There is a great deal of misunderstanding about being ‘real’ and ‘authentic’ to oneself these days.
What do we perceive as being ‘true’? We have been coerced by numerous global social trends that lull us into following these trends with the aim of belonging and being ‘true’. But the meaning of ‘being’ is necessary to ponder over – to contemplate, to examine, to think over and to be concerned with.
Today’s social and global influencers tell us otherwise, that ‘being’ is meant to be a kind of exercise of ‘will’ or an attempt to achieve something – such as a state of reputation, a state of recognition or a state of attentiveness – and this has unfortunately been widely accepted as the purpose of ‘being’: to be included and accepted within the respective circles. But all these pretended social forms actually have little to with ‘being’. Even so, we continue to be convinced that todays ‘being’ is simply an exercise of will, of effort, as well as a sense of achievement.
But true ‘being’ is the opposite -- it means to be free from all quantitative and qualitative measurement: from comparison, from becoming and from striving. Perhaps it is, at our deepest comprehension, a sense of ‘not becoming’ at all, a putting away of all self-centred activities. So ‘being’ is not to separate something from our day-to-day routines, but to confront, to accept and to trust as things are. Anything else would be to escape, a notion that today is widely cultivated and accepted.
But real ‘being’ consists of being concerned with one’s behaviour, one’s relationships, allowing for a broader mind-set about life, other people and the global society, cultivating acceptance and tolerance. In fact, what we have created today is a definition of ‘being’ which is manipulative, unethical, immoral and very corrupt. Most feel proud to take short-cuts, to over-achieve and announce to the rest of the world just how great they are; they are eager to be driven by ego.
‘Being’, to the contrary, is a state of understanding of oneself and one’s relationships in a much broader circumstance which does not abide by a self-centredness, an escaping of acceptance and boredom and superficiality, to enquire about oneself, with no illusions or motivations other than to accept and to trust oneself; in other words, without self-deception, without imaginative theories, and without seeking escape routes. It is simply about the nature of our inward thinking: why we do the things we do things. It is about purpose, meaning and that which makes sense, a deepness which reaches far beyond the day-to-day irrelevance of over-achieving.
Everything begins with doubt, a fundamental part of the ‘real’ and ‘authentic’, to question, to probe, and to experience are necessary for following any given system or ideology that has been taught over the centuries. This is all shared by ‘thought’, not consciousness nor experience. This is very complex, and because most of us choose to escape and have chosen to follow rather to confront ourselves, this now means we are dependent. And being dependent leads to loneliness. In other words, we are no longer willing to acknowledge the conditioning to which we have been susceptible and are all programmed with. The only way we can escape from it is to relinquish the need to ‘seek’ and to rather just accept as things are. Because our mind is driven and programmed by rationality which requires a system, a form, a method or a process, this increases the level of tangibility and hence undermines empathy and intuition. We are fearful and anxious about being confronted with our deepest inner-self and lack of trust in ourselves.
That is why we would rather follow, blind to the situation that we are being conditioned into a certain pattern. Cultivating ‘being’ is not something we should practice, but something rather to explore and discover and allow to seep into every part of our lives, because ‘life is being’. This means we must be encouraged: to question, to doubt and to inquire, although in most relationships, cultures, traditions, and societies, as well as companies and organisations, questioning is prohibited, because leaders cannot fathom not having bland, uniform, devoted followers.
That is why it is widely accepted worldwide that those who assume tremendous responsibilities are paid overwhelmingly, rather than those who follow. The fact is that we accept authority; we are quite comfortable with not being accountable, so we leave authority in the hands of a few who manage to enjoy manipulating the rest of us. We have finally realised this, so authorial leaders use any methods to protect their influence, authority and power, and to continue protecting their status quo. And ‘escapism’ is widely promoted by a majority in society, so much so that this has become the 21st century’s new heroism. This is why we have accepted ego-centric and ego-driven leaders and CEOs, as well as movie-stars, star athletes and other well-known personalities, because they assist us all the way along in our escapism, rendering us mindless followers; we, in fact, feel proud to adore and idolise them.
‘Belief’ implies a sense of security – but what sort of security? Believing in ideologies and not in our inner-security has created a duality that leads to social division and increasing conflicts. The question is, can we live without conflict? And if so, why have we accepted it so far? Why can we not just seek to just be? Or is it just another trendy slogan we have accepted, that it is ‘human nature’ to be dependent? As long as we escape from the nature of questioning why we live the way we do, we will carry on accepting that we are simply ‘being’ the way we are, without exploring why we keep dominating others, why we keep controlling others, why we keep conditioning others, why we keep seeking more and more. In the answers to these questions we might find the truth of why we are embroiled in constant global turmoil.
The lack of self-examination brings ignorance of self-awareness and avoidance of self-knowledge. We prefer to be instructed by others on what we need to do to avoid any confrontation with our inner-self. Instead, we could try to require the constant discovery of our consciousness and avoidance of mechanical processes as we dig further and deeper into our inner-self to find the content of who we are – our fate, our beliefs, our outcomes, our understanding, our acceptance and our consideration, but also our fears, our anxieties, our pleasure and our illusions – that build our consciousness.
Hence, we are physiological; we are constantly seeking to achieve more, wanting to get further and higher, and because we suffer, we are in turmoil, we are uncertain, we are anxious, we are lonely, we are depressed. We lose our individuality because, as we may think we are, we all have the same understanding. Because we are not willing to forfeit who we are, we continue to protect our origins and identify with ourselves: our status quo, our position and our title, our image and our reputation. We experience severe conflicts such as we are currently experiencing all the world over.
The result of this is that everybody wants to do what each wants to do, and if we feel we may fail to prevail, then we increase the pace, the complexity, the expectations towards others, all in an effort to protect what we have; we call this enjoying a ‘free happy life’ or simply ‘being’, but which actual stirs social unrest and social inequality. Unequal status quo and its unbalanced social conditions are one of the primary factors of global unrest – heavily ignored, of course, by those who are dominating – because people spend their time protecting what they have, not reaching out to others. We call this modern, glorified tribalism.
At the end of the day, we realise that ‘thought’ challenges our true ‘being’ and has fragmented global society and shattered the world’s peacefulness.