From an excellent study of Self-Deception 

“Denial is often easy to get started but hard to stop. To put another way, self-deception often ends badly. We may enjoy a temporary benefit of deceiving others and self, but we suffer a long-term cost” (page 234, Deceit and Self-Deception, Robert Trivers, Allen Lane, London ,2011).

“It has been said that truth is the first casualty of war. Actually, truth is often dead before war begins” (page 247, Deceit and Self-Deception,

“The essence of religion is neither self-deception nor deep truth, but a mixture of the two, with self-deception often overwhelming truth” (page 279, Deceit and Self-Deception).

“It is now clear that consciousness requires some time for perception to occur. Put another way, a neural signal travels from the toe to the brain in about twenty milliseconds but takes twenty-five times as long … to register in consciousness. Once again, consciousness lags reality and by a large amount, plenty of time for unconscious biases to affect what enters consciousness. In short, the best evidence shows that our unconscious mind is ahead of our conscious mind in preparing for decisions” (page 56, Deceit and Self-Deception).

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