Friday, July 19, 2013

What I Learned from Jim Carrey About Demons

I have always been amused by the movie Liar Liar if only because I find Jim Carrey pretty hilarious when he is given the right script to work with. In this particular comedy, he plays a lawyer named Fletcher Reede, who is unscrupulous, and spends a good portion of his time deceiving people and failing to fulfill his commitments. However, there is one love in his life that is not simply the result of his selfish narcissism: the love he has for his son Max. However, in spite of this, he nevertheless fails (for a variety of reasons) to be the father that he should be. Consequently, at Max's birthday party, he (Max) makes a wish that his father will no longer be able to lie. And as the smoke from candles rises like incense to the heavens, the effect of Max's words immediately takes effect.

As a result of Max's "wish", Fletcher finds that nothing that he thinks and believes is hidden from those with whom he comes into contact. So if someone asks him how's he's doing, he says something like; "I'm fine, but I would be doing a lot better if you would get the hell away from me..." Or if someone asks him what he thinks about their dress, he says something like; "well at least it takes my attention off your hair..." He therefore walks around in terror afraid to look at anyone or say anything lest his secret thoughts be revealed. Before all of this happened, his success depended on the fact that he could manipulate the truth and make it redound to his benefit- regardless of the contempt he had for others. But as a result of his son's "wish" his interior life has been made manifest. Human beings are made for truth- thus when someone comes along with the distinct ability to make a lie sound like the truth, most people buy it. The movie doesn't go into any great detail about the difference between telling the truth and the failure to be charitable (i.e. telling the truth is the same thing as saying everything that pops into your head); nevertheless it does reveal in a riotous fashion what it would look like if every interior thought we had was uncensored (and riotous is the operative word).

In this life it is entirely possible to live in two worlds at once. As a matter of fact, one can be saying one thing, while the truth can be something prohibitively different. In this respect then reality can be bent according to our will, or as George Costanza once put it; "It's not a lie if you believe yourself." This is not to suggest that human nature, or the natural world, will simply conform to what we want, but it does mean that given enough brain washing, our minds, at the prompting of our will, will attempt to force us to to see things that aren't there.

However, when the veil of this life is broken, what is objectively true will not be able to be manipulated. Indeed, those who wish to commune with the Truth will no longer suffer the pain of doubt, or wonder what is "is" anymore. And those who wish to continue to delude themselves (or be deluded by others) will be able to do so for all of eternity if they wish. The truth teller is forever at one with himself, while the liar is forever divided within himself (think Gollum), since he is always attempting to have it both ways. In the kingdom of heaven the distinction will be obvious, for in the presence of unadulterated truth, the infernal hypocrite will feel obliged to walk around like some immortal leper declaring his wicked identity.

If you wish for evidence of this peculiar phenomenon, simply observe the behavior of the Gerasene demoniac, who when confronted by Jesus, felt compelled not only to herald His divinity, but to declare his own fraudulent nature; a truth so apparently appalling that he/they actually begged Jesus for mercy (it is interesting how the possessed man is literally of two minds, or in this case of many minds). So also Mr. Carrey demonstrates in the scene below how agonizing it would be to be a committed liar, only to have the truth thrust upon you in a way that renders you incapable of further deceit. In fact, as you will see, not only can Fletcher Reede no longer lie, but like some indelible mark inscribed by the hand of God, the truth is written all over his face.


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