My first rule is to do no harm. Sometimes that's unavoidable, though. If a white lie can create mistrust in a relationship, it needs to be avoided. However, if a person is so thin-skinned that a little honesty about a rather insignificant matter is going to upset them, I think there are bigger problems in the relationship that need to be addressed.
However, your question puts this all in the context of spiritual growth. In terms of spiritual growth, I think it's a matter of the intent that is in your heart. If a white lie is intended to keep from harming a sensitive person, I don't see it having a negative impact on one's spiritual growth. However, for that intent to be sincere, one should also be taking measures to address the other person's sensitivity.
answered 25 Nov '09, 09:33
I agree with John in that it is the intent behind the little white lie that really matters. If we are telling it to avoid hurting someone and genuinely have their best interests at heart, then I think it is okay. However I think we have to be very careful in discerning the reason for the telling of the little white lie, sometimes telling the truth can actually be more beneficial even if at first it seems hurtful. As the song goes sometimes "you gotta be cruel to be kind". In other words, make sure you differentiate between genuinely having the other person's interests at heart or taking the easy way and justifying it as only telling a little white lie.
answered 25 Nov '09, 14:07
What is the motivation or intention behind the lie? I think how you feel would dictate that.
As for LOA ~
We create our own reality and we can certainly attract liars but deciding whether or not to lie is a decision and a CHOICE and when it comes to the actual lies ~
Lies are always about the person who is telling them.
This answer is marked "community wiki".
Most of the time, when people ask about little white lies, they are asking whether or not they should risk hurting the other person's feelings. So here's a pop quiz for you.
If your spouse asks you:
Here are your choices:
OK, now you tell me, which is the best choice?
Later, you can have a discussion about whether or not she feels insecure in her body, and reassure her that she would look good wearing anything or nothing (if that's really how you feel, and it should be).
If your spouse is a guy, you can get him to take off that hideous tie by suggesting that he might be more comfortable in this one instead, and playfully swish the end of it on his chest. He will wear anything you say.
Extra Credit: If it's your coworker instead of your spouse, does your answer change?
I feel that sometimes the better good is done by fibbing, especially with children that are too young to deal with a difficult issue. It's a moral dilemma each time we are faced with telling a hard truth or an easy lie, and each time is different, but I do believe there are certain times when a lie is the better option; only my personal opinion after being around over 50 years now. Not only when reasoning with children who may be unable to understand an adult issue, but as a spouse, it sometimes serves the better good to please the other person rather than being selfishly honest. For example, you know your husband REALLY likes a particular restaurant, and wants to go there, which is not your favorite. He asks you, "Do you mind going there?" You want to scream YES I MIND, but kindness trumps honesty and you agree to go there for the sake of marital harmony. Is that wrong? I don't think it is!
answered 25 Nov '09, 04:17
I think its OK to tell a white lie so long as you are green, blue or purple. but if you happen to be of any other colour then you have to pick a different coloured lie.
Other than that if the intent in witholding information was to harm someone then what goes around comes around. however if the lie in question was for self protection such as the answer to the question "Give me all your money" is "I don't have a wallet" then I'm sure the other guy may have to pay a price for forcing the angel that you are to commit the terrible crime of lying.
answered 26 Nov '09, 09:13
The question about lies affecting your spiritual growth is true, You need to be true to yourself and be brutally honest with yourself. The hardest part is to see yourself for what you really are. If you decieve yourself then you are affecting your spiritual growth and you can not reach maturity without shedding all the misconceptions you have about yourself and see yourself for who you really are, Example would be; I am a good person, yet in reality I am selfserving, hedonistic and narcistic in behaviour, am I a good person. NO, a good person puts other peoples feelings first and treats them as they would want to be treated, hence the golden rule.
answered 26 Nov '09, 23:08
Some years ago I was into the book Radical Honesty by Brad Blanton. He is all for letting unvarnished honesty hang out. Oh,just found a Ted Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_Fp93OtaHE
One problem I have with his idea, is that I usually don't have a singular perspective on stuff.. As Seth says: "Which you? Which world?"
Abraham says it's all about how it makes you feel. If we are aligned with the lie, there's no problem. They say when we are tuned into higher consciousness, we would never put anyone down. "When you are tuned into who you are you will always lovingly give your attention to the vibrational escrow that you know is theirs, back back back back back there somewhere, there is always agreement, and that's the truth that you're reaching for." As long as we are being true to ourselves (they encourage us to refuse requests to do stuff we don't want to do), we're good.
White lies leave your own negative perceptions intact, so they create a seperation between you and the person you are trying to protect that is just as rude as the negative perception you are trying to hide.
There is an empowering alternative that is just as effective: Charm. If your pereception is not positive in a way that person can understand, make your perception positive in a way that person can understand on the spot. Do feel free to excuse yourself to a secluded spot to make your adjustments, if you need to at first, but it gets easier and faster with practice.
Question: How was my amateur theatrical performance that we all wrote together as a cast as it came along?
Negative honesty: It was terrible, honey, it felt like having two dentists working on me simulateneously, one drilling a deep hole on one side of my mouth, and another doing a root canal on the other side. I would sooner slam my fingers in a car door ten times on purpose than see it again.
White lie: It was lovely, honey, you are very talented, and I really look forward to seeing you next time. (Implication: Go ahead and use those exact skills you learned to apply to as many mainstream theater productions as you can, and then be devastated. Also, make a mental note that I am a b*shttr who is not to be trusted.)
Evasion: Well, honey, you know how all beginnings are difficult and I am sure it brought you well on your way to launching a fantastic theater career.
Empowering honesty, a.k.a. charm: It was really very good, honey, because it was so intense! It really challenged me to get over my preconceived notions of what art is supposed to be, and that's what art is all about, isn't it? Do keep going as long as you feel drawn to it, sweetie, and never doubt for a second that your art is true art.
answered 27 Feb, 06:32
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