Does “authentic” mean anything?
Is the word authenticity overused to the point of hollowness?
Some certainly think so, and I sometimes feel a pain when I see a man trying so hard to “be authentic.”
Authenticity can become just another way we shame ourselves, beat ourselves up, and compare ourselves to each other (and we always seem to come up lacking in our mental equations.)
The trouble is, authenticity is not some static thing, not a binary one or zero that we can turn off or on. It’s not something that we have or don’t have.
Authenticity, however, can be a useful concept, if we hold it as such (and hold it lightly.)
You cannot be other than authentic
From one view, everything you are right now; no matter how much posture, delusion, hiding and managing others; is completely authentic and a product of all of your life experiences, the physical body you find yourself in, and the conditions you are living under.
You are the authentic reflection of a lifetime of systems conditions, and adding shame into that mix in effort to be more authentic (while also perfect from one view) isn’t gonna help you get more authentic.
Hello, gentle ego inside large human body, I said “you are perfect.”
That’s right, the director of The Authentic Man Program just said you are perfect just the way you are.
Not the best way to sell workshops, but truth is truth; and this is half of it.
The Other half
“The world is perfect as it is,
including my desire to change it” ~Ram Dass
Ok, now that we have connected with the eternal perfection of your infinite
authenticity, what do we want to do?
Just because you are perfect, doesn’t mean you can’t make adjustments.
Is there something you are wanting more of, but can’t seem to make it happen.
Would you like more intimacy in your life?
Would you like to feel more at ease when approaching and talking to women you just met?
Would you like to feel more depth in your connection to you wife, your buddies…your life?
“Mystic shit aside. Seriously bro,
I have not had sex in 3 years!” ~maybe you
(Now we’re selling workshops! 😉
These are all possible for you AND these are also part of your perfection.
These desires…the outcomes that will happen if you “get this stuff handled.”
Will you be more authentic as a result of these endeavors?
You are more authentic in revealing that you want them.
You are more authentic crashing and burning attempting to get them.
And you are more authentic when, upon getting what you wanted, start noticing new desires take their place.
At best, authenticity is an asymptote, a vector that we can move towards, gradually approaching infinity. (you can look that smart math shit up on wikipedia)
Authenticity ≈ Integrity
Authenticity is largely an assessment from the outside on our internal integrity, are our words in alignment with our deeds?
People like Integrity.
Because it’s easier to trust, son!
I’m a man, and for at least 100 thousand years, men like me have needed men like you to watch our fucking backs as we chased after large animals with small sticks. (or sometimes other men with
small sticks…increasingly, bigger sticks)
I need to know if I can trust you, and just because this need was born on the Serengeti, doesn’t mean it’s not showing up in the boardroom…or the bedroom.
Speaking of bedrooms (assuming hetero here, but the theme transcends) she needs to trust you too!
Historically a woman needed to know, often from a good distance, whether or not a man was trustable.
Her life depended on it.
Best case: She needs to know if you are gonna stick around when she is laid up with your baby and, I don’t know, throw her a bone every once and a while.
Are you also gonna stick around long enough to get the kid out of mammoth-skinned diapers and teach him to fish or something.
Worse Case: Are you gonna have your way with her, no matter how she protests, and leave her with a boy named Snow all by herself while you swill mead in the next village?
Worst Case: You might have been a special kind of barbarian that just kills people you come across on the Silk Road, and she is next. (B might also apply here)
In any case, she needs to be vigilant and your integrity is fucking important to her.
That kind of thing gets deep in our DNA and I’m not gonna claim women have some kind of special super powers for detecting integrity, but they sure as shit seem really good at it.
That is your legacy, warlord.
Thank god, times have changed (for the most part) but the biological tracks have been laid.
Integrity is important for relationships
So, perfect human.
You are plenty authentic, and you can be more authentic.
You have a lot of integrity, and you can have more integrity.
You know thyself, and you can always know thyself better.
If you want more of any of these, I am here to support you.
AMP Executive Director