The Chasm Between Truth & Lies

Characters in movies never lie. They dance around the truth, they leave things out, they make clever, ambiguous statements. Or if they do lie, the audience soon finds out exactly what the truth is, and discovering the truth, or hiding it, is the whole point of the story.

We lie every day. I do.

“How are you doing?” “Great!”

“I don’t care.”

“I don’t know.”

Of course, the corollary of telling the truth is that you have to know what the truth is. That is no easy task.

Interestingly, characters in movies also never go to the painstaking trouble of trying to explain themselves. That is boring – it’s for the audience to figure out.

Even in movies, we take for granted that people usually suck at knowing who they are. It doesn’t matter what you think you’re about. We will decide that for ourselves.

This is the ironic chasm of truth and lies that Zen Masters talk about.

Words are never adequate. We use them to point, to dance around, to cleverly invoke, but never to encompass what we mean.

Right speech is just following the feeling of integrity, of meaning, knowing that the meaning is far beyond the speech. Like all stumbling in the dark, integrity is best found by feel.

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