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We are all liars.

We lie in every social pretence, in every mitigation of every word. All our ceremonies, all our customs, all our traditions are like coral reefs where dead lie encrusts upon dead lie, which we dust with fragments of living lies, created by us in order to escape from that which makes us feel uncomfortable. Every social nicety is a lie crafted in order to escape confrontation. Every time we say “I feel fine” when really we feel a throbbing and painful emptiness, a longing or lust for something long hidden.

And it is a lust. It is the taboo desire to enter and be entered by something we have lost any concept of ever having existed, something we were alienated and ostracised from long before birth, and whose embrace seems far away.

Our lies are to deny this lust through sticking a veneer over our internal doubt. It is a veneer of vacant smiles, of noise pretending to be music, of purchase power… so many lies, which cannot be listed here, because they have leeched into every aspect of our lives. Our every action is directed towards lies engineered as attempts to avoid asking ourselves the critical questions which we imprison within our heart because we are too terrified to ask them.

Why even now do I need to write in the most convoluted prose? Why is it impossible for me to escape the pretence of being ‘sublime’? Am I afraid of being understood? This is possible; to be understood is to run the risk of being challenged and publicly humiliated, and your appearance in the face of the community is, of course, everything in our artificial lives where our role in the community is not based upon interdependence and love, but rather fear of isolation, and the loneliness in which we might find ourself posing the dangerous questions which we do not wish to ask.

But I believe it is not fear of you understanding me that leads me to craft so much pretentious nonsense, but fear of understanding myself. Because to express it in the most simple way is simply to expose me to myself. Yes, language is a means of communication; it is a simple means by which we can attempt to express meaning; to explain our will and desires and comprehensions to others. But it can also be used as a facade; an attempt to explain away those things I understand every time I play a devastating chord on the piano, an attempt to draw the curtains as I see myself lurking in the distance.

We are accused of lying and manipulating, of bearing false witness to achieve our ends. This is ignorance; every social act is a lie and a manipulation; turning a blind eye in the name of expedience. We lie, yes. But the lies we should fear are not those visible lies, but the lies so internalised that we forget we are telling them.

We are frightened of stripping away these lies and finding the unknown underneath. But we must listen to our deeply longing lust, listen to that internal longing we suppress. We thirst for something more, and we must seek it. This is to strip away the facades, the games, the prettiness, the kitsch, the denial, the lies. To cast them off and to look over the edge.

We fear the darkness which is over the edge because we cannot see what lies within. Yet within this darkness is a journey, a pilgrimage upon which we must embark; a journey which must be central to our lives. We must stand in the midst of the darkness, and as our eyes and senses become more attuned to it, we will fear it less, and realise that there is nothing to fear about the unknown, for while these is darkness ahead, there is hope that what is in front of us may be the very object which we as individuals must choose walk away from society to seek.

The core of philosophy is this; we must seek to embrace truth. To see the darkness of unknowing we conceal and risk the journey within requires truth, the complete exposition of what we are, the complete abandonment of all the illusions we hold dear, because they are just that – illusions. Lies whose truth we have convinced ourselves of.

To understand, firstly, and most importantly, that we are all liars, and this is a lie.

– Richard Francis Irvine