The Truth About Lies

“The Truth Is Out There”–The X Files

“The best place to hide the truth is between two lies”–The X Files

“Everybody lies”-House


The attorney says that “no one can cover all their tracks”.

The attorney is pouring over a desk full of documents–pleadings, statements, and other pages.

The attorney is looking for the lies.  The attorney knows they are there.


But how do you discover lies, let alone the truth?  And it is easier to discover lies or the truth?


I remember seeing an old British movie.  It was black and white and had a title like “The Three Lies”.  It was the story of a psychiatrist who dies and his three patients.  The three patients are eager to see what is in their files.  As if their psychiatrist’s file contained the truth about them.


I recently read a story about a young man that lied his way into Harvard.  What was the ability he had?  What makes a good lie, a good liar?


WR Bion proposed that a lie requires a thinker, but the truth does not.

Bion also proposed that Keats’ Negative Capability, “when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after facts and reason”, was the road to discovering the truth.

And finally Bion wrote that truth is unknowable, but it could be experienced.  In other words, what one “knows” about the the truth is merely an approximation, if that.


But if the truth is unknowable, then facts and reason will not lead us to the truth.  There will always be a gap.  A caesura.  Between an unknowable truth and what we think we “know” about the truth.

And what about lies?


Perhaps what the attorney was looking for in searching for lies was the absence of any gaps.

Perhaps lies can be detected because they are constructed to be without gaps–to be logical and reasonable.

Perhaps our conscious minds operate to fill-in the gaps and see things as whole and continuous.  Gestalt psychologists postulated that perceptually our minds see things as wholes.  So when we see a tennis net we see the net, not a collection of holes joined together.


Perhaps the only way to discover and experience truth is the find the gaps.  (At which point the patient asks, “But what will I do with the gap?”)





Dr. Brody

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