First step in purification of ethics

The liar does not trust even in himself
The liars not only do not trust in others and assume them as themselves, but also do not trust in themselves, because they are suspicious to the reality of everything, including the degree of their ability and power when faced with the problems and different events of life as well as their determination and will power in performing the works.
We read in aphorisms of Imam Ali (A.S.):
You should avoid making friend with a liar because he is like a mirage, making you feel remote things near and near things remote.17
Although the matter of altering the realities is mentioned for the associates of a liar, but it is also formed in the liar as a result of getting accustomed to the lie, and they become suspicious and uncertain to the realities and facts related to themselves and the others, and this is one of the most painful conditions occurring for man in his life.
Source of lie
As it was already referred, lie originates from one of the mental weak points:
Sometimes, a man lies for the fear of poverty, people leaving him alone and losing his position and rank.
Sometimes, he lies for the earnest to wealth, dignity, and other sensual desires, and uses this illegitimate means for achieving his purpose.
Sometimes, passion as well as excessive love and hatred cause a man to say untruth in favor of one who he loves or against one who he hates.
Once he lies in different scientific, historical and such like issues for showing himself more than what he really is and expressing science and knowledge.
But all of these vicious attributes, which are the sources of lie, actually originate from one’s low personality and weakness of spirit and belief.
Those who do not believe in their own personality, and have a feeble and humble spirit, resort to lie, falsification, fraud and treachery for gaining their purposes and escaping losses. In contrary, powerful and high personality individuals rely on their own personality and ability, and seek their victory thereon.
Moreover, those having a perfect belief on divine everlasting power, and considering His dominant will as the source of all blessings, victories and successes, have identified His power beyond all powers and His support beyond all supports, do not have any reason for resorting to untruth and lying for gaining a benefit or escaping a loss.
And sometimes this dangerous vice roots in man for inattention to the disadvantages of lie and importance of truthfulness, and unhealthy family, or environment of society and associates.
One of the other important factors in lying is feeling low personality and inferiority complex. Those who are affected by such complexes, try to compensate it with all types of lie, exaggeration and self-glorification.
Way of treating lie
Taking into account the factors effective on formation of this attribute and its rooting, treatment procedure will be relatively clear, and in general for treating this moral deviation, we shall take following actions:
1- First of all, the liars should be informed about the painful consequences as well as spiritual, material, individual and social ill effects of this unfavourable vice, and it should be evaluated through meditation and thinking in Qur’anic verses and traditions of great leaders of religion and aforementioned analyses and speeches of the great men that assumptive benefits of lie never counterweigh with such a lot of disadvantages.
Moreover, the liars should be warned that if in some cases, lie has a personal benefit, it is temporary and very transitory, because no capital for a man in the society, in any condition and any rank,–is higher than the capital of people’s trust and confidence in him, and the greatest enemy of this capital is lie.
It is noteworthy that some suppose it is possible for a man to say some lies, never being disclosed and causing people’s distrust.
But this is a big mistake because experience has shown that in most cases, the untruthfulness of a liar is made clear, and its point is that any event has different relations with time, place, individuals and other events. One who wants to create an event, not externally existing, with his tongue, creates only one discrete event from among all other relations, and if he is very sharp and smart, he may already think about some other lies around it, and link the main false event with those events.
However, he can never predict all possible relations with all other events, and consider their connections. So, most often after several questions, he fails to justify his speeches.
For example, consider the interesting judgment of Imam Ali (A.S.) about the young man whose father had travelled with a lot of wealth together with some people, and when returning, his companions claimed for his death.
The accused people, who were in fact the murderers of that young man’s father, were disgraced very soon after Imam (A.S.) asked them several questions about the details of disease, death, shrouding and burying, as they had colluded for all together saying that he has become sick and died, but they had not colluded for where, what time of day and who has made ablution, and has shrouded, and has performed funeral prayer, and actually they could not collude for all of these matters.
On this account, even the lie of the sharpest liar may be disclosed through a simple inspection.
Specially, the false and artificial relations, which a man creates for his lies, are not kept in his mind properly, because they are untrue, and if the liar is asked in different intervals, he involves in self contradiction and confusion, and this contradiction is one of the other factors for disclosing their lie. If it is commonly said that “a liar does not have a good memory”, it may refer to the fact that whatever his memory may be strong, it is not possible for a liar to memorize everything!
2- Personification – One of the most effective ways of treating lies is developing individuals’ personality, because as we know, one of the important mental causes of lie is feeling inferiority and low personality, and in fact lying is a kind of reaction for compensating it.
If the liars feel that they possess powers and talents through developing of which they can increase their own value and personality, they do not find any need for resorting to lie for developing a false personality in them.
Moreover, they should realize that social value of a truthful man, who has succeeded to attract “public confidence” through this moral virtue, is beyond all values, and his great spiritual capital of “social reputation” is the highest capital, with which no material capital can countervail, and he can provide all material facilities for himself using this capital.
Such person is not only is respected by people, but also enjoys a rank among the martyrs and prophets because in Qur’an the rank of truthful people is mentioned besides the rank of prophets and martyrs, where it says:
Whoso obeyeth Allah and the messenger, they are with those unto whom Allah hath shown favour, of the prophets and the saints and the martyrs and the righteous. The best of company are they! (4:69)

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