Lies are a form of narrative, a story or a fantasy we tell people. It is often rooted in some sort of truth, or phenomena experienced but can either be taken out of context. Facts distorts into falsehood because it has been misappropriated to fit one's selfish interests.
People might tell a liar when confronted face-to-face, because lying to someone is uncomfortable and much more difficult than one might think. It's loaded with a sense of sheepishness, guilty conscience and plot-holes to get straight that it often takes less effort to just tell someone the truth and get it over and done with.
However, lying, like most things, can become a habit. It gets easier every time you do it, such that it is all paradoxically, becomes the only truth you see. It starts to frame how you see things - your neurons travel the pre-emptive pathways on how you place facts within a story that has become familar to you. So lies ultimately become a worldview, and in that worldview through time and space, situations become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The fable of the Emperor's New Clothes is about not getting fleeced, but also and more importantly about vanity and pride of the Emperor. In a sense, he allowed himself to be deceived because he has already deceived himself that it is extremely crucial to have clothing that is made of the finest material as an affirmation of his lordly status. We allow ourselves to be lied to, or take into lies because the first lie starts with the lies we tell ourselves. We need that $2,400 bag because it makes us look good. We don't interrogate assumptions enough, especially the assumptions that echo in our minds.
So all in all, lies do something very particular. They feed. Rather than substract from your being, they add, feed, seduce and nourish. Whether it is desire, pride or even glory, it seeks yo affirm what may not be. And it is potent because since they are based in facts that do exist, we make logical leaps and jump to conclusions. When we lie to others comfortably, we have to lie to ourselves, and to do that easily, is to take mental shortcuts or erase outliers.
It becomes easier to find cause and effect, to sweep all other factors under the carpet. Dangerously, it becomes easier to blame, to seek justifications for extreme actions. We tell ourselves it is okay. And after a few times, lies replace truth as discourses that most accept. Not all lies are purposeful, and this is not the same as scientific theory that has been debunked due to new evidence or research practices. I am referring to the lies we tell ourselves, the personal touchpoints we have regularly that suck us in.
Lies are a false cucoon, one that is as brittle as diamond. It only takes 1 child on the street to say, "but he is naked!" to shatter illusions into a thousand pieces and have us all running back vulnerable and exposed.
Have courage my friends.