Friday, January 27, 2012
I happened to read Montainge's essay "On Conscience" just as my husband and I finished watching an episode of "Lie to Me". The show is loosely based on the career of Dr. Paul Ekman, an expert on recognizing deceit. I first read about Ekman in Malcolm Gladwell's excellent book Blink.
The show is mesmerizing. It has inspired me to be more attentive to human expression. I especially like how they flash images of well-known people displaying key expressions in real life. (It seems that one of our former Presidents has been on every episode I've seen so far.)
Yet none of this is new of course. Montaigne said, "So wondrous is the power of conscience! It makes us betray, accuse and fight against ourselves. In default of an outside testimony it leads us to witness against ourselves."
Also - "Conscience can fill us with fear, but she can also fill us with assurance and confidence. And I can say that I have walked more firmly through some dangers by reflecting on the secret knowledge I had of my own will and the innocence of my designs."
How good are you at recognizing deceit?
How good are you at lying?
She graces the center of my new copy of National Geographic. I love this article and can't stop gawking at this image. (Notice how you can make out the shape of her ear beneath her hair. Such detail!)