The Problem with Pretense

By Sue Wallace at en.wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

The greater the outward show, the greater the inward poverty. – J Krishnamurti

It seems to me we generally convince ourselves that we are something we are not. When we try to be something, it means we are not the thing we are trying to be; otherwise, there’s no reason to try to be something. We have much rhetoric about love, about family, about the group we belong to, our country, our religion, my race or my sex; inherently these things are divisive. If there is a group, that means there is a division; there are opposing groups.

Identification with a group, with ideology, with experience, with “I” or “me”, creates a separation between you and what actually is and between you and others and between groups of people. This inevitably leads to conflict, distortion and violence. And, ironically, the ones who speak of “love” in this way are shoddy and cruel, abusive and divisive.

It is contradictory to believe that identification with a group leads to love and understanding. The expansion of the group is merely a bigger identification and, so, a bigger ego. Identification is ego; it is “me”. And “I” want more for “me”, so it is greed. Not only that, but it is illusory; because, Who is “I” and “me”?

The pretense and hypocrisy is obvious when you see that not only are these identifications inherently divisive, but they only place value on people and things in as much as they can be connected to the isolated group or identification. We speak of love but there’s no evidence for it. There is only separation, and division is not love. Love is not particular. It is not bound by such things.

Pretense is a source of conflict and we deal with the conflict by becoming more deluded and lost in fantasy; trying to convince ourselves that we care, that we love. But love is not bound up in thought. We cannot think it up.

The rut of fantasy along these lines makes the mind deteriorate. Soon, we cannot do anything but fantasize and the lies become real to us. In that there is no understanding, clarity or intelligence. And for there to be love there must be understanding and intelligence, true comprehension not bound by thought and pretense.

When your mind is not blocked or diverted by thought, you are full of energy because energy is not blocked or diverted. The constant struggle with the contradiction of pretense and hypocrisy prevents this freedom. You must have freedom to have comprehension and for energy to be full and vital.

Pretense wears down the mind with this conflict and therefore there is no comprehension, no understanding. The attempt to be loving, to care, is pretense and, contrary to intent, destroys love.

For full comprehension and understanding, there must be freedom, energy, care and intelligence that is not blocked or diverted by thought which creates pretense. You must be able to see what you actually are, what you actually do, how you are conflicted and contradictory and not at all what you purport to be. In that, there is true change, the ending of the conflict and no need for pretense.

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