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Reflections on the Hypocrisy


Any examination on hypocrisy has been mainly reduced on the discussion of morality and ethics. Personally, I feel enormous reluctance in only mentioning morality and ethics, most probably due to the rationality they should denote. Relating hypocrisy to morality and ethics somehow limits the possibility of exploring it more profoundly. Hypocrisy nowadays is a greatest taboo. People are afraid to acknowledge it because of the unfamiliarity it represents.

If one says that every “I” or “oneself” starts and terminates on the premises of hypocrisy, definitely many would be shocked by such a statement. If everything and everyone begins on hypocritical presumptions this would mean that “I” is somewhat based on falsness. This is conclusive statement whatsoever. Thus, one will ask what’s hypocrisy? And what’s falsness? Which is the difference between both, if any? Why only humans have this distinctive feature?  is hypocrisy equal  to a lie, or lack of thruth? Many questions to be answered, and as many as responses, however not simple ones. To define or frame the hypocrisy is both complex and simple task. It is obvious that  it’s behavioral, action driven, concious, unconcious, comprised of emotional, mental, social, cultural characteristics. It is present in every aspect and form…in public and private sphere, in art, philosophy, science, religion systems, politics, in media and social medias (latest being easiest forms to reinforce it). Exists from southern to northern hemisphere, from east to west; in individual and collective. In collective terms its greatest representation can be reflected in the creation of states; multinational corporations; military companies; intergovernmetal  organizations; non-governmental organizations; academies and universities; political parties….and etc.

Hypocrisy is obviously unavoidable and constant presence.  Therefore, the next inquiry should be whether hypocrisy is always necessarily bad? The most common metaphor to attempt to portray such a complex phenomenon an integral part of the human nature as such is continual change of faces…a carnival under masks. “Dead can dance” once sang “The Carnival is over”…and indeed should be. But is the leaving of the circus necessarily meaning the end of the carnival? Not evident. On the other hand,  hypocrisy is important part of a theater without it no play could be performed whatsoever. As etymological confirmation, of this line of argumentation is the English word hypocrite who derives from the Greek hypokrites, or actor. Furthermore, many novels were written and built on characters that clearly represented such a proposition.

To arrive to the substance, the following question to be posed: is hypocrisy necessarily falseness? Yes and no! Why? Well, the falseness depends on how much one creates an image or appearance and thus is acting on consciously. On the other hand, one can create an image or appearance of oneself that is acting on and reflected in ‘reality’ completely unconsciously. So, the difference would be that the subject strongly believes i.e. identifies with the image it created. The latter may be considered as legitimate by the fact that although is part of delusional image of oneself still is devoid of any awareness of the apparent discrepancy between subjective and objective reality; “I” and “others”. In terms of the hypocrisy and lie, and/or lack or truth is slightly different. The subject unconsciously creates an image and acts out freely on that image or seeks out realization, than we may say that is something truthful. However, If we take that lie or lack of truth means only deficiency of freedom to act out on the image or appearance one created for oneself then we might be talking about hypocritical lie, same as the “I” is aware of the discrepancy “I” and “others” but is acting out differently of what is actually aware of.

 (First Draft)

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