On Authenticity

Art Matrix authenticity is rooted in achieving harmony, balance, and equanimity.

When thoughts, actions and interactions reflect a consistent philosophy of life and mind you are authentic, with integrity. This in turn secures and balances mental health and supports the recovery and/or maintenance of holistic wellbeing.

Being authentic is the essence and expression of an intrinsic, rational yet intuitive wisdom empowering being-in-the-world, with integrity.

Acting on motives that spring from the periphery of self, writes Rousseau, while ignoring or denying essential aspects of one’s self, simply amounts to self-betrayal and annihilation of the self.

Morality that guides from within an authentic self-identity is the most sincere, spontaneous, healthy, and soulful. True authenticity is about being consciously involved in making and following moral laws with others.

Who’s narrating your identity?

As Menke writes, it is not just about being involved in the authorship of such a code of ethics. It involves recognizing how this moral code fits with the wholeness of a person’s life. Further, we need to reflect on how or whether it is a integral part of the individual’s self-identity.

Do you identify yourself as sharing the authorship of these ethics and is the narration of your life inclusive of them?. If not, then the idea of autonomy is in direct conflict to an ethic system that is solely concerned with strict adherence to social norms. The human condition is constructed either way — your choice,

In existential philosophy, being authentic is emotionally appropriate, confident, purposive, empathetic, moral, responsible, wise and mindful.

Authenticity intertwined with mental health

In order to be mentally healthy (which in turn supports holistic health), being confident is essential. The absolute must here is to have a voice and be confident enough to use is.

It is about being confident enough with who you are to embrace being-in-the-world with a radical empathy. This involves kind-compassion towards not only others but also, yourself.

This is an artful empowerment of the matrix (self + world + universe).

Authenticity vs. inauthenticity

The difference between authenticity and inauthenticity is based on a shift of emphasis. Authentic understanding is based on Selfhood. Inauthenticity is characterized by an understanding of yourself from a place ‘in‘ your world. The ‘in‘ prefix of inauthentic is exactly that: authentic–‘in’ time and space, outside your ‘self’.

Authentic relationships with the world

The authentic self is a person’s essential being which distinguishes them from, yet holds self in relationship to, others. Kierkegaard writes that becoming what one is and evading despair and hollowness involves an ‘authentic’ commitment to a relation to something outside oneself that bestows one’s life with meaning.

Yet, rather than being an object among others, an authentic relationship in the world implies the idea of owning up to and owning what one is and does.

Authenticity according to …

… Heidegger

With an authentic identity, we exist in relation to others, with care and concern. An understanding of ‘being,’ in general, is therefore built into human agency according to Heidegger.

… Sartre

Authenticity requires not acting in ‘bad faith’. Simply, this is thinking you are an X but in the world you act as a Y. You are thus denying yourself the opportunity for transcendence or the freedom and ability to transform your existence through changed ways of behaving, Authenticity would then be what Sartre calls a ‘self-recovery’ of your ‘being’ which was previously corrupted.

… de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir builds on Sartre’s conception of authenticity as the willing of one’s own freedom as necessitating the freedom for all humans. Within this, lies de Beauvoir’s recognition of the ambiguity of the human condition.

The ethics of being authentic therefore involves an empathy for the freedom of others which inherently limits our own freedom. Yet, she calls for a future in which an unrestricted range of possibilities is open to all.

Falling away from authentic being

The essential wholeness and unity of our primordial essence needs to stay constant with a steadiness and steadfastness. ‘Falling’ is the slipping away from our authentic identity in the myriad of everyday interactions.

Fall to far and you lose your condition for being responsible for one’s own existence. Also, you fall deeper into the zone of being objectified and living without inherent significance. We fall into mental health issues and chaotic relationships when we lose a sense of authorship and significance in existence.

What we need to do is to minify the discrepancy between the two ways of being-in-the-world.

Existentialism and authentic being-in-the-world

The philosophy of being authentic revolves around having a purposeful existence Sartre and de Beauvoir are two authors of philosophical thinking around existentialism.

Sartre writes that being a human being is not just an ‘in itself’ but a being oriented forward in a move of transcendence. As transcendence, I am always more than I am as facticity because as surpassing the brute of my being, I stand before an open range of possibilities for self-definition in the future.

This is a path of personal, soulful, empathetic, and cultural realization towards truth and reconciliation. We put into place the 15 essential elements of or steps on this journey into holistic wellbeing.

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