The Buddha did not ever, in all the his eons of practice, tell a deliberate lie. The base line for our practice to progress is Truthfulness - it is the very foundation upon which the practice unfolds towards ultimate Truth.
Truthfulness also plays an important role in the world - bringing a sense of trust and respect into our lives, if it is present.
Bridging separation is the activity necessary for the survival of our species and the biosphere. Buddhism encourages us to find ways to bridge our internal fragmentation AND bridge all external divides. How can we resist vigorously those we deem involved in causing harm yet not put them out of our hearts? How can we utilize the skills of our practice to bridge the separation we feel with others not like us.
Shaila Catherine concluded our lecture series on the Great Disciples, with a talk about the Venerable Mahakaccana. He was a monk famous for explaining difficult and perplexing teachings. The Buddha sometimes gave brief teachings that left the listeners confused. Sometimes the disciples did not ask the Buddha questions to clarify their doubt. Instead they sought out another monk to elucidate the matter and explain the detailed meaning. The Pali Canon preserves several insightful discourses in which initial enigmatic teachings by the Buddha are systematically explained by Venerable Mahakaccana. He addresses profound topics including the construction of I-making and mine-making, craving, conceit, views, mindfulness of sense perceptions, obsession with thoughts of past and future, and overcoming desire and lust. His methods of exposition became the basis of early commentary, and Mahakaccana became known as the first Buddhist commentator.