Exploring the Social Imagination

Monday, May 14, 2018

What is Lying in the Social Imagination?

Everybody lies.  It may only be “white” lies, but everyone tells lies or “omits the truth” sometimes.

We start lying at around age 4 to 5 when children gain an awareness of the use and power of language.  This first lying is not malicious, but rather to find out, or test, what can manipulated in a child’s environment.  Eventually children begin to use lying to get out of trouble or get something they want. 

White lies, those concocted to protect someone’s feelings, are not a big deal at all.  The person, however, who seems to feel compelled to lie about both the small and large stuff has a problem. Their problem is having a weak sense of identity within a group, within a larger social imagination. They may feel in a kind of limbo or misplaced within the social reality. They lie to protect themselves, look good, gain financially or socially and avoid punishment. 

Lying often gets worse with the passage of time. When you get away with a lie it often impels you to continue your deception especially if it wins you favor with others.

The other potentially more serious problem is that you can and will forget the real place you had in the social imagination as untruths blend and blur... confusing the old with the new fabricated place. You might imagine getting away with your lies (only if we/you the absolute truth) and we/you could if the social imagination did not have a memory bank of original information; as long as it remembers the absolute truth.

Yes, even in that kind of uncertainty, there could be lies about you that you never had anything to do with.  You see, we can give people the wrong impression of who we are and are not and not because we lie but because we don't have the information they want from us based on what they think we have regardless whether or not we have it. You see, everyone in this world wants something from someone 'information' - they want from us and we from them. This is what the social imagination (our social reality) is about giving and taking; its about exchanges of information that create and build a social construct that becomes a sustained social interaction in which we exist.

So, in a way, we seem to be caught up in vicious circle of exchanges of information which is both lies/truth. Its more often than not that we just often don't have the information that someone or some people want or expect from us.  So, we cannot share, we cannot give what others want from us and so they take from us what they want. We even allow it because we know that we cannot offer what they want even though at the same time we can be taking something from them. In that realization or position, if make something up or we don't make something up, we could lose out either way in the give/take of the social imagination - social reality.

What can and does happen frequently, is that those who want information from us will make up something for us on our behalf when we cannot or do not provide them with what they want.  In the example of, if you are seen with them then that must mean you exchanged information with them. But, as it turns out, you did not have what they wanted and so lies are constructed to make you look bad, or them look good. Or to make you look good just so that they can look good too.

Also, if you do make something up as it seems necessary to do so, and it is accepted as useful or good information then ties/relationships can be won but... based on lies. Can the social imagination be built on lies? Seems so. Its not that this happens rarely, it happens often and even on macro levels between countries. The victor gets to tell the history. The group/person that won the battle whether it was won based on lies or not doesn't matter in long run... only that something was won - information.

Is there any truth out there? For some, it is enough that we just agree on what is the truth of the moment. But, what is truth so that we can know it in the moment? One for sure, there is no truth in the masses...so who is under the mask, its anyone's call or is it what anyone wants him/her to be at a given moment? Perhaps, that is one's moment of truth! That's entanglement reality...! Is there any other?

*Excerpts from online article ~ https://www.today.com/health/why-people-lie-how-tell-if-they-are-2D80554952


  1. Now this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent ~ John 17:3. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life ~ 1 John 5:20. And, Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him ~ Proverbs 30:5.

  2. Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:34-36.

  3. Is there any other reality? Yes, He who is the absolute truth - Jesus Christ! "He is before all things, and in him all things hold together" ~ COL 1:17.