Mask of deception

Qaisar Sultan

Mimicry is part of our nature. The survival of the species mostly depends on the power to deceive and propensity for awareness and responsiveness of impending threat of the invader’s attack through mimicry and deception. If we look at the disease of AID, we find out that HIV virus that cause the disease changes itself to be a true copy of human body defense system by mimicking the white cells and reproduce its own T-cells. Now scientists are working on using the same idea to fight cancers by deceiving the cancer cells.  So it seems to us that the mimicry may play an important role to defend our health and our assumed role in the society. The octopus is a master of mimicking the invaders and the prey at the same time; it may change its color or shape to deceive. The species that do not have the faculty of deception are more vulnerable to the attacks of the predators. Frogs, chameleons, some birds and beetle have the ability to change their colors and shape and form to mimic the predators. Some of the species have survived due to the mimicry built in its very design by nature. The camouflage brings safety to the prey and the predators. Is nature part of this mimicry?  The nature is responsible for the design of life itself; it evolves in time. When it comes to humans, they have been gifted with the great art of deception. Of course, we are supposed to be the super-being, excelling in all the characteristics to survive and prey on the weak and vulnerable. The problem is that the word “Deception” is construed as something bad and negative; it may be true in some situation.  How do we deceive others with the power of expression and articulation?  It is all in the art of language.  The human deception is displayed through impressions and articulation. The most powerful tool that humans ever invented was the language. It is all in the selected words and how one puts them on paper or say with a certain tone and sophistication. The poets and politicians learn the mastery of making a hill out of a mole. Shakespeare used deception in lot of his plays; there was this intrigue and the tragedy of human affairs that took place   due to the treachery and mimicry of human character. What is this bizarre display of affection and warmth that the certitude and incredulity may coexist in the mind of a skeptic?  “To put an antic disposition on-/that you, at time seeing me, never shall/with arms encumbered thus, or this headshake/or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrases (Shakespeare). It is a gift of our genetic set up that erroneous and fictitious endeavor or predatory attempt ought to be presented to misconstrue the very spirit of what usually is at the heart of the undertaking. The reason is simple in this mimicry; the truth is always bitter and upset both the story teller and listener. It is this little con man in most of us that attempts to pull the wool over somebody’s eyes; or at least get away by slight exaggeration to make a point for embellishing our side of the story.

In the story of Iliad, when Greeks could not enter the city of Troy, they came up with one of the most ingenious scheme to enter into the well fortified walls; they made a wooden horse, called “Trojan Horse” and put few strong men inside the wooden body. When authorities of Troy accepted and allowed the wooden horse inside the fort, the men inside of the wooden box came out and opened the doors for the Greek soldiers to enter and attack. The art of deception since then has become a normal war strategy in wars. They send spies to gather information; and it is always done in disguise and deception.  There is always this distraction being created to fool the enemy. During elections, most politicians, especially in the third world promise moon and stars to deceive the masses; it seems to work. In other words, the human mind accepts to be deceived. We wish to hear good and optimistic views. So in order to fool most people, the demeanor of the deceiver should provide the rosy outlook that makes people feel good. We see in the corporate world and politics, the strategic deception has become a fact of life. The marketing, especially through electronic media, is an art of selling product through images. It seems to most viewers that all good things are consumed by beautiful young people. Why someone has to drink Coca Cola because a young girl in shorts likes to drink it?  But somehow the deception works. If a sportsman eats a particular cereal, does it mean that we should all consume the same brand of cereal? Does it imply that we wish to be deceived? – Not really. What works is that humans wish to see their life happy, healthy, beautiful and heroic. We like to feel good, powerful, talented and all knowing. But life has limitation and it’s up and down. The mimicry in our thought process leads us to self deception. It may sound a little excessive to bring out that we wish to fool ourselves at times; and that is the fantasy of our mind that travels with the imagining the possibilities that do not represent our real self or our true conditions. There is a kind of mimicry that I would call “Sincere Form of Mimicry”. That is a part of our adaptation process to adjust and make the hostile environment friendlier. We try to change our clothing, accent, face, hair and habits to mimic the hard situations.  We have to “fit” in situations that are not familiar to us or our backgrounds. We change not because we like to be predators; but we do not desire to be a pray to our circumstances. We change our stories so that they may sound more interesting to others; we like to please our friends. We like to deceive and expect to be deceived. The only caution is that we should be aware of the fact that what people say and represent sometimes is not the truth but some form of truth. Being a skeptic is to avoid the mimicry of those who are out there to hurt and take advantage to unsuspecting pray. At the same time, we should appreciate the articulation and expression of others in a positive light.

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