In order to be truly free, you have to free the mind first. You can be free in every other aspect of your life, be it having unlimited money, a lovely wife and kids, and a bodybuilder’s physique, but if you are inauthentic, you will never be able to truly enjoy any of it.
Before you go about obtaining freedom in your life, the first step in doing so should always be freedom of your mind. The way you achieve freedom of your mind is always living an authentic life.
When little, I had instances where I was told something, and the question why instantly popped into my head. I learned very quickly that no one really wants to be asked why. Asking why never really gets you anywhere because people take offense to it. Go ahead and try this out. Next time you read something or hear someone say something, ask them why. Watch as most people just repeat what they said in another way instead of actually answering why.
I grew up Catholic and went to Catholic school my whole life. Being the inquisitive young chap that I was, I questioned a number of things from the bible. The answers I received not only weren’t satisfactory, but it led me to the greater understanding that these people called adults don’t really know anything. People told them stuff and here they are getting paid to repeat the same things to me. It’s easy to see faults in logic within religious teaching, but when I discovered this, I made the leap to question everything else I was being told as well.
This is one of the biggest problems with school. Kids are born authentic. Through school, they learn to submit and how to please. Any time they question authority, it’s shot down. Because they are just kids, they really have no options, they have to just sit there and take it until they are 18.
The problem is that by then, kids are conditioned to accept submission to such an extent that standing up and thinking for yourself is too difficult. This is how most people turn to the inauthentic life.
Authentic vs Inauthentic Man
The authentic man realizes that he lives according to his own will. Everything that is happening in the world is experienced through his own consciousness. In order to shape his experience, the authentic man looks inward. The authentic man is true to his character despite what is happening in the world outside of himself. The authentic man doesn’t repress emotions out of fear.
The inauthentic man looks for external forces to get by. He looks for the approval of others as the reason for everything he does. Much of what they do is an effort to fit in and get along with others, even to the detriment of their own character. The inauthentic man stays safe and goes along to get along.
People who live the inauthentic life know very well that they are committing a crime against their self. They have strong feelings of guilt because for years they have submitted to people. Instead of confronting the submission, the inauthentic man turns to distraction. Confrontation in anything is very scary for the inauthentic man at this late stage of their life. This is where the drug use comes in, the television, the shitty food, etc.
For years, people have build these inauthentic lives for themselves. The lie used to be that if you just played ball and were a good little citizen, you would have a good paying job, a nice house, and a nice family.
Now, that the illusion is coming down, people are starting to wonder what the point of submission is in the first place. In order to live the authentic life, you will have to confront the demons of your past and make the choice to change.
The first step to living an authentic life is to destroy all the programming that you went through for years. You have to destroy outside pressures having any influence on how you live your life.
After you destroy the influence of outside pressures, start doing things because you want to do them, not for the approval of others. Step inside your mind and find out who you really are, and what you want in life. So many people have these silly ideas of what they want based on what society tells them they should want. I basically want a bunch of money, freedom, and to for America to embrace bars without televisions.
Stop repressing emotions out of fear. Repressing emotions over time makes people crazy and terrified to take any kind of action, so they lash out in other ways. Often times it’s better to act on your emotions in the moment even though the result may not be what you’re looking for.
I’ve been re-reading the Hagakure recently and it’s filled with stories of Samurai who acted immediately on the emotion they had. Because of this, they were often spared from having to commit seppuku by their master. The samurai knew that not acting right away on an emotion out of fear was cowardice, and they reacted pretty negatively to cowardice.
Starting the authentic life is a huge challenge. It’s one of the reasons why not many people do it. When you start making strides to living authentically, other people will subconsciously know what you are doing and not like it. Be wary of this. Being authentic could have the effect of shedding light on how others are inauthentic and they will try and bring you down.
The authentic man is a rare man indeed. If your friends are constantly giving you crap about bettering yourself, give them the chance to rise up with you. If they refuse, re-evaluate the friendship.
To live authentically is to potentially be lonely. Most people I have found live inauthentic lives filled with distraction in order to never face the truth. Know ahead of time that if you take steps to be authentic, you will also be an outsider in society. Embrace this.
Some of my biggest regrets in life were when I wasn’t living authentically. I was able to forgive myself for for this and turn it around. The road of living authentic is a hard one, but much more rewarding in the long run.
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