What is the truth which personal authenticity expresses?

I don’t presume to know what “The Truth” is, for I agree with the postmodernist view that there is no such thing as objective truth, a truth independent of the observer. As quantum physics demonstrates, the very act of observing something, alters it, and so you can not objectively experience or know anything. Moreover in the unity of the quantum soup of existence, nothing exists separate from me or objective to me.

Yet elsewhere I have written of the love of truth as one of the skills which enable personal authenticity. So seemingly I am suggesting that there is a truth with which our authenticity comports. And I am. But where might we find it?

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The Heart: A Different Way of Knowing

If we do not hear the heart’s intimations of how we might live more authentically, perhaps it is in part because we are entranced by the content of our lives, and oblivious to the qualities of our experiencing.

The average person thinks 70,000 thoughts a day! In an average day, we are exposed to more visual images than a person in the mid 19th-century experienced in a lifetime. The average American watches 5 hours of TV per day, and spends 2.5 hours a day in front of a computer. Daily we live amidst a hurricane of mental stimulation, embellished by the cacophonous sounds of urban life, the day’s multitude of to dos and events, and relationships.

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The Authority of Your Own Personal Experience

All of us are swimming within the mystery of existence which is littered with the flotsam of differing opinions about the nature and purpose of life. To which do you cling to for solace, support, or guidance? Why? The opinions are diverse and contradictory. Some teachers affirm that there’s eternal life after death. Others instruct to live this life with gusto, for it’s the only one you have. Others warn you’ll be reborn maybe as a cockroach, if you don’t watch your step. Some thump holy books, pointing to this or that verse for the authority of their venom. Some assert there’s a deeper nature. Laughing out loud, others reply, “Are you kidding!? The person with the most toys wins.”

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Is spirituality a matter of becoming less or more human?

For far too many spiritual seekers, their spiritual aspiration is like an iron maiden of virtue whose inner critic spikes ceaselessly stab our all-too-human souls. We envision becoming “spiritual” as transcending our humanity rather than becoming more fully human.

Modeling their behavior according to ideas of spirituality that they have read in books, many seekers I meet are genuinely upset with their humanity. They want to be generous, not stingy; admiring, not envious; loving, not hateful; calm, not upset; joyous, not sad; accepting, not angry; holy, not human. When these seekers experience such human ‘blemishes” to their spirituality, they become fearful of their spiritual prospects.

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The First and Last Freedom

Have you ever wondered about the relative importance or unimportance of ideas? Of thoughts? The world is awash with ideas. In 2007, there were 165 million websites. Their 12 billion pages present ideas from the mundane to the sublime. There are 168 million different book titles (2009). With all this thinking, you might add your thought that our problems would be solved – or fewer in number, not growing.

Ideas rule the lives of people. What we think is right, wrong, how to live, why to live, etc. are nothing but thoughts. People dedicate their lives to their ideas. Some would even tear others limb from limb or even destroy themselves and the planet for these things called ideas! That’s how important they seem to be.

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