Most people would rather adopt false ideas than stand alone. They prefer the warm-and-fuzzy feeling of consensus to the “stone cold” truth. Instead of asking “Is it true or not?“, they ask “Will others be OK with me believing this is true?” If you forgot that you can create your life, it’s easier to survive belonging to a tribe, a company, a family. So you take on the beliefs of the tribe, without examination, as in “If everyone believes it, it must be good. It must be true”.
Knowing this aspect of human nature, it becomes easy to control mass consciousness. You don’t have to control industry, government or military, but only the media. If most media sources say the same thing, most people say the same thing and then everyone will have a warm and fuzzy feeling, even if the beliefs are wrong and harmful. People who seek collectivism, get warm feelings when they hear the phrase “we’re in this together” but not when they hear the word “authenticity” (unless authenticity becomes a concept supported by the majority). Individualistic people are attracted to the word.
We find so much fake-ness because people are not yet strong enough to handle the truth. Standing alone and unique can appear difficult. If you are real, you stand out. People might think you’re weird or hard to relate to. They can’t peg you. But ultimately, being authentic is very, very empowering. And I don’t use “empowering” as some corporate or new-age buzz-word. It gives you real power in the world because the inertia, fear and weakness of mass-consciousness no longer applies to you.
My own long-time practice of authenticity has made me amusingly alien to normal society. I recently went to open a new bank account (because my authentic-self is currently boycotting a number of companies for various reasons) . The banker says: “I’m having trouble finding your credit line. Hold on, I need to get the manager”. I had no idea what a “credit line” is. The manager looked just as puzzled because he couldn’t find me in the system. “I can’t issue you a card if you don’t have a credit line. You’ll need a credit line”. They called yet another manager in. “Have you ever had a credit card, Sir?”- “No”. This confused them the most. “But surely you’ve travelled or rented a car or something. You’re gonna want a credit card, in case you want to buy something and pay later”. I remember landing at the airport a few weeks earlier and taking a taxi straight from there to a car-dealership. I put down cash for the car. Credit was never an option. The car-seller was just as perplexed as the bankers. I said to the bankers: “I never buy something and pay later. If I can’t afford something now, I don’t buy it”. They laughed, as if the concept was strange. After some confusion and and lots of walking to and fro for 15 minutes, they finally said they could accommodate me. But as I sat there and watched them handle the situation, I no longer wanted to be part of whatever they were part of. I didn’t want an account with them.
In such moments, authenticity could seem hard. They spent 30 minutes putting all this effort into me. Surely I’d have to reciprocate by playing nice? As awkward as it was I said: “I no longer want to open an account here. I’m sorry”. I could have explained that I didn’t want to be with people who thought debt-slavery was a basis for opening an account, but I let it be. Being authentic does not entail being insulting. I opened an account elsewhere and also stocked up on cryptocurrency.
I share that scene, because I know you face situations every week where you could be authentic or shy away. I know that it can be difficult to say “no” to people who treat you really well and to say “yes” to people who might reject you. But if it’s really you, it’s all very much worth it.
When you give up your true and perhaps quirky, silly, “dangerous”, weird, crazy, powerful or amazing identity for a social group, it’s because deep down you believe you cannot survive on your own. You feel dependent, so you take on others political views, religious views, non-religious views, economic views or whatever. There is a sense that if you challenge the prevailing paradigm, you might lose friends, family or business partners or even your job. Your consciousness is not developed to a point where you think critically or one step further, create prosperity independently. How to know what’s really you:
If you were on your own, which beliefs would you no longer hold?
If you were on your own, which activities would you no longer do?
If you were on your own, which foods would you no longer eat?
I’m not saying that authenticity means to be on your own. I’m asking whether you can be with a group, without losing your unique radiance. To choose only people around which you can be yourself.
Sometimes inauthentic things sneak in. That’s why it’s good to take a vacation from your normal social circle now and then. I ate Avocado regularly at home. I went on a Business trip that lasted a month. I didn’t eat any Avocado in that time! That means Avocado did not belong to my authentic self. It’s something I adopted from those around me back home. So upon my return, I quit having Avocado. These are not serious problems, but when they accumulate they become burdensome. You regain your joy once you break the trance and re-discover who you really are.
Non-authenticity means spending time with people you don’t like, doing things you don’t like. It’s a counterfeit life. As you deprive yourself of real experience, health and abundance decline. We are made to believe that it’s the other way around. “Fred, if you publish that book, our Business relationship is done. Over. Think of all the money you will lose!”. If anyone talks to me that way, they can be sure I will publish. The illusion is that authenticity will take success away, but seen over a longer period of time, the opposite is true. Every act of realness increases your energy-level, which leads to more and more success.
Authenticity isn’t owned, it’s a daily practice of honesty and letting yourself be seen, without compromise. Real-self is sometimes in alignment with the herd, sometimes not. People have expectations of who you are supposed to be. You can sense these expectations. Sometimes the expectations are correct, sometimes not. Just because you were a certain way yesterday, doesn’t mean you have to be that way today. Fixed identities are not authentic. They are fixations that we put on to comfort others (or ourselves).
When you are in low consciousness, you play one stereotypical character that keeps repeating. In high consciousness, you play different roles but don’t need to fully identify with any.
Mind wants to define people, places and things. But the Infinite Self defies definition.
People define others because it makes them feel safer. But labels don’t apply to a real person. A real person is not this or that. A real person is changing, flowing, adapting, rejecting, sliding, flying, floating, turning ever in motion and transformation. If someone defines themselves as a political label, for example, they are stuck with seeing everything from that particular lens. And it will kill the soul with repetitive boredom. Real people are surprising people. You don’t know what’s coming next.
Authentic working is working not for approval or applause, but for what you feel deep down is the good, true and beautiful thing to do. It may or may not get applause. Each time you choose truth over external approval, you grow stronger. And over time, it becomes easier. Relying only on the wisdom of the crowd and mainstream, can make one lazy. You stop questioning things because “someone else must have figured it out”. Well, maybe someone else has figured it out, but that’s no reason to stop thinking for yourself.
If you have chosen to be more authentic, then be willing to sometimes be embarrassed, to have “cringe” moments, to be wrong, to be shamed or mocked. Such humbling experiences are there for you to stay in your authenticity. Be willing to rely on your intuition and discernment even if nobody else sees what you are seeing. So many times have I seen people be exactly right about something, but not dare say it, out of fear of being mocked.
“Again and again in History, some people wake up. They have no ground in the crowd and move to broader, deeper laws. They carry strange customs with them and demand room for bold and audacious action. The future speaks ruthlessly through them. They change the world” – Rainer Maria Rilke, 1875
Also See my 10-part Video Course “Being Authentic“.