How To Spot A Liar

How to spot a liar so that you are never taken advantage of again! – from a world-class semantics expert

1. Don’t listen to anyone who says shit like that. It’s a gimmick aimed to prey on one of the two primary human fears—being taken advantage of and looking like a fool. The subtext is that there is someone with a formula that a) is more effective than your gut, b) is not you, and c) can inoculate you from the human experience.

2. Here’s the trick. People who teach you to spot “dark” things are performing a sleight of hand: They invent dark things that need to be dealt with and then miraculously appear as the dark-thing spotter and solution. It’s a trick to make you need them.

3. All the dark and scary intergalactic planetary things boil down to this. You ready? It’s either a big energy that you have not developed the perception to grok or you’re having some hurt feelings and want there to be something, anything to do other than just feel those feelings. Aleister Crowley likely just had a little heartbreak as well as all the people who work with “dark energies.” Don’t buy that shit.

4. That trick is predicated on this: People want another to be the bottom line on their lives so that they have someone to first praise, then blame. Folks don’t want to develop the muscle to hold responsibility (which, by the way, is synonymous with power and freedom) so they outsource it to the experts. That’s a bit like saying, “I will pay you top dollar if you would take my inheritance for me because all this money is difficult to manage.”

5. Be the bottom line on your life. Praise all. Blame none. As far as formulas go, this one is about as reliable as the recipe for chocolate chip cookies—if you follow it, it always works to bring about sweetness.

6. Control the 3 P’s, control your life: Projection, Perception, and Praise. See the world as a mirror; the sinister things you see, those are you. To clear your perception, do the work to take on a practice that dips your mind into vast open space to clean the windshield as it were—the usual suspects of meditation (OM is a fast-track), prayer, yoga, and art are good. Praise so that the best in all comes forth the way animals flock to St. Francis.

7. Don’t apply sinister reasons. The big liar (that would be the ego) loves to do that one. Oh, that it were so easy as to just label someone “evil” or “narcissist.” People who think in those terms are not bad, they are just very young and very simple. They cannot conceive of the farmer, the soil, the truck driver, the animal, the sun, the water, the butcher, etc. needed to bring them their burger. They haven’t been given the scoop on karmic complexities. They employ caveman mind: “Grrrr. This good! This bad!”

8. They have not had the flash that all life is inseparable, that there are not monsters under their bed. Meaning, there are myriad causes and conditions behind every situation and the disturbing truth is that if you followed the conditions of even that really rotten person to the origin, you would feel compassion, and compassion is a lot more achy to feel than inflamed self-righteousness.

9. If you want an exquisite life primer, watch Anna Deavere Smith’s TED talk/performance. Through oral history, she steps into the shoes of a woman who did the unthinkable and killed her child. She delicately weaves the threads of karmic connection that had this horrific experience arise. How you feel compassion for this woman, you will not know. However, if you allow yourself to live inside the tapestry Deveare weaves it might change your perception on overly simplified diagnoses of others, the ones where you trade your heart in for smug superiority.

10. And, it might not. If it doesn’t, I can promise you that you will have to place a judgment-imposed distance on your heart. You will have to be an all-masculine judge, which you are welcome to do, but you are the one who goes to prison for another’s crime if you do. It’s a cold hard world.

11. Here’s another you can take or leave. If someone has a one-sided opinion, you are taking navigational instruction from a person who is blind in one eye. Don’t do that. Again, not as satisfying as “Kill all X” or “Y’s are the best and everyone else sucks” or “You’re either with us or you’re against us” but there is less likelihood of driving off a cliff. Every know-it-all had a really bad day when they saw the half they’d missed in their righteous indignation.

12. Take the fast path: Get hurt, feel the hurt, skip trying to figure it out. The hurt won’t be eradicated if you have a conspiracy theory strategy session to try to find out where it all came from. Go bare—you get hurt just as much without the armor as you do with it on. May as well take off the chainmail, get out of the vigilant mind, and stop wasting your energy figuring out everyone else’s character defects.

13. You know those people who talk shit about people behind their back? No matter who you are, know that they are doing it about you, too. The same is true of the guy who is a Casanova and goes out on his girl with you. He will do the same to you. You may think you are special, that you will be excluded from this behavior, that you are the ‘one’ that people won’t do shitty things to. Know that people do what they do with everyone because it is who they are, even if you are their best friend or girlfriend.

14. In this case, it’s people who feel powerless and can’t directly say what they feel or want so they do it indirectly. If you’re listening to someone talk shit, know that you are listening to a report of that person’s power struggle; they are trying to disempower another at a distance in order to feel powerful.

15. Now, that being said, who cares? This goes back to the fear of being made a fool of and the mistaken belief that anyone *can* do that. Why be flypaper for other people’s self-reporting projected onto you? Anyone who wants to talk about me, I say, “Talk away! Do it! But at least come up with something new and interesting—the typical things people say are so mundane and predictable, especially when you are a sexual woman. ‘Ooooh she’s dark and duplicitous and manipulative and inferior.’” Stop getting your script from the bible.

16. We often don’t want to wait in line for our wisdom deity to respond so we ask others what to do. Then, because the person we asked got the advice from their own wisdom deity it is rarely a custom fit for us. Then, we aren’t happy with the fit and get mad at the person who gave the advice for giving bunk advice. It’s best to just listen to our own wisdom deity; it lets others off the hook.

17. If you ask for advice, take it. If your life goes into disrepair because of taking another’s advice, think of it as your wisdom deities giving you advice—the advice being that you should have waited for your own gut to output the instruction.

18. Caveat: If you have a trusted guide or wise advisor, ensure their success. Taking on such a relationship is a wildly advanced practice because wisdom cannot be taught, only experienced. The only way to experience it is to lock and load with the nervous system of one more seasoned than you. You will want to kick and buck at some of the turns but if you do, you put both of you in danger. A real wise advisor is not a teacher but a jet that can do tricks like the Blue Angels. You develop a steady nervous system by being spun in every direction imaginable.

19. If you do take on a wise advisor, do your best to not throw up in their lap. If you do, clean it up.

20. The Golden Rule of Trust

Trust people to be themselves. Do the work to find out who that is. Be the space where the deeper self, the one who isn’t in the war zone of survival strategies of not telling the truth, can emerge. Know that you will take a few on the chin on the way there meaning you will get wildly, terribly, embarrassingly duped. Your sword will be sharpened and your eye will get cleaner, provided you do not harden your heart. Then, in compassion, you can wield that sword to cut away the delusion for both you and the other person. We are all in a jungle with vines and thickets everywhere—be the one who cuts the path clear for others. Cut vines away, not people out.

21. Do it. Do it first. Do it with friends. See everyone as a friend and you can let the actuary and accountant of your mind (who are so very expensive and usually cooking the books to make you look good at the expense of others) go.⁩

22. It’s the end of the Therap-Era, the Selfie of all eras— self-care, self-protection, self-help. that puts all focus on the false self and all power and freedom outside the self

This is the time of radical responsibility

If you’re going to focus on the self make it self-inquiry and self-examination. And, if you’re really, advanced go with the old and ultimate question that unselfs you from the self:

Who am I? Ask again and again until the answer is only vast open space.

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