Self-Actualization vs. Self-Image Actualization

Theme of the following quotations: We distort our inborn natures when we mistakenly assume that the path to personal development and virtue is a path of fitting oneself into molds suggested by conventional society, teachings, or the examples of luminaries. To do so is to actualize an image of how one should be, rather than one’s authentic self.

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Treading The Path - Living in Process

A teenager recently upturned my self-image when she called me, “Old Man.” Yet I have been called many things, including infant, teenager, young adult, and middle-aged. Millions of thoughts have excited my brain. Tens of thousands of feelings have rippled through my body. The sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches which have passed through my awareness are innumerable.

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Entering the Wilderness of the Undiscovered Self

Theme of the following quotations: Some persons will respond to the call of spiritual emergency by resolving to become their authentic selves. The person who does so initiates a psychological process that tends increasingly to differentiate herself from the values and beliefs bestowed her by the happenstance of the social and cultural conditioning into which she was born and raised.

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The Spiritual Emergency of Inauthentic Living

Theme of the following quotations: Some persons are fortunate to be called to an authentic life by nature, upbringing, or good fortune. Many however are called by the psychological pain of an inherently inauthentic life. These pains are messengers, as Rumi notes. Rather than run from these pains or numb ourselves to them, were we to heed them, then we would be lead to an adventure in self-discovery.

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About the Authenticity Project

The Authenticity Project is a blog and a book in progress. The Project seeks to clarify and promote the practice of personal authenticity. What is personal authenticity? How do we practice living authentically in our daily lives? What are the dimensions of authentic experience? Clarifying these and other questions about how to be one’s Self may help finding a way through the darkness of our era to a life of fulfillment.

Michael Nagel is the blog author and a counselor in private practice in Portland, Oregon (my counseling services website ). His writings have been published in magazines, journals, and books. Exploring personal authenticity, its relevance, practice, and possibilities for profound spiritual deepening have been passionate interests of mine for decades.

The blog’s entries are a book in progress. Your comments to the posts are welcomed and appreciated, for they will help to articulate and contribute

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