FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Liar Negates His Own Existence

by MISSY BEATTIE

“The liar negates his own existence.” I researched this quote, determined to find its source after e-pal, musician, and fellow writer Jeff Costello sent it in response to something I told him. I found plenty of interesting websites, one generating a precious memory and something else, but I’ll tell you more about that later.

On another, I bumped into Jean-Paul Sartre and spent almost an hour with him—and Prof. Bob Zunjic’s analysis of Being and Nothingness. Here’s a sip to stimulate your thirst:

In contrast to the conscious intention to distort something Sartre points out that ‘a man does not lie about what he is Ignorant of; he does not lie when he spreads an error of which he himself is the dupe; he does not lie when he is mistaken.’ This is a strong indication that there is a difference between a lie and a mistake.

After that detour, I continued to excavate, substituting the words “reality” for “existence” and “deceiver” for “liar”—but was unsuccessful. So this week, I wrote Jeff and asked him. He replied that it’s an original and gave me permission to use it. I had already, many times, just not in an article.

“The liar negates his own existence.” Or hers. The importance of this truth is personal, in two realms that Venn significantly. One area is my own small life. The other is the vast, because it is the greater planetary/ecosystem-atic.

Each of us who receives a lie becomes a consumer of lies, affected by the deception of the liar, be it an individual or the decider class. In fact, those among the decider class, the Wall St. pirates and their political puppets, are affected too. They just can’t see the future, obscured as it is by the present gratification of uber-wealth.

“The liar negates his own existence.” In lying, he/she creates himself/herself, aided by the imagination and trust of the target that wants to believe. Perhaps, needs to believe.

The liar depends on this need and exploits it.

Again, the person you thought you knew is not real. That vessel is empty, nothing, POOF, gone. When something or someone spotlights the dishonesty, the liar’s exposed; the emperor has no clothes.

You can only miss what you thought was there. And wasn’t. But then you question your ability to assess character. You know if you’d been given all the information, the truth, you’d have made different decisions. You weren’t offered that choice.

Therein lies another violation.

And it’s far from over. Because despite annulment, the damage remains.

When George Bush manipulated public opinion, claiming repeatedly that Saddam Hussein had WMD and later admitted that there were no WMD, the damage of the lie persisted. Ask the displaced Iraqis or those who had no means to escape the invasion. Ask the maimed, the orphans, the war widows and widowers. Ask the troops and their families.

When Barack Obama speaks of “a commitment to peace, justice, equality, and compassion towards our fellow human beings,” his words don’t invalidate or reverse the effects of war, injustice, inequality, and indifference the world has witnessed throughout his tenure.

“The liar negates his own existence.” Understanding this is simple. Surviving the consequence isn’t.

So, back to that precious memory I mentioned. While attempting to reference the quote, I clicked a site that linked to Douglas R. Hofstadter’s book, Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid. It’s among my husband Charles’s collection of favorites. When I opened it, I found a love note I’d written to him on an index card. He must’ve used the note as a bookmark. I placed the book on my bedside table to begin soon. After I complete a challenge, something that poses a dilemma. Remind me to tell you about this sometime.

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Baltimore. Email: missybeat@gmail.com.

 

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
February 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Exxon’s End Game Theory
Pierre M. Sprey - Franklin “Chuck” Spinney
Sleepwalking Into a Nuclear Arms Race with Russia
Paul Street
Liberal Hypocrisy, “Late-Shaming,” and Russia-Blaming in the Age of Trump
Ajamu Baraka
Malcolm X and Human Rights in the Time of Trumpism: Transcending the Master’s Tools
John Laforge
Did Obama Pave the Way for More Torture?
Mike Whitney
McMaster Takes Charge: Trump Relinquishes Control of Foreign Policy 
Patrick Cockburn
The Coming Decline of US and UK Power
Louisa Willcox
The Endangered Species Act: a Critical Safety Net Now Threatened by Congress and Trump
Vijay Prashad
A Foreign Policy of Cruel Populism
John Chuckman
Israel’s Terrible Problem: Two States or One?
Matthew Stevenson
The Parallax View of Donald Trump
Norman Pollack
Drumbeat of Fascism: Find, Arrest, Deport
Stan Cox
Can the Climate Survive Electoral Democracy? Maybe. Can It Survive Capitalism? No.
Ramzy Baroud
The Trump-Netanyahu Circus: Now, No One Can Save Israel from Itself
Edward Hunt
The United States of Permanent War
David Morgan
Trump and the Left: a Case of Mass Hysteria?
Pete Dolack
The Bait and Switch of Public-Private Partnerships
Mike Miller
What Kind of Movement Moment Are We In? 
Elliot Sperber
Why Resistance is Insufficient
Brian Cloughley
What are You Going to Do About Afghanistan, President Trump?
Binoy Kampmark
Warring in the Oncology Ward
Yves Engler
Remembering the Coup in Ghana
Jeremy Brecher
“Climate Kids” v. Trump: Trial of the Century Pits Trump Climate Denialism Against Right to a Climate System Capable of Sustaining Human Life”
Jonathan Taylor
Hate Trump? You Should Have Voted for Ron Paul
Franklin Lamb
Another Small Step for Syrian Refugee Children in Beirut’s “Aleppo Park”
Ron Jacobs
The Realist: Irreverence Was Their Only Sacred Cow
Andre Vltchek
Lock up England in Jail or an Insane Asylum!
Rev. William Alberts
Grandiose Marketing of Spirituality
Paul DeRienzo
Three Years Since the Kitty Litter Disaster at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
Eric Sommer
Organize Workers Immigrant Defense Committees!
Steve Cooper
A Progressive Agenda
David Swanson
100 Years of Using War to Try to End All War
Andrew Stewart
The 4CHAN Presidency: A Media Critique of the Alt-Right
Edward Leer
Tripping USA: The Chair
Randy Shields
Tom Regan: The Life of the Animal Rights Party
Nyla Ali Khan
One Certain Effect of Instability in Kashmir is the Erosion of Freedom of Expression and Regional Integration
Rob Hager
The Only Fake News That Probably Threw the Election to Trump was not Russian 
Mike Garrity
Why Should We Pay Billionaires to Destroy Our Public Lands? 
Mark Dickman
The Prophet: Deutscher’s Trotsky
Christopher Brauchli
The Politics of the Toilet Police
Ezra Kronfeld
Joe Manchin: a Senate Republicrat to Dispute and Challenge
Clancy Sigal
The Nazis Called It a “Rafle”
Louis Proyect
Socialism Betrayed? Inside the Ukrainian Holodomor
Charles R. Larson
Review: Timothy B. Tyson’s “The Blood of Emmett Till”
David Yearsley
Founding Father of American Song
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail