Total Honesty

Total Honesty

Concerning my post on deception it appears the feedback is centered around whether or not an outright lie is right in extreme circumstances. Let’s get back to my previous example.

You are in Nazi Germany and the SS knock on your door and want your son. You know that if they get their hands on him, he will be tortured and killed. You have him hidden in a secret hide-a-way in the basement. Do you lie to save his life?

If you do, is there anything wrong with doing so?

To understand the repercussions, we must look at the result of the two decisions.

Decision One: If you tell the truth and your child is killed then you are partially responsible for his death and suffering.

Is being an accomplice to murder wrong? Yes, very wrong.

Decision Two: You tell a convincing lie and the SS leave. You have saved your son’s life. Was it worth it? Yes, of course. Anyone with an ounce of humanity would do this and more to save his child. Most would be willing to face the jaws of hell and risk their own soul rather than be a part to such harm to a loved one.

Does this mean that no harm was caused by the lie?

Let me put it this way. If one man endures a cut to his finger and another has a whole leg whacked off do both afflictions cause harm to the body?


Are both painful?


Is the pain equal?


Would it be worth it to endure the cut finger to save the leg?

Yes, of course.

Would it make sense to lose the leg to save a cut finger?

Of course not.

Since the right thing to do is so easy to see in this case then why is it so difficult to see in the circumstance where the Nazis knock on the door? The lie is the cut finger and the loss of the child is the lost leg.

The point is that both the lie and the murder would be wrong but the lie is the lesser evil. When faced with two evils the second key of judgement must be used to choose the lesser of the two.

Some may ask. Does a lie create harm even in this extreme circumstance?

Does the cut finger still have some pain, even though it saved the leg? Yes, it still smarts, but was indeed worth the sacrifice.

Every lie knowingly told adds to the cloud between consciousness and soul. If the person can live his life in complete honesty, to his highest understanding, the clouds will disperse and the barrier between himself and the soul will be removed making him a soul infused personality.

So how does the disciple achieve such honesty? After all, do we not have circumstances come up now and then where we feel we have to lie?

Yes, just about all do.

Does not every person who is human have his limits? In other words, is there not some circumstance that would create enough pressure to force any person to tell a lie or intentionally deceive?

Yes, we all have our limits. Some may think they do not, but they do.

Then how is complete honesty possible?

It is possible when the disciple decides to take control of his life and make his own reality structured according to his own desired creation. If he desires complete honesty he must do three things.

[1] Understand the liberation that honesty will bring and make a decision to pursue this path.

[2] Asses himself and his own limitations. He must realize where his breaking point is or what would have to occur to force him to break his rule of honesty and lie.

[3] He must then look into the future and mold it so that the need to lie will never occur.

If such a disciple had lived in Nazi Germany as Hitler was coming to power he would have been contemplating the future and taken his family out of the country before the real trouble began, thus avoiding the circumstance forcing him to lie. Einstein, for instance, was one of those wise enough to smell the coffee and leave Germany and thus never had to lie to the SS troops.

As fledgling disciples, it is our duty to commit ourselves to total honesty, but we need to assess our limitations and seek to control our lives to the extent that the truth can always be revealed.

If the disciple can look over his past ten years and see that he has been more honest than in the previous ten then he can take this as a sign he is progressing toward liberation from material forces on the path to life eternal.

Reader comment: I agree with you except for one point. I disagree with you on the point that a lie in those circumstances would be a lessor evil. I don’t believe it is an evil at all to lie in those circumstances or would cast any cloud over the soul. I believe what separates the one from the soul in lying for personal gain etc. is the justification to do it. It is a sort of personal deception one makes to deaden any guilt. In the case of protecting a loved one from unjust harm there is no self-deception and no guilt.

JJ: I would agree with you that, taken as a whole, a lie to save a life would be seen as a positive act rather than a negative one, but within that process cause and effect of a positive and negative nature do work out.

The effects of our words and actions are like gravity. Gravity continues to work no matter what happens and it matters not whether our works are good or evil.

If you were to save a friend from a fall that would take his life and scuff your knee in the process you might look to the skies afterwards and let God have a piece of your mind. You might say something like: “Look. I’ve performed a good deed here and because I did gravity should have been suspended so I would not get hurt.”

In return, God may say, “Gravity is a law that just is. You have to deal with it in good and bad times; when you are both healing and hurting.”

The same goes for telling the truth and telling lies. They both have an effect and produce their own gravity that takes us places.

Just like you may skin your knee in saving a life and consider the pain justified even so would most lie to save a life and be glad for the positive result.

Even though the overall act is righteous, the lie has an effect and the disciple needs to commune with his soul to neutralize or heal it and learn how to manipulate the future so the awkward circumstance does not materialize again.

Reader Comment: I have some difficulty with this, JJ, because one cannot assume that the effect of the lie is going to be bad at any level.

JJ: To say a thing is not good or bad at any level is to say a spoken word or action has no effect. Every spoken word and action have an effect.

Reader: What if one lied to save a person who went on to save 1,000 people? Wouldn’t the good karma generated more than outweigh any bad?

JJ: Yes, of course. This is part of the point I have previously made.

Reader: Karma is the law of balance after all. If one improved the world as a result of saving a person through a lie, surely the balance would be in his or her favour?

JJ: Yes, of course. Why would you believe I think otherwise?

Reader: If one lied to save a life because of a definite prompting of the soul, would that not affect the karmic load as well? Particularly if the lie involved great personal sacrifice, such as going against one’s personal code of conduct.

JJ: We are in agreement here.

Reader: How often do disciples have to deny themselves for the sake of the dominating good?

JJ: As far as the lower self goes the answer is indefinitely. When the disciple becomes polarized in the higher self then no sacrifice is registered, except maybe extreme circumstances where sacrifice of higher ideals also come into play.

Reader: It seems to me that this could be one example where that could happen.

Furthermore, once one steps on the Path they are able to transmute their personal karma into service karma.

JJ: Now you’re getting to the point where further light can be shed.

Karma is a result of the Law of Cause and Effect. In the broader sense all actions create karma because all actions are cause that have an effect, or, in the case of the lie we are discussing, several effects. Just like the guy effected by gravity who saved a life, but scraped his knee. Both a positive and negative effect were created. The first (the saving of a life) was a positive effect that would have certainly balanced off some previous debts he had made that caused injury to others.

The second effect was an injured knee. This effect is in a different category from the action related to service of others. It matters not whether he accomplished a little or a lot as far as how quickly the knee will heal. To heal the knee, he does not look to the credit he received from his service, for the injured knee does not represent a debt to others. It was caused by a personal action and only affects him personally and must be dealt with by him as an individual.

Let me give another example. Let us say that you write a masterful treatise that will have a very positive effect on the world and will help many people. Obviously, this will generate some positive karma. There is one problem. You misspelled one word. Now the misspelled word does not affect any communication in the treatise as the readers can surmise what the correct word should have been, but it stands out enough that it does distract from the perfection that the treatise should represent.

So how do you correct this problem? Is the treatise so good and such a good generator of positive karma that the misspelled word will just go away?

No. Of course not.

Will the person decide to pay off the spelling mistake by writing another great treatise with no misspelled words?

No. Even a dozen more treatises will not correct the misspelled word.

Will he decide to do some other good deeds to correct the misspelled word like establish a homeless shelter?

No. Even a dozen homeless shelters will not correct the misspelled word.

No one is condemning him for the misspelled word, but he does realize it is a mar on the perfection he seeks so he does the one thing he can do to correct it. He cannot retract the copies that went out. That mistake will remain, but on new editions be will make sure the word is spelled correctly. Now he has corrected the mistake so it will not reappear in the future he is satisfied.

This correspondence fits the lie to save a life or even a thousand lives.

The lie is a mistake (like the misspelled word) that could have been avoided if the disciple had foreseen the future and took the correct steps to edit that future. It has a personal effect on him, but little if any on others. Even though he got caught in a corner he made the best of the situation, saved a life and generated good service karma. Even so, the lie (like the misspelled word) affects him personally and no one condemns him for it, but he eventually realizes that the cause must be corrected so his future situations (editions) will not cause him to tell the lie.

To become a Master one must not only balance off cause and effect as it relates to others, but also as it relates to oneself and between the lower and higher self.

Just imagine that you were receiving communications from Jesus, an angel or some divine authority. As you receive and pass these along you feel assured that the messages are true.


Because you trust them since you believe that God does not lie through his messengers.

But suppose you found out that God does lie when the lie seems to be for your own good. How would that affect you in receiving and communicating future messengers?

You would be skeptical from that point on and question whether each statement is true. You may lose all desire to be a messenger because you can no longer trust anything you receive.

As it is, when a Master, or a member of the God kingdom, speaks to you, you will know it is not a lie, but the truth because such a Source has made the external and internal corrections to ensure the word is God, and is true.

He who has not a good memory should never take upon himself the trade of lying. Michel de Montaigne (1533 – 1592)

May 14, 2005

Copyright by J J Dewey 

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