• "If there was no self-deception, no self-deceit to begin with, if
    self-deceit didn't exist inside the individual, then it couldn't exist for
    him in the exterior world; that is, the deceit could be there, but it
    couldn't hurt him. The deceit that does not exist in him does not exist
    out there to hurt him.

    In other words, he would recognize it because only innocence can recognize
    evil. Think about that a little bit: only innocence can recognize and
    therefore be safe from what is not innocent. So now you have the fact and
    the encouragement to at all costs - and you make it that emphatic with
    yourself - you have the incentive now at all cost to destroy all

    Self-deceit is self-destructive.

    Now, here's the problem as always, you don't know you're deceiving yourself
    - nobody knows when they deceive themselves that they're doing just that.
    Every lunatic in the asylum thinks he's one of the doctors. We call
    ourselves healthy and it's the other person who is deceitful, who is

    There exist ways, and you're going to hear about them tonight, by which
    you can overcome yourself, your present self being the self-deceit and the
    wish to cling to it.

    And one of the first things you can do, and you do it while I'm talking to
    you here tonight, one of the first things you can do is to listen while
    I'm talking until you hear something that is there, that you don't know is
    there, but which speaks to you while I'm speaking to you. And that deceitful
    voice says, 'That entire talk does not apply to me. The talk about
    self-deception does not apply to me in my life.'

    Any talk about kidding yourself, deceiving yourself, applies to you and for
    the sake of your soul, you had better listen, listen to the talk, listen to
    the facts - don't listen to your self-deceit trying to deceive you. Now I
    know something about you that you don't know. I know that you're terribly
    trapped by your own self-fooling and I know that you don't know how your
    whole life has been nothing but one kidding after another."

        from a talk given 7/17/1987
      V. H.'s Higher World - MP3 CD Volume 13, talk 309, track 2