The Difference between Integrity and Honesty

Recently on a forum someone asked for opinons about the difference between integrity and honesty.

I thought that was a really interesting question. I indeed view them different but never thought about why exactly.

Like many other words, those two represent a whole world of meaning. They are used all the time and most of the time, people tend to understand what you mean if you use those words.

But sometimes someone uses the word honesty where another would use the word integrity. Or the other way around.

In the comments on that question there where some very interesting views and although there seems to be overlap, they are certainly not the same.

My view was that there can be honesty without integrity, but no integrity without honesty.

But although integrity needs honesty, it does not mean you always have to be absolutely honest to others.

It just means you have to be absolutely honest to your self.

Being honest to others is many times just giving a personal opinion. And that opinion might just as well have nothing to do with facts.

So I do think integrity needs honesty, but honesty as an inner process. Looking at your own values and act upon them with respect for others.

It got me thinking which are the signs of the zodiac that represent honesty and integrity. Honesty is not so hard to see, as it is a characteristic of aries.

Aries is about action and uncomplicated behaviour. Just act without thinking. Something that is not influenced by others, a pure and, in essence, innocent behaviour.

Integrity is more complicated to place. I have seen it used as a characteristic of leo. But in a way I always found that a bit hard to see.

Leo is also acting that is not influenced by others, but it is different from aries. It is the act of self-expression. Expression in accordance with the persons own unique self. Much more an ego based action.

But as I already tried to write about in the post Ego Development, the ego is not static. It has to grow. And the growth goes through the whole zodiac, from the first impulsive action (aries) to the most compassionate sign (pisces).

And so I thought that ‘integity’ might indeed be a characteristic of leo. But a characteristic of a more developed ego. An ego that looks beyond itself, symbolised by the sign sagittarius.

Sagittarius is about expanding our worldview. Looking beyond our own limited experiences. It is about using our own talents for the benefit of the greater whole.

But that side of sagittarius can only come into existence in the development of the first sign of the individual part of the zodiac, leo.

Because leo is the start of the individual development. The start of disovering the own unique self. That which seperates us from everyone else. Our own creative centre.

As long as that is not discovered, sagittarius might expand our worldview but has no centre to return to. The centre (leo) that rules our actions (aries) for the world as a whole (sagittarius).


The difference between integrity and honesty

Image: source


  1. I am so glad you could follow my thought process because I had to rewrite it several times to make it more clear.

    I think I have now officially more drafts than posts.

  2. Integrity has to do with wholeness as a person, no? It’s about saying something at one time and sticking to that, not changing your views or actions according to the situation.
    I connect this idea with the concept of subpersonalities/subidentities, which are examined at length in psychosynthesis.

    a watchful aries;)

    1. In a way I indeed think it has to do with wholeness as a person. And in a way it is also about sticking with something and not changing views or actions according to the situation. At least not just because others do.

      But as I see it, on the other hand it is about adjusting to certain situations at times. Accept something, even if you don’t agree with it.

      I think the reason, the intention, for sticking with something or not, is what really matters. About the courage to be honest with yourself. And then make a decision that you think is the best at that time.

      Thanks for bringing up psychosynthesis. I read a book from Roberto Assagioli years ago, but looked on Wikipedia now to see what again his views were. Certainly going to read some more.

  3. Even though it has some flaws imho, “Unfolding Self – The practice of psychosynthesis” by Molly Young Brown is a great read without the many archaic views of Assagioli (even has 2 references to Bohm : ))

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