Some Personal Thoughts on Lying - Excerpt from "The Brothers Karamazov" by F. Dostoyevsky
"Above all, do not lie to yourself. A man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point where he does not discern any truth either in himself or anywhere around him, and thus falls into disrespect towards himself and others. Not respecting anyone, he ceases to love, and having no love, he gives himself up to passions and coarse pleasures, in order to occupy and amuse himself, and in his vices reaches complete bestiality, and it all comes from lying continually to others and to himself. A man who lies to himself is often the first to take offense.
It sometimes feels very good to take offense, doesn’t it? And surely he knows that no one has offended him, and that he himself has invented the offense and told lies just for the beauty of it, that he has exaggerated for the sake of effect, that he has picked on a word and made a mountain out of a pea—he knows all of that, and still he is the first to take offense, he likes feeling offended, it gives him great pleasure, and thus he reaches the point of real hostility …"
Lying is the First Step Towards Damnation
Here Dostoyevsky lays out an interesting progression that the liar undergoes as he begins to lie.1) He becomes skeptical of truth altogether.
2) He loses respect for himself and others.
3) He loses the ability to love and turns towards bodily pleasures.
4) He reaches the point of pure corruption, an animalistic state.
5) He becomes aggressive to those who challenge his lies, taking pleasure in his abuse.