I have mentioned when I was 16 years old a pudgy plain middle-aged women gave me a dirty look and locked her car door, apparently thinking I was going to jump into her car and ravage her or maybe shove a doobie up her nose and addict her. I remember thinking she was a nut who was deluding herself.
Even she knew I wasn't going to jump into her car. She just wanted to feel self-righteous and superior and to find someone to look down upon. I'm sure in her mind I was the one with the problem - a teenage boy with hair down past his shoulders, which of course meant I was a drug-dealing rapist.
About ten years after that, in college, I decided I should read some of those classic novels that everyone knows about but no one reads. So I decided to try The Brothers Karamazov.
It was a lot better than I thought it would be. I remember that in the novel one of the church fathers gave the advice, "And above all don't lie to yourself."
Just like a bunch of thoughts flooded into my mind. A bunch of connections were made.
I then realized, as I have mentioned, that in order to successfully lie to others you first of all have to lie to yourself. But people who lie to themselves don't know they're lying to themselves. They think they're telling themselves the truth about things.
When people lie to themselves but don't know it the main reason is self-righteousness.They think it gives them the right to abuse people, although they don't see it as abuse or that they are in the wrong. The self-righteous never think they are wrong. They think the person they abuse deserves it. That attitude causes a lot of trouble in the world.
I have seen several men lie to themselves to justify their abuse. But I have found women are the masters of self-deception and rationalization. That's why it's so hard to them to admit when they're wrong and instead think they're right.
I've mentioned before that Carl Jung wrote that women's greatest flaw was thinking they were always right and would never be happy until they gave it up.
I can go on and on with story after story of women I've met who delude themselves, but I'm not. Everyone knows what I'm talking about anyway, including honest women.
I was never told about the dangers of self-deception. Certainly not in church, where it should be taught.
It's not even one of the Seven Deadly Sins, although it falls under Pride or "vainglory," which are the worst sins of all and the basis of all the rest.
Years ago I was listening to an interview of the man who wrote "Defending the Caveman." He said men consider women mysterious but women think men are always wrong. He said that once when he said this in his one-man play a woman stood up in audience and shrieked, "They ARE always wrong!" I figured she was drinking and when people drink often what they really think comes blurting out.
Such are the wages of self-deception - self-righteousness, rationalization and abuse of the innocent.