Living An Inauthentic Life
What are the signs and consequences of living an inauthentic life?
“The plastic smiles were so deeply ingrained it would probably take an elite demolition team to remove them.” Mike Hockney, the Millionaires Death Club.
Authenticity, a word loosely defined as being true to one’s own personality, spirit or character. In the words of William Shakespeare, to thine own self be true. But how many of us in the Western world can say we live up to these standards?
And as Carl Jung says, I have the privilege of a lifetime by becoming who we are. It is far more common to see people seeking conformity in a world where anything other than normal is scrutinised. Are we ever shown how to realise our own uniqueness? Or are we told time and time again, that we are all the same.
Soren Kierkegaard in his book The sickness unto death said, “what we call worldliness simply consists of such people who, if one may so express it, pour themselves to the world, they use their abilities to amass wealth, carry out worldly enterprises, make prudent calculations, etc. And perhaps are mentioned in history. But they’re not themselves. in a spiritual sense, they have no self”.
Kierkegaard considered the primary way of suppressing one’s real self by radically identifying oneself with society, who recognise the spiritual bankruptcy that occurs by living the inauthentic life. This is common for most people, the true self is denied in favour of the full self.
Wilhelm Reich labelled this the character armour, the barrier we put around ourselves to protect us from the ridicule of unique expression, but could also call this the ego. A poorly developed ego will be vulnerable to attack from the crowd. Whereas an authentic man naturally with a well developed ego is invulnerable to the opinion of others. The issue with this armour is that while it removes the perceived threat, it also numbs us down to the magic of life. by what means other than armoury? Do we hide our true selves. We hide behind life’s seeming pleasures – excessive alcohol, drugs, work, pseudo spirituality, television, anything to give us that dopamine hit.
These vices grip us like clamps to groupthink – anything to avoid reality as it is. Why is there such a huge pseudo spiritual movement with shallow beings talking peace and love? To what degree are these people hiding behind a fake movement created by fake gurus to induce a fake persona for you to hide? This is no better than the man who bows down to servitude by dark suited bureaucrats.
It is no more authentic than the banker on Wall Street lying to everybody, including himself. The world is full of people claiming to be anarchists and freedom lovers without having any idea what those words mean. People proclaiming to be able to fix everyone else’s life before they have looked in the mirror and considered the huge incongruencies within themselves. These types have no right to fix anybody else – it is the blind leading the blind. And this leads to an important question – do we need to consider society as insane?
In the words of Kurt Vonnegut a sane person to an insane society must appear insane. This obedience then to an obviously pathological society is to be welcomed. Obedience is the problem. Rejecting society therefore, must be a sign of sanity.
As quoted by Krishnamurti – ‘it is no foundation of health to be well adjusted to a sick society.’
So what is an authentic man? ‘To be nobody but yourself. In a world which is doing its best night and day to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting’ – H.E Cummings
In a society with inauthentic conformity, the authentic man would be seen as the outsider, the one crucified by the crowd, yet he is the one taking the Siddhartha road to path less travelled. He looks outside because he knows himself and bring self into the world. To the lost masses, he looks like a maverick. But he will inevitably hold himself to his own high standards, not the standards of society.
He’s not looking for the world to give him meaning. He’s giving meaning to the world. He’s energised with the refreshed and organic mind ever seeking to become whole and pure in consciousness. If that was something that I hope people get from this video, is that man has to save himself.
As soon as he has been heavily influenced spiritually, psychologically, mentally, emotionally, by anything outside of his own conscious will, then there is cause for concern. Nothing is coming to save you, other than that which resides within.
And the question to ask yourself in closing, have you been sold a lie? And more importantly, have you bought the lie?
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