When I teach people about the spiritual principles that make up their invisible garment pattern, I speak long and often about authenticity. So when I write, I want my readers to know who I am, where I am, why I feel moved to say what I have to say. I strive to be authentic.
My heart hurts today. This world is not the world I intended to hand to my children.
Right now, I’m sitting in my favorite chair, still in my jammies, alternating between reading the Sunday NY Times, listening to the talking heads on TV, writing on my computer, drinking the one cup of coffee I allow myself each day, and wondering what the hell happened to this country. In fact, I sit here asking many questions about this new truth-optional reality:
Is cultural this deconstruct/reconstruct inevitable and useful?
Is there a center of gravity in our culture?
What, if anything, is our social contract?
Is there no longer respect for truth, for Constitutional rights, for social order, for personal respect?
Does our “doingness” mean anything, or are we the witless victims of a cultural addiction to doing?
Does politics exist only to maintain itself?
Is quality of character still a thing?
Suddenly déjà-vu stings me. Have I been here before? Have I asked these same questions before? Are these days any more confusing and emotionally suffocating than the days of Kent State, the Charles Manson murders, the TV images of dogs and water hoses being let loose on black people as they march or sit-in for their rights, set against the background music soundtrack offered by The Beach Boys and Elvis?
Are we experiencing the psychological effects of colluding with a culture that systematically degrades, undermines, beats down, and rapes those who are not in power? Do we not remember the chaos, the shifting ground of our lives, the universal questioning of The Man, the rebellion against The System, the protests of Viet Nam, the beginning of the Women’s Movement, the unveiling of lies of the ‘60’s? We thought we had begun a profound transformation of culture. Instead, we apparently greased a slippery slope.
I hear an inner voice that says, “You’re in culture-wide therapy.” Well, maybe. But, so far we have failed to do what therapy demands for it to work: We’ve failed to go to the root of the problem. Instead, as many therapy clients often do, we cling to denial. Starting with our treatment of Native Americans when Europeans began immigrating to North America, to failing to give the vote to women in the constitution, to not to owning the inhumane practice of slavery. . .on and on it goes, we’ve denied our many many embedded lies.
We must examine the paradox between the high ambitions of creating a culture that is “equal for all,” and the ugly social underbelly of selfishness, greed, racism, genderism, sexism, and most importantly self-serving entitlement. No denial allowed.
We have actually co-created this fact-free reality, and now we’re paralyzed by it. How are we to live and thrive in it?
I see one ray of hope: Authenticity.
It is possible that all the lies that we’re hearing, all the lies we’re “normalizing”, all the lies we’re retweeting and FB posting actually hearken the beginning of a healthy evolutionary process. Are we finally telling ourselves the truth: that many of our belief systems are actually rooted in the infertile soil of Big Ole Lies? Are we undenying them?
How does authenticity enter into this picture? Can I “change the world” by being truthful with myself, with my friends, with my children? Can I crack the self-promoting, self-referential, self-propagating political system by shouting with my beingness, “I won’t collude?” Can I change the rampant and disgusting sexual harassment epidemic by waving my fist while I say, “Me too!” Can I come to terms with disorder by being fully in it, fully authentically in it? Society says no. I say yes.
I’m writing this today to say this: let’s be authentic. Integrity can only project itself onto the screen of perceptual reality if integrity EXISTS within us. WE can’t expect the out-there world to be healthier than we are in-here.
My primary principle is Humility. So was Joan of Arc’s. Haha. While I don’t plan to don my warrior garb and fight a man-style saber-rattling battle as she did, I can certainly take some notes from her. She listened to her “voices.” She didn’t let the culture tell her who she was or how she should behave. She allowed Humility to be her leading inspiration. I can do that. In fact, that’s about the only thing I can do.
What is your primary principle? Have you learned to BE the spiritual DNA that you’ve carried since first breath? How would that look? How would authentic BEingness change you? And how would your authenticity change the world?
Together we stand on the precipice of profound liberation from the out-picturing of our lies. We take the leap together off that cliff by embracing in-here and delivering out-there what it looks like to BE – to authentically BE.
Let’s do it! Take my hand. . .