‘Authentic Life’ (n) : …

Those interesting ideas that make you stop for a second and realise that life seems a little off-kilter; those ideas that make you think that possibly there is much work to be done and that the deeper needs of our civilisation are not being met by our current reality.

I was introduced to, or reminded of, some of these ideas tonight – ‘a global lack of leadership’, ‘technology-based social upheaval’, ‘ a dearth of debate and real conversations about real things’.

These were some of the attributed reasons for the momentum-gaining ‘search for an authentic life’. Surrounded by half truths, superficiality and puffery – the ‘real’ is apparently being dug for (or a shovel had at least been sourced and stands in wait near the X spot)

What is an authentic life? Why are there more people searching for one… or trying to construct one?

authentic (adj) : of undisputed origin and not a copy; genuine; based on facts or truth; relating to or denoting an emotionally appropriate, significant, purposive, and responsible mode of human life.

I suspect that the latter is the most appropriate definition for this situation…

An authentic life = an emotionally appropriate, purposive, significant, responsible mode of living …

?

Who determines emotional appropriateness? What is ‘significant’? Responsible by whose definition?

Who’s the judge?

A nugget of Shakespearean wisdom indicates that possibly the wigged-one is my self :

Polonius to Laertes –

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!*

I have never noticed how Shakespeare distinguishes between the person and the self – the person is true to the self; the two are distinct.

My self is the judge; the arbitrator of the authenticity of my life’s action. My person is the vehicle as a result of which actions are accomplished.

In judging – my ‘self’ will judge using a criteria of values – was the action consistent wth my values? My life’s actions will be judged according to ‘truth’ as my self feels it.

So …

Authentic life = where  values and actions align. 

 

 

* Hamlet : Act 1, Sc 3.

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