Friday, April 1, 2011

Thoughts on Authenticity - Part One of Three

The philosophy of authenticity is very curious to me.  While I grasp completely the concept of a conscious self and being present to the real reality in which the world exists I find myself with a disconnection between the way I perceive what this is, what it’s not, what I see, and how I am able to characterize it to others.   I know there is something there, a distinction waiting to be had, I just don’t know what it is…. So I’m writing an exploration on it.  A discovery process for myself.  We do too little for ourselves.  I want to understand my current impression, see other's impressions, and then devise the difference in hopes to find the missing link. 

Part One will be my preliminary thoughts. 
Part Two will be my research findings. 
Part Three will hopefully be the collaboration of the two into something new.... We will see.  Wish me luck!
(and incase anyone ever reads this, my intention is just to write.. not to look good or cater to anyone else, be grammatically or intillectually correct or even stimulating to a reader.  It may seem raw, and that is perfectly fine for me... it's actually exactly what I want to give myself)

If you’ve ever snorkeled a lagoon where fresh water meets sea water, this might hold some visual insight for you.  On the fresh water side, the water is clear and fairly still (comfortable to move about in - easy to be complacent)… there is a whole world of aquatic life and vast echo systems.  Everything appears exactly as it should, things live and die, life happens.  Then, you come to "the haze"... at first it looks like oil mixed in the water.... it's cloudy, thick, and really there is no way to exactly know where you are or where you're going.  Then as you break through the haze into the ocean and even clearer crystal waters...  they seem forceful, choppy and uncertain... once you grab the flow and steady yourself you find it's far more vast, seeming larger than life, and there is so much more to engage, understand and interact with.... everything grows freely and without restriction opposite of the fresh water side.  Things still live, die, and interact.... every movement is just seen clearly, as all being a part of one thing.

I see this transformation of view like that.... the fresh water is where we all live, human and in captivity.  The haze, the unknown, the uncertainty, the fear, the belief that we know where we are, where we fit in, how we relate to the world.... keeps us trapped.  But if by some chance (an awakening) we manage to break through.... life as we know it still has the same walk and talk, but you are now a very small fish in a very large pond.  You exist in the real world, the very large, vast, diverse, and some times rough watered real world.  No longer in the little pond that is simply your mind, your prison, your unconscious self.  In the real world, there is tremendous opportunity... vast opportunity and none of the "rules", the BS rules, we contained ourselves previously in need apply.  

Authenticity comes into play because life in captivity is completely inauthentic.  Trapped in our own heads, nothing is real, because reality is out here with the rest of us... No action we take from an inauthentic place makes us long term happy or full filled because we're trying to make ourselves whole by using band aides.  And if one took a closer look, they'd see even the bandage is futile because there is indeed no injury.  We act as if we're broken and need to be healed, when the truth of the matter is none of us are broken... we're just human.  And you would think knowing we're human we would see ourselves as that, but we don't.  We see ourselves as individual creations completely unlike any other individual creation and thus all our problems, woes, concerns, thoughts... are ours and ours alone and no one else could possibly understand what weight bares down upon us.  We make that mean something, being an individual... where it should be that being an individual means you have a unique duty and opportunity to contribute to this world in a way none has before you... we humans see it as, you people are there.... and I am here... and I am the way I am... and I feel the way I feel... and I have no control over what other individual creations do to me.

Well, you don't feel the way you feel.  That's a lie you tell yourself.  It's inauthentic.  You feel, yes.... but it's a sensation.  A chemical release based on a primal thermometer.  And when that sensation occurs, you make up on the spot it's reason.. "someone did something".  Whatever your next action is, it is inauthentic... because you are not owning your role in the interaction.  You are not getting that it was your body that released the chemical, your self that made what happened mean something significant enough to cause a release and thus remain as impact you feel.  We think that a flash of heat means we're embarrassed, or angry, or offended..... first, it means none of that.... second, if we wouldn't preprogram our mechanics with This = That Statements, you wouldn't feel the flash to begin with.  Why would you get angry over completely new data unless you were trying to relate it to something in the past?  Something unrelated that has occurred and since passed.

There are two very good quotes I'd like to share with you.  The first is, "We judge others on their Actions.  We judge ourselves on our Intentions."  <- This comes from a great friend, and I don't know it's original source.  But it's tremendously true.  When an action by other occurs we immediately relate it to something we've previously experienced.... like a kid with flash cards we're promptly scanning our past cards looking for a match, and then we act out as if we know that "this = that".  When in reality, this is new... and if we authentically looked at it, from a clean and pure slate... the flash of heat, impulse would either not occur at all, or would quickly wash over us (without impact) and we would be free to logically interpret what interaction has occurred.  And act from an authentic place, where we can create solution, resolution, oppritunity, and understanding. 

The second quote is also a good one.  An oldie but goodie as some would say.  It's the old "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me".  I've spent some time thinking about this quote.  There are several ways to look at it, but I encourage you to be open to this one...  We make our pain.  We create it.  People say there is emotional pain, but that pain.. is a sensation.  The tightness in the chest (broken heart), the tearing eyes (exposure), the heat flash (anger).... these are just a few meanings *I* associate to these sensations, you may have your own, however... the only reason the sensation occurs which does result in true impact like tears and chest pain is because you've associated it to something you've already experienced.  We create this pain.  It is not real.. No Word bruises the heart or angers the soul... words are not stones being casted... even if the Intention is to hurt you with it's use... it is still merely a word.  YOU make it more, you make it what it is... and that unburries years of pain you then try to associate it with.. hints those times you loose your shit... calm down and even often say, I don't know what's wrong with me or I don't know why I got so upset or you apologize for getting so upset.  Cause it was inauthentic... and when the emotional vintage rollercoaster ends, you know it... You know that wasn't the real you (THE AUTHENTIC YOU).. you just don't know what it was.  Congrats, you do now. 

We operate from a bubble.  Like people are constantly trying to pop or get into your bubble.. when in reality we're all in bubbles just gently bumping one another as we pass by.  Things happen, occassionally the bump is stronger.... but no one wants into your bubble... trust me, their own bubble is consuming enough.

I'm not sure what I got from this first part.  I will have to assume for now, that I got what I got and that was exactly as it should be.  I found it was easier to identify what we do as inauthentic than it was to do what was authentic... I'm new to authentic living... I do know, it's what you get when you let the curtain fall.... when you are the rider of the horse, not the horse itself.  If I had to cut it up to one statement on what I see Authenticity to be... it would be this:

Authenticity is when a person's intent to act is not reflective of past experience, and results in actions that are honest towards others and has integrity to one's self.

(1545 words 8687 characters)

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