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The Big Lie







There is a built in mechanism in the human psyche that essentially protects it from itself. It came about because humanity was not an organism born with all the elements it needed built in, but had to acquire them gradually. Humanity evolved, despite what religious dogmas insist was a fully formed “creation.” Homo was not always a “wise” species, but a species that acquired that “sapiens” through the passage of time, and the millions of individual lives spent in making the mistakes it took to create a better, more refined, human product. In fact, this “evolution” is replayed over and over in the nine months it takes a human fetus to grow into a distinct human being. This “recapitulation” of the original process, in miniature, so to speak, is the process of birth itself; a process, which allows a human to redo what the human species did, but with even more precise results, since the other is only a statistical outcome over many lives, while this process produces but a single life, a life with a so-called non-evolved component included – the human psyche.

But is the psyche really “non-evolved?” Is the psyche something added to the human body, fully processed; or, is it that “tabula rasa 1 ” or “blank slate” that Locke spoke of, and Freud said social interaction actually creates? The overwhelming evidence points to the latter. As our lives, themselves confirm, we grow and evolve not only in the realm of matter and body, but also in the realm of mind; from the tabula rasa of the child to the tabula plena, or rasa of old age 2 ; for this decision, as to a full or an empty mind, is ours as to which it will be, when we finally renounce it, for whatever follows it in death.

Thus, the evolution of the mind is not a fait accompli, but a matter of will, because we are given the “choice” to learn from our experiences, or just be a creature lost in the universe of chance, constantly repeating our mistakes, and never progressing.

But part of this is the way in which we learn: will it be the superficial learning of factual knowledge alone; or, the real learning, where wisdom makes us ask and answer the hardest questions of all, the questions that allow us to face up to ourselves, and gain a true “meaning” not only for our existence, but for the whole of our way through life.

For we create in our psyches two lives; the life of what the psychologists call 3 the Ego, and the life of what they call the Id. The Ego, that part of the personality that interacts with society and the world, is what we and others, consciously, perceive us to be; while, the Id is that part of us that our unconscious deals with; a dark and unknown part of us that deceives us by hiding from us everything in us that society has spurned. True wisdom is the learning that not only allows us to live with what is conscious, but also, with what is unconscious; it is the way to find the true “meaning of life” by facing up to life; by facing up to ourselves.

The Id also holds the lie that I mention in the title of this essay. It is this Big lie, the keeping from the Ego what the Id contains, things that are an open contradiction to the Ego, that makes all the problems of life such a hard thing with which to deal. For within us, we hold the real central paradox of life and its meaning. It is this paradox (the Big lie) that makes us unable to face ourselves, with the very same things we heap on others, when we judge them. And this is what that carpenter of Judea knew so well, when he told us “judge not, lest you be judged. 4 ” For within all of us lie the same desires and foibles that all of us experience, and consequently make none of us any better or worse than anyone else.

But, it is that other meaning of Ego 5 , that constantly gets in our way; that meaning that means haughty and self-righteous, with no psychological meaning whatsoever, that even religions have forgotten in their rules and regulations, and their unconscious quest for the same power and glory the God they worshipped spurned. It is that lie, deep within us all, that has become the Big Lie that is destroying society and culture, and all the learning that humanity has accomplished.

The Big Lie is the thing that makes us focus on superficialities, instead of essentials, in the problems of society, politics and even culture. It is this same lie that keeps us putting off the real solutions we must find to heal our broken societies, by, for example, blaming guns and drugs 6 , and any conceivable inanimate object as the culprit of these tragedies that are growing and overwhelming all the societies of the world today. It is the lie that keeps us from finding the true meaning of life, while the global inanity of an economy out of control continues to march on to the destruction of all our dreams. It is what destroys our freedom, in a land where freedom is supposed to abound, and ever further sinks us in the deepest pit of a Hell of our own making, totally unperceived by us.

It is what has created all the things we call evil 7 , and has even pointed them out in all others but ourselves; thus we can only see evil in others, like the blind man who only knows himself, and is oblivious to all else. The Big Lie has created the “true believer” in us that can never understand any belief but his own 8 . It has even fashioned our Gods in our own images, while we say that He has created us in His image 9 .

But where did this Big Lie originate?

This question, like the “Why? 10 ” of Philosophy cannot be easily answered, except through speculation.

Perhaps, the answer lies in the gap between society and the human psyche itself. The difference between the human self and the society of “all” humans found in Biology’s species Homo sapiens. Perhaps, it was the inability of the will to believe that the self was not all there was; that there were other selves out there that controlled not only our actions in the world, but even the innermost thoughts of the mind itself that made it repress this rebellious cauldron of blasphemies the Id represented. Thus splitting the personality into two parts, and engendering the lie that would forever haunt the human, and make it a living paradox beyond the limits of rationality itself? Who can say; for all we are left with is speculation, and the certainty that we are more than even we ourselves can ever know.

But is this the echoing of only a hopeless despair? Even though history, again and again, seems to tell us we never learn; and our societies, while progressing in material knowledge, yet become ever more lost in finding the end or meaning of just what they represent for the all they are; is this really the true despair of an endless blind alley from which we can never emerge?

Or perhaps, is this really a sign of real hope?

At the turn of the century before last, Sigmund Freud brought us the theory of the personality, which showed that the psychological hysterias, that were so prevalent then, were but a confirmation of his psychological profile of the human being’s psyche. As cultural attitudes changed, and the human female became more free of the cultural and behavioral taboos of that time, she emerged free of those hysterias, that today are rare relics, found only in the wilds of exotic, primitive societies, or the fanaticisms of fundamentalist religions. The Big Lie had not only been exposed, but even vanquished in the main! Yet, what remained, was the possibility of its reemergence; and the echoes of it in societies, where modern society’s institutions had resurrected it. Thus while our individual psyches had advanced, our collective unconscious, or the cultural institutions we created to keep society viable had failed to benefit. Why? Because these so-called social “institutions” had been born in that lie; they had found their inspiration and underpinnings in the very same lie that the psyche had buried and refused to acknowledge. And, today, although the lie is known and acknowledged by all, these institutions founded in, and based on it, are not seen for what they truly are: an extension and implementation of that very same lie!

Religions had put a “Devil” between that lie and ourselves; they had taken the dichotomy of good and evil, and personified it in two immaterial beings, a God and the Devil, and, in doing such, made us shrug the responsibility for the cause of that lie, from us to them. An unquestionable God, who worked in “mysterious ways” became our ideal; and in place of our Id, and its blasphemous infidelities was the Devil, an out of mind tempter, who had origins as a fallen minion of God’s.

So, in this way, our institutions became not the reflections of the lie, but the reflections of our ideals that originated in a God, who originated them; and the religious organizations took on the very same structure that our governments and businesses did, and the same corruptions.

And our so-called free economies did likewise, burying the lie in the dream of “making it big.” The Ponzi scheme of preaching “freedom” in a system that was really anything but free; a system where hierarchy and preference of wealth was free to destroy all freedom. Thus the freedom of monopolization became synonymous with the freedom of democracy, and the Horatio Alger myth of “hard work will overcome” became the same as the “Arbiet macht frei” of the concentration camps!

Thus, capitalism and communism lost their differences, because both became the same tyranny, conceived in hierarchies that should never have been!

And government, the last bastion of freedom, became lost in the obscurity, and opacity of secrecy. Transparency became the missing link in free governments that created National Security with anything but security in mind. And a free people were bogged down with more and more regulations and taxes to accomplish nothing more than feed the monopolies that now ruled in place of the people. Again, the lie had been obscured in a system born in lies; for politics, the science of lying, had deceived even itself.

So now, Freud’s Superego, or the human conscience, created by human society and its authority, was now not the protection it was meant to be, but the actual incarnation of the Id, it was supposed to protect against. We had, indeed, not only acknowledged the lie, but had, in fact, embraced it in the very same institutions that supported us, and molded our psyches!

The lie had become more than just that unconscious fear that threatened us when we came near it; it had become the actual motive force of society itself, a society driven by deception and arrogance, whose major business was covering up the very lie it was!

We had come full circle in the deception of ourselves – in burying the lie from ourselves, we had actually made it the center of our universe!

So that is the state within which we find ourselves today; our major institutions of secular and religious authority and power shown for the hypocrisies they are, and crumbling before our eyes, as the full weight of the Christ’s words bear down on us; for we are reaping exactly what we have sown, in the arrogance of forgetting the equality, and equal culpability of all – that all pervasive paradox of humanity, the one within the many, and the many within the one, that the Christ enunciated as the core of all religion and human society itself – love!






FOOTNOTES

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1 Tabula rasa is the Latin for blank or empty tablet or slate.


2 Tabula plena is the Latin for full slate. We fill the mind by our interactions with the world; by learning factual knowledge. But we must also fill it with the wisdom of how to use the knowledge we acquire in life. Thus life becomes meaningful for us, in that we have learned the way in which the human can further evolve to make life the best it can be for all humanity in the future.


3 Ego has also taken on a common idiomatic meaning, beyond the original one the Psychoanalytic school of Psychology gave it as a name for the social part of the personality; one of “haughty” and “overblown arrogance” of the self. Thus the phrases: "He has an ego" or “someone with a large ego” has emerged, as someone arrogant and very self-important.


4 The Holy Bible, The King James version: “Judge not, that ye be not judged”, Matthew 7:1. And, further, Matthew 7:2, “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”


5 I refer here to the idiomatic meaning of Ego, I mention in footnote 3, above.


6 See my essay: “Issue 6: Guns.


7 See my essay: “The Concept Of Evil.”


8 See my essay: “The True Believer Mindset (From the Tower Of Babel To Today).”


9 See my essay: “Religion: Is It Becoming Just Another Name For Bigotry?”


10 See notes on my essay: “The Concept and Primacy of Love.”




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Originally Published:

March 1, 2013

Revised:

June 24, 2014