Thinkin’ about lying

How yah doin?

A funny thing happened when I started responding to the question “how are you” with the answer “Awesome, I am going to live forever, I have so many specialists looking after me Its impossible to die” as opposed to the truth about my health. [Link Quagmire]

Most respond with a laugh, some who know my situation get serious and push the point and inquire further.

The Great Transformation

The really interesting part of the lie I started to tell was that I started to believe it myself. Nothing about my blood work changed, my Creatine level stayed the same, my need for treatment of ESRD did not change in the slightest but a bunch of things happened.

I became happier, I laughed more, I was more pleasant to be around, I started to think about projects to start and complete. I pushed myself physically. In the words of Bob Dylan if your not busy being born your busy dying. None of this changes the cold reality of my situation, its just the delusion was completely necessary for some level of happiness.

Doctors warnings

My enthusiasm has actually brought warnings from my doctors, the danger of course is that I will just drop dead one day as opposed to lingering under their care on a dialysis machine or as another doctor insisted he wanted to treat my sleep apnea and deny me a death in my sleep.


Delusions are, by definition, “irrational beliefs or convictions which are at odds with reality.” And yet I feel better about life. I still obey the doctors orders, I shut up and do what the doctors tell me, more often than not. I still think about my situation and plan for the inevitable, its just my attitude is one of complete denial in public.

Its not even a brave face, its an outright bald lie, a falsehood, complete nonsense as transparent as a spiders web yet it makes me and those around me feel better and act better. Taking on this persona is against my better judgment. I prefer the logic of Bertrand Russell when he says things like:

“It is not by delusion, however exalted, that mankind can prosper, but only by unswerving courage in the pursuit of truth.” Bertrand Russell, “The Pursuit of Truth” in The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell (1993).

Culture of Delusion

I know that I am perpetuating an illusion, a lie, I am not going to live forever, its not reality. And worse I hate delusions, they are pervasive in our digital culture where memes fly faster than truth, vast illusory realms are created draw from our basest desires and hatreds, these illusions are manipulated by others who fully understand the power of the true believer.

I get it, yet I am happier telling a lie and everyone I lie to is happier to hear the delusion. I am sure there are limits to this. Every fundamentalist [blessings to your stupidity] understands what I am experiencing. To believe you will get a mansion if you just give your mansion in this life to Warren Buffett or you will get 72 virgins or raisins if you just blow yourself up killing non believers, or perhaps your enlightenment will come from subjugating the lower castes or sitting in a closet thinking about nothing, its all the same, we all just share the joy of….ignorance.

“Ignorance is the mother of devotion as all the world knows.” as Robert Burton observed in 1621,

This all comes back to two ideas I have been thinking about and relating

~The True Believer by Eric Hoffer, which discusses how ideas are adopted and people manipulated

~The Great Transformation by Karl Polanyi, which looks at the growth of market economies and the rise of fascism.

The writings of these two keep percolating in my mind as I compare thier ideas to my other delusions as I try to understand the denial many of us live with, for our own sanity, to get along, to be one of the woke or be invited to the tea party. We will do anything to be part of the chosen or preferred group.

A day without laughter is a day wasted

Second Last word is a quote from Edward Abbey and I hope is my last words when my lies finally catch up me.

“I hid a million dollars in gold under the….[last gasp]” Exit stage left

The real last word to Chomsky

[In] ‘Democratic’ societies … the state can’t control behavior by force. It can to some extent, but it’s much more limited in its capacity to control by force. Therefore, it has to control what you think… One of the ways you control what people think is by creating the illusion that there’s a debate going on, but making sure that that debate stays within very narrow margins. Namely, you have to make sure that both sides in the debate accept certain assumptions, and those assumptions turn out to be the propaganda system. As long as everyone accepts the propaganda system, then you can have a debate.

Noam Chomsky Chronicles of Dissent; Propaganda in the US vs in the USSR (24 October 1986)