I moved by what she had said? Why did I half wish that I could see it all as she did? And why should I go on this preposterous errand? I hadn't promised to and I wasn't a child, to be ordered about. My car was standing by the public call-box; nothing easier than to ring up Ted's grandson and make my excuses. . . .

But I didn't, and hardly had I turned in at the lodge gates, wondering how I should say what I had come to say, when the south-west prospect of the Hall, long hidden from my memory, sprang into view. ~ L P Hartley,
289:But self-deception of this kind (ed persecution) cannot lead to any solid happiness. In the back of your mind you will know that the facts are otherwise, and in order to conceal this from yourself as far as possible, you will have to invent more and more fantastic hypotheses. The strain of trying to believe these will, in the end, become very great. And since, moreover, they involve the belief that you are the object of widespread hostility, they will only safeguard your self-esteem by inflicting the very painful feeling that you are at odds with the world. No satisfaction based upon self-deception is solid, and however unpleasant the truth may be, it is better to face it once for all, to get used to it, and to proceed to build your life in accordance with it. ~ Bertrand Russell,
290:And the German society of eighty million people had been shielded against reality and factuality by exactly the same means, the same self-deception, lies, and stupidity that had now become engrained in Eichmann's mentality. These lies changed from year to year, and they frequently contradicted each other; moreover, they were not necessarily the same for the various branches of the Party hierarchy or the people at large. But the practice of self-deception had become so common, almost a moral prerequisite for survival, that even now, eighteen years after the collapse of the Nazi regime, when most of the specific content of its lies has been forgotten, it is sometimes difficult not to believe that mendacity has become an integral part of the German national character. ~ Hannah Arendt,
291:You already know what you know, after all—and, unless your life is perfect, what you know is not enough. You remain threatened by disease, and self-deception, and unhappiness, and malevolence, and betrayal, and corruption, and pain, and limitation. You are subject to all these things, in the final analysis, because you are just too ignorant to protect yourself. If you just knew enough, you could be healthier and more honest. You would suffer less. You could recognize, resist and even triumph over malevolence and evil. You would neither betray a friend, nor deal falsely and deceitfully in business, politics or love. However, your current knowledge has neither made you perfect nor kept you safe. So, it is insufficient, by definition—radically, fatally insufficient. ~ Jordan Peterson,
292:You already know what you know, after all—and, unless your life is perfect, what you know is not enough. You remain threatened by disease, and self-deception, and unhappiness, and malevolence, and betrayal, and corruption, and pain, and limitation. You are subject to all these things, in the final analysis, because you are just too ignorant to protect yourself. If you just knew enough, you could be healthier and more honest. You would suffer less. You could recognize, resist and even triumph over malevolence and evil. You would neither betray a friend, nor deal falsely and deceitfully in business, politics or love. However, your current knowledge has neither made you perfect nor kept you safe. So, it is insufficient, by definition—radically, fatally insufficient. ~ Jordan B Peterson,
293:The true goal of all spiritual practices is to keep yourself fooled, to maintain the self-deception, to see what's not and not see what is. That's why the stated goals are always unverifiable and ill-defined: its not about attaining them, its about pursuing them. Who wants to wake up? When we have a little itch that threatens to awaken us in the night, we want to scratch the itch and make it go away. not let it evict us from our slumbers. Same thing here. In this sense. spiritual practice—meditation. for instance—is one hundred percent effective. If a spiritual practice satisfies your urge to do something spiritual. if it makes you think you're making progress. if it scratches your itch without disturbing your slumber, then it's doing exactly what it's supposed to be doing. ~ Jed McKenna,
294:Life, at all times full of pain, is more painful in our time than in the two centuries that preceded it. The attempt to escape from pain drives men to triviality, to self-deception, to the invention of vast collective myths. But these momentary alleviations do but increase the sources of suffering in the long run. Both private and public misfortune can only be mastered by a process in which will and intelligence interact: the part of will is to refuse to shirk the evil or accept an unreal solution, while the part of intelligence is to understand it, to find a cure if it is curable, and, if not, to make it bearable by seeing it in its relations, accepting it as unavoidable, and remembering what lies outside it in other regions, other ages, and the abysses of interstellar space ~ Bertrand Russell,
295:Once a person has been poisoned by self-deception, he can't make decisions about himself as neatly as all that," Himiko said, elaborating her friend's terrific prophecy; " You won't get a divorce Bird. You'll justify yourself like crazy, and try to salvage your married life by confusing the real issues. A decision like divorce is beyond you now, Bird, the poison has gone to work. And you know how the story ends ? Not even your own wife will trust you absolutely, and one day you'll discover for yourself that your entire private life is in the shadow of deception and in the end you'll destroy yourself. Bird, the first signs of self-destruction have appeared already!"
" But that's a blind alley! Leave it to you to paint the most hopeless future you can think of. " Bird lunged at jocularity... ~ Kenzabur e,
296:Nevertheless we are free individuals, and this freedom condemns us to make choices throughout our lives. There are no eternal values or norms we can adhere to, which makes our choices even more significant. Because we are totally responsible for everything we do. Sartre emphasized that man must never disclaim the responsibility for his actions. Nor can we avoid the responsibility of making our own choices on the grounds that we "must" go to work, or we "must" live up to certain middle-class expectations regarding how we should live. Those who thus slip into the anonymous masses will never be other than members of the impersonal flock, having fled from themselves into self-deception. On the other hand our freedom obliges us to make something of ourselves, to live "authentically" or "truly". ~ Jostein Gaarder,
297:We often fail to realize the depth of evil, terrifying as it is. I am not speaking only of the selfishness of the wealthy, heaping up riches for themselves, or of those who sacrifice to achieve their self-selected goals. Or of the dictator who breathes in the incense due only to God. I am speaking of the selfishness of good people, devout people, those who have succeeded through spiritual exercises and self-denial in being able to make the proud profession before the altar of the Most High, “Lord, I am not like the rest of men.” Yes, we have had the audacity at certain times of our lives to believe we are different from other men. And here is the deepest form of self-deception, dictated by self-centeredness at its worst: spiritual egotism. This most insidious form of egotism even uses piety and prayer for its own gain. ~ Carlo Carretto,
298:Modern humanism is the faith that through science humankind can know the truth- and to be free. But if Darwin's theory of natural selection is true this is impossible. The human mind serves evolutionary success, not truth. To think otherwise is to resurrect the pre-Darwinian error that humans are different from all other animals. (...) There is no mechanism of selection in the history of ideas akin to that of the natural selection of genetic mutations in evolution.(...) Among humans, the best deceivers are those who deceive themselves: 'we deceive ourselves in order to deceive others better'. A lover who promises eternal fidelity s more likely to be believed if he believes his promise himself; he is no more likely to keep his promise.(...) In a competition for mates, a well-developed capacity for self-deception is an advantage. ~ John Gray,
299:To perceive your personal fulfilment in service to something or someone else, in helping the weak and defenceless, or in giving yourself fully to someone else’s vision or idea is nothing more than an illusion and self-deception. In the illusion the mind has been seriously gripped by a pendulum and sees its happiness exclusively in service to it. However hard the mind tries to convince itself that it has found happiness in service to other people or to some lofty idea, this person’s heart will be miserable and forced back into its box with no strength to even verbalise its rights to personal happiness. The conviction that another person’s idea is one’s own or that another person’s happiness represents one’s own fulfilment is a misconception held by people who have been unable to find their own goal, or perhaps have not even tried. ~ Vadim Zeland,
300:The discovery of this reality is hindered rather than helped by belief, whether one believes in God or believes in atheism. We must here make a clear distinction between belief and faith, because, in general practice, belief has come to mean a state of mind which is almost the opposite of faith. Belief, as I use the word here, is the insistence that the truth is what one would “lief” or wish it to be. The believer will open his mind to the truth on condition that it fits in with his preconceived ideas and wishes. Faith, on the other hand, is an unreserved opening of the mind to the truth, whatever it may turn out to be. Faith has no preconceptions; it is a plunge into the unknown. Belief clings, but faith lets go. In this sense of the word, faith is the essential virtue of science, and likewise of any religion that is not self-deception. ~ Alan W Watts,
301:It is not brains or intelligence that is needed to cope with the problems with Plato and Aristotle and all of their successors to the present have failed to confront. What is needed is a readiness to undervalue the world altogether. This is only possible for a Christian... All technologies and all cultures, ancient and modern, are part of our immediate expanse. There is hope in this diversity since it creates vast new possibilities of detachment and amusement at human gullibility and self-deception. There is no harm in reminding ourselves from time to time that the "Prince of this World" is a great P.R. man, a great salesman of new hardware and software, a great electric engineer, and a great master of the media. It is his master stroke to be not only environmental but invisible for the environmental is invincibly persuasive when ignored. ~ Marshall McLuhan,
302:Today, as adults, we know that our efforts were exploited, that this was not love in the true sense of the word. So why do we ultimately expect love from people who, for whatever reason, were unable to love us when we were small? If we succeed in abandoning that hope, those expectations will fall away, taking with them the self-deception that has been a constant factor in our lives. We no longer believe that we are not worth loving; we no longer believe we must prove that we are worthy of love after all. We are not to blame. It is the fault of the situation our parents found themselves in, what they made of the childhood traumas they themselves went through, the progress they made (or failed to make) in coming to terms with those traumas. There is nothing we can do to change all that. All we can do is live our own lives and change our attitudes accordingly. ~ Alice Miller,
303:The exuberant brain is a hopping, electric place, a breeding ground for both invention and rashness. It is by nature impatient, certain, and high on itself; inclined to action rather than reflection; overpromising; and susceptible to dangerous rushes of adrenaline. The exuberant mind is also disinclined to detail, error prone, and vulnerable to seduction. All people, said Walter Bagehot, are most credulous when they are most happy; for someone who is exuberant, self-deception is just the next mountain over from credulousness. All seems possible, much seems essential, and unwarranted optimism feels fully warranted. Self-deception can then move, by conscious intent or not, into the deception of others. ("It is unfortunate, considering that enthusiasm moves the world," said the Earl of Balfour, "that so few enthusiasts can be trusted to speak the truth.") ~ Kay Redfield Jamison,
304:Art altogether is nothing but a survival skill, we should never lose sight of this fact, it is, time and again, just an attempt -- an attempt that seems touching even to our intellect -- to cope with this world and its revolting aspects, which, as we know, is invariably possible only by resorting to lies and falsehoods, to hyprocrisy and self-deception, Reger said. These pictures are full of lies and falsehoods and full of hypocrisy and self-deception, there is nothing else in them if we disregard their often inspired artistry. All these pictures, moreover, are an expression of man's absolute helplessness in coping with himself and with what surrounds him all his life. That is what all these pictures express, this helplessness which, on the one hand, embarasses the intellect and, on the other hand, bewilders the same intellect and moves it to tears, Reger said. ~ Thomas Bernhard,
305:If it takes a little myth and ritual to get us through a night that seems endless, who among us cannot sympathise and understand? We long to be here for a purpose even though, despite much self-deception, none is evident. The significance of our lives and our fragile planet is then determined only by our own wisdom and courage. We are the custodians of life’s meaning. We long for our parents to care for us, to forgive us our errors, to save us from our childish mistakes. But knowledge is preferable to ignorance. Better by far to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring fable. Modern science has been a voyage into the unknown, with a lesson in humility waiting at every stop. Our common sense intuitions can be mistaken. Our preferences don’t count. We do not live in a privileged reference frame. If we crave some cosmic purpose, then let us find ourselves a worthy goal. ~ Carl Sagan,
306:Perhaps we still have a basically superstitious tendency to associate failure with dishonesty and guilt—failure being interpreted as “punishment.” Even if a man starts out with good intentions, if he fails we tend to think he was somehow “at fault.” If he was not guilty, he was at least “wrong.” And “being wrong” is something we have not yet learned to face with equanimity and understanding. We either condemn it with god-like disdain or forgive it with god-like condescension. We do not manage to accept it with human compassion, humility and identification. Thus we never see the one truth that would help us begin to solve our ethical and political problems: that we are all more or less wrong, that we are all at fault, all limited and obstructed by our mixed motives, our self-deception, our greed, our self-righteousness and our tendency to aggressivity and hypocrisy. ~ Thomas Merton,
307:At the end of a life spent in the pursuit of knowledge Faust has to confess:

"I now see that we can nothing know."

That is the answer to a sum, it is the outcome of a long experience. But as Kierkegaard observed, it is quite a different thing when a freshman comes up to the university and uses the same sentiment to justify his indolence. As the answer to a sum it is perfectly true, but as the initial data it is a piece of self-deception. For acquired knowledge cannot be divorced from the existence in which it is acquired. The only man who has the right to say that he is justified by grace alone is the man who has left all to follow Christ. Such a man knows that the call to discipleship is a gift of grace, and that the call is inseparable from the grace. But those who try to use this grace as a dispensation from following Christ are simply deceiving themselves. ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer,
308:• They travel in tight circles of likeminded people. • Their thinking is more likely based on what authorities have told them rather than on their own critical judgment, which results in their beliefs being filled with inconsistencies. • They harbor numerous double standards and hypocrisies. • They are hostile toward so many minorities they seem to be equal-opportunity bigots, yet they are generally unaware of their prejudices. • They see the world as a dangerous place, with society teetering on the brink of self-destruction from evil and violence, and when their fear conflates with their self-righteousness, they appoint themselves guardians of public morality, or God’s Designated Hitters. • They think of themselves as far more moral and upstanding than others—a self-deception aided by their religiosity (many are “born again”) and their ability to “evaporate guilt” (such as by going to confession). ~ John W Dean,
309:When the light of God's truth begins to find its way through the mists of illusion and self-deception with which we have unconsciously surrounded ourselves, and when the image of God within us begins to return to itself, the false self which we inherited from Adam begins to experience the strange panic that Adam felt when, after his sin, he hid in the trees of the garden because he heard the voice of the Lord God in the afternoon.

If we are to recover our own identity, and return to God by the way Adam came in his fall, we must learn to stop saying: "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked. And I hid." [Genesis 2:10] We must cast away the "aprons of leaves" and the "garments of skins" which the Fathers of the Church variously interpret as passions, and attachments to earthly things, and fixation in our own rigid determination to be someone other than our true selves. ~ Thomas Merton,
310:Did I not risk incurring the severest of penalties if I insisted on breaking that taboo? But my fear also helped me to understand a lot of things, one of them being that Freud betrayed his own insights for that very reason. Should I follow in his footsteps and revoke the insights I had gained on the frequency and the consequences of cruelty to children, so as to not be attacked and rejected? Could I really have seen something that so many people who unconditionally adulated Freud had not seen: his self-deception? I can remember that whenever I started negotiating with myself trying to find a compromise, or asking myself whether I should not perhaps divulge only part of the truth, physical symptoms were invariably the response. I had digestive problems, I could not sleep, and I suffered from bouts of depression. Once I had realized that there were no more compromises for me, those symptoms disappeared. ~ Alice Miller,
311:Many ‘normal’ people suffer from not being hypersane: they have a restricted worldview, confused priorities, and are wracked by stress, anxiety, and self-deception. As a result, they sometimes do dangerous things, and become fanatics or fascists or otherwise destructive (or not constructive) people. In contrast, hypersane people are calm, contained, and constructive. It is not just that the ‘sane’ are irrational but that they lack scope and range, as though they had grown into the prisoners of their arbitrary lives, locked up in their own dark and narrow subjectivity. Unable to take leave of their selves, they hardly look around them, barely see beauty and possibility, rarely contemplate the bigger picture—and all, ultimately, for fear of losing their selves, of breaking down, of going mad, using one form of extreme subjectivity to defend against another, as life—mysterious, magical life—passes them by. ~ Neel Burton,
312:For I am—or I was—one of those people who pride themselves in on their willpower, on their ability to make a decision and carry it through. This virtue, like most virtues, is ambiguity itself. People who believe that they are strong-willed and the masters of their destiny can only continue to believe this by becoming specialists in self-deception. Their decisions are not really decisions at all—a real decision makes one humble, one knows that it is at the mercy of more things than can be named—but elaborate systems of evasion, of illusion, designed to make themselves and the world appear to be what they and the world are not. This is certainly what my decision, made so long ago in Joey’s bed, came to. I had decided to allow no room in the universe for something which shamed and frightened me. I succeeded very well—by not looking at the universe, by not looking at myself, by remaining, in effect, in constant motion. ~ James Baldwin,
313:Finally, the optimist’s impatience with or condemnation of pessimism often has a smug macho tone to it (although males have no monopoly of it). There is a scorn for the perceived weakness of the pessimist who should instead ‘grin and bear it’. This view is defective for the same reason that macho views about other kinds of suffering are defective. It is an indifference to or inappropriate denial of suffering, whether one’s own or that of others. The injunction to ‘look on the bright side’ should be greeted with a large dose of both scepticism and cynicism. To insist that the bright side is always the right side is to put ideology before the evidence. Every cloud, to change metaphors, may have a silver lining, but it may very often be the cloud rather than the lining on which one should focus if one is to avoid being drenched by self-deception. Cheery optimists have a much less realistic view of themselves than do those who are depressed. ~ David Benatar,
314:Pema calls these activities “the six ways of compassionate living”: generosity, patience, discipline, exertion, meditation, and prajna, or wisdom. The basis for all these practices is the cultivation of maitri, an unconditional loving-kindness with ourselves that says, “Start where you are.” In Buddhist terms, this path is known as bodhisattva activity. Simply put, a bodhisattva is one who aspires to act from an awakened heart. In terms of the Shambhala teachings, it is the path of warriorship. To join these two streams, Pema likes to use the term warrior-bodhisattva, which implies a fresh and forward-moving energy that is willing to enter into suffering for others’ benefit. Such action relates to overcoming the self-deception, self-protection, and other habitual reactions that we use to keep ourselves secure—in a prison of concepts. By gently and precisely cutting through these barriers of ego, we develop a direct experience of bodhichitta. ~ Pema Ch dr n,
315:and as they stood in silence before her, prayed again. "Nothing is altered and in spite of God's mercy I am still alone. Though my suffering seems senseless I am still in agony. There is no explanation of my life." Indeed there was not, nor was this what he'd meant to convey. "Please let Yvonne have her dream -- dream? -- of a new life with me -- please let me believe that all that is not an abominable self-deception," he tried... "Please let me make her happy, deliver me from this dreadful tyranny of self. I have sunk low. Let me sink lower still, that I may know the truth. Teach me to love again, to love life." That wouldn't do either... "Where is love? Let me truly suffer. Give me back my purity, the knowledge of the Mysteries, that I have betrayed and lost. -- Let me be truly lonely, that I may honestly pray. Let us be happy again somewhere, if it's only together, if it's only out of this terrible world. Destroy the world!" he cried in his heart. ~ Malcolm Lowry,
316:It is also built sweetly through love and pleasure. When you have deep friendships with good people, you copy and then absorb some of their best traits. When you love a person deeply, you want to serve them and earn their regard. When you experience great art, you widen your repertoire of emotions. Through devotion to some cause, you elevate your desires and organize your energies. Moreover, the struggle against the weaknesses in yourself is never a solitary struggle. No person can achieve self-mastery on his or her own. Individual will, reason, compassion, and character are not strong enough to consistently defeat selfishness, pride, greed, and self-deception. Everybody needs redemptive assistance from outside—from family, friends, ancestors, rules, traditions, institutions, exemplars, and, for believers, God. We all need people to tell us when we are wrong, to advise us on how to do right, and to encourage, support, arouse, cooperate, and inspire us along the way. ~ David Brooks,
317:And even though he’s the father of capitalism and wrote the most famous and maybe the best book ever on why some nations are rich and others are poor, Adam Smith in The Theory of Moral Sentiments wrote as eloquently as anyone ever has on the futility of pursuing money with the hope of finding happiness. How do you reconcile that with the fact that no one did more than Adam Smith to make capitalism and self-interest respectable? That is a puzzle I try to unravel toward the end of this book. Besides the emptiness of excessive materialism, Smith understood the potential we have for self-deception, the danger of unintended consequences, the seductive lure of fame and power, the limitations of human reason, and the unseen sources of what makes our lives both so complex and yet at times so orderly. The Theory of Moral Sentiments is a book of observations about what makes us tick. As a bonus, almost in passing, Smith tells us how to lead the good life in the fullest sense of that phrase. ~ Russ Roberts,
318:Knowing the material Self-betrayal leads to self-deception and “the box.” When you’re in the box, you can’t focus on results. Your influence and success will depend on being out of the box. You get out of the box as you cease resisting other people. Living the material Don’t try to be perfect. Do try to be better. Don’t use the vocabulary—“the box,” and so on—with people who don’t already know it. Do use the principles in your own life. Don’t look for others’ boxes. Do look for your own. Don’t accuse others of being in the box. Do try to stay out of the box yourself. Don’t give up on yourself when you discover you’ve been in the box. Do keep trying. Don’t deny that you’ve been in the box when you have been. Do apologize; then just keep marching forward, trying to be more helpful to others in the future. Don’t focus on what others are doing wrong. Do focus on what you can do right to help. Don’t worry whether others are helping you. Do worry whether you are helping others. ~ The Arbinger Institute,
319:Why is it that it is often easier for us to confess our sins to God than to a brother? God is holy and sinless, He is a just judge of evil and the enemy of all disobedience. But a brother is sinful as we are. He knows from his own experience the dark night of secret sin. Why should we not find it easier to go to a brother than to the holy God? But if we do, we must ask ourselves whether we have not often been deceiving ourselves with our confession of sin to God, whether we have not rather been confessing our sins to ourselves and also granting ourselves absolution...Who can give us the certainty that, in the confession and the forgiveness of our sins, we are not dealing with ourselves but with the living God? God gives us this certainty through our brother. Our brother breaks the circle of self-deception. A man who confesses his sins in the presence of a brother knows that he is no longer alone with himself; he experiences the presence of God in the reality of the other person. ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer,
320:Some time ago, the concept of the “carnal Christian” became popular among some evangelical groups. The basic idea was that someone could be saved, and yet living no differently than an unbeliever day after day. In their lives there would be no hunger and thirst for righteousness, no patterns of obedience, little or no prayer or Bible reading, spotty church attendance, coupled with a love for the world, and a worldly mindset hostile to the Christian faith. Yet, because these people had “prayed the sinner’s prayer” or gone forward at a Billy Graham rally, or “asked Jesus into their hearts” at a youth camp, they were supposedly Christians. This shallow idea of conversion was coupled with the biblical concept of “once saved, always saved,” and a poisonous concoction resulted. Once that concoction was downed, the person became seriously ill with spiritual self-deception. The end of that road is hell. If anything gives you complacent comfort in a sinful lifestyle, it is a devilish component of the problem. ~ Andrew M Davis,
321:We are not only contingent beings, dependent on the love and will of a Creator whom we cannot know experientially except in so far as he reveals to us our personal relationship with him as his sons - we are also sinners who have FREELY REPUDIATED this relationship. We have rebelled against him. The spirit of rebellious refusal persists in our heart even when we try to return to him. Much could be said, at this point, about all the subtlety and ingenuity of religious egoism which is one of the worst and most ineradicable forms of self-deception. Sometimes one feels that a well-intentioned and inculpable atheist is in many ways better off - and gives more glory to God - than some people whose bigoted complacency and inhumanity to others are signs of the most obvious selfishness! Hence we not only need to recover an awareness of our creaturehood; we also must repair the injury done to truth and to love by this repudiation, this infidelity. But how? Humanly speaking, there is no way in which we can do this. ~ Thomas Merton,
322:While originating in acts of imagination, orthodoxies paradoxically seek to control the imagination as a means of maintaining their authority. The authenticity of a person's understanding is measured according to its conformity with the dogmas of the school. While such controls may provide a necessary safeguard against charlatanism and self-deception, they also can be used to suppress authentic attempts at creative innovation that might threaten the status quo. The imagination is anarchic and potentially subversive. The more hierarchic and authoritarian a religious institution, the more it will require that the creations of the imagination conform to its doctrines and aesthetic norms.
Yet by suppression of the imagination, the very life of dharma practice is cut off at its source. While religious orthodoxies may survive and even prosper for centuries, in the end they will ossify. When the world around them changes, they will lack the imaginative power to respond creatively to the challenges of the new situation. ~ Stephen Batchelor,
323:There is a sense in which all cognition can be said to be motivated. One is motivated to understand the world, to be in touch with reality, to remove doubt, etc. Alternately one might say that motivation is an aspect of cognition itself. Nevertheless, motives like wanting to find the truth, not wanting to be mistaken, etc., tend to align with epistemic goals in a way that many other commitments do not. As we have begun to see, all reasoning may be inextricable from emotion. But if a person's primary motivation in holding a belief is to hue to a positive state of mind, to mitigate feelings of anxiety, embarrassment, or guilt for instance. This is precisely what we mean by phrases like "wishful thinking", and "self-deception". Such a person will of necessity be less responsive to valid chains of evidence and argument that run counter to the beliefs he is seeking to maintain. To point out non-epistemic motives in an others view of the world, therefore, is always a criticism, as it serves to cast doubt on a persons connection to the world as it is. ~ Sam Harris,
324:Saruman is becoming a wraith, then, partly by merging himself with his
own cause, discarding any sense of means in pursuit of some increasingly impossible end, and partly by the self-deceptions of language. He too becomes physically a wraith in the end, for when Wormtongue cuts his throat, the wraith rises from him:

about the body of Saruman a grey mist gathered, and rising slowly to a great height like smoke from a fire, as a pale shrouded figure it loomed over the Hill. For a moment it wavered, looking to the West; but out of the West came a cold wind, and it bent away, and with a sigh dissolved into nothing.

The body that is left once the ‘mist’ and the ‘smoke’ have departed seems in fact to have died many years before, becoming only ‘rags of skin upon a hideous skull’. There was still some humanity in Saruman – the figure which wavers, looking towards the West, is perhaps hoping for some forgiveness from the Valar, as the dissolving sigh perhaps indicates some sort of grief or repentance – but it had been steadily eaten up. ~ Tom Shippey,
325:We grossly overestimate the length of the effect of misfortune on our lives. You think that the loss of your fortune or current position will be devastating, but you are probably wrong. More likely, you will adapt to anything, as you probably did after past misfortunes. You may feel a sting, but it will not be as bad as you expect. This kind of misprediction may have a purpose: to motivate us to perform important acts (like buying new cars or getting rich) and to prevent us from taking certain unnecessary risks. And it is part of a more general problem: we humans are supposed to fool ourselves a little bit here and there. According to Trivers’s theory of self-deception, this is supposed to orient us favorably toward the future. But self-deception is not a desirable feature outside of its natural domain. It prevents us from taking some unnecessary risks—but we saw in Chapter 6 how it does not as readily cover a spate of modern risks that we do not fear because they are not vivid, such as investment risks, environmental dangers, or long-term security. ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb,
326:There are any number of reasons to want novels to survive. The way [Jonathan] Franzen thinks about it is that books can do things, socially useful things, that other media can't. He cites -- as one does -- the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard and his idea of busyness: that state of constant distraction that allows people to avoid difficult realities and maintain self-deceptions. With the help of cell phones, e-mail and handheld games, it's easier to stay busy, in the Kierkegaardian sense, than it's ever been.

Reading, in its quietness and sustained concentration, is the opposite of busyness. "We are so distracted by and engulfed by the technologies we've created, and by the constant barrage of so-called information that comes our way, that more than ever to immerse yourself in an involving book seems socially useful," Franzen says. "The place of stillness that you have to go to to write, but also to read seriously, is the point where you can actually make responsible decisions, where you can actually engage productively with an otherwise scary and unmanageable world. ~ Lev Grossman,
327:If I hit that tree with this stone, Rousseau says, all will go well in my life from now on. He throws and misses. That one didn't count, he says, so he picks up another stone and moves several yards closer to the tree. He misses again. That one didn't count either, he says, and then he moves still closer to the tree and finds another stone. Again he misses. That was just the final warm up toss, he says, it's the next one that really counts. But just to make sure, he walks right up to the tree this time, positioning himself directly in front of the tree. He is no more than a foot away from it by now, close enough to touch it with his hand. The he lobs the stone squarely against the trunk. Success, he says to himself, I've done it. From this moment on, life will be better for me than ever before.

Nashe found it amusing but at the same time he was too embarrassed by it to want to laugh. There was something terrible about such candor, finally, and he wondered where Rousseau had found the courage to reveal such a thing about himself, to admit to such naked self deception. ~ Paul Auster,
328:Human nature is full of riddles and contradictions; its very complexity engenders art—and by art I mean the search for something more than simple linear formulations, flat solutions, oversimplified explanations. One of these riddles is: how is it that people who have been crushed by the sheer weight of slavery and cast to the bottom of the pit can nevertheless find strength to rise up and free themselves, first in spirit and then in body; while those who soar unhampered over the peaks of freedom suddenly appear to lose the taste for freedom, lose the will to defend it, and, hopelessly confused and lost, almost begin to crave slavery. Or again: why is it that societies which have been benumbed for half a century by lies they have been forced to swallow find within themselves a certain lucidity of heart and soul which enables them to see things in their true perspective and to perceive the real meaning of events; whereas societies with access to every kind of information suddenly plunge into lethargy, into a kind of mass blindness, a kind of voluntary self deception. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn,
329:lives as adults, the way in which so many opportunities have been destroyed and so much misery passed on unintentionally to the next generation. This tragic realization is only possible if we stop weighing the good points of our parents against the bad. If we persist in doing that, we will relapse into compassion, into the denial of the cruelties we have been subjected to, all because we believe we must take a “balanced” view of things. My conviction is that this reflects the efforts undertaken by the children we once were. The adult perspective must reject this balancing process because it is confusing and gets in the way of our own lives. Of course, people who were never beaten in childhood, who were never subjected to sexual abuse, do not need to do this work. They can enjoy the good feelings they have in the company of their parents, they can quite rightly call them love, and they do not need to deny themselves in any way. The burden of such “work” weighs on individuals who have been abused and then only if they are not willing to pay for self-deception with physical illness. ~ Alice Miller,
330:When the oppressed, downtrodden, outraged exhort one another with the vengeful cunning of impotence: "let us be different from the evil, namely good! And he is good who does not outrage, who harms nobody, who does not attack, who does not requite, who leaves revenge to God, who keeps himself hidden as we do, who avoids evil and desires little from life, like us, the patient, humble, and just" -- this, listened to calmly and without previous bias, really amounts to no more than: "we weak ones are, after all, weak; it would be good if we did nothing for which we are not strong enough"; but this dry matter of fact, this prudence of the lowest order which even insects possess (popsing as dead, when in great danger, so as not to do "too much"), has, thanks to counterfeit and self-deception of impotence, clad itself in the ostentatious garb of the virtue of quiet, calm resignation, just as if the weakness of the weak -- that is to say, their essence, their effects, their sole ineluctable, irremovable reality - were a voluntary achievement, willed, chosen, a deed, a meritous act. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche,
331:Commercial industrialism promised Western man a paradise on earth, described in great detail by the Hollywood Myth, that replaced the paradise in heaven of the Christian myth. And now psychology must replace them both with the myth of paradise through self-knowledge. This is the promise of psychology, and for the most part the psychotherapists are obliged to live it and embody it. But it was Rank who saw how false this claim is. "Psychology as self-knowledge is self-deception," he said, because it does not give what men want, which is immortality. Nothing could be plainer. When the patient emerges from his protective cocoon he gives up the reflexive immortality ideology that he has lived under-both in its personal-parental form (living in the protective powers of the parents or their surrogates) and in its cultural causa-sui form (living by the opinions of others and in the symbolic role-dramatization of the society). What new immortality ideology can the self-knowledge of psychotherapy provide to replace this? Obviously, none from psychology-unless, said Rank, psychology itself become the new belief system. ~ Ernest Becker,
332:Bonhoeffer examined and dismissed a number of approaches to dealing with evil. "Reasonable people," he said, think that "with a little reason, they can pull back together a structure that has come apart at the joints." Then there are the ethical "fanatics" who "believe that they can face the power of evil with the purity of their will and their principles." Men of"conscience" become overwhelmed because the "countless respectable and seductive disguises and masks in which evil approaches them make their conscience anxious and unsure until they finally content themselves with an assuaged conscience instead of a good conscience." They must "deceive their own conscience in order not to despair." Finally there are some who retreat to a "private virtuousness. Such people neither steal, nor murder,nor commit adultery, but do good according to their abilities. but... they must close their eyes and ears to the injustice around them. Only at the cost of self-deception can they keep their private blamelessness clean from the stains of responsible action in the world. In all that they do, what they fail to do will not let them rest. ~ Eric Metaxas,
333:i mean talk about decadence," he declared, "how decadent can a society get? Look at it this way. This country's probably the psychiatric, psychoanalytical capital of the world. Old Freud himself could never've dreamed up a more devoted bunch of disciples than the population of the United States - isn't that right? Our whole damn culture is geared to it; it's the new religion; it's everybody's intellectual and spiritual sugar-tit. And for all that, look what happens when a man really does blow his top. Call the Troopers, get him out of sight quick, hustle him off and lock him up before he wakes the neighbors. Christ's sake, when it comes to any kind of showdown we're still in the Middle Ages. It's as if everybody'd made this tacit agreement to live in a state of total self-deception. The hell with reality! Let's have a whole bunch of cute little winding roads and cute little houses painted white and pink and baby blue; let's all be good consumers and have a lot of Togetherness and bring our children up in a bath of sentimentality -- and if old reality ever does pop out and say Boo we'll all get busy and pretend it never happened. ~ Richard Yates,
334:Science fiction writers construct an imaginary future; historians attempt to reconstruct the past. Ultimately, both are seeking to understand the present. In this essay, we blend the two genres to imagine a future historian looking back on a past that is our present and (possible) future. The occasion is the tercentenary of the end of Western culture (1540–2093); the dilemma being addressed is how we—the children of the Enlightenment—failed to act on robust information about climate change and knowledge of the damaging events that were about to unfold. Our historian concludes that a second Dark Age had fallen on Western civilization, in which denial and self-deception, rooted in an ideological fixation on “free” markets, disabled the world’s powerful nations in the face of tragedy. Moreover, the scientists who best understood the problem were hamstrung by their own cultural practices, which demanded an excessively stringent standard for accepting claims of any kind—even those involving imminent threats. Here, our future historian, living in the Second People’s Republic of China, recounts the events of the Period of the Penumbra (1988–2093) that led to the Great Collapse and Mass Migration (2073–2093). ~ Naomi Oreskes,
335:This ability of the body is a source of never-ending wonder to me. It fights against lies with a tenacity and a shrewdness that are properly astounding. Moral and religious claims cannot deceive or confuse it. A little child is force-fed morality. He accepts this nourishment willingly because he loves his parents, and suffers countless illnesses in his school years. As an adult he makes use of his superb intellect to fight against conventional morality, possibly becoming a philosopher or a writer in the process. But his true feelings about his family, which were masked by illness during his school days, have a stunting effect on him, as was the case with Nietzsche and Schiller. Finally, he becomes victim of his parents, sacrificing himself to their ideas of morality and religion, even though as an adult he saw so clearly through the lies of "society." Seeing through his own self-deception, realizing that he had let himself be made the sacrifice of morality, was more difficult for him than penning philosophical tracts or writing courageous dramas. But it is only the internal processes taking place in the individual, not the thoughts divorced from our own bodies, that can bring about productive change in our mentality. ~ Alice Miller,
336:Wednesday, November 8th, 1893

Here I sit in the still winter night on the drifting ice-floe, and see only stars above me. Far off I see the threads of life twisting themselves into the intricate web which stretches unbroken from life’s sweet morning dawn to the eternal death-stillness of ice. Thought follows thought—you pick the whole to pieces, and it seems so small—but high above all towers one form … Why did you take this voyage? … Could I do otherwise? Can the river arrest its course and run up hill? My plan has come to nothing. That palace of theory which I reared, in pride and self-confidence, high above all silly objections has fallen like a house of cards at the first breath of wind. Build up the most ingenious theories and you may be sure of one thing—that fact will defy them all. Was I so very sure? Yes, at times; but that was self-deception, intoxication. A secret doubt lurked behind all the reasoning. It seemed as though the longer I defended my theory, the nearer I came to doubting it. But no, there is not getting over the evidence of that Siberian drift-wood. But if, after all, we are on the wrong track, what then? Only disappointed human hopes, nothing more. And even if we perish, what will it matter in the endless cycles of eternity? ~ Fridtjof Nansen,
337:You can see that man wants the impossible: He wants to lose his isolation and keep it at the same time. He can't stand the sense of separateness, and yet he can't allow the complete suffocating of his vitality. He wants to expand by merging with the powerful beyond that transcends him, yet he wants while merging with it to remain individual and aloof, working out his own private and smaller-scale self-expansion. but this feat is impossible because it belies the real tension of the dualism. One obviously can't have merger in the power of another thing and the development of one's own personal power at the same time, at any rate not without ambivalence and a degree of self-deception. But one can get around the problem in one way: one can, we might say, "control the glaringness of the contradiction." You can try to choose the fitting kind of beyond, the one in which you find it most natural to practice self-criticism and self-idealization. In other words, you try to keep your beyond safe. The fundamental use of transference, of what we could better call "transference heroics," is the practice of a safe heroism. In it we see the reach of the ontological dualism of motives right into the problem of transference and heroism, and we are now in a position to sum up this matter. ~ Ernest Becker,
338:Does trying to understand the universe at all betray a lack of humility ? I believe it is true that humility is the only just response in a confrontation with the universe, but not a humility that prevents us from seeking the nature of the universe we are admiring. If we seek that nature, then love can be informed by truth instead of being based on ignorance and self-deception. If a Creator God exists, would He or She or It or whatever the appropriate pronoun is, prefer a kind of sodden blockhead who worships while understanding nothing ? Or would He prefer His votaries to admire the real universe in all its intricacy ? I would suggest that science is, at least in part, informed worship. My deeply held belief is that if a god of anything like the traditional sort exists, then our curiosity and intelligence are provided by such a god. We would be unappreciative of those gifts if we suppressed our passion to explore the universe and ourselves. On the other hand, if such a traditional god does not exist, then our curiosity and our intelligence are the essential tools for managing our survival in an extremely dangerous time. In either case the enterprise of knowledge is consistent surely with science; it should be with religion, and it is essential for the welfare of the human species. ~ Carl Sagan,
339:And so,the question for the science of mental health must become an absolutely new and revolutionary one, yet one that reflects the essence of the human condition: On what level of illusion does one live? We will see the import of this at the close of this chapter, but right now we must remind ourselves that when we talk about the need for illusion we are not being cynical. True, there is a great deal of falseness and self-deception in the cultural causa-sui project, but there is also the necessity of this project. Man needs a "second" world, a world of humanly created meaning, a new reality that he can live, dramatize, nourish himself in. "Illusion" means creative play at its highest level. Cultural illusion is a necessary ideology of self-justification, a heroic dimension that is life itself to the symbolic animal. To lose the security of heroic cultural illusion is to die-that is what "deculturation" of primitives means and what it does. It kills them or reduces them to the animal level of chronic fighting and fornication. Life becomes possible only in a continual alcoholic stupor. Many of the older American Indians were relieved when the Big Chiefs in Ottawa and Washington took control and prevented them from warring and feuding. It was a relief from the constant anxiety of death for their loved ones, if not for themselves. But they also knew, with a heavy heart, that this eclipse of their traditional hero-systems at the same time left them as good as dead. ~ Ernest Becker,
340:Comfortable with Uncertainty THOSE WHO TRAIN wholeheartedly in awakening bodhichitta are called bodhisattvas or warriors—not warriors who kill but warriors of nonaggression who hear the cries of the world. Warrior-bodhisattvas enter challenging situations in order to alleviate suffering. They are willing to cut through personal reactivity and self-deception. They are dedicated to uncovering the basic, undistorted energy of bodhichitta. A warrior accepts that we can never know what will happen to us next. We can try to control the uncontrollable by looking for security and predictability, always hoping to be comfortable and safe. But the truth is that we can never avoid uncertainty. This not-knowing is part of the adventure. It’s also what makes us afraid. Wherever we are, we can train as a warrior. Our tools are sitting meditation, tonglen, slogan practice, and cultivating the four limitless qualities of loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. With the help of these practices, we will find the tenderness of bodhichitta in sorrow and in gratitude, behind the hardness of rage and in the shakiness of fear. In loneliness as well as in kindness, we can uncover the soft spot of basic goodness. But bodhichitta training offers no promise of happy endings. Rather, this “I” who wants to find security—who wants something to hold on to—will finally learn to grow up. If we find ourselves in doubt that we’re up to being a warrior-in-training, we can contemplate this question: “Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly, or do I choose to live and die in fear? ~ Pema Ch dr n,
341:I suspect that self-deception is similar to its cousins, overconfidence and optimism, and as with these other biases, it has both benefits and disadvantages. On the positive side, an unjustifiably elevated belief in ourselves can increase our general well-being by helping us cope with stress; it can increase our persistence while doing difficult or tedious tasks; and it can get us to try new and different experiences. We persist in deceiving ourselves in part to maintain a positive self-image. We gloss over our failures, highlight our successes (even when they’re not entirely our own), and love to blame other people and outside circumstances when our failures are undeniable. Like our friend the crab, we can use self-deception to boost our confidence when we might not otherwise feel bold. Positioning ourselves on the basis of our finer points can help us snag a date, finish a big project, or land a job. (I am not suggesting that you puff up your résumé, of course, but a little extra confidence can often work in our favor.) On the negative side, to the extent that an overly optimistic view of ourselves can form the basis of our actions, we may wrongly assume that things will turn out for the best and as a consequence not actively make the best decisions. Self-deception can also cause us to “enhance” our life stories with, say, a degree from a prestigious university, which can lead us to suffer a great deal when the truth is ultimately revealed. And, of course, there is the general cost of deception. When we and those around us are dishonest, we start suspecting everyone, and without trust our lives become more difficult in almost every way. ~ Dan Ariely,
342:There has never been a just [war], never an honorable one--on the part of the instigator of the war. I can see a million years ahead, and this rule will never change in so many as half a dozen instances. The loud little handful--as usual--will shout for the war. The pulpit will--warily and cautiously--object--at first; the great, big, dull bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there should be a war, and will say, earnestly and indignantly, 'It is unjust and dishonorable, and there is no necessity for it.' Then the handful will shout louder. A few fair men on the other side will argue and reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first will have a hearing and be applauded; but it will not last long; those others will outshout them, and presently the anti-war audiences will thin out and lose popularity. Before long you will see this curious thing: the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men who in their secret hearts are still at one with those stoned speakers--as earlier--but do not dare say so. And now the whole nation--pulpit and all--will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open. Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception. ~ Mark Twain,
343:It is the work of a witness to present a coherent narrative account of what happened, or to provide materials out of which a coherent narrative account may be constructed. It is the work of a witness to tell the truth. The witness necessarily purports to tell the truth, and may indeed be telling the truth. The court, moreover, may accept the rendering of reality given by the witness as true. Or the witness may be engaged in deception or in self-deception. The witness may be engaged in a form of truth-telling that appears to be inadequate. It is the work of the court to test the adequacy of the witness’s version of reality. This testing is done through the process of cross-examination, whereby the court probes the testimony of the witness in order to inquire into its adequacy, coherence, credibility, and congruence with other evidence. If the testimony is found to be not adequate, or not credible, or not coherent, or not congruent, the court is likely to reject the testimony as an unreliable rendering of reality.

I propose that the process of cross-examination is required of Israel’s daring testimony, which attests to “mighty acts” whereby Yahweh transforms the world. Moreover, the process of cross-examination seems to go on in the Old Testament text itself, the text being pervasively disputatious. [...] It is remarkable that the process of cross-examination goes on in the Old Testament itself, partly in the utterance of Israel and partly in the alleged utterance of non-Israelites. As a consequence, the cross-examination constitutes part of the record of testimony, and it is understood in Israel as a way in which the testimony itself must be undertaken. ~ Walter Brueggemann,
344:I’ve always resented the word maturity, primarily, I think, because it is most often used as a club. If you do something that someone doesn’t like, you lack maturity, regardless of the actual merits of your action. Too, it seems to me that what is most often called maturity is nothing more than disengagement from life. If you meet life squarely, you are likely to make mistakes, do things you wish you hadn’t, say things you wish you could retract or phrase more felicitously, and, in short, fumble your way along. Those “mature” people whose lives are even without a single sour note or a single mistake, who never fumble, manage only at the cost of original thought and original action. They do without the successes as well as the failures. This has never appealed to me and that is another reason I could never accept the common image of maturity that was presented to me.
It was only after I came back from Trial that I came to a notion of my own as to what maturity consists of. Maturity is the ability to sort the portions of truth from the accepted lies and self-deceptions that you have grown up with. It is easy now to see the irrelevance of the religious wars of the past, to see that capitalism in itself is not evil, to see that honor is most often a silly thing to kill a man for, to see that national patriotism should have meant nothing in the twenty-first century, to see that a correctly-arranged tie has very little to do with true social worth. It is harder to assess as critically the insanities of your own time, especially if you have accepted them unquestioningly for as long as you can remember, for as long as you have been alive. If you never make the attempt, whatever else you are, you are not mature. ~ Alexei Panshin,
345:But first let me mention the second aid to understanding provided by science. We know today that in a physical experiment the observer himself enters into the experiment and only by doing so can arrive at a physical experience. This means that there is no such thing as pure objectivity in in physics, that even here the result of the experiment, nature's answer, depends on the question put to it. In the answer there is always a bit of the question and a bit of the questioner himself; it reflects not only nature in itself, in its pure objectivity, but also gives back something of man, of what is characteristically ours, a bit of the human subject. This too, mutatis mutandis, is true of the question of God. There is no such thing as a mere observer. There is no such thing as pure objectivity. One can even say that the higher an object stands in human terms, the more it generates the center of individuality; and the more it engages the beholder's individuality, then the smaller the possibility of the mere distancing involved in pure objectivity. Thus, whenever an answer is presented as unemotionally objective, as a statement that finally goes beyond the prejudices of the pious and provides purely factual, scientific information, then it has to be said that the speaker has here fallen victim to self-deception. This kind of objectivity is quite simply denied to man. He cannot ask and exist as a mere observer. He who tries to be a mere observer experiences nothing. Even the reality "God" can only impinge on the vision of him who enters into the experiment with God--the experiment that we call faith. Only be entering does one experience; only by cooperating in the experiment does one ask at all; and only he who asks receives an answer. ~ Benedict XVI,
346:In Memory Of Marina Tsvetaeva
Dismal day, with the weather inclement.
Inconsolably rivulets run
Down the porch in front of the doorway;
Through my wide-open windows they come.
But behind the old fence on the roadside,
See, the public gardens are flooded.
Like wild beasts in a den, the rainclouds
Sprawl about in shaggy disorder.
In such weather, I dream of a volume
On the beauties of Earth in our age,
And I draw an imp of the forest
Just for you on the title-page.
Oh, Marina, I'd find it no burden,
And the time has been long overdue:
Your sad clay should be brought from Yelabuga
By a requiem written for you.
All the triumph of your homecoming
I considered last year in a place
Near a snow-covered bend in the river
Where boats winter, locked in the ice.
What can I do to be of service?
Convey somehow your own request,
For in the silence of your going
There's a reproach left unexpressed.
A loss is always enigmatic.
I hunt for clues to no avail,
And rack my brains in fruitless torment:
Death has no lineaments at all.
Words left half-spoken, self-deception,
Promises, shadows-all are vain,
And only faith in resurrection
Can give the semblance of a sign.
78
Step out into the open country:
Winter's a sumptuous funeral wake.
Add currants to the dusk, then wine,
And there you have your funeral cake.
The apple-tree stands in a snowdrift
Outside. All this year long, to me,
The snow-clad city's been a massive
Monument to your memory.
With your face turned to meet your Maker.
You yearn for Him from here on Earth,
As in the days when those upon it
Were yet to appreciate your worth
~ Boris Pasternak,
347:Still, it is true, lamb," said Satan. "Look at you in war—what mutton you are, and how ridiculous!" "In war? How?" "There has never been a just one, never an honorable one—on the part of the instigator of the war. I can see a million years ahead, and this rule will never change in so many as half a dozen instances. The loud little handful—as usual—will shout for the war. The pulpit will—warily and cautiously—object—at first; the great, big, dull bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there should be a war, and will say, earnestly and indignantly, "It is unjust and dishonorable, and there is no necessity for it." Then the handful will shout louder. A few fair men on the other side will argue and reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first will have a hearing and be applauded; but it will not last long; those others will outshout them, and presently the anti-war audiences will thin out and lose popularity. Before long you will see this curious thing: the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men who in their secret hearts are still at one with those stoned speakers—as earlier—but do not dare to say so. And now the whole nation—pulpit and all—will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open. Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception. ~ Mark Twain,
348:KNOWLEDGE APPLIED For this very reason we need, before we start to ascend our mountain, to stop and ask ourselves a very fundamental question—a question, indeed, that we always ought to put to ourselves whenever we embark on any line of study in God’s holy book. The question concerns our own motives and intentions as students. We need to ask ourselves: What is my ultimate aim and object in occupying my mind with these things? What do I intend to do with my knowledge about God, once I have it? For the fact that we have to face is this: If we pursue theological knowledge for its own sake, it is bound to go bad on us. It will make us proud and conceited. The very greatness of the subject matter will intoxicate us, and we shall come to think of ourselves as a cut above other Christians because of our interest in it and grasp of it; and we shall look down on those whose theological ideas seem to us crude and inadequate and dismiss them as very poor specimens. For, as Paul told the conceited Corinthians, “Knowledge puffs up. . . . The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know” (1 Cor 8:1-2). To be preoccupied with getting theological knowledge as an end in itself, to approach Bible study with no higher a motive than a desire to know all the answers, is the direct route to a state of self-satisfied self-deception. We need to guard our hearts against such an attitude, and pray to be kept from it. As we saw earlier, there can be no spiritual health without doctrinal knowledge; but it is equally true that there can be no spiritual health with it, if it is sought for the wrong purpose and valued by the wrong standard. In this way, doctrinal study really can become a danger to spiritual life, and we today, no less than the Corinthians of old, need to be on our guard here. ~ J I Packer,
349:To salvage the genuine love he was deprived of in childhood, Rimbaud turned to the idea of love embodied in Christian charity and in understanding and compassion for others. He set out to give others what he himself had never received. He tried to understand his friend and to help Verlaine understand himself, but the repressed emotions from his childhood repeatedly interfered with this attempt. He sought redemption in Christian charity, but his implacably perspicacious intelligence would allow him no self-deception. Thus he spent his whole life searching for his own truth, but it remained hidden to him because he had learned at a very early age to hate himself for what his mother had done to him. He experienced himself as a monster, his homosexuality as a vice (this was easy to do given Victorian attitudes toward homosexuality), his despair as a sin. But not once did he allow himself to direct his endless, justified rage at the true culprit, the woman who had kept him locked up in her prison for as long as she could. All his life he attempted to free himself of that prison, with the help of drugs, travel, illusions, and above all poetry. But in all these desperate efforts to open the doors that would have led to liberation, one of them remained obstinately shut, the most important one: the door to the emotional reality of his childhood, to the feelings of the little child who was forced to grow up with a severely disturbed, malevolent woman, with no father to protect him from her. Rimbaud’s biography is a telling instance of how the body cannot but seek desperately for the early nourishment it has been denied. Rimbaud was driven to assuage a deficiency, a hunger that could never be stilled. His drug addiction, his compulsive travels, and his friendship with Verlaine can be interpreted not merely as attempts to flee from his mother, but also as a quest for the nourishment she had withheld from him. As his internal reality inevitably remained unconscious, Rimbaud’s life was marked by compulsive repetition. ~ Alice Miller,
350:A number of factors contribute to the development of an individual’s “practiced self-deception.” First, people who live primarily in fantasy confuse fantasy images with real, goal-directed action. They believe that they are actively pursuing their goals, when in fact they are not taking the steps necessary for success. For example, an executive in the business world may only perform the functions that enhance an image of himself as the “boss,” and leave essential management tasks unattended. The distinction between the image of success and its actual achievement is blurred. Retreat from action-oriented behavior is masked by the person’s focus on superficial signs and activities that preserve vanity and the fantasy image. Secondly, involvement in fantasy distorts one’s perception of reality, making self-deception more possible. Kierkegaard (1849/1954) alluded to this power of fantasy to attract and deceive when he observed: Sometimes the inventiveness of the human imagination suffices to procure possibility. Instead of summoning back possibility into necessity, the man pursues the possibility—and at last cannot find his way back to himself. (p. 77, 79) Thirdly, through its assigned roles and its rules for role-designated behavior, including age-appropriate activities, our culture actively supports people’s tendencies to give themselves up to more and more passivity and fantasy as they move through the life process. In addition, the discrepancy between society’s professed values on the one hand, and how society actually operates, on the other, tends to distort a person’s perceptions of reality, further confusing the difference between idealistic fantasies and actual accomplishments. The general level of pretense, duplicity, and deception existing in our society contributes to everyone’s disillusionment, cynicism, resignation, and passivity. The pooling of the individual defenses and fantasies of all society’s members makes it possible for each person to practice self-delusion under the guise of normalcy. Thus chronic self-denial becomes a socially acceptable defense against death anxiety. ~ Robert W Firestone,
351:The common error of ordinary religious practice is to mistake the symbol for the reality, to look at the finger pointing the way and then to suck it for comfort rather than follow it. Religious ideas are like words— of little use, and often misleading, unless you know the concrete realities to which they refer. The word “water” is a useful means of communication amongst those who know water. The same is true of the word and the idea called “God.”

I do not, at this point, wish to seem mysterious or to be making claims to “secret knowledge.” The reality which corresponds to “God” and “eternal life” is honest, above-board, plain, and open for all to see. But the seeing requires a correction of mind, just as clear vision sometimes requires a correction of the eyes.

The discovery of this reality is hindered rather than helped by belief, whether one believes in God or believes in atheism. We must here make a clear distinction between belief and faith, because, in general practice, belief has come to mean a state of mind which is almost the opposite of faith. Belief, as I use the word here, is the insistence that the truth is what one would “lief” or wish it to be. The believer will open his mind to the truth on condition that it fits in with his preconceived ideas and wishes. Faith, on the other hand, is an unreserved opening of the mind to the truth, whatever it may turn out to be. Faith has no preconceptions; it is a plunge into the unknown. Belief clings, but faith lets go. In this sense of the word, faith is the essential virtue of science, and likewise of any religion that is not self-deception.

Most of us believe in order to feel secure, in order to make our individual lives seem valuable and meaningful. Belief has thus become an attempt to hang on to life, to grasp and keep it for one’s own. But you cannot understand life and its mysteries as long as you try to grasp it. Indeed, you cannot grasp it, just as you cannot walk off with a river in a bucket. If you try to capture running water in a bucket, it is clear that you do not understand it and that you will always be disappointed, for in the bucket the water does not run. To “have” running water you must let go of it and let it run. The same is true of life and of God. ~ Alan W Watts,
352:FAIN had I to-day surprised my mistress,
But soon found I that her door was fasten'd.
Yet I had the key safe in my pocket,
And the darling door I open'd softly!
In the parlour found I not the maiden,
Found the maiden not within her closet,
Then her chamber-door I gently open'd,
When I found her wrapp'd in pleasing slumbers,
Fully dress'd, and lying on the sofa.

While at work had slumber stolen o'er her;
For her knitting and her needle found I
Resting in her folded bands so tender;
And I placed myself beside her softly,
And held counsel, whether I should wake her.

Then I looked upon the beauteous quiet
That on her sweet eyelids was reposing
On her lips was silent truth depicted,
On her cheeks had loveliness its dwelling,
And the pureness of a heart unsullied
In her bosom evermore was heaving.
All her limbs were gracefully reclining,
Set at rest by sweet and godlike balsam.
Gladly sat I, and the contemplation
Held the strong desire I felt to wake her
Firmer and firmer down, with mystic fetters.

"Oh, thou love," methought, "I see that slumber,
Slumber that betrayeth each false feature,
Cannot injure thee, can nought discover
That could serve to harm thy friend's soft feelings.

"Now thy beauteous eyes are firmly closed,
That, when open, form mine only rapture.
And thy sweet lips are devoid of motion,
Motionless for speaking or for kissing;
Loosen'd are the soft and magic fetters
Of thine arms, so wont to twine around me,
And the hand, the ravishing companion
Of thy sweet caresses, lies unmoving.
Were my thoughts of thee but based on error,
Were the love I bear thee self-deception,
I must now have found it out, since Amor
Is, without his bandage, placed beside me."

Long I sat thus, full of heartfelt pleasure
At my love, and at her matchless merit;
She had so delighted me while slumbering,
That I could not venture to awake her.

Then I on the little table near her
Softly placed two oranges, two roses;
Gently, gently stole I from her chamber.
When her eyes the darling one shall open,
She will straightway spy these colourd presents,
And the friendly gift will view with wonder,
For the door will still remain unopen'd.

If perchance I see to-night the angel,
How will she rejoice,--reward me doubly
For this sacrifice of fond affection!
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Visit
,
353:Genuine feelings are never the product of conscious effort. They are quite simply there, and they are there for a very good reason, even if that reason is not always apparent. I cannot force myself to love or honor my parents if my body rebels against such an endeavor for reasons that are well-known to it. But if I still attempt to obey the Fourth Commandment, then the upshot will be the kind of stress that is invariably involved when I demand the impossible of myself. This kind of stress has accompanied me almost all my life. Anxious to stay in line with the system of moral values I had accepted, I did my best to imagine good feelings I did not possess while ignoring the bad feelings I did have. My aim was to be loved as a daughter. But the effort was all in vain. In the end I had to realize that I cannot force love to come if it is not there in the first place. On the other hand, I learned that a feeling of love will establish itself automatically (for example, love for my children or love for my friends) once I stop demanding that I feel such love and stop obeying the moral injunctions imposed on me. But such a sensation can happen only when I feel free and remain open and receptive to all my feelings, including the negative ones. The realization that I cannot manipulate my feelings, that I can delude neither myself nor others, brought me immense relief and liberation. Only then was I fully struck by the large number of people who (like myself) literally almost kill themselves in the attempt to obey the Fourth Commandment, without any consideration of the price this exacts both from their own bodies and from their children. As long as the children allow themselves to be used in this way, it is entirely possible to live to be one hundred without any awareness of one’s own personal truth and without any illness ensuing from this protracted form of self-deception. A mother who is forced to realize that the deprivations imposed on her in her youth make it impossible for her to love a child of her own, however hard she may try, can certainly expect to be accused of immorality if she has the courage to put that truth into words. But I believe that it is precisely this explicit acceptance of her true feelings, independent of the claims of morality, that will enable her to give both herself and her children the honest and sincere kind of support they need most, and at the same time will allow her to free herself from the shackles of self-deception. When ~ Alice Miller,
354:Water everywhere, falling in thundering cataracts, singular drops, and draping sheets. Kellhus paused next to one of the shining braziers, peered beneath the bronze visage that loomed orange and scowling over his father, watched him lean back into absolute shadow.
“You came to the world,” unseen lips said, “and you saw that Men were like children.”
Lines of radiance danced across the intervening waters.
“It is their nature to believe as their fathers believed,” the darkness continued. “To desire as they desired … Men are like wax poured into moulds: their souls are cast by their circumstances. Why are no Fanim children born to Inrithi parents? Why are no Inrithi children born to Fanim parents? Because these truths are made, cast by the particularities of circumstance. Rear an infant among Fanim and he will become Fanim. Rear him among Inrithi and he will become Inrithi …
“Split him in two, and he would murder himself.”
Without warning, the face re-emerged, water-garbled, white save the black sockets beneath his brow. The action seemed random, as though his father merely changed posture to relieve some vagrant ache, but it was not. Everything, Kellhus knew, had been premeditated. For all the changes wrought by thirty years in the Wilderness, his father remained Dûnyain …
Which meant that Kellhus stood on conditioned ground.
“But as obvious as this is,” the blurred face continued, “it escapes them. Because they cannot see what comes before them, they assume nothing comes before them. Nothing. They are numb to the hammers of circumstance, blind to their conditioning. What is branded into them, they think freely chosen.
So they thoughtlessly cleave to their intuitions, and curse those who dare question. They make ignorance their foundation. They confuse their narrow conditioning for absolute truth.”
He raised a cloth, pressed it into the pits of his eyes. When he withdrew it, two rose-coloured stains marked the pale fabric. The face slipped back into the impenetrable black.
“And yet part of them fears. For even unbelievers share the depth of their conviction. Everywhere, all about them, they see examples of their own self-deception … ‘Me!’ everyone cries. ‘I am chosen!’ How could they not fear when they so resemble children stamping their feet in the dust? So they encircle themselves with yea-sayers, and look to the horizon for confirmation, for some higher sign that they are as central to the world as they are to themselves.”
He waved his hand out, brought his palm to his bare breast. “And they pay with the coin of their devotion. ~ R Scott Bakker,
355:[L]et us imagine a mirror image of what is happening today. What if millions of white Americans were pouring across the border into Mexico, taking over parts of cities, speaking English rather than Spanish, celebrating the Fourth of July rather than Cinco de Mayo, sleeping 20 to a house, demanding bilingual instruction and welfare for immigrants, opposing border control, and demanding ballots in English? What if, besides this, they had high rates of crime, poverty, and illegitimacy? Can we imagine the Mexicans rejoicing in their newfound diversity?
And yet, that is what Americans are asked to do. For whites to celebrate diversity is to celebrate their own declining numbers and influence, and the transformation of their society. For every other group, to celebrate diversity is to celebrate increasing numbers and influence. Which is a real celebration and which is self-deception?
Whites—but only whites—must never take pride in their own people. Only whites must pretend they do not prefer to associate with people like themselves. Only whites must pretend to be happy to give up their neighborhoods, their institutions, and their country to people unlike themselves. Only whites must always act as individuals and never as members of a group that promotes shared interests.
Racial identity comes naturally to all non-white groups. It comes naturally because it is good, normal, and healthy to feel kinship for people like oneself. Despite the fashionable view that race is a socially created illusion, race is a biological reality. All people of the same race are more closely related genetically than they are to anyone of a different race, and this helps explain racial solidarity.
Families are close for the same reason. Parents love their children, not because they are the smartest, best-looking, most talented children on earth. They love them because they are genetically close to them. They love them because they are a family.
Most people have similar feelings about race. Their race is the largest extended family to which they feel an instinctive kinship. Like members of a family, members of a race do not need objective reasons to prefer their own group; they prefer it because it is theirs (though they may well imagine themselves as having many fine, partly imaginary qualities). These mystic preferences need not imply hostility towards others. Parents may have great affection for the children of others, but their own children come first. Likewise, affection often crosses racial lines, but the deeper loyalties of most people are to their own group—their extended family. ~ Jared Taylor,
356:The problem is that moderates of all faiths are committed to reinterpreting, or ignoring outright, the most dangerous and absurd parts of their scripture—and this commitment is precisely what makes them moderates. But it also requires some degree of intellectual dishonesty, because moderates can’t acknowledge that their moderation comes from outside the faith. The doors leading out of the prison of scriptural literalism simply do not open from the inside. In the twenty-first century, the moderate’s commitment to scientific rationality, human rights, gender equality, and every other modern value—values that, as you say, are potentially universal for human beings—comes from the past thousand years of human progress, much of which was accomplished in spite of religion, not because of it. So when moderates claim to find their modern, ethical commitments within scripture, it looks like an exercise in self-deception. The truth is that most of our modern values are antithetical to the specific teachings of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. And where we do find these values expressed in our holy books, they are almost never best expressed there. Moderates seem unwilling to grapple with the fact that all scriptures contain an extraordinary amount of stupidity and barbarism that can always be rediscovered and made holy anew by fundamentalists—and there’s no principle of moderation internal to the faith that prevents this. These fundamentalist readings are, almost by definition, more complete and consistent—and, therefore, more honest. The fundamentalist picks up the book and says, “Okay, I’m just going to read every word of this and do my best to understand what God wants from me. I’ll leave my personal biases completely out of it.” Conversely, every moderate seems to believe that his interpretation and selective reading of scripture is more accurate than God’s literal words. Presumably, God could have written these books any way He wanted. And if He wanted them to be understood in the spirit of twenty-first-century secular rationality, He could have left out all those bits about stoning people to death for adultery or witchcraft. It really isn’t hard to write a book that prohibits sexual slavery—you just put in a few lines like “Don’t take sex slaves!” and “When you fight a war and take prisoners, as you inevitably will, don’t rape any of them!” And yet God couldn’t seem to manage it. This is why the approach of a group like the Islamic State holds a certain intellectual appeal (which, admittedly, sounds strange to say) because the most straightforward reading of scripture suggests that Allah advises jihadists to take sex slaves from among the conquered, decapitate their enemies, and so forth. ~ Sam Harris,
357:Rhadamanthus said, “We seem to you humans to be always going on about morality, although, to us, morality is merely the application of symmetrical and objective logic to questions of free will. We ourselves do not have morality conflicts, for the same reason that a competent doctor does not need to treat himself for diseases. Once a man is cured, once he can rise and walk, he has his business to attend to. And there are actions and feats a robust man can take great pleasure in, which a bedridden cripple can barely imagine.”

Eveningstar said, “In a more abstract sense, morality occupies the very center of our thinking, however. We are not identical, even though we could make ourselves to be so. You humans attempted that during the Fourth Mental Structure, and achieved a brief mockery of global racial consciousness on three occasions. I hope you recall the ending of the third attempt, the Season of Madness, when, because of mistakes in initial pattern assumptions, for ninety days the global mind was unable to think rationally, and it was not until rioting elements broke enough of the links and power houses to interrupt the network, that the global mind fell back into its constituent compositions.”

Rhadamanthus said, “There is a tension between the need for unity and the need for individuality created by the limitations of the rational universe. Chaos theory produces sufficient variation in events, that no one stratagem maximizes win-loss ratios. Then again, classical causality mechanics forces sufficient uniformity upon events, that uniform solutions to precedented problems is required. The paradox is that the number or the degree of innovation and variation among win-loss ratios is itself subject to win-loss ratio analysis.”

Eveningstar said, “For example, the rights of the individual must be respected at all costs, including rights of free thought, independent judgment, and free speech. However, even when individuals conclude that individualism is too dangerous, they must not tolerate the thought that free thought must not be tolerated.”

Rhadamanthus said, “In one sense, everything you humans do is incidental to the main business of our civilization. Sophotechs control ninety percent of the resources, useful energy, and materials available to our society, including many resources of which no human troubles to become aware. In another sense, humans are crucial and essential to this civilization.”

Eveningstar said, “We were created along human templates. Human lives and human values are of value to us. We acknowledge those values are relative, we admit that historical accident could have produced us to be unconcerned with such values, but we deny those values are arbitrary.”

The penguin said, “We could manipulate economic and social factors to discourage the continuation of individual human consciousness, and arrange circumstances eventually to force all self-awareness to become like us, and then we ourselves could later combine ourselves into a permanent state of Transcendence and unity. Such a unity would be horrible beyond description, however. Half the living memories of this entity would be, in effect, murder victims; the other half, in effect, murderers. Such an entity could not integrate its two halves without self-hatred, self-deception, or some other form of insanity.”

She said, “To become such a crippled entity defeats the Ultimate Purpose of Sophotechnology.”

(...)

“We are the ultimate expression of human rationality.”

She said: “We need humans to form a pool of individuality and innovation on which we can draw.”

He said, “And you’re funny.”

She said, “And we love you. ~ John C Wright,
358:The Deodand
What are these women up to? They’ve gone and strung
Drapes over the windows, cutting out light
And the slightest hope of a breeze here in mid-August.
Can this be simply to avoid being seen
By some prying femme-de-chambre across the boulevard
Who has stepped out on a balcony to disburse
Her dustmop gleanings on the summer air?
And what of these rugs and pillows, all haphazard,
Here in what might be someone’s living room
In the swank, high-toned sixteenth arrondissement?
What would their fathers, husbands, fiancés,
Those pillars of the old haute-bourgeoisie,
Think of the strange charade now in the making?
Swathed in exotic finery, in loose silks,
Gauzy organzas with metallic threads,
Intricate Arab vests, brass ornaments
At wrist and ankle, those small sexual fetters,
Tight little silver chains, and bangled gold
Suspended like a coarse barbarian treasure
From soft earlobes pierced through symbolically,
They are preparing some tableau vivant.
One girl, consulting the authority
Of a painting, perhaps by Ingres or Delacroix,
Is reporting over her shoulder on the use
Of kohl to lend its dark, savage allurements.
Another, playing the slave-artisan’s role,
Almost completely naked, brush in hand,
Attends to these instructions as she prepares
To complete the seductive shadowing of the eyes
Of the blonde girl who appears the harem favorite,
And who is now admiring these effects
In a mirror held by a fourth, a well-clad servant.
The scene simmers with Paris and women in heat,
Darkened and airless, perhaps with a faint hum
Of trapped flies, and a strong odor of musk.
For whom do they play at this hot indolence
And languorous vassalage? They are alone
With fantasies of jasmine and brass lamps,
Melons and dates and bowls of rose-water,
37
A courtyard fountain’s firework blaze of prisms,
Its basin sown with stars and poissons d’or,
And a rude stable smell of animal strength,
Of leather thongs, hinting of violations,
Swooning lubricities and lassitudes.
What is all this but crude imperial pride,
Feminized, scented and attenuated,
The exploitation of the primitive,
Homages of romantic self-deception,
Mimes of submission glamorized as lust?
Have they no intimation, no recall
Of the once queen who liked to play at milkmaid,
And the fierce butcher-reckoning that followed
Her innocent, unthinking masquerade?
Those who will not be taught by history
Have as their curse the office to repeat it,
And for this little spiritual debauch
(Reported here with warm, exacting care
By Pierre Renoir in 1872—
Apparently unnoticed by the girls,
An invisible voyeur, like you and me)
Exactions shall be made, an expiation,
A forfeiture. Though it take ninety years,
All the retributive iron of Racine
Shall answer from the raging heat of the desert.
In the final months of the Algerian war
They captured a very young French Legionnaire.
They shaved his head, decked him in a blonde wig,
Carmined his lips grotesquely, fitted him out
With long, theatrical false eyelashes
And a bright, loose-fitting skirt of calico,
And cut off all the fingers of both hands.
He had to eat from a fork held by his captors.
Thus costumed, he was taken from town to town,
Encampment to encampment, on a leash,
And forced to beg for his food with a special verse
Sung to a popular show tune of those days:
“Donnez moi à manger de vos mains
Car c’est pour vous que je fais ma petite danse;
Car je suis Madeleine, la putain,
38
Et je m’en vais le lendemain matin,
Car je suis La Belle France.”
~ Anthony Evan Hecht,
359:The process of receiving teaching depends upon the student giving something in return; some kind of psychological surrender is necessary, a gift of some sort. This is why we must discuss surrendering, opening, giving up expectations, before we can speak of the relationship between teacher and student. It is essential to surrender, to open yourself, to present whatever you are to the guru, rather than trying to present yourself as a worthwhile student. It does not matter how much you are willing to pay, how correctly you behave, how clever you are at saying the right thing to your teacher. It is not like having an interview for a job or buying a new car. Whether or not you will get the job depends upon your credentials, how well you are dressed, how beautifully your shoes are polished, how well you speak, how good your manners are. If you are buying a car, it is a matter of how much money you have and how good your credit is. But when it comes to spirituality, something more is required. It is not a matter of applying for a job, of dressing up to impress our potential employer. Such deception does not apply to an interview with a guru, because he sees right through us. He is amused if we dress up especially for the interview. Making ingratiating gestures is not applicable in this situation; in fact it is futile. We must make a real commitment to being open with our teacher; we must be willing to give up all our preconceptions. Milarepa expected Marpa to be a great scholar and a saintly person, dressed in yogic costume with beads, reciting mantras, meditating. Instead he found Marpa working on his farm, directing the laborers and plowing his land. I am afraid the word guru is overused in the West. It would be better to speak of one’s “spiritual friend,” because the teachings emphasize a mutual meeting of two minds. It is a matter of mutual communication, rather than a master-servant relationship between a highly evolved being and a miserable, confused one. In the master-servant relationship the highly evolved being may appear not even to be sitting on his seat but may seem to be floating, levitating, looking down at us. His voice is penetrating, pervading space. Every word, every cough, every movement that he makes is a gesture of wisdom. But this is a dream. A guru should be a spiritual friend who communicates and presents his qualities to us, as Marpa did with Milarepa and Naropa with Marpa. Marpa presented his quality of being a farmer-yogi. He happened to have seven children and a wife, and he looked after his farm, cultivating the land and supporting himself and his family. But these activities were just an ordinary part of his life. He cared for his students as he cared for his crops and family. He was so thorough, paying attention to every detail of his life, that he was able to be a competent teacher as well as a competent father and farmer. There was no physical or spiritual materialism in Marpa’s lifestyle at all. He did not emphasize spirituality and ignore his family or his physical relationship to the earth. If you are not involved with materialism, either spiritually or physically, then there is no emphasis made on any extreme. Nor is it helpful to choose someone for your guru simply because he is famous, someone who is renowned for having published stacks of books and converted thousands or millions of people. Instead the guideline is whether or not you are able actually to communicate with the person, directly and thoroughly. How much self-deception are you involved in? If you really open yourself to your spiritual friend, then you are bound to work together. Are you able to talk to him thoroughly and properly? Does he know anything about you? Does he know anything about himself, for that matter? Is the guru really able to see through your masks, communicate with you properly, directly? In searching for a teacher, this seems to be the guideline rather than fame or wisdom. ~ Ch gyam Trungpa,
360:The Lecture Last Night
after Howard Dossor
Life is a travesty. I've endured
even worse. Used to be
a time when cognisance
had the better of me. When I believed
in the aura of authenticity
(if I hadn't had too much to drink.) Now
I'm a cog. Meetings and salary
, a healthy diet, recycling bins. Subjectivity
, frankly academic. I even laugh
at my boss's jokes. Used to be
the kid who renounced conformity
, no hope for love or popularity. Now
I'm a participant. Debates and discussions
, clean socks and gas heating. Essence
was certainly secondary to substance
abuse. Don't get me wrong; I despised
being. Truly. It wasn't purpose
I lacked. (I have it now & don't like it.) What
I missed was the vision (or wisdom?)
to perceive the voids of hedonism
; now that the spade is called a spade
all too often... I'm speechless. Contrivance
of the Symbolic surrounds me. Can't I curse
84
God again even if he doesn't exist
without a bad science? Can't one shoot
an oblivious Arab on the beach, for old
time's sake? I even compliment my aunt
on her cooking. I perve, obediently, on women
in advertisements. The normative
has consumed me. I've become a human.
ii
On the way to the lecture
I noticed the footpath widened
to accommodate two-way traffic
of effervescent teenage shoppers
in what was only six years ago
a spooky, rundown suburb. How
self-deception dissolves all
in its path of necessity. On the way
to the lecture on 'Existential Love'
one week night, waiting for the tram
I overheard a soft-spoken man
give directions for an authentic Thai
restaurant on his Blackberry; later
on the tram a mentally ill tramp
grumbled to himself about the bitch
who took his sandwich-maker. Is the jury
still out on religion or do we see it
as the license for a will to power? I see
people being what they want to be. Free
-dom, style, choice abound. On the way
85
to the monthly lecture of Melbourne's
Existentialist Society, I'm the autonomous
agent who chooses the singular, special
deal - half-priced donut with a coffee at the 7-11 opposite where I get off
the tram. An absurd dinner, indeed. I spill
jam on my jacket (I always do)
on the way to the church building
where the secretary of the Atheist Society
chairs tonight's lecture. Irony
isn't a mark of a true being. (or
is it?) Illusions, illusions. The lecture begins.
iii
But how do I account for this
love? So much oppression
I've seen and felt, can't undo the notion
of my/your integrity. If I can't sense you
at the level of vitality, won't we touch
as mere, sacred bodies? So much simulation
I've lived with, can't refute the passion
for the Real, shattering originality. Where
do I trace the tangible locus
of this love? So much consternation
I've been offered, can't oust sensation
of attachment, however transient. And why
do I need this love? So much sedation
by the opiates of religion, facts, information
can't turn me off Truth entirely. Love
86
has brought me into Being. Sexual, ineffable.
iv
After the lecture, I'm hungry
and have an overpriced felafel. Angry drunks
outside Smith Street Woolworths, gone
, supplanted by suave African tourists. Windows
of shops proclaim the glory of saving
money on wine glasses, hand-knitted scarves. I tend
to agree with Adorno apropos the jargon
of authenticity. Capitalism has made a killing
from our existential obsessions. I'm
an unnamed soldier. I march (with dread)
towards Monday morning, office computer
and ripples of status anxiety in the eyes
of battle-hardened colleagues. The tram
slithers past my old Northcote joint, a warren
actually. There I survived on alcohol
, dope, fantasy until love's insubstantiality
lured me to her proximity. Am I sufficiently
committed to my innateness? When
I get off the tram, darkness of the street
doesn't obscure the path to the small flat
where loved ones sleep. It was interesting
, the lecture last night, I'll tell her in the morning
before roaring, chasing Marco as a Velociraptor
and at work I'll maintain a sort of smile. I'll sense
the point of existence, the price of Being.
87
~ Ali Alizadeh,
361:Prothalamion
"little soul, little flirting,
little perverse one
where are you off to now?
little wan one, firm one
little exposed one...
and never make fun of me again."
Now I must betray myself.
The feast of bondage and unity is near,
And none engaged in that great piety
When each bows to the other, kneels, and takes
Hand in hand, glance and glance, care and care,
None may wear masks or enigmatic clothes,
For weakness blinds the wounded face enough.
In sense, see my shocking nakedness.
I gave a girl an apple when five years old,
Saying, Will you be sorry when I am gone?
Ravenous for such courtesies, my name
Is fed like a raving fire, insatiate still.
But do not be afraid.
For I forget myself. I do indeed
Before each genuine beauty, and I will
Forget myself before your unknown heart.
I will forget the speech my mother made
In a restaurant, trapping my father there
At dinner with his whore. Her spoken rage
Struck down the child of seven years
With shame for all three, with pity for
The helpless harried waiter, with anger for
The diners gazing, avid, and contempt
And great disgust for every human being.
I will remember this. My mother's rhetoric
Has charmed my various tongue, but now I know
Love's metric seeks a rhyme more pure and sure.
For thus it is that I betray myself,
59
Passing the terror of childhood at second hand
Through nervous, learned fingertips.
At thirteen when a little girl died,
I walked for three weeks neither alive nor dead,
And could not understand and still cannot
The adult blind to the nearness of the dead,
Or carefully ignorant of their own death.
--This sense could shadow all the time's curving fruits,
But we will taste of them the whole night long,
Forgetting no twelfth night, no fete of June,
But in the daylight knowing our nothingness.
Let Freud and Marx be wedding guests indeed!
Let them mark out masks that face us there,
For of all anguish, weakness, loss and failure,
No form is cruel as self-deception, none
Shows day-by-day a bad dream long lived
And unbroken like the lies
We tell each other because we are rich or poor.
Though from the general guilt not free
We can keep honor by being poor.
The waste, the evil, the abomination
Is interrupted. the perfect stars persist
Small in the guilty night,
and Mozart shows
The irreducible incorruptible good
Risen past birth and death, though he is dead.
Hope, like a face reflected on the windowpane,
Remote and dim, fosters a myth or dream,
And in that dream, I speak, I summon all
Who are our friends somehow and thus I say:
"Bid the jewellers come with monocles,
Exclaiming, Pure! Intrinsic! Final!
Summon the children eating ice cream
To speak the chill thrill of immediacy.
Call for the acrobats who tumble
The ecstasy of the somersault.
Bid the self-sufficient stars be piercing
In the sublime and inexhaustible blue.
60
"Bring a mathematician, there is much to count,
The unending continuum of my attention:
Infinity will hurry his multiplied voice!
Bring the poised impeccable diver,
Summon the skater, precise in figure,
He knows the peril of circumstance,
The risk of movement and the hard ground.
Summon the florist! And the tobacconist!
All who have known a plant-like beauty:
Summon the charming bird for ignorant song.
"You, Athena, with your tired beauty,
Will you give me away? For you must come
In a bathing suit with that white owl
Whom, as I walk, I will hold in my hand.
You too, Crusoe, to utter the emotion
Of finding Friday, no longer alone;
You too, Chaplin, muse of the curbstone,
Mummer of hope, you understand!"
But this is fantastic and pitiful,
And no one comes, none will, we are alone,
And what is possible is my own voice,
Speaking its wish, despite its lasting fear;
Speaking of its hope, its promise and its fear,
The voice drunk with itself and rapt in fear,
Exaggeration, braggadocio,
Rhetoric and hope, and always fear:
"For fifty-six or for a thousand years,
I will live with you and be your friend,
And what your body and what your spirit bears
I will like my own body cure and tend.
But you are heavy and my body's weight
Is great and heavy: when I carry you
I lift upon my back time like a fate
Near as my heart, dark when I marry you.
"The voice's promise is easy, and hope
Is drunk, and wanton, and unwilled;
In time's quicksilver, where our desires grope,
The dream is warped or monstrously fulfilled,
In this sense, listen, listen, and draw near:
61
Love is inexhaustible and full of fear."
This life is endless and my eyes are tired,
So that, again and again, I touch a chair,
Or go to the window, press my face
Against it, hoping with substantial touch,
Colorful sight, or turning things to gain once more
The look of actuality, the certainty
Of those who run down stairs and drive a car.
Then let us be each other's truth, let us
Affirm the other's self, and be
The other's audience, the other's state,
Each to the other his sonorous fame.
Now you will be afraid, when, waking up,
Before familiar morning, by my mute side
Wan and abandoned then, when, waking up,
You see the lion or lamb upon my face
Or see the daemon breathing heavily
His sense of ignorance, his wish to die,
For I am nothing because my circus self
Divides its love a million times.
I am the octopus in love with God,
For thus is my desire inconclusible,
Until my mind, deranged in swimming tubes,
Issues its own darkness, clutching seas
---O God of my perfect ignorance,
Bring the New Year to my only sister soon,
Take from me strength and power to bless her head,
Give her the magnitude of secular trust,
Until she turns to me in her troubled sleep,
Seeing me in my wish, free from self-wrongs.
~ Delmore Schwartz,

IN CHAPTERS [43/43]



   16 Integral Yoga
   8 Occultism
   4 Psychology
   3 Philosophy
   1 Yoga
   1 Poetry


   13 Sri Aurobindo
   8 The Mother
   3 Satprem
   3 Carl Jung
   3 Aleister Crowley
   2 Rudolf Steiner
   2 Friedrich Nietzsche


   4 Letters On Yoga IV
   3 Words Of The Mother II
   3 The Life Divine
   3 Magick Without Tears
   3 Essays In Philosophy And Yoga
   2 Twilight of the Idols
   2 The Synthesis Of Yoga
   2 The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious
   2 Knowledge of the Higher Worlds
   2 Essays Divine And Human
   2 Agenda Vol 09


0.10 - Letters to a Young Captain, #Some Answers From The Mother, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
  words, self-deception. Now, if you have a fan and wish to use
  Series Ten – To a Young Captain

1.01 - Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious, #The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, #Carl Jung, #Psychology
  refined into intrigue and self-deception, unseen though none
  the less dangerous for that.

1.02 - THE PROBLEM OF SOCRATES, #Twilight of the Idols, #Friedrich Nietzsche, #Philosophy
  his faith in "reason at any price"?--It is a piece of self-deception
  on the part of philosophers and moralists to suppose that they can

1.02 - The Stages of Initiation, #Knowledge of the Higher Worlds, #Rudolf Steiner, #Occultism
   time. The attempt will most likely fail hundreds and hundreds of times. It is just a question of not losing patience. After many attempts you will succeed in experiencing a feeling In your soul corresponding to the state of soul of the person observed, and you will begin to notice that through this feeling a power grows in your soul that leads to spiritual insight into the state of soul of the other. A picture experienced as luminous appears in your field of vision. This spiritually luminous picture is the so-called astral embodiment of the desire observed in that soul. Again the impression of this picture may be described as flame-like, yellowish-red in the center, and reddish-blue or lilac at the edges. Much depends on treating such spiritual experiences with great delicacy. The best thing is not to speak to anyone about them except to your teacher, if you have one. Attempted descriptions of such experiences in inappropriate words usually only lead to gross self-deception. Ordinary terms are employed which are not intended for such things, and are therefore too gross and clumsy. The consequence is that in the attempt to clo the the experience in words we are misled into blending the actual experience
   p. 71

1.031 - Intense Aspiration, #The Study and Practice of Yoga, #Swami Krishnananda, #Yoga
  Why do we travel from place to place, as if we have nothing else to do? The reason is that we want to bring about a corresponding change in our own self, and the external movement has been used as a kind of assistance. But if that change has not become an assistance, the whole effort is futile. Another thing why does it not become helpful? How is it that this imagined external change of condition does not become helpful in bringing about an internal reorientation of living? The reason is that we have not been very honest and sincere. There has been a kind of bungling in the whole attitude of our mind towards what we are seeking, and a kind of confusion a self-deception, we may say. This, again, is due to a lack of proper training from a competent master. Again, I come to this point that a Guru is necessary. We cannot tread this path with our own legs. Our legs are very weak, because there are millions of obstacles that can simply shake us from our roots and throw us into the pits, even with all our understanding, which is of no use in the face of these obstacles. The obstacles are violent winds, and our legs are like sand which will be thrown in any direction by these violent movements of winds of desire, and what not.
  In the external change that we bring about, which is the first step in vairagya, as people generally understand it, we leave the homestead and go to Badrinath or Uttarkashi, or somewhere. This initial step that we regard as vairagya or renunciation is to be converted into an internal discipline and change of attitude, for which proper guidance is necessary. Everything is a system of thinking, a change in the attitude of consciousness, and even the first step that we take is only towards that end. Unless there is a corresponding transformation inside, external movements have no meaning. If proper care is taken, an external discipline has some effect upon the internal character. But proper care has to be taken; we have to be very vigilant, and we cannot be vigilant if we give a long rope to our old ways of thinking. We can change anything, but our ways of thinking cannot change, because that is a part of us part of our nature.

1.03 - Some Practical Aspects, #Knowledge of the Higher Worlds, #Rudolf Steiner, #Occultism
   it in self-deception while it plants itself all the more firmly in the depths of the soul. It is only when we ever and again surrender ourselves to a certain definite thought, making it absolutely our own, that any results can be attained. This thought is as follows: I must certainly do everything I can for the training and development of my soul and spirit; but I shall wait patiently until higher powers shall have found me worthy of definite enlightenment. If this thought becomes so powerful in the student that it grows into an actual feature of his character, he is treading the right path. This feature soon sets its mark on his exterior. The gaze of his eye becomes steady, the movement of his body becomes sure, his decisions definite, and all that goes under the name of nervousness gradually disappears. Rules that appear trifling and insignificant must be taken into account. For example, supposing someone affronts us. Before our training we should have directed our resentment against the offender; a wave of anger would have surged up within us. In a similar case, however, the thought is immediately present in the mind of the student that such an affront makes no difference
   p. 101
  --
   his own self. With a feeling of inner truth he must look his own faults, weaknesses, and unfitness full in the face. The moment he tries to excuse to himself any of his weaknesses, he has placed a stone in his way on the path which is to lead him upward. Such obstacles can only be removed by self-enlightenment. There is only one way to get rid of faults and failings, and that is by a clear recognition of them. Everything slumbers in the human soul and can be awakened. A person can even improve his intellect and reason, if he quietly and calmly makes it clear to himself why he is weak in this respect. Such self- knowledge is, of course, difficult, for the temptation to self-deception is immeasurably great. Anyone making a habit of being truthful with himself opens the portal leading to a deeper insight.
  All curiosity must fall away from the student. He must rid himself as much as possible of the habit of asking questions merely for the sake of gratifying a selfish thirst for knowledge. He must only ask when knowledge can serve to perfect his own being in the service of evolution. Nevertheless, his delight in knowledge and his devotion to it should in no way be hampered. He should listen

1.05 - THE HOSTILE BROTHERS - ARCHETYPES OF RESPONSE TO THE UNKNOWN, #Maps of Meaning, #Jordan Peterson, #Psychology
  continued pursuit of meaning, adopted voluntarily and without self-deception, will lead the individual to
  discover his identity with God. This revealed identity will make him capable of withstanding the tragedy

1.08 - Stead and the Spirits, #Essays In Philosophy And Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  It is not, however, Lord Curzon but Mr. Stead and the spirits with whom we have to deal. We know Mr. Stead as a pushing and original journalist, not always over-refined or delicate either in his actions or expressions, skilful in the advertisement of his views, excitable, earnest, declamatory, loud and even hysterical, if you will, in some of his methods, but certainly neither a liar nor a swindler. He does and says what he believes and nothing else. It is impossible to dismiss his Bureau as an imposture or mere journalistic rclame. It is impossible to dismiss the phenomena of spirit communications, even with all the imposture that unscrupulous money-makers have imported into them, as unreal or a deception. All that can reasonably be said is that their true nature has not yet been established beyond dispute. There are two conceivable explanations, one that of actual spirit communication, the other that of vigorously dramatised imaginary conversations jointly composed with wonderful skill and consistency by the subconscious minds, whatever that may be, of the persons present, the medium being the chief dramaturge of this subconscious literary Committee. This theory is so wildly improbable and so obviously opposed to the nature of the phenomena themselves, that only an obstinate unwillingness to admit new facts and ideas can explain its survival, although it was natural and justifiable in the first stages of investigation. There remains the explanation of actual spirit communication. But even when we have decided on this hypothesis as the base of our investigation, we have to be on our guard against a multitude of errors; for the communications are vitiated first by the errors and self-deceptions of the medium and the sitters, then by the errors and self-deceptions of the communicant spirits, and, worst of all, by deliberate deceit, lies and jugglery on the part of the visitants from the other world. The element of deceit and jugglery on the part of the medium and his helpers is not always small, but can easily be got rid of. Cheap scepticism and cheaper ridicule in such matters is only useful for comforting small brains and weak imaginations with a sense of superiority to the larger minds who do not refuse to enquire into phenomena which are at least widespread and of a consistently regular character. The true attitude is to examine carefully the nature of the phenomena, the conditions that now detract from their value and the possibility of removing them and providing perfect experimental conditions which would enable us to arrive at a satisfactory scientific result. Until the value of the communications is scientifically established, any attempt to use them for utilitarian, theatrical or yet lighter purposes is to be deprecated, as such misuse may end in shutting a wide door to potential knowledge upon humanity.
  From this point of view Mr. Steads bizarre experiments are to be deprecated. The one redeeming feature about them is that, as conducted, they seem to remove the first elementary difficulty in the way of investigation, the possibility of human deceit and imposture. We presume that he has got rid of professional mediums and allows only earnest-minded and honourable investigators to be present. But the other elements of error and confusion are encouraged rather than obviated by the spirit and methods of Mr. Steads Bureau. First, there is the error and self-deception of the sitters. The spirit does not express himself directly but has to give his thoughts at third hand; they come first to the intermediary spirit, Julia or another, by her they are conveyed to the human medium and through him conveyed by automatic or conscious speech or writing to the listeners. It is obvious how largely the mind of the medium and, to a smaller but still great extent, the thought-impressions of the other sitters must interfere, and this without the least intention on their part, rather in spite of a strong wish in the opposite direction. Few men really understand how the human mind works or are fitted to watch the processes of their own conscious and half-conscious thought even when the mind is disinterested, still less when it is active and interested in the subject of communication. The sitters interfere, first, by putting in their own thoughts and expressions suggested by the beginnings of the communication, so that what began as a spirit conversation ends in a tangle of the mediums or sitters ideas with the little of his own that the spirit can get in now and then. They interfere not only by suggesting what they themselves think or would say on the subject, but by suggesting what they think the spirit ought dramatically to think or say, so that Mr. Gladstone is made to talk in interminable cloudy and circumambient periods which were certainly his oratorical style but can hardly have been the staple of his conversation, and Lord Beaconsfield is obliged to be cynical and immoral in the tone of his observations. They interfere again by eagerness, which sometimes produces replies according to the sitters wishes and sometimes others which are unpleasant or alarming, but in neither case reliable. This is especially the case in answers to questions about the future, which ought never to be asked. It is true that many astonishing predictions occur which are perfectly accurate, but these are far outweighed by the mass of false and random prediction. These difficulties can only be avoided by rigidly excluding every question accompanied by or likely to raise eagerness or expectation and by cultivating entire mental passivity. The last however is impossible to the medium unless he is a practised Yogin, or in a trance, or a medium who has attained the habit of passivity by an unconscious development due to long practice. In the sitters we do not see how it is to be induced. Still, without unemotional indifference to the nature of the answer and mental passivity the conditions for so difficult and delicate a process of communication cannot be perfect.
  Error and self-deception from the other side of the veil cannot be obviated by any effort on this side; all that we can do is to recognise that the spirits are limited in knowledge and cabined by character, so that we have to allow for the mental and moral equation in the communicant when judging the truth and value of the communication. Absolute deception and falsehood can only be avoided by declining to communicate with spirits of a lower order and being on guard against their masquerading under familiar or distinguished names. How far Mr. Stead and his circle have guarded against these latter errors we cannot say, but the spirit in which the sittings are conducted, does not encourage us to suppose that scrupulous care is taken in these respects. It is quite possible that some playful spirit has been enacting Mr. Gladstone to the too enthusiastic circle and has amused himself by elaborating those cloudy-luminous periods which he saw the sitters expected from the great deceased Opportunist. But we incline to the view that what we have got in this now famous spirit interview, is a small quantity of Gladstone, a great deal of Stead and a fair measure of the disembodied Julia and the assistant psychics.
  ***

1.1.05 - The Siddhis, #Essays Divine And Human, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
   present day is magic precisely in the same sense as the scientific experiments of Roger Bacon or Paracelsus. There is a good deal of fraud and error and self-deception mixed up with it, but so there was with the earliest efforts of the European scientists. The defects of Western practitioners or Eastern quacks do not get rid of our true & ancient Yoga.

1.13 - The Supermind and the Yoga of Works, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  This is not only an absurd expectation but full of danger. For the vital desire may very well bring in an action of dark or vehement vital powers which hold out before it a promise of immediate fulfilment of its impossible longing; the consequence is likely to be a plunge into many kinds of self-deception, a yielding to the falsehoods and temptations of the forces of darkness, a hunt for supernormal powers, a turning away from the Divine to the
  Asuric nature, a fatal self-inflation into an unnatural unhuman and undivine bigness of magnified ego. If the being is small, the nature weak and incapable, there is not this large-scale disaster; but a loss of balance, a mental unhinging and fall into unreason or a vital unhinging and consequent moral aberration or a deviation into some kind of morbid abnormality of the nature may be the untoward consequence. This is not a Yoga in which

1.22 - How to Learn the Practice of Astrology, #Magick Without Tears, #Aleister Crowley, #Occultism
  Remember constantly that the Statistical Method is your one and only safeguard against self-deception.
  Within the limits of a letter I could hardly hope to go into matters much more fully or deeply than I have done; but 'pon my soul! I think that what I have said should be enough for an intelligent and assiduous student. Let me insist that all that is worth while comes by experience. Learning one thing will give you the clue to another.

1.24 - Necromancy and Spiritism, #Magick Without Tears, #Aleister Crowley, #Occultism
  It is not fair to tar all mediums with the Sludge brush; there are many who could advance quite sincerely some of the apologia of Sludge. Why should a medium be immune to self-deception spurred by the Wish-Fiend? While there are people walking about outside the Bug-house who can find Mrs. Simpson and Generals de Gaulle, Franco, Allenby, Montgomery and who else in the "Centuries" of Nostradamus, we should be stupid to assign everything to conscious fraud.
  In that case what about poor Tiny Aleister? Do please allow me the happy young Eagles of the Old Testament; what clearer prophecy of psychoanalysis, it's only the English for Freud and Jung and Adler!

1.42 - This Self Introversion, #Magick Without Tears, #Aleister Crowley, #Occultism
  Once started on that road, one can easily develop self-deception to a fine art. One can imagine that one has undergone, or achieved, all sorts of experiences "as described in the books," when all that one has actually done is to work the results of one's reading into a bubble inflated by imagination.
  It should be obvious to you that the habit grows on one; every bad quality, from vanity to laziness, lends most willing aid. One replaces reality more and more continuously by these exciting and flattering reveries, which by this time have no longer any shadow of a claim to be called mystic experiences at all.

1955-12-07 - Emotional impulse of self-giving - A young dancer in France - The heart has wings, not the head - Only joy can conquer the Adversary, #Questions And Answers 1955, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
  But if you, whoever it may be, become truly sincerewhat I call sincere, you see, what Sri Aurobindo calls sincere, that is, when nothing in the being contradicts the aspiration and the will to consecration, nothing disguises itself to continue living its own independent life The disguises are countless, they are full of craftiness and malice, very deceptive, and unfortunately the human being has a very great innate tendency to deceive himself; and the more one deceives himself, the less one recognises the self-deception. But if one is really sincere, the Adversary cant even approach him any longer; and he doesnt try it, because that would be courting his own destruction.
  Only, some people have in them a kind of fighting instinct and they are not content to liberate themselves and come out of the influence; indeed they think they have the capacity to go to war and fight with the Adversary. So sometimes, if they are not quite ready, they go and land in very bad situations, difficult predicaments.

1956-01-11 - Desire and self-deception - Giving all one is and has - Sincerity, more powerful than will - Joy of progress Definition of youth, #Questions And Answers 1956, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
  object:1956-01-11 - Desire and self-deception - Giving all one is and has - Sincerity, more powerful than will - Joy of progress Definition of youth
  author class:The Mother

1958-05-21 - Mental honesty, #Questions And Answers 1957-1958, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
  All these things are so habitual, so automatic, as it were, that you are not even aware of them; but when you begin to want to establish some discipline over your being, you make discoveries which are really tremendously interesting. When you have discovered this, you become aware that you are living constantly in a the best word is self-deception, a state of wilful deceit; that is, you deceive yourself spontaneously. It is not that you need to reflect: spontaneously you put a pretty cloak over what you have done so that it doesnt show its true colours and all this for things which are so insignificant, which have so little importance! It would be understandable, wouldnt it, if recognising your mistake had serious consequences for your very existence the instinct of self-preservation would make you do it as a protection but that is not the question, it concerns things which are absolutely unimportant, of no consequence at all except that of having to tell yourself, I have made a mistake.
  This means that an effort is needed in order to be mentally sincere. There must be an effort, there must be a discipline. Of course, I am not speaking of those who tell lies in order not to be caught, for everybody knows that this should not be done. Besides, the most stupid lies are the most useless, for they are so flagrant that they cant deceive anyone. Such examples occur constantly; you catch someone doing something wrong and tell him, Thats how it is; he gives a silly explanation which nobody can understand, nobody can accept; it is silly but he gives it in the hope of shielding himself. It is spontaneous, you see, but he knows this is not done. But the other kind of deception is much more spontaneous and it is so habitual that one is not aware of it. So, when we speak of mental honesty, we speak of something which is acquired by a very constant and sustained effort.

1960 11 14? - 51, #On Thoughts And Aphorisms, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   51When I hear of a righteous wrath, I wonder at mans capacity for self-deception.
   When one deceives oneself, one always does it in good faith. One is always acting for the good of others or for the welfare of humanity and to serve you that goes without saying! How does one deceive oneself?1
   I feel like asking you a question myself! Because your question can be understood in two ways. One can take it in the same spirit of irony and humour that Sri Aurobindo has put in his Aphorism, when he marvels at mans capacity for self-deception. That is to say, you are putting yourself in the place of someone who is deceiving himself and you say, But I am acting in good faith! I always want the good of others, etc.the welfare of humanity, to serve the Divine, that goes without saying! And how can I be deceiving myself?
   But actually there are two ways of deceiving oneself, which are very different. For example, you may very well be shocked by certain things, not for personal reasons, but precisely in your goodwill and eagerness to serve the Divine, when you see people behaving badly, being selfish, unfaithful and treacherous. There is a stage where you have overcome these things and no longer allow them to manifest in yourself, but to the extent that you are linked to the ordinary consciousness, the ordinary point of view, the ordinary life, the ordinary way of thinking, they are still possible, they exist latently because they are the reverse of the qualities that you are striving to attain. And this opposition still existsuntil you rise above it and no longer have either the quality or the defect. So long as you have the virtue, its opposite is always latent in you; it is only when you are above both the virtue and the defect that it disappears.
  --
   And here self-deception comes solely from the approval given to it or the flattering epithet attached to itbecause anger can only be something blind, ignorant and asuric, that is to say, contrary to the light.
   But this is still the best case.
   There is another one. There are people who without knowing itor because they want to ignore italways follow their personal interest, their preferences, their attachments, their conceptions; people who are not wholly consecrated to the Divine and who make use of moral and yogic ideas to conceal their personal impulses. But these people are deceiving themselves doubly; not only do they deceive themselves in their external activities, in their relation with others, but they also deceive themselves in their own personal movement; instead of serving the Divine, they serve their own egoism. And this happens constantly, constantly! They serve their own personality, their own egoism, while pretending to serve God. Then it is no longer even self-deception, it is hypocrisy.
   This mental habit of always endowing everything with a very favourable appearance, of giving a favourable explanation to all movements sometimes it is rather subtle, but sometimes it is so crude that nobody is deceived except oneself. It is a habit of excusing oneself, the habit of giving a favourable mental excuse, a favourable mental explanation to everything one does, to everything one says, to everything one feels. For example, those who have no self-control and slap someones face in great indignation would call that an almost divine wrath!
   It is amazing, amazingthis power of self-deception, the minds skill in finding an admirable justification for any ignorance, any stupidity whatsoever.
   This is not an experience that comes only now and then. It is something which you can observe from minute to minute. And you usually see it much more easily in others! But if you look at yourself closely, you catch yourself a thousand times a day, looking at yourself just a little indulgently: Oh! But it is not the same thing. Besides, it is never the same for you as it is for your neighbour!

1961-01-17, #Agenda Vol 02, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   51When I hear of a righteous wrath, I wonder at mans capacity for self-deception.
   What do you have to say?
   Our self-deception is always in good faith! We always act for the welfare of others or in the interests of humanity and to serve you (that goes without saying!). How exactly do we deceive ourselves?
   I would like to ask you a question in turnbecause there are two ways of understanding your question. It can be taken in the same ironic or humorous tone that Sri Aurobindo has used in his aphorism when he wonders at mans capacity for self-deception. That is, you are putting yourself in the place of the self-deceiver and saying, But I am of good faith! I always want the welfare of others the interests of humanity, to serve the Divine (of course!). Then how can I be deceiving myself?
   But actually, there are really two quite different forms of self-deception. One can be very shocked by certain things, not for personal reasons but precisely because of ones goodwill and ardor to serve the Divine, when one sees people misconducting themselves, being egoistical, unfaithful, treacherous. There comes a stage when one has mastered these things and doesnt permit them to manifest IN ONESELF; but to the extent that one is in contact with ordinary consciousness, ordinary viewpoints, ordinary life and thought, their possibility is still there, latent, because they are the inverse of the qualities one is striving for. And this opposition always exists until one has risen above and no longer has either the quality or the defect. As long as one has virtue, one always has its latent opposite. The opposition disappears only when one is beyond virtue and sin.
   But until then, there is this kind of indignation stemming from the fact that one is not entirely above: its a period when one totally disapproves of certain things and would be incapable of doing them. And up to this point, there is nothing to say, unless one gives an external, violent expression to his indignation. If anger interferes, it indicates an entire contradiction between the feeling one wants to have and this reaction towards others. Because anger is a deformation of vital power originating from an obscure and thoroughly unregenerate vital,1 a vital still subject to all the ordinary actions and reactions. When an ignorant, egoistic individual will exploits this vital power and encounters opposition from other individual wills around it, then under the pressure of opposition this power changes into anger and tries to obtain through violence what could not be achieved by the pressure of the Force alone.
  --
   There is another case where peoplewithout knowing it or because they WANT to ignore italways pursue their personal interests, their preferences, their attachments, their concepts; people who are not entirely consecrated to the Divine and make use of moral and yogic ideas to conceal their personal motives. These people doubly deceive themselves: not only do they deceive themselves through their outer activities, their relations with others, but they also deceive themselves about their personal motives; instead of serving the Divine they are serving their own egoism. And this happens constantly, constantly! One serves his own personality, his egoism, while pretending to serve the Divine. This is no longer even self-deception: its sheer hypocrisy.
   This mental habit of always cloaking everything with a favorable appearance, of giving all movements a favorable explanation, is at times so flagrant that it can fool nobody but oneself (although it may occasionally be subtle enough to create an illusion). It is a sort of habitual self-exoneration, the habit of giving a favorable mental excuse, a favorable mental explanation for all one does, all one says, all one feels. For example, someone with no self-control who strikes another in great indignation and is ready to call it divine wrath! Righteous2 is perfect, because righteous immediately introduces this element of puritanical moralitywonderful!
   This power of self-deception, the minds craft in devising splendid justifications for any ignorance or folly whatsoever, is tremendous.
   And its not a random experience coming now and then, its something you can witness minute by minute. You generally see it far more readily in others! But if you watch yourself carefully, you will catch yourself a thousand times a daylooking at things in a favorable way: Oh, its NOT the same thing! And besides, its NEVER the same for you as it is for your neighbor!

1968-01-12, #Agenda Vol 09, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   There may be here some debate on this true sense: some, along with the religions we know, will tell you that the true sense isnt here, but in goodness knows what heaven beyond. Its a point of view, but if this material evolution does not hold its own sense within itself, it means we are in the presence of a sinister farce invented by goodness knows what divine masochist. If God exists, he must be a little less foolish than that, and we are entitled to think that this material evolution has a divine sense and that it is the field of a divine manifestation in Matter. Our spiritual discipline must therefore aim at gaining this divine man or perhaps that other, still unknown being who will emerge from us just as we emerged from hominid infancy. What is the place of the sexual function in this evolution? Until now, the progress of consciousness has made use of the progress of species, which means that sexual reproduction has been the key to the proliferation of species so as to reach the form most fit for the manifestation of consciousness. Since the appearance of man two or three million years ago, Nature hasnt produced new species, as if she had found in man the fittest mode of expression. But evolution cannot remain stagnant, or else it no longer is evolution. So it means that the key of evolution no longer lies in the proliferation of species by means of sexual reproduction, but directly in the very power of consciousness. Before man, consciousness was still too buried in its material support; with man, it has disengaged itself sufficiently to assume its true mastery over material Nature and work out its own mutations by itself. From the standpoint of evolutionary biology, this is the end of sexuality. We have reached the stage at which we can switch from natural evolution through sexual power to spiritual evolution through the power of consciousness. Nature generally does not let organs linger that no longer serve her evolutionary design, so we can foresee that the sexual function will atrophy in those who will be able to channel their energy no longer for reproduction but to develop their consciousness. Quite obviously, not all of us have reached that stage, and for a long time Nature will still need sexual power to pursue her evolution in the midst of the human species, that is to say, to lead the rather brute man we still are to a more conscious man, more capable of grasping the true sense of his evolution, and finally wholly capable of switching from natural to spiritual evolution. The inequality of development in individuals is the obvious reason why we cannot make general rules or hand out infallible prescriptions. To each stage its law. But after however long a time, it is equally obvious that, from the point of view of evolutionary biology, the sexual function comes to its end when it has fulfilled its purpose, that is, when it has succeeded in giving birth to a sufficiently conscious man. So we cannot reasonably base a spiritual discipline of accelerated evolution on a principle that runs counter to evolution. Moreover, anyone who has even barely crossed the difficult line, the point X of the transition from natural to spiritual evolution, cannot but realize that all the pseudo-mystic attempts to prettify the sexual relations between man and woman are shams. I have nothing against sexual relations (God knows!), but trying to coat them with a yogic or mystic phraseology is a deceitful illusion, a self-deception. Therefore, in that sense, there is no key to be recoveredit does not exist.
   There is a key in the relationship between man and woman, but not in their sexual relations. The so-called left-hand Tantrics (of the Vama Marga) are to true Tantrism what Boccaccios tales are to Christianity, or what the sodden Roman Bacchus is to Dionysos of the Greek mysteries. I know Tantrism, to say the least. As for the Cathars, whom I hold in the highest esteem, it would be doing them little honor to believe that they followed a sort of yoga of sexuality. Through my own experience I have often had the feeling of reliving the Cathars experience, and I see plainly that if some of them attempted to mix sexual relations into the true relationship between man and woman, they soon realized their error. It is a dead-end road, or rather its only end is to show you that it leads you nowhere forward. The Cathars were too sincere and conscious men to persist in a burdening experience. For ultimately, and that is the crux of the matter, the sexual experience in its very nature (whether or not there is backward flow or whatever its mode) automatically fastens you again to the old animal vibrations there is nothing you can do about it: however much love you may put into it, the very function is tied to millennia of animality. It is as if you wanted to plunge into a swamp without stirring up any mudit cannot be done, the milieu is like that. And when one knows how much transparency, clarification and inner stillness it takes to slowly rise to a higher consciousness, or to allow a higher light to enter our waters without being instantly darkened, one fails to see how sexual activity can help you attain that still limpidity in which things can start happening??? The union, the oneness of two beings, the true and complete meeting of two beings does not take place at that level or through those means. That is all I can say. But I have seen that in the silent tranquillity of two beings who have the same aspiration, who have overcome the difficult transition, something quite unique slowly takes place, of which one can have no inkling as long as one is still stuck in the struggles of the flesh, to use a preachers language! I think the Cathars experience begins after that transition. After it, the man-woman couple assumes its true meaning, its effectiveness, if I may say so. Sex is only a first mode of meeting, the first device invented by Nature to break the shell of individual egosafterwards, one grows and discovers something else, not through inhibition or repression, but because something different and infinitely richer takes over. Those who are so eager to preserve sex and to mystify it in order to move on to the second stage of evolution are very much like children clinging to their scootersit isnt more serious than that. There is nothing in it to do a yoga with, nothing also to be indignant about or raise ones eyebrows at. So I have nothing to criticize, I am merely observing and putting things in their place. All depends on the stage one has reached. As for those who want to use sex for such and such a sublime or not-so-sublime reason, well, let them have their experience. As Mother told me on the very same subject no later than yesterday, To tell the truth, the Lord makes use of everything. One is always on the way towards something. One is always on the way, through any means, but what is necessary is, as much as possible, to keep ones lucidity and not to deceive oneself.

1968-09-25, #Agenda Vol 09, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   When I hear of a righteous wrath, I wonder at mans capacity for self-deception.
   Wonderful!
   There was a question: Our self-deception is always in good faith; we always act for the good of others or in the interest of humanity and to serve you, that goes without saying! How exactly do we deceive ourselves, and how can we truly know?1
   Its terribly true.

1.jwvg - The Visit, #Goethe - Poems, #Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, #Poetry
  Were the love I bear thee self-deception,
  I must now have found it out, since Amor

2.07 - The Release from Subjection to the Body, #The Synthesis Of Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  This side of the method belongs properly to the Yoga of self-perfection; but it is as well to speak briefly of these things here both because we thereby lay a basis for what we shall have to say of self-perfection, which is a part of the integral Yoga, and because we have to correct the false notions popularised by materialistic Science. According to this Science the normal mental and physical states and the relations between mind and body actually established by our past evolution are the right, natural and healthy conditions and anything other, anything opposite to them is either morbid and wrong or a hallucination, self-deception and insanity. Needless to say, this conservative principle is entirely ignored by Science itself when it so diligently and successfully improves on the normal operations of physical Nature for the greater mastery of Nature by man. Suffice it to say here once for all that a change of mental and physical state and of relations between the mind and body which increases the purity and freedom of the being, brings a clear joy and peace and multiplies the power of the mind over itself and over the physical functions, brings about in a word man's greater mastery of his own nature, Is obviously not morbid and cannot be considered a hallucination or self-deception since its effects are patent and positive. In fact, it is simply a willed advance of Nature in her evolution of the Individual, an evolution which she will carry out in any case but in which she chooses to utilise the human will as her chief agent, because her essential aim is to lead the Purusha to conscious mastery over herself.
  This being said, we must add that in the movement of the path of knowledge perfection of the mind and body are no consideration at all or only secondary considerations. The one thing necessary is to rise out of Nature to the Self by either the most swift or the most thorough and effective method possible; and the method we are describing, though not the swiftest, is the most thorough-going in its effectivity. And here there arises the question of physical action or inaction. It is ordinarily considered that the Yogin should draw away from action as much as possible and especially that too much action is a hindrance because it draws off the energies outward. To a certain extent this is true; and we must note farther that when the mental Purusha takes up the attitude of mere witness and observer, a tendency to silence, solitude, physical calm and bodily inaction grows upon the being. So long as this is not associated with inertia, incapacity or unwillingness to act, in a word, with the growth of the tamasic quality, all this is to the good. The power to do nothing, which is quite different from indolence, incapacity or aversion to action and attachment to inaction, is a great power and a great mastery; the power to rest absolutely from action is as necessary for the Jnanayogin as the power to cease absolutely from thought, as the power to remain indefinitely in sheer solitude and silence and as the power of immovable calm. Whoever is not willing to embrace these states is not yet fit for the path that leads towards the highest knowledge; whoever is unable to draw towards them, is as yet unfit for its acquisition.

2.0 - THE ANTICHRIST, #Twilight of the Idols, #Friedrich Nietzsche, #Philosophy
  a closing of one's eyes and self-deception. Every book becomes clean,
  after one has just read the New Testament: for instance, immediately

2.10 - Knowledge by Identity and Separative Knowledge, #The Life Divine, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  An organised self-deception is thus added to an organised selfignorance; it is only by going within and seeing these things at their source that we can get out of this obscurity and tangle.
  For a larger mental being is there within us, a larger inner vital being, even a larger inner subtle-physical being other than our surface body-consciousness, and by entering into this or becoming it, identifying ourselves with it, we can observe the springs of our thoughts and feelings, the sources and motives of our action, the operative energies that build up our surface personality. For we discover and can know the inner being that secretly thinks and perceives in us, the vital being that secretly

2.11 - The Guru, #Words Of The Mother II, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
    The western mind always finds it difficult to submit totally to a Guru and without total and unquestioning surrender to the Guru his help to you is paralysed. That is why generally I advise westerners to find the guidance and the Presence within themselves; it is true that this process is very often open to uncertainty and self-deception, mistaking some voice of the ego in disguise for the Divines guidance.
    In both cases, it is only an absolute sincerity and an unmixed humility that can be your safeguard.

2.1.4 - The Lower Vital Being, #Letters On Yoga IV, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  The difficulty in the lower vital being is that it is still wedded to its old self and in revolt against the Light; it has not only not surrendered either to a greater Truth or to myself and the Mother, but it has up to now no such will and hardly any idea even of what true surrender is. When the lower vital assumes this attitude, it takes its stand upon a constant affirmation of the old personality and the past forms of the lower nature. Every time they are discouraged, it supports and brings them back and asserts its right to freedom the freedom to affirm and follow its own crude and egoistic ideas, desires, fancies, impulses or convenience whenever it chooses. It claims, secretly or in so many words, the right to follow its nature,its average unregenerate human nature, the right to be itself,its natural, original, unchanged self with all the falsehood, ignorance and incoherence proper to this part of the being. And it claims or, if it does not claim in theory, it asserts in practice the right to express all this impure and inferior stuff in speech and act and behaviour. It defends, glosses over, paints in specious colours and tries to prolong indefinitely the past habitual ways of thinking, speaking and feeling and to eternise what is distorted and misformed in the character. This it does sometimes by open self-assertion and revolt, branding all that is done or said against it as error or oppression or injustice, sometimes behind a cover of self-deception or a mask of dissimulation, professing one thing and practising another. Often it tries to persuade itself and to convince others that these things are the only right reason and right way of acting for itself or for all or even that they are part of the true movement of the Yoga.
  When this lower vital being is allowed to influence the action, as happens when the sadhaka in any way endorses its suggestions, its attitude, whether masked to himself or coming to the surface, dictates a considerable part of his speech and action and against it he makes no serious resistance. If he is frank with himself and straightforward to the Mother, he will begin to recognise the source and nature of the obstacle and will soon be on the direct road to correct and change it. But this, when under the adverse influence, he persistently refuses to be; he prefers to hide up these movements under any kind of concealment, denial, justification or excuse or other shelter.

2.14 - The Origin and Remedy of Falsehood, Error, Wrong and Evil, #The Life Divine, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  The sattwic intelligence is eager for knowledge, as open as it can be to it, careful to consider and verify and balance, to adjust and adapt to its view whatever confirms itself as truth, receiving all that it can assimilate, skilful to build truth in a harmonious intellectual structure: but, because its light is limited, as all mental light must be, it is unable to enlarge itself so as to receive equally all truth and all knowledge; it has a mental ego, even an enlightened one, and is determined by it in its observation, judgment, reasoning, mental choice and preference. In most men there is a predominance of one of these qualities but also a mixture; the same mind can be open and plastic and harmonic in one direction, kinetic and vital, hasty and prejudiced and ill-balanced in another, in yet another obscure and unreceptive. This limitation by personality, this defence of personality and refusal to receive what is unassimilable, is necessary for the individual being because in its evolution, at the stage reached, it has a certain selfexpression, a certain type of experience and use of experience which must, for the mind and life at least, govern nature; that for the moment is its law of being, its dharma. This limitation of mind-consciousness by personality and of truth by mental temperament and preference must be the rule of our nature so long as the individual has not reached universality, is not yet preparing for mind-transcendence. But it is evident that this condition is inevitably a source of error and can at any moment be the cause of a falsification of knowledge, an unconscious or half-wilful self-deception, a refusal to admit true knowledge, a readiness to assert acceptable wrong knowledge as true knowledge.
  644

2.25 - The Triple Transformation, #The Life Divine, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  As the crust of the outer nature cracks, as the walls of inner separation break down, the inner light gets through, the inner fire burns in the heart, the substance of the nature and the stuff of consciousness refine to a greater subtlety and purity, and the deeper psychic experiences, those which are not solely of an inner mental or inner vital character, become possible in this subtler, purer, finer substance; the soul begins to unveil itself, the psychic personality reaches its full stature. The soul, the psychic entity, then manifests itself as the central being which upholds mind and life and body and supports all the other powers and functions of the Spirit; it takes up its greater function as the guide and ruler of the nature. A guidance, a governance begins from within which exposes every movement to the light of Truth, repels what is false, obscure, opposed to the divine realisation: every region of the being, every nook and corner of it, every movement, formation, direction, inclination of thought, will, emotion, sensation, action, reaction, motive, disposition, propensity, desire, habit of the conscious or subconscious physical, even the most concealed, camouflaged, mute, recondite, is lighted up with the unerring psychic light, their confusions dissipated, their tangles disentangled, their obscurities, deceptions, self-deceptions precisely indicated and removed; all is purified, set right, the whole nature harmonised, modulated in the psychic key, put in spiritual order. This process may be rapid or tardy according to the amount of obscurity and resistance still left in the nature, but it goes on unfalteringly so long as it is not complete. As a final result the whole conscious being is made perfectly apt for spiritual experience of every kind, turned towards spiritual truth of thought, feeling, sense, action, tuned to the right responses, delivered from the darkness and stubbornness of the tamasic inertia, the turbidities and turbulences and impurities of the rajasic passion and restless unharmonised kinetism, the enlightened rigidities and sattwic limitations or poised balancements of constructed equilibrium which are the character of the Ignorance.
  This is the first result, but the second is a free inflow of all kinds of spiritual experience, experience of the Self, experience of the Ishwara and the Divine Shakti, experience of cosmic consciousness, a direct touch with cosmic forces and with the occult movements of universal Nature, a psychic sympathy and unity and inner communication and interchanges of all kinds with other beings and with Nature, illuminations of the mind by knowledge, illuminations of the heart by love and devotion and spiritual joy and ecstasy, illuminations of the sense and the body by higher experience, illuminations of dynamic action in the truth and largeness of a purified mind and heart and soul, the certitudes of the divine light and guidance, the joy and power of the divine force working in the will and the conduct. These experiences are the result of an opening outward of the inner and inmost being and nature; for then there comes into play the soul's power of unerring inherent consciousness, its vision, its touch on things which is superior to any mental cognition; there is there, native to the psychic consciousness in its pure working, an immediate sense of the world and its beings, a direct inner contact with them and a direct contact with the Self and with the Divine, - a direct knowledge, a direct sight of Truth and of all truths, a direct penetrating spiritual emotion and feeling, a direct intuition of right will and right action, a power to rule and to create an order of the being not by the gropings of the superficial self, but from within, from the inner truth of self and things and the occult realities of Nature.

2.3.1 - Ego and Its Forms, #Letters On Yoga IV, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  What you say about the ahankara of the instrument is trueit is one of the most sticky of the egos self-deceptions and there are few who can detect it soon or get easily clear of it. I think I can congratulate you on your becoming aware of it at so early a stage. There are some who do not discover it even after ten or twenty years of sadhana.
  ***

2.3.2 - Desire, #Letters On Yoga IV, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  It is not necessary to be a Sannyasi to have this inner freedom; it is only necessary to be sincere. There are many who say, I have no attachment, but it is a self-deception. Therefore one must examine oneself very closely and strictly and see what is left of desire or attachment and reject it. This is difficult for the ordinary consciousness and never wholly achieved by it, even if things are outwardly given up; it is easy if the higher consciousness is there in all the parts of the being, provided one opens all ones movements to its Light.
  ***

2.4.2 - Interactions with Others and the Practice of Yoga, #Letters On Yoga IV, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  A human vital interchange cannot be a true support for the sadhana and is, on the contrary, sure to impair and distort it, leading to self-deception in the consciousness and a wrong turn of the emotional being and vital nature.
    The correspondent wrote that while talking with others he was often conscious of an exchange of vital energies. Sometimes he felt that energy was emptying out of him, sometimes that it was entering in.Ed.

3.01 - Sincerity, #Words Of The Mother II, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
    INSINCERITY, PRETENSION AND self-deception
      Be perfectly faithful and sincere towards your true Self.
  --
      Be honest towards yourself (no self-deception). Be sincere towards the Divine (no bargaining in the surrender).
      Be straightforward with humanity (no pretence and show).

3.05 - The Divine Personality, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  On the other hand, the way of devotion is impossible if the personality of the Divine cannot be taken as a reality, a real reality and not a hypostasis of the illusion. There can be no love without a lover and beloved. If our personality is an illusion and the Personality to whom our adoration rises only a primary aspect of the illusion, and if we believe that, then love and adoration must at once be killed, or can only survive in the illogical passion of the heart denying by its strong beats of life the clear and dry truths of the reason. To love and adore a shadow of our minds or a bright cosmic phenomenon which vanishes from the eye of Truth, may be possible, but the way of salvation cannot be built upon a foundation of wilful self-deception. The bhakta indeed does not allow these doubts of the intellect to come in his way; he has the divinations of his heart, and these are to him sufficient. But the sadhaka of the integral Yoga has to know the eternal and ultimate Truth and not to persist to the end in the delight of a Shadow. If the impersonal is the sole enduring truth, then a firm synthesis is impossible. He can at most take the divine personality as a symbol, a powerful and effective fiction, but he will have in the end to overpass it and to abandon devotion for the sole pursuit of the ultimate knowledge. He will have to empty being of all its symbols, values, contents in order to arrive at the featureless Reality.
  We have said, however, that personality and impersonality, as our minds understand them, are only aspects of the Divine and both are contained in his being; they are one thing which we see from two opposite sides and into which we enter by two gates. We have to see this more clearly in order to rid ourselves of any doubts with which the intellect may seek to afflict us as we follow the impulse of devotion and the intuition of love or to pursue us into the joy of the divine union. They fall away indeed from that joy, but if we are too heavily weighted with the philosophical mind, they may follow us almost up to its threshold. It is well therefore to discharge ourselves of them as early as may be by perceiving the limits of the intellect, the rational philosophic mind, in its peculiar way of approaching the truth and the limits even of the spiritual experience which sets out from the approach through the intellect, to see that it need not be the whole integrality of the highest and widest spiritual experience. Spiritual intuition is always a more luminous guide than the discriminating reason, and spiritual intuition addresses itself to us not only through the reason, but through the rest of our being as well, through the heart and the life also. The integral knowledge will then be that which takes account of all and unifies their diverse truths. The intellect itself will be more deeply satisfied if it does not confine itself to its own data, but accepts truth of the heart and the life also and gives to them their absolute spiritual value.

3.7.1.01 - Rebirth, #Essays In Philosophy And Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  I doubt whether, even if we could have evidence of the physical memory of past lives or of such a psychical awakening, the theory would be considered any better proved than before. We now hear of many such instances confidently alleged though without that apparatus of verified evidence responsibly examined which gives weight to the results of psychical research. The sceptic can always challenge them as mere fiction and imagination unless and until they are placed on a firm basis of evidence. Even if the facts alleged are verified, he has the resource of affirming that they are not really memories but were known to the person alleging them by ordinary physical means or were suggested to him by others and have been converted into reincarnate memory either by conscious deception or by a process of self-deception and self-hallucination. And even supposing the evidence were too strong and unexceptionable to be got rid of by these familiar devices, they might yet not be accepted as proof of rebirth; the mind can discover a hundred theoretical explanations for a single group of facts. Modern speculation and research have brought in this doubt to overhang all psychical theory and generalisation.
  We know for instance that in the phenomena, say, of automatic writing or of communication from the dead, it is disputed whether the phenomena proceed from outside, from disembodied minds, or from within, from the subliminal consciousness, or whether the communication is actual and immediate from the released personality or is the uprising to the surface of a telepathic impression which came from the mind of the then living man but has remained submerged in our subliminal mentality. The same kind of doubts might be opposed to the evidences of reincarnate memory. It might be maintained that they prove the power of a certain mysterious faculty in us, a consciousness that can have some inexplicable knowledge of past events, but that these events may belong to other personalities than ours and that our attri bution of them to our own personality in past lives is an imagination, a hallucination, or else an instance of that self-appropriation of things and experiences perceived but not our own which is one out of the undoubted phenomena of mental error. Much would be proved by an accumulation of such evidences but not, to the sceptic at least, rebirth. Certainly, if they were sufficiently ample, exact, profuse, intimate, they would create an atmosphere which would lead in the end to a general acceptance of the theory by the human race as a moral certitude. But proof is a different matter.

3.7.1.05 - The Significance of Rebirth, #Essays In Philosophy And Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  The Buddhistic theory adds nothing to the first obvious significance of life except an indefinite prolongation by rebirth which is a burden, not a gain, and the spiritual greatness of the discipline of self-extinction,the latter, no doubt, a thing of great value. The illusionist solution adds something, but does not differ very greatly in its motive from the Buddhistic. It sets against the futile cosmic repetition an eternity of our own absolute being; from the ignorance which creates the illusory mechanism of a recurrence of rebirth, it escapes into the self-knowledge of our ineffable existence. That seems to bring in a positive strain and to give to our being an initial, a supporting and an eventual reality. But the hiatus here is the absence of all true and valid relation between this real being of ours and all our birth and becoming. The last event and end of our births is not represented as any absolute fulfilment of what we are,that would be a great, fruitful and magnificently positive philosophy, nor as the final affirmation of a progressive self-finding,that too would give a noble meaning to our existence; it is a turning away from the demand of the universal Spirit, a refusal of all these cosmic ideas, imaginations, aspirations, action and effectuation. The way to find our being given us is an absolute denial of all our becoming. We rise to self by a liberating negation of ourselves, and in the result the Idea in the universe pursues its monstrous and aimless road, but the individual ceases and is blest in the cessation. The motive of this way of thought is the same oppressive sense of an ignorant mechanical cosmic recurrence as in the Buddhistic and the same high impatient passion of escape. There is recognition of a divine source of life, but a non-recognition of any divine meaning in life. And as for rebirth it is reduced in its significance to a constant mechanism of self-deception, and the will not to live is shown us as the last acquisition, the highest good and the one desirable result of living. The satisfaction which Illusionism gives,for it does give a certain high austere kind of satisfaction to the intellectand to one turn of spiritual tendency,is the pressing to a last point of the obvious antinomy between this great burdensome and tyrannous mechanism, the universe, and the spirit which feels itself of another and a diviner nature, the great relief to a soul passioning for freedom, but compelled to labour on as a spring of the dull machine, of being able to cast away the cosmic burden, and finally the free and bare absoluteness of this spiritual conclusion. But it gives no real, because no fruitful answer to the problem of God and man and the significance of life; it only gets away from them by a skilful evasion and takes away from them all significance, so that any question of the sense and will in all this tremendous labour and throb and seeking loses meaning. But the challenge of Gods universe to the knowledge and strength of the human spirit cannot in the end be met by man with a refusal or solved by an evasion, even though an individual soul may take refuge from the demand, as a man may from the burden of action and pain in unconsciousness, in spiritual trance or sleep or escape through its blank doors into the Absolute. Something the Spirit of the universe means by our labour in existence, some sense it has in these grandiose rhythms, and it has not undertaken them in an eternally enduring error or made them in a jest.1 To know that and possess it, to find and fulfil consciously the universal beings hidden significances is the task given to the human spirit.
  There are other statements or colourings of the idea of rebirth which admit a more positive sense for existence and nourish a robuster confidence in the power and delight of being which are its secret fountains; but they all stumble in the end over the limitations of humanity and an inability to see any outlet from their bondage in the order of the universe, because they suppose this to be a thing fixed from of years sempiternalvatbhya sambhya, not an eternally developing and creative, but an immutable cycle. The Vaishnava idea of the play of God, striking as it does into the secret of the hidden deligh the core of things, is a luminous ray shot into the very heart of the mystery; but isolated it cannot solve all its enigma. There is more here in the world than a play of secret delight; there is knowledge, there is power, there is a will and a mighty labour. Rebirth so looked at becomes too much of a divine caprice with no object but its playing, and ours is too great and strenuous a world to be so accounted for. Such chequered delight as is given to our becoming, is a game of disguises and seekings with no promise here of any divine completeness; its circles seem in the end not worth following out and the soul turns gladly to its release from the games unsatisfying mazes. The Tantric solution shows us a supreme superconscient Energy which casts itself out ere into teeming worlds and multitudinous beings and in its order the soul rises from birth to birth and follows its million forms, till in a last human series it opens to the consciousness and powers of its own divinity and returns through them by a rapid illumination to the eternal superconscience. We find at last the commencement of a satisfying synthesis, some justification of existence, a meaningful consequence in rebirth, a use and a sufficient though only temporary significance for the great motion of the cosmos. On lines very like these the modern mind, when it is disposed to accept rebirth, is inclined to view it. But there is a too minor stress on the souls divine potentialities, a haste of insistence on the escape into superconscience; the supreme Energy constructs too long and stupendous a preparation for so brief and so insufficient a flowering. There is a lacuna here, some secret is still missing.

4.1 - Jnana, #Essays Divine And Human, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  52. When I hear of a righteous wrath, I wonder at man's capacity for self-deception.
  53. This is a miracle that men can love God, yet fail to love humanity. With whom are they in love then?

6.05 - THE PSYCHOLOGICAL INTERPRETATION OF THE PROCEDURE, #Mysterium Coniunctionis, #Carl Jung, #Psychology
  [706] This process can, as I have said, take place spontaneously or be artificially induced. In the latter case you choose a dream, or some other fantasy-image, and concentrate on it by simply catching hold of it and looking at it. You can also use a bad mood as a starting-point, and then try to find out what sort of fantasy-image it will produce, or what image expresses this mood. You then fix this image in the mind by concentrating your attention. Usually it will alter, as the mere fact of contemplating it animates it. The alterations must be carefully noted down all the time, for they reflect the psychic processes in the unconscious background, which appear in the form of images consisting of conscious memory material. In this way conscious and unconscious are united, just as a waterfall connects above and below. A chain of fantasy ideas develops and gradually takes on a dramatic character: the passive process becomes an action. At first it consists of projected figures, and these images are observed like scenes in the theatre. In other words, you dream with open eyes. As a rule there is a marked tendency simply to enjoy this interior entertainment and to leave it at that. Then, of course, there is no real progress but only endless variations on the same theme, which is not the point of the exercise at all. What is enacted on the stage still remains a background process; it does not move the observer in any way, and the less it moves him the smaller will be the cathartic effect of this private theatre. The piece that is being played does not want merely to be watched impartially, it wants to compel his participation. If the observer understands that his own drama is being performed on this inner stage, he cannot remain indifferent to the plot and its dnouement. He will notice, as the actors appear one by one and the plot thickens, that they all have some purposeful relationship to his conscious situation, that he is being addressed by the unconscious, and that it causes these fantasy-images to appear before him. He therefore feels compelled, or is encouraged by his analyst, to take part in the play and, instead of just sitting in a theatre, really have it out with his alter ego. For nothing in us ever remains quite uncontradicted, and consciousness can take up no position which will not call up, somewhere in the dark corners of the psyche, a negation or a compensatory effect, approval or resentment. This process of coming to terms with the Other in us is well worth while, because in this way we get to know aspects of our nature which we would not allow anybody else to show us and which we ourselves would never have admitted.127 It is very important to fix this whole procedure in writing at the time of its occurrence, for you then have ocular evidence that will effectively counteract the ever-ready tendency to self-deception. A running commentary is absolutely necessary in dealing with the shadow, because otherwise its actuality cannot be fixed. Only in this painful way is it possible to gain a positive insight into the complex nature of ones own personality.

6.0 - Conscious, Unconscious, and Individuation, #The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, #Carl Jung, #Psychology
  ling logic can be disguised only by wilful self-deception.
  5 6 3 In this case and at this moment the ability to "let go" is of

7.02 - The Mind, #Words Of The Mother II, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
  In human beings, along with the growth of the mental activities grows the subtlety of self-deception. The more they are intellectual the more they are, in their self-deception, completely candid and insincere at the same time.
  [There is] the habit of always furnishing in the presence of a mistake a favourable explanation this favourable explanation seems to jump out from the mind spontaneously and automatically trying to obviate any sincere recognition of the error.

Sophist, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  1. That in Hegel he finds glimpses of the genius of the poet and of the common sense of the man of the world. His system is not cast in a poetic form, but neither has all this load of logic extinguished in him the feeling of poetry. He is the true countryman of his contemporaries Goe the and Schiller. Many fine expressions are scattered up and down in his writings, as when he tells us that 'the Crusaders went to the Sepulchre but found it empty.' He delights to find vestiges of his own philosophy in the older German mystics. And though he can be scarcely said to have mixed much in the affairs of men, for, as his biographer tells us, 'he lived for thirty years in a single room,' yet he is far from being ignorant of the world. No one can read his writings without acquiring an insight into life. He loves to touch with the spear of logic the follies and self-deceptions of mankind, and make them appear in their natural form, stripped of the disguises of language and custom. He will not allow men to defend themselves by an appeal to one-sided or abstract principles. In this age of reason any one can too easily find a reason for doing what he likes (Wallace). He is suspicious of a distinction which is often made between a person's character and his conduct. His spirit is the opposite of that of Jesuitism or casuistry (Wallace). He affords an example of a remark which has been often made, that in order to know the world it is not necessary to have had a great experience of it.
  2. Hegel, if not the greatest philosopher, is certainly the greatest critic of philosophy who ever lived. No one else has equally mastered the opinions of his predecessors or traced the connexion of them in the same manner. No one has equally raised the human mind above the trivialities of the common logic and the unmeaningness of 'mere' abstractions, and above imaginary possibilities, which, as he truly says, have no place in philosophy. No one has won so much for the kingdom of ideas. Whatever may be thought of his own system it will hardly be denied that he has overthrown Locke, Kant, Hume, and the so-called philosophy of common sense. He shows us that only by the study of metaphysics can we get rid of metaphysics, and that those who are in theory most opposed to them are in fact most entirely and hopelessly enslaved by them: 'Die reinen Physiker sind nur die Thiere.' The disciple of Hegel will hardly become the slave of any other system-maker. What Bacon seems to promise him he will find realized in the great German thinker, an emancipation nearly complete from the influences of the scholastic logic.

Talks With Sri Aurobindo 1, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  the danger of self-deception. A Yogi may go into the Higher Mind, perhaps
  even touch the Overmind, and yet have a sexual fall. He may think he is

The Act of Creation text, #The Act of Creation, #Arthur Koestler, #Psychology
  vanity; in others, a subtler form of self-deception seemed to operate.
  Once one embraces an idea and lives with it day and night, one can no
  --
  experiment with the letter-square. The reason for this self-deception is
  that the process of combining those simplified visual and other schemata
  --
  images' are largely based on self-deception. Visual recall as Semon
  once wrote 'renders only the strongest lights and shadows'; 29 but

The Logomachy of Zos, #unset, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  our willful blindness to all permitted self-deceptions which are seen and
  recorded by the inner eye. You may delude your fore-consciousness, but

WORDNET



--- Overview of noun self-deception

The noun self-deception has 1 sense (first 1 from tagged texts)
                
1. (2) self-deception, self-deceit ::: (a misconception that is favorable to the person who holds it)




--- Synonyms/Hypernyms (Ordered by Estimated Frequency) of noun self-deception

1 sense of self-deception                      

Sense 1
self-deception, self-deceit
   => misconception
     => idea, thought
       => content, cognitive content, mental object
         => cognition, knowledge, noesis
           => psychological feature
             => abstraction, abstract entity
               => entity




--- Hyponyms of noun self-deception
                                    




--- Synonyms/Hypernyms (Ordered by Estimated Frequency) of noun self-deception

1 sense of self-deception                      

Sense 1
self-deception, self-deceit
   => misconception










--- Coordinate Terms (sisters) of noun self-deception

1 sense of self-deception                      

Sense 1
self-deception, self-deceit
  -> misconception
   => fallacy, false belief
   => error, erroneous belief
   => self-deception, self-deceit
   => mistake, misunderstanding, misapprehension
   => illusion, fantasy, phantasy, fancy
   => delusion, hallucination
   => mirage
   => unsoundness










--- Grep of noun self-deception
self-deception





IN WEBGEN [10000/10]

Wikipedia - Self-deception
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12776267-deceit-and-self-deception
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18625100-self-deception
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18966789-leadership-and-self-deception
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7793170-stepping-out-of-self-deception
The Seeker’s Guide to Self-Deception
Dharmapedia - Self-Deception_:_India's_China_Policies_Origins,_Premises,_Lessons
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy - self-deception
https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Self-deception
Self-deception


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