More damaging than the lies we tell others are the lies we tell ourselves

Suppose someone has diabetes and they secretly eat desserts. If they lie to their caregivers about what they are doing, that’s bad; they would have to worsen their health. If they lie to themselves, believing that all the medical guidance about sweet food being damaging to diabetics is just misleading propaganda, they will hurt themselves far more.

Similar is the predicament of those who live sensually and deny even to themselves the harmful effects of sensuality. In a world where sensuality is rampant in its visibility, availability and appeal, it’s so easy to succumb to sensual temptation. Still, some moral restraints do exist – certain forms of sensuality are even today considered immoral. Those who indulge in such sensuality do so secretly, thereby giving others the license to continue believing the façade of morality. But if they start believing that nothing is intrinsically wrong with sensuality and they can still be spiritually advanced, no matter how long and how much they have been engaged in gross sensuality, they are distancing their consciousness from the spiritual level where lasting peace and joy exist.

Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (03.05) states that those who delight in sensual contemplation while pretending to be spiritually advanced mislead others and mislead themselves too.

Why? Because though they may put on a façade of spiritual advancement, they deprive themselves of the genuine happiness that comes from authentic spiritual advancement.

If we learn from the Gita, it stands ready to reveal the truth and empower us to free ourselves from all lies: the lies we tell others and the lies we tell ourselves.

Think it over:

  • Why do we lie to others?
  • Why do we lie to ourselves?
  • How can we free ourselves from all lies?

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To savor what is most sweet, we often need to shed the most sweat
We have to risk going too far to know how far we can go
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