Leaning how to be your authentic self is the One essential life skill for living a life of prosperity, purpose, and passion. But what does it mean to be your authentic self and why is it important to live from this dynamic?
These are some questions that the Greek philosopher Socrates referred to as “The examined life.”
At the entrance of the Temple of Delphi there is the invitation to living as the authentic self where its famous inscription reads, “KNOW THYSELF.”
This is the essential invitation to KNOWING your authentic self. This KNOWING is not intellectual but experiential.
Yoga and the Authentic Self
Inverted Prayer – Pierre Richie – Artpal.com
The reason I am interested in these questions is that the journey of Yoga is the journey of living life as and from the authentic Self (with a capital ‘S.’)
The Indian Sage Patanjali who is recognized as the father of Yoga states it this way.
The journey of Yoga is the journey from the self to the Self through the self—Patanjali.
There is a lot of use of the word ‘self’ here but what Patanjali is saying is that the journey of Yoga is the union with the authentic you through letting go of your identification with the personality or ego.
What is the Authentic Self?
Nameless 1520 by Norris Yim – Hong Kong – Saatchi Art
The meaning of authentic self-expression is expression that moves from beyond the separate sense of the personal self. This is an expression moving as Love in action. It is energy flowing from beyond self-image and from beyond ego identification.
You can learn to return to living as the authentic you, but you won’t be doing it with your personal mind.
It is more that you will become a happening. You allow the Universe to express through you and as you. In reality, there is no real separation between you and the Universal Intelligence that creates all things out of NO-THING.
The Master Jesus refers to this sense of the authentic self when he gives what appears to be a strange instruction.
Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 18:3 KJV
This is not an instruction to regress to being an infant. It is an instruction to become a free-flowing expression of delight – “off the light” that small children radiate. This is authentic self-expression.
How to Be Your Authentic Self
Inner Self – Vartan Gasarian – ArtFinder.com
I think the quest to be your authentic self is supported by recognizing how you first shut down your authentic self-expression.
I know this understanding helped me immensely.
This understanding of how the authentic self gets shut down should be essential information in learning what it means to be a human being on this planet. However, most of us never get this information and so we lose a key to finding the way out of suffering.
To learn how to be your authentic Self I invite you to listen to why you had to abandon the authentic you in the first place. This happens to every one of us to some degree. Many of us then live what we call The Orphan Archetype.
This was the case in my own life.
I discovered this dynamic in myself many years ago. I hated the idea of being an Orphan Archetype. Now at 70 years of age, I recognize this dynamic as the way back to innocence that is the authentic Self.
You abandon your authentic self for an image of yourself that allows you to survive what you felt would overwhelm you. While such a strategy works in the short term, it is no recipe for living a life filled with purpose, passion, and prosperity.
Listen to Dr. Gabor Mate share his wisdom about how you learned to shut down your authentic self and why it was essential for you to do so.
The False or Inauthentic Self
Where is My Mind – Limited Edition of 3 – Erika Zolli
The personal mind – the overthinking voice in your head that you identify with as “me” is not your authentic self. This, however, is what most people take to be their true self when in fact it is the mask with which they face the world. The word “personality” comes from the Greek word ‘persona’ that relates to the masks that Greek actors wore on stage.
This is the equivalent of being identified with the clouds rather than the infinite sky and the radiance of the Long Time Sun. It means that you live your life under a cloud of ideas, concepts, and words rather than from the radiance of Presence which is your authentic Self.
The Master Jesus again.
For whoever wants to save his life shall lose it. – Luke 9:24 KJV
The life that most of us try to save is the life identified with the separate personal self. Our attempts are to change the mask so that in this way we become more authentic. We all do it. It is the normal insanity of this world of time and space.
You cling to your identity as the overthinking perpetual never-ending thought stream and you lose the authentic you. This is what you try to save but in doing so you lose your connection to your authentic self.
Finding the Authentic Self
Cellophane Girl – Victoria Glass Fine Art – Artpal.com
So how do you go about finding the authentic self? Here are the ingredients of a recipe I suggest you explore.
In the section above I presented you with a video by Dr. Gabor Mate that introduced you to the essential reason you needed to close down the authentic you.
An essential point to recognize is that this shutting down was reactive. You had no choice.
It wasn’t a conscious decision. It was an energetic response to a threat within your environment that the intelligence of your organism met in the only way it could.
Thinking didn’t shut down your authentic self so thinking doesn’t return you to living from this authentic self. Accessing the healing power of the Authentic self is not through thought. Analysis might help but that can only take you so far.
Moving into alignment with the authentic you is a complete turnaround in the way we educated you. The inauthentic self arises from the basic Western philosophy that says, “I think therefore I am.”—French Philosopher Rene Descartes.
How to be Your Authentic Self
The authentic Self lives life from the understanding, “I AM and sometimes I think.” Mostly when you live as the authentic you, Life thinks through you and as you.
Instead of being identified with clouds, the authentic Self is the infinite sky. Within that experience you have the Sun radiate through you. You don’t do it, but you have to allow it.
The journey for living from the authentic Self is recognized in spiritual traditions as a three-stage journey of Life. This is broadly as follows:-
- Stage 1—First half of Life—Development of the Personal Self
- Stage 2—Midlife—Surrender of the Personal Self.
- Stage 3—Second Half of Life—Living from the Unity of the Self.
Most people never move beyond the 1st Stage.
The Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung described the journey to the authentic Self in the following way.
The first stage of life is to develop an ego and the second stage of life is to surrender this ego—Carl Gustav Jung.
This is similar to the instructions from the Sage Patanjali who advised that the journey of Yoga was the journey from the personal self (ego) to the transpersonal self through the surrender of the personal self.
Trusting the Authentic You
You have been taught to trust your personal overthinking mind to solve your problems when it is mostly the reason for most of your unnecessary suffering. In the Bible, they call this “Legion.”
This “Legion” is the voice in your head that is like a badly tuned radio broadcasting static picked up in the ether from the collective unconscious. The Buddhist tradition refers to this unending static as “Monkey Mind.
This is not the authentic you.
Becoming the authentic you means you must move beyond the personal mind. The personal mind is the inauthentic self. The mystic Thomas Merton called this The False self. The False self or inauthentic self is not ‘bad.’ It’s just that the servant (the personal mind) runs the Palace of Presence where you as the authentic Self should rule.
In finding your authentic Self which is more a revelation than anything you do you return to trusting the silence within. This is through the practice of meditation or Yoga Nidra. Without turning within there is no access to your authentic Self.
There is no return to living the REAL LIFE that is the life you are created to have lived through you. This is the life you will love so that you receive the blessings from above and KNOW that you are blessed and can bless (Vacillation IV—W. B. Yeats)
Allowing the Authentic You
Universal Flow – Christopher Beikmann – Fine Art America
The second ingredient for the return to living from, and as your Authentic Self is the attitude of “allowing.” This attitude is summed up in such phrases, “Thy will be done,” or “Let go and let God.”
If you have issues around the word ‘God’ simply change this word to a phrase such as Universal Intelligence or Infinite Source Within. This is the intelligence of Creation that is the true flow of authenticity. It is your connection to Being.
It is more the REAL you than all the ideas you have about yourself that are other people’s addons.
Allowing is the gateway to living a magical and abundant life. It is where your focus is not so much on thought but on allowing yourself to be thought through. You allow yourself to be the flow of Divine Intention. This is living from authentic faith.
Becoming your authentic self through allowing is awesome because there is no image to support or defend.
Discovering Your Authentic Self
Love is All There Is – Teresa Leigh Ander – Artpal.com
Living from the authentic self is more about non-doing and allowing rather than adding something to who you think you should be. Discovering your authentic self is a revelation. You are a star (heart chakra awakening) in the making.
The discovery of your authentic self is a feeling experience related to the flow of your energy system that I refer to as Y-E-S. You can read all you want about authenticity but that is simply words. They may help point you in the right direction.
Living authentically is a present moment experience. It is where you allow what is arising to arise. In the beginning, this means you must be willing to stay with uncomfortable feelings.
The metaphor used by Andrew Harvey to describe this spiritual awakening process is akin to placing a damp log in a fire. Initially, there will be a lot of smoke. The mystic and spiritual teacher Dr. Paul Leon Masters likens it to clearing out a garbage can.
What is necessary is your willingness to allow the smoke so you can burn as the radiance of the authentic Self. This is the meaning of the passage in the Gospel of Thomas that declares.
and when he finds he will be troubled, and when he is troubled he will be amazed – Gospel of Thomas Saying 2
Any authentic spiritual teacher will tell you that this cleansing is an essential part of the spiritual journey of the self to the Self through the Self.
Authentic Self Journey
Let it Go – VernGuard Artistry – Artpal.com
An increasing energy that signals expanding authenticity is the attitude of gratitude. Being your authentic self means you experience gratitude for all that you allow to be given through you.
I have learned that when I genuinely desire to create projects and endeavors that support and benefit others that what is needed continually arrives in ways that I never expected.
At 70 years of age, I feel younger than I did when I was in my 20s. I feel so much more creative, prosperous, and more my authentic Self. The only time I ever felt more alive was during the grace experience of awakening to the KNOWING of my True and Authentic Self.
I started the practice of gratitude with an attitude of fake it till you make it. There comes a point when this is how you see the world because this is how Source energy created the world.
Authentic Self Love
Metamorphosis – Bryan Tik Art – Artpal.com
The return to living as the Authentic Self is a lifelong journey and beyond. It isn’t about learning how to act in the world from a personal image. Living from the authentic Self is authentic self-love.
It is learning to be the flow of Universal Intelligence that you are a part of but never apart from. The authentic Self is an outpouring from the Source of the Infinite. You become an allowing of this outpouring.
Your focus is on gifting the authentic you. This is not gifting to get which is more personal manipulation. This is gifting because you can do no other. You are on fire. The modern mystic Joel Goldsmith author of The Infinite Way calls this outpouring, “Supply.”
The authentic you is a state of flow. This is where you trust and allow the will of the Divine to express through you. This is where your personal purpose and the purpose of Love are aligned. This is how you live as the authentic self.
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